HiEdWebDev: Second Life

10.16.07 | Comment?

Tuesday 9:15 session

This presentation is being given by Martha Gabriel remotely (in Second Life for visuals and traditional telephone line for voice) from Brazil. The slides are available (or will be) online www.martha.com.br/presentations/sl2007.

The presenter displayed her powerpoint presentation from within SL on a giant screen.

People who use Second Life say that it is "real" life too.

The info in this presentation is a primer for people who don’t know anything about SL, and began with explaining the concept of avatars.

Islands are $1,500 (education price)/ $2500 (retail) plus $300/month. There is land speculation in SL because even in a virtual world apparently there is a limit to the number of islands that can be created. It has something to do with server load, etc. The island owner can set the rules for the island, from weather to gravity.

$1 million (real) dollars circulate in SL every day. Apparently money laundering is a problem in SL. You can put $ in an avatar, then exchange money with another avatar who could originate in another country. All of this transfer takes place outside the normal monitary system, which means that neither side pays taxes on the income. The US is looking at a law that would require you to declare your SL dollars on your tax return just as you would your FL income.

Some islands are free, while others require you to pay for access. Playboy recently started an island that you have to pay for admission. Harvard, Ohio State, and Princeton all have SL islands.

SL is the only virtual world that has a complete economy that is integrated with the physical world.

SL requires a desktop client. During the presentation the presenter lost her connection. This highlight’s the system’s problems. Sometimes avatars freeze up or your connection drops.

Preston’s Notes: There were 52 slides in this presentation. I knew it would be available online and she spoke pretty closely from her slides, so I didn’t bother to take too detailed notes. For anyone who needs a primer on Second Life, I’d say that the powerpoint presentation is worth your time. As a discussion on using SL in a higher ed setting, the presentation was very lacking. I would have preferred more higher ed context. I took a photo from this session, which I’ll try to post later.

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