Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Holding at Arm's Length

"...to move ahead toward the degree you could take MAT616 Teaching and Learning in Virtual Worlds." With those words from Marlboro, I was signed up for something I had always chosen to avoid. While I revel in  many technological tools, I was never interested in virtual worlds. I include Facebook/Pinterest in this avoidance - anything that (I feel) expects me to reveal what I'm doing or explain where I am was something I held at arm's length. In the virtual world, as opposed to Facebook, it would be more that I didn't want to be put in the position of carrying on conversations with strangers or going places where I didn't feel I was in control. I'm not sure why I consider the virtual world as an "out of control" scenario. If I analyze this too deeply, it might be considered a topic worthy of psychotherapy! Suffice it to say, the virtual world seems scary and indeed, creepy, as some of the members of our class have already stated.

Ever diligent and feeling somewhat intrepid, I chose to soldier forth. I made my account in Second Life (without waiting for the oh, so helpful instructions), downloaded the viewer, and proceeded to spend an hour attempting to make an account. Does the word "infuriated" mean anything to anyone? [Note to self: do not make accounts or try new programs on an empty stomach.] Once the account was finally created, I began working on making my avatar (TisGirl) move, sit, the usual stuff. I walked around in a museum with questionable content on the wall (oh, my word!). Time to take a break. I made my avatar sit on a wall and beat a hasty retreat.

On my second venture into SL, I found TisGirl still sitting on the wall where I left her. Her environs were not the same as when I left, even though she was still sitting on the wall (wonder why that happened?) I was soon joined by another avatar, wearing only a thong. That's it! Another hasty retreat and a quick adjustment to the profile to reflect "General" preferences. So much to learn... I'm a long way from making anything along the lines of "Grandma's Birthday Party." My respect for the author grows.

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