Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 21 January 2011


MDC Island

Things sure have changed since I first joined SL.  This new avatar is standard. I created her to meet my students inworld. Yet another decision to compartmentalize which I will probably overrule later. Oh well. I also wanted to see what it would be like for a new SL user.  I simply changed her hair/clothes/attachments from what was provided in my inventory*.  I big change from this…

Chilling w/cig

which is the first avatar look I settled in on after a full two weeks [I swear, at least!] of shape and hair tweaking, plus hunting down freebies and finally finding some *%&^%! cigarettes.  Still, I managed to get this avatar to like me which was my original goal.

However, the new avatar looks like my attitude, which I found to be the point of a [my] virtual existence.  I’ll say the new user experience of Second Life a huge improvement.  I know that the avatar appearance learning curve was a big hurdle for someone less determined than I was and I remember the original orientation.  If fact, I think I have video of some of that: Xhyra Graf of a Second Life

I even had in my start-up! inventory what they call a cyborg attachment and I consider to be a set wolveriness claws. Woot!  Yes, ThePhilosophyProf will have a set of claws. Deal.

I think SL has a lot of punch left and probably stands as the virtual world that will probably be around for longer than most.  If they keep on their toes that is.  In the end, longevity is determined by ease of use and attention to the common user, not what the tech geeks want.  A geek will come up with workarounds while complaining on the blog about how horrible the build is but they will still be complaining 3 or 4 years later.  Really, you know it’s true.  The other people just stop using the thing and play Farmville.  This little tidbit explains all of the new features introduced by Linden Labs [and complained about] instead of the ‘fixes’ demanded.

All in all, practical things need to take precedence.  Believe me, as an artist and all around idealist, I can sympathize with certain things.  I use Imprudence because it is better for the things I want to do but Viewer 2 is better for someone new to virtual worlds.  So, if my goal  is to get students into a virtual world and have them stay there for at least a semester**, I think Second Life is the choice.

*to be fair, here is a less tweaked avatar with freebie skin from back then. I did make the clothes from a standard inventory texture….

Whatchu Lookin At?

**as an individual educator, not an institution with the manpower to create avatar choices/orientations/tutorials/user support and a wealth of exploration options in order to make OpenSim like Second Life.



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