Wednesday, 19 January 2011

2 days of presentations

2 days, 2 presentations - both on Second Life. The first a joint presentation in an arts-focused seminar, based on the virtual theatre work, the second a presentation to built environment educators and trainers on the University's virtual quarry.

Common to both was the advice that anyone looking into using immersive simulations in their teaching, should make OpenSim their first choice. I'd guess that it's common advice circulating through the educational sector. At a time when funding is being cut to the point that jobs are being lost, there's no way of justifying the cost of 'trying it out'.

A model is starting to form in my mind where institutions jointly hire some hosted OpenSim land, and collaborate to produce a learning activity. And then when it's complete each institution takes a copy to use on their own local servers, run when required. We're entering times where the efficient use of resources is paramount.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Bright future for games in Second Life...

... possibly. Towards the end of last year Linden Labs officially announced that Rod Humble would become the new CEO. Having had a very successful career in the games industry, there are justified expectations that under his leadership Second Life will become more game-like. Whether that includes a focus on content or is more the "feel" of the experience, we'll wait and see.

With Mr Humble not due to actually start in the role until mid-January, I wouldn't have expected to see any impact until around the Summer. However, there are already some signs of shuffling at Linden Labs, such as the new blog post on games. It relates mainly to the category in the destination guide - which has gone from no mention of games at all, to a combined 'sports and games' category, to giving games an entry all on their own.

As I mentioned in the comments of that post, I don't see the point in separating sports and games in a virtual world like Second Life. The distinction between sports and games in the real-world is mainly due to culture and organisation - for example Kabaddi compared to British Bulldog. Currently Quackerstone Duck Racing is in the sports category; really? Categories are always tricky, which is why we shouldn't be using them anymore - see "Everything is Miscellaneous" - but for sports and games in SL I think that if you're looking for something in one, then you'll enjoy what's in the other.