Sunday, November 10, 2013

Just another hangout? Or is it a lot more?


1) Second Life is an online virtual world that allows users to interact with each other through avatars, or Residents. Residents can explore the world (known as the grid), meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another. Second Life is intended for people aged 16 and over.

Built into the software is a three-dimensional modeling tool based on simple geometric shapes that allows residents to build virtual objects. There is also a procedural scripting language, Linden Scripting Language, which can be used to add interactivity to objects. Sculpted prims (sculpties),mesh, textures for clothing or other objects, animations, and gestures can be created using external software and imported. The Second Life terms of service provide that users retain copyright for any content they create, and the server and client provide simple digital rights management functions.

There is no charge for creating a Second Life account or for making use of the world for any period of time and the vast majority of casual users of Second Life do not upgrade beyond the free "basic" account, although there are many additions you can pay to upgrade to.

Avatars may take any form a user chooses (human, animal, vegetable, mineral, or a combination thereof) or residents may choose to resemble themselves as they are in real life, or they may choose even more abstract forms, given that almost every aspect of an avatar is fully customizable. Second Life Culture consists of many activities and behaviors that are also present in real life. A single resident account may have only one avatar at a time, although the appearance of this avatar can change between as many different forms as the Resident wishes. Avatar forms, like almost everything else in Second Life, can be either created by the user, or bought pre-made. A single person may also have multiple accounts, and thus appear to be multiple Residents.
Avatars can travel via walking, running, vehicular access, flying or teleportation. Because Second Life is such a vast virtual world, teleportation is used when avatars wish to travel instantly and efficiently. Once they reach their destination, they may travel in more conventional means at various speeds.

Avatars can communicate via local chat, group chat, global instant messaging (known as IM), and voice. Chatting is used for localized public conversations between two or more avatars, and is visible to any avatar within a given distance. IMs are used for private conversations, either between two avatars, or among the members of a group, or even between objects and avatars. Unlike chatting, IM communication does not depend on the participants being within a certain distance of each other.

3) As an amateur gamer of any kind, Lionheart Orientation Island is a bit over whelming to say the least. I personally know that all of the helpful information that I was able to gather in the Hallway of Knowledge will be forgotten as soon as I really want to be able to do something that I can't. I get quite frustrated with this game already because of my lack of knowledge when it comes to getting from point A to point B. I expect it to be a simple process of pushing the forward button and I go exactly where I was to go. However, that is not the case at all and I become frustrated with the game, the controls  as well as my self for not being better in this world. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

This is our Kingdom

For my Emerging Instructional Technology class, we were asked to take part in online gaming through Kingdom Rush for reasons that it can be collaborative and is gender neutral, or any gender would be comfortable playing it. I found this request of my Professor to rattle me a little. From a rather young age, I have never seen the draw to video games. Sitting in front of the computer or television screen for hours at a time, trying to kill made up characters that are not anywhere close to resembling real life, and encouraging young children who do not know any better to accept that killing, slashing, and slaying people is an okay thing to do.

Because I want to become an Educator, I chose to try this game out from the stand point of a teacher to see what the children in my currently imaginary classroom, would be experience. Much to my personal expectation, I did not progress rapidly and soon became very frustrated with the game, partly because I had no say as to whom was killed when in the game in order for me to win. I soon found myself becoming angry at my roommate and friends simply because I was not being able to pass a level.

I feel this personal experience with gaming has shed a little more light on to what a lot of kids are going through. They channel their feelings and emotions through the game, unlike me, and are losing a lot of interpersonal skills because of games like this one. I am not saying that I am completely against gaming, I personally feel that they should be monitored more and regulated by the parents as to the level of graphics their children are exposed to.