Home Metaverse My Presentation on Virtual World Building in Second Life (Delivered to a University Course on Virtual World Building and Design) – Ryan Schultz

My Presentation on Virtual World Building in Second Life (Delivered to a University Course on Virtual World Building and Design) – Ryan Schultz

As I mentioned, shortly after my sixtieth birthday, I gave a one-hour presentation on Second Life, in Second Life, to a graduate class in virtual world building and design, currently being taught at my university (first blogpost; second blogpost).

I am happy to report that my presentation was very well received by the students! It was followed by a “field trip” to a separate building region to practice some old-world prim building for an hour, and I was quite impressed by what the students were able to come up with in such a short period of time. (And no, you don’t get to see any of it; I have set up the short-term rental so that only students taking this class can access it, build on it, and yes, even terraform it, to their hearts’ delight!)

Here is my PowerPoint slide presentation from my Second Life lecture given the evening of January 31st, 2024, minus the final slide where I gave the students all the different ways that they could get a hold of me! (Sorry, blog readers, all you get is the comments section on this blog post! I’m gonna have my hands full supporting an entire class; I don’t have time to support all of you, too!)

Just click on the download button to save a copy to your hard drive, to view in your version of PowerPoint (or export to Google Slides or whatever you do use to view slides):

After consulting with the two professors teaching the course, we have decided to extend the rental on the building region for the class to the end of this term, so that any students who wish to complete a 3D building assignment for the course can do so in Second Life. (Note that students are exploring many different virtual world platforms, both 2D and 3D, including some in virtual reality, although the latter is limited by technical constraints, i.e. the number of VR headsets available to use.)

So my role for this graduate-level course is not yet complete! In addition to delivering a lecture on Second Life, and a demonstration of how to use the in-world building tools, I will now also be the Second Life resource person for the class until mid-April, as the students apply what they are learning in this virtual world design class to an in-world building project!

I have told the class that, if I do not know the answer to their questions and problems, I should be able to find somebody who can answer with authority. So don’t be too terribly surprised if I do reach out with questions about, say, how to beat optimize a mesh model created in Blender for uploading to Second Life—because yes, in my presentation I do cover both the old-fashioned prim-building and the more modern mesh way of creating content (as detail-free and hand-wavy as the latter is!). Trust and believe, I had to do a bit of research myself to write that particular part of my presentation, since I am more of a freebie fashionista than a content creator.

I did set up a comparison of some older, prim-built furniture (to the right in the pictures below) with more modern mesh model furniture (to the left), so students can inspect them and compare the land impact of them.

For example, the grey-and-red metal swivel desk chair on the right (in front of the big grey desk) has a land impact of 39 (?!), whereas the wooden chair in front of the desk on the left has a land impact of only 2, while containing much greater and finer detail than the prim-built version. And so on, with all the other pieces. What better way to demonstrate the impact that mesh content creation has had on the grid than to show both old and new items, so students can directly compare?

I also put out a circa-2003 house side-by-side with a circa-2023 house, so the students could see how far that art of domicile building has come in 20 years!

So, anyway, back to the graduate class. I expect a few panicky moments when I will definitely be reaching out to the true Second Life experts, all of you, my faithful readers, to help me get through these next few months—especially on the finer points of modern mesh modeling and uploading! (Pray for me.)

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