Taking Second Life One Step at a Time

I’m finding that it’s easier for me to take SL and learning about it in small doses. It gives me the opportunity to focus on mastering a few things at a time. Even with the great tutorials and orientation available though the NMC (New Media Consortium) walk you through the process step by step. There’s so much to learn at first that it’s really best to focus on mastering a few things at a time (for me that’s about 1 hour at a time).

I sort of took a big leap there in one of my first trips and before I knew it I was wandering around a simulated Moroccan marketplace… from the NMC Educational center. Crazy! I flew around Morocco, giving myself a bad case of motion sickness in the process. I really should have spent more time wandering around the NMC area before jumping out there. I spent quite a bit of time trying to get back to where I started. Since then, I’ve been trying to take baby steps. I went back to the NMC education area and found both the menu for educational landmarks as well as the building where you can get free clothes and goodies.

My avatar in the Literature Alive learning spaceI’ve been gradually learning how to do the following things:

  • how to maneuver, fly around and teleport.
  • how to use the chat
  • I changed my clothing, appearance, etc.
  • how to manage my inventory
  • how to ‘buy’ things or get them for free.
  • how to build a prim or primitive (object)
  • basic “rezzing” or shaping of objects (believe me, I’m no wiz at this yet. I’m still struggling with just basic manipulation and application of textures.

I also discovered that the trick to not getting so nauseated in SL is to stay still whenever possible. Move only when you have to. It’s also good to spend some time learning about your environment by clicking on things or reading the notecards that might be present. It’s really sort of strange because I’ve noticed that there are a number of people in SL who seem to be standing still “in their own universes.” This is especially true of most of the “learning spaces” or museum type exhibits. People are taking the time to learn so it seems like their trapped in their own little bubbles. I guess if you think of many Second Life areas as museums it doesn’t seem like such an alien world.

Me in the \

Me learning how to do simple ‘rezzing’ at the Tower of Primitives.

The Tower of Primitives offers a pretty interesting tutorial on how to develop your own shapes and objects in SL. I actually found that it was easier to play with the object creation features on my own, while sometimes referencing the diagrams and displays rather than reading through the texts or notecards. Perhaps that’s because I’m a hands on learner. After ‘walking through’ most of the exhibit I was able to create simple objects such as cubes, cylinders, and spheres, and I was able to apply texture to these objects. I could also make some objects hollow.

I believe that if you go to the “Map” in your controls and type “Tower of Primitives” in the search you can find the landmark location for this helpful learning space. Just click the “Teleport” button and you’ll find yourself outside the tower. Make sure to follow the ‘red arrows’ to get into the building. I spent sometime wandering around outside before I got in.

Resources:

Second Life – Where you can download the SL environment application and learn all about Second Life.

NMC Campus Observer – Site for the New Media Consortium’s information on their NMC Campus.

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2 Responses to “Taking Second Life One Step at a Time”


  1. 1 jltitus April 26, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Natalie,

    Thanks for the insight. I’ve tried to check out Second Life but have found it frustrating. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. I like your strategy too, not to chew off too much too soon.

    Hope to see you soon.

  2. 2 nkilkenny April 29, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    It can be frustrating, but I really think the key for those of use who want to ease into it is to take things one step at a time or even take a course that has an active mentor and guide. Part of me has mixed feelings about spending so much time ‘creating’ objects in there because I have this ‘human’ need to touch what I’m making. Maybe I need the tactile stimulation. I see SL as having potential for teaching and even presenting ideas in a 3D environment. I do believe that we all need to stop thinking about the internet world in 2D (print and images, etc.). I think many of us as still stuck on structuring information for the 2D world.


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