I went into this class with an open mind having no idea what to expect. Along the way I have been pushed out of my comfort zone to interact with social media platforms that I have never used before. When told that our class was being combined with students from Dublin, I was excited and interested to see how our projects would turn out.
This project definitely challenged my group as well as many others more than I originally imagined. Very quickly we discovered that meeting up in the virtual realm was basically impossible with our varying schedules. Our forms of communication were highly limited as well being that not all of the members in our group able to access the same types of technology.
We plugged along and decided that it was best for our group to split up into groups of two for the presentation. Two of us could not attend class so that also added and extra layer of added stress. When it came time to actually make our presentation Second Life created many obstacles for me personally.
At first I did not have any currency so I could not upload my slides. Then when I finally got the slides uploaded and put them into my presentation, I could not get the slides to change on the presentation screen. Then I had my partner meet up with me in Second Life and discovered that my slides were not visible for her. Panicking slightly, I contacted our professor and he was extremely helpful. He had given us a new presentation tool that was much easier to use.
Day of our presentation my partner was actually able to see the slides! I feel that our presentation went pretty well and it was definitely something I have never experienced before. Even though there was not face to face contact I was still a bit nervous. Overall I think it went well and we managed to promote our organization, The Haven of Rest.
This class has taught me so much about virtual worlds and also the different types of social media out there. This class has shed a whole new light on the meaning of communication to me. I am thankful to have made it to the end and am happy that I decided to take this course.
My group has tried various types of communication while going through our project. We began with using our emails to communicate. As time moved on we decided to start a google document to list our ideas and roles for this project. While this was helpful it was difficult because you are not alerted when new information is added so you must check it manually yourself. We had even tried to use messaging through our twitter, but were challenged because there is a character limit to how much you can put in one message. Once we divided up our groups tasks we continued to use email as our main source of communication to update one another.
The next block in the road that we had was that only two members of our group could make the class meeting time. This overall resulted in us making two separate presentations for our class. The time difference with the Dublin students truly required us to think outside the box. Although we were never able to all meet on SecondLife at one time we still managed to achieve our end goal of spreading the word about our charity, Haven Of Rest in Akron, Oh. This class has been an interesting and eye opening experience to all that our online world has to offer.
McLuhan had a very interesting interpretation of how prosumers and producers interact(Link-http://produsage.org/node/67). In our world McLuhan feels that prosumers possess the power to not only financially support products but give their own feedback and critiques to enhance the products further. In his presentation McLuhan is skeptical over whether the consumers simply punching buttons to provide feedback really gives them an active role in production. I understand where he is coming from, but even though they aren’t physically taking part in production they are still using their voice to alter the end result of what producers decide to do with their products in the future.
Produsers combine elements of producers and users. The users of objects are given the chance to give their opinions on the objects purchased.
This gave me a new outlook on the world of production. It can be especially tricky when incorporating online elements. Being that our world is ever changing I think McLuhan had some valid points that can be applied to our online world.
After having read the blog post about virtualworldnmfsfall11’s interpretation of some of McLuhan’s concepts, I learned to look at online forms of social media in a whole new light. (https://virtualworldnmfsfall11.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/painfully-coming-to-grips-with-the-medium-is-the-message/) One of the major principles that I found interesting was the concept that different forms of technology only serve as an extension of ourselves and a way to express our thoughts in an alternative way. The other interesting thought of McLuhan that was brought up was that we need to not focus on content all the time, but instead analyze the medium which is being used. If we focus on simply what we see and not how we are seeing it we could lose sight to why we were connected to that content in the first place.
Next I read chapter 3,”The Self and Second Life: A Case Study Exploring the Emergence of Virtual Selves, from the book Reinventing Ourselves: Contemporary Concepts of Identifying in Virtual Worlds (https://books.google.ie/books?id=48P5tVhoWaIC&pg=PR1&lpg=PR1&dq=Sabine+Lawless-Reljic&source=bl&ots=sWQ689YkX2&sig=Bxm9U6n83P-arLS6XPlTIY_2kNs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=h7fcVL6cEeWR7AaHooGgDw&ved=0CEsQ6AEwCDgK#v=onepage&q=Sabine%20Lawless-Reljic&f=false). This portion brought to my attention some interesting research being conducted over how people connect/disconnect their real life to their virtual life. Some people have a psychological connection to their character on Second Life and see it as an extension of themselves. However there are also those that choose to use Second Life as a chance to become someone completely new that they may not have the chance to be in real life. It shows how much diversity there is in virtual realms.
After reading the blog post by Content & Licensing in Virtual Wolds by Shenlei Winkler, I realized how many legal issues exist in virtual realms today. The reason that so many problems exist is that the content creators for virtual realms are creating their own licensing agreements without the help of actual lawyers so many key parts of being left out of their paperwork. It is not their fault that they are unaware of all that needs to be included in these documents, but luckily steps are being taken to make it easier for correct documents to be formed. An easy template is being developed for those that wish to create licenses on their own.
I then read “The Law of Virtual Worlds”, which helped break down some of the recent cases and legal battles involved with virtual property trading and the rights of cyborgs. It is difficult because in many cases its hard to determine the right answer because in the end of the day all of this content is part of a virtual reality and is not truly tangible. However, many people do have a strong emotional connection and investment in virtual world. I feel that the most important aspect is that no emotional harm is created through these online worlds. They are meant to serve as a place for people to relax and escape their problems from the real world. Overall I think that the specifications on the laws of virtual realms will continue to change and adapt as time goes by. With all of the tech savvy masterminds out there it could take a lifetime to catch every person that copies content from other creators. There is still a lot to learn in order to make these online worlds truly “safe”.
This week we had to explore second life with people that have similar interests to our own. I chose to explore with Amanda Montemayor (Blog-https://amandi2811.wordpress.com) and Becky (Blog-http://becktronsecondlife.tumblr.com). Being that we all love disney we chose to explore a place called “Disney Tribute- Magicland Park.” This was a truly incredible place that really reminded me of the Magic Kingdom park in Disney World. When you walk in you automatically see main street and a view of the Cinderella castle. I was so shocked at the amount of detail put into this place.
There were also many attractions there that you could actually ride! Here are pictures of just some of them.
It’s A Small World (Fantasyland)
Mark Twain Boat Ride (Frontierland)
Rocket ships (Tomorrowland)
Overall this was an incredible place and I definitely reccommend that you check it out!!!
My group had for our class project consists o Etain Riera (Blog- https://etainriera.wordpress.com/), Kay Kerenzy (Blog- https://lunaspikes.wordpress.com), and Alex Defabio (Blog- https://acd03.wordpress.com/). We had began our journey together by emailing back and forth trying to figure out one another’s schedules so we could meet up on second life. This became a little monotonous so one of our group members created a Doodle, which is an online poll that we could use to individually plug in our hours to see when we are all free. After this we realized that making group meetings was not going to be the easiest. So instead we chose to create a google doc that we all have access to. Here we brainstormed ideas together and broke up the duties for this project. We decided that each member would be responsible for one type of social media in order to get the word out about our chosen charity/organization, Haven of Rest, a homeless shelter in Akron, Oh. Although my group had a bit of a rough start, I think we are on the right track.