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Second Life Thoughts

August 4, 2010

I’m glad we had this assignment.  I’ve heard about Second Life for the past few years and I’d always wanted to try it but I never got around to it.  This assignment gave me that excuse to finally ‘jump in’.  SL was easier and harder to use than I thought.  It was easy to get started, choose a generic prefab avatar and begin my virtual tour.  Things got tricky when I needed to remember interface commands (what was ‘jump’ again?).

Which leads me to the thought that I wish SL was actually more like a videogame.  I play quite a lot of games (the internship I secured for the upcoming semester deals with preserving videogames) and I think SL could take a few more cues from videogames.  First off, if I can’t remember what how to perform a basic action there should be an easy to find menu that lists all of the available actions and their keys.  After my initial visit I couldn’t remember how to run or jump, Googling the question got me nothing, and the built in search menu yielded no results.  A list of basic commands should be easier to find.

Then I got stuck on the appearance/clothing options.  I must have spent nearly an hour trying to figure out how to change my hair!  The appearance menu is just so clunky, requiring you to browse through multiple menus and hit multiple edit buttons buried in non-intuitive places.  Once again, most videogames nowadays have much easier interfaces for changing the avatar’s appearance.

I did however generally enjoy my time in SL.  It was nice to finally visit the SLIS program’s island and see what’s been done there.  I’m not sure if I’ll be visiting SL that much after this class is over, probably only to see what’s going on at the SLIS island.

One Comment leave one →
  1. clementmunns permalink
    August 9, 2010 8:33 am

    Many of my students who have a strong background in gaming have similar complaints about the interface and the general look and feel of the place.

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