It seems that there is so much to learn about second life!
I attended part of the ACHUB Spring Festival on Friday. I went to the session about SL and Health Education. (Includes a link to the slides & a transcript of the chat) It’s the ExPERT Centre that are funding the research we’re doing, so it needs to reflect their interests, as well as ours. Though the ExPERT centre has quite a wide remit, much of the work at present is concentrating on the medical simulation – where we have a ward with adult and child simulators, an operating theatre and a few other facilities. I’m more involved with looking at online support, so I found some of the ideas that were being discussed at the ACHUB session very relevant. Some people are using it for simulation, but rather than a high tech mannequin (with an operator behind a screen), they have SL avatars playing the roles. Definitely cheaper, though clearly a different sort of experience. Another idea that I rather liked, was the idea of having 4 sims (e.g. islands) together to form an interactive body, though I wasn’t quite sure how that would work.
The second session that I attended was Barbie with Brains: This wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it was worth attending. Beth Ritter-Guth had spent 30 days working as a lapdancer in a SL nightclub. She acknowledged that it wasn’t a proper research project (in part, she doens’t know that much about real life lap dancing clubs). What she was really looking at was how the dancers interacted and communicated with the customers. The discussion looked quite a lot at gender in SL in general, and what the potential for research would be.
Finally, on Sunday, when I thought that I could have a day off … I picked up the Observer, turning, as I generally do, to the travel section. The lead article was “My Virtual Holiday” I’m afraid that I rather like “real” travel too much, so I can’t quite see myself getting green and reducing my carbon footprint in that way! I might, perhaps, take a tour at some point.