I am working on a presentation for my math game. To help convey the idea of the virtual world, I created an animated clip in XtraNormal. This clip shows an interaction that would occur in the beginning of the game. The female character represents the player. This character is customizable so the player can make the character take on any ethnicity, gender, etc. I’m not thrilled with the characters and their voices, but I thought this would make the game idea more “real”.
After this animation, the player will complete an interest survey. The survey will drive some of the choices of activities within the game. After completing the survey, the player will go through a sampling of activities. To the player, it will feel like an introduction to the functionality in the game, but the activities will actually access the player’s basic number sense skills.
1.4 Learner Characteristics Research has shown that students are more engaged and have greater investment in a game when they have some level of control. One study even found that students reached a greater level of learning when they could choose a helper character that looked and acted more like themselves. A computer game with some level of individual customization and/or the ability to respond to students’ preferences is more likely to engage students and keep them motivated to learn.
Today’s quest took me to the SS Galaxy, a cruise ship in Second Life. There are many activities on board including fishing contests, whale watching, sky diving, and a rock wall. I’m sure there’s a pool, somewhere, but I couldn’t find it. You’ll see some of my mini-vacation “photos” on the right. The purpose of this destination in Second Life is to enjoy a virtual cruise. One can buy or rent a state room and “live” here for as long as they have Linden dollars to pay for their space. I can imagine it could be an interesting way to relieve stress. After a long, stressful day, embark on a cruise ship, check into your stateroom, and enjoy the view!
The place is HUGE! I wish I could have experienced the caloric burn that would have taken place had I been running around a real cruise ship.
What I discovered here is similar to what I’ve discovered throughout Second Life. The place is a huge expanse with stunning views. I could easily pour hours into exploring the place. I’m stunned by the beauty and creativity that went into building all of the locations. I mean…where else can one go t0 whale watch and wind surf in a matter of minutes and not even get wet!?
But I find Second Life to be a very lonely place. If I visited Second Life with friends, I might have a different experience. Most places I have been I have rarely run into other people, except for the newbie areas. Today was no different. The only “people” I saw were animated objects to click on to receive more information.
This destination sponsor’s events. There wasn’t one going on at the time of my visit. I’ll landmark this place and visit again sometime when more people are likely to be here.
If I new people in this virtual world, Second Life would be a fun place to meet and chat. It’s like a chat room with an excellent view. My last snapshot below shows one area on the SS Galaxy where people can meet. I think it would be a fun place to meet. So comfy and beautiful. But, if the conversations were good and real, the scenery would quickly fade and it wouldn’t be much different from being in a chat room. At least, that’s what I would guess.