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Week 13 & 14 Synopsis

December 3, 2009


Just a couple of quick notes on the homework before general comments on the SL experience:

  • When creating media-specific CSS files, we need to have a vision in mind of what that version is going to do for the user.
  • Many of the student handheld CSS versions simply re-used the print CSS. This would be OK except that in the print CSS we exclude navigation content which is absolutely essential to the mobile user. Keep this in mind for the final project.
  • Normally we print out large versions of images, but hide and replace these large versions in the handheld CSS.
  • When arranging the images in print CSS many students had <img> elements as stand-alone inline content, which is valid and legal but will take away the breaks which make them line up vertically. The easy way to get around this is to wrap every image in a <p> element which makes layout easier as well.

Second Life

For a variety of reasons my feelings on SL are always mixed:

  • The place is owned and operated on a for-profit basis. To make your own space you have to buy land and spend real money. As you know, my feeling on this is that I’m already spending a lot of money each month just to get to the NET. Yet I should spend more to get a graphic representation of what is already available to me? No.
  • Keyboard and mouse as interface is clunky/kludgy/bad; this is a big issue in HCI (Human Computer Interaction), SL shows how much the way we currently relate to our computing machines is ill-suited to the next generation of information presentation/interaction. In all likelihood we will soon see virtual reality interfaces which let us “be” in cyberspace. So, going into SL gives us a first hand glimpse of what is coming and what likely shape it will take; very exciting stuff.
  • I wish I had more time in my first life to be in SL. Every time I go in, I have fun. I feel like a kid with a cool toy. Even with the negatives noted above, it’s a great thing and should be looked at as a giant playground (I personally know several people who’ve met life-partners in SL and use it to stay in touch in a long-distance relationship).
  • It allows people to come out of their shells in a safe place…no one can really touch you there, so you can also be more bold (this happens on a sub-conscious level). For this reason businesses use SL to hold meetings with telecommuting staff to great effect.
  • SL is just the first look; it will likely be replaced by some opensource standard where any avatar from any realm can exist in any realm. When that happens, the Internet will be transformed into something close to Gumby and Pokey’s world of “jumping into books” to be immersed in information-bearing content.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephanie Roach permalink
    December 6, 2009 12:14 am

    Hi Derek-
    I just found this article on deaf accessibility in Second Life and thought you might be interested.


    • clementmunns permalink
      December 6, 2009 10:18 am


      I found this very interesting. Thank you for posting! It’s another example of how little thought the world at large gives to the power of the NET to include those who have been excluded in the past.


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