Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Journey into Second Life Quest 7 and 8: Virtual Tours

Although this is the end of my exercise, I don’t see it as the end of my time in Second Life. The more I visit and explore the more I can see a great deal of potential for communication, engagement, and education. With more time and experience I hope that I can incorporate all of these elements into my future classrooms. Some of which might just meet exclusively in second Life someday, something to think over.
Abbots Space Port
In my last installment for this particular exercise I scouted out some locations inside of Second Life that all centered on a central theme and then created a tour of them for anyone else interested in the same theme to follow. So I picked the coolest possible theme and explored until I found some really detailed and committed locations to explore it, Science Fiction. In my searches I tried to find a wide variety of items, some super educational, some kind of informative but engaging visually, and some that are just guilty pleasures from the heart of a Sci-Fi fan boy. Below you will find a listing of the name of the locations, a little bit of detail about what to expect, and a URL that will get you there. No the caveat there is that you will have to be a part of the Second Life universe to visit and interact. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Sci Fi Exploration and Education Tour

This is a tour card that explores simulation and education opportunities within the subject of Science Fiction. All of the locations have some kind of science fiction theme, some more recognizable than others, and provides an interesting look at the imagination and application of the theme in second life.
~Virtual D

This is a themed area that allows users to interact with some futuristic and fantastic objects. In this space port make sure you spend some time skydiving on the 4th floor of the main building, test you skill at landing in the target and don’t forget your parachute. When you’re done take a trip on a Di Vinci inspired airship design around the island.
Inspire is a well-designed bit of space with some floating techno lighted dance floors. Upon entering travel straight up and look through one of the viewfinders and it will allow you to see everything in the area. It is very cool but a little tricky because it needs access to your view controls to show what it wants. Overall if you like techno music and are looking for a place to mingle and dance this is a place to check out and see.
A great place to star when you teleport here is to walk straight ahead and take the tour. A history of space flight is lined up and displayed throughout this area. The tour helps you to see exactly what is available in the area and it will highlight some of the items you pass in the bottom left corner. See Cape Canaveral, Mercury 7 Park, and of course the gift shop for souvenirs. Make sure to ride all the way around to where you started then turn around and check out the virtual planetarium. Great location to visit for those interested in space.

Now at first glance this is little more than a pitch for a company working in nanotechnology. However I placed it here for its solar system tour. Upon arriving leave the building and walk towards the object that looks like red circles in chicken wire, on the other side if the solar system tour. Along the walk for this tour there are displays with information about each of the pieces that make up our solar system.  Turn off the volume though, a company pitch is running throughout

Another location at spaceport alpha was very well done and I felt deserved its own link here.  With the earth below you walk around the space station learning about things like low earth orbit and the Hubble telescope. Make sure you teleport to the various planet by selecting them to learn about when we visited as well as information about the planets structure. Be careful not to fall off, but if you do the parachute you picked up earlier will come in handy bringing you safe and sound back to the main spaceport alpha area. After falling out of space check out the various rockets and other NASA related information. There’s a lot to see and learn for every space enthusiast. As I mentioned before take the tour first to get the lay of the land before you get to far along so you don't miss anything.

So I haven’t found out exactly what is going on in this area yet but it is all about futuristic flashy lights and pictures so I was all in from the get go. Upon arrival you teleport in right next to a mono-wheel rez sign, click on it to get some super cool transportation or walk along a little further and get a scooter to ride and check everything out.  Stop by the game room, vend out some snacks while you inside then make your way passed the elephants to the outdoors. Now outside it's a cross between science fiction and well to quite honest i don't know what. If you go further west or north you will run into....Ireland. No joke, this is one crazy place. Visit the flashy light and pics then stop by and say hi to Meg, she built Ireland.

This next section is a complete and total fan boy experience for me, a Star Wars themed sim. No beware you are required to be dressed appropriately to visit this area. If you go in dressed like anything that would not belong in a star wars movie such as jeans, sweatshirts, Hayden Christensen, and then you will be expelled, rest easy though it will not cost very much as the outfits that will get you by are completely free. The landing area is full of for pay items as well but free Jedi robes or commoner garb is available. Now this is a little more advanced as far as the sims I have seen. They take their rules very seriously so before going too far get the free clothes and get an observer tag, and put it on. This will allow you free walk around privileges to see what’s going on. It is a little complicated but worth it in the visuals and to watch the interactions between everyone. Shop and explore, very cool for the Star Wars fan.

Need a break from your Second Life explorations, stop by and catch a movie. This location is a great throw back to the 50 era dinner and sci fi mix. You start out on the flying platform with the theatre next to the concession stand, get some pop and popcorn then head around back to the movie. You can choose from sci fi and horror clips in the theatre screen. Careful when you get to the back, there is open air and you could fall all the way down to the ground. Not to worry we still have a parachute and even if you don't the ground in SL is much softer than the real world. On the ground below there is a teleport area to get back to the drive in and some shops a carousel and some homes for sale.

This is a launching pad (get it, sci fi, launching pad.......) for exploring the various simulations in Second Life. There are gateways to other locations in the sci fi/fantasy SL universe; it has everything from a Harry Potter to Star Trek and Wars. Before you go hopping off somewhere else take a few minutes to explore what this expo has to offer. By far the best experience here is up top, you can fly to space in your choice of space craft to a space station. Once there you can space walk or move up into the flight control area and move the station to orbit around additional planets. The trip back to earth is equally fun through the escape pod. Take a break from space travel and get your free scuba gear and go the opposite direction, not that we need scuba but hey, free is free. When your underwater make sure to interact with the marlin, he give you a landmark for an underwater shop with some neat freebies.

I am Such a Nerd
My last stop on this exploration is another fully immersive simulation. Gain the inner sci fi fan could not resist a Star Trek themed simulation opportunity. This is a little more involved and should be attempted once you have a pretty good feel for changing your appearance, attaching objects and interacting with your environment. This is by far the best sim I have found in the science fiction areas. You can transport to a space station or down to a colony on the planet. It has everything, so if you are a fan this will be a very interesting experience. If you’re not, take a peek just to see how detailed it is, then teleport on out for the next adventure.

I hope everyone ejoys visiting the site I suggested. If you have any additional please let me know what I missed. I woulk like nothing more than to add to my list for further exploration. Safe Travels to all in SL.

1 comment:

  1. This is an exceptional tour, Destery. You have spent a great deal of time in exploring and then packaging a tour for others. It was created by a true geek and I love it.

    You will find a few more geek locations on the link that I just sent out today.