Thursday, November 09, 2006

Everything's up to date in Cybrary City!

Wooo and hoo! Talis and Alliance Library System have just announced the construction of a new island in Second Life - Cybrary City. Read more about Cybrary City here.

It will have resources for librarians, plus provide space for real life libraries to have a SL prescence. No mention of the word "free", but here's hoping.

Rochelle and CW have recently written about their first experiences in Second Life. Mine was similar when there wasn't an event on, but I had a great time at the Grand Opening of Info Island - watching Lorelei Junot behead herself with a guillotine at the spooky costume party and sitting in the cinema watching Rocky Horror Picture Show with other Library Friends. Oh yes, I also enjoyed the learning in the auditorium.

Image: Home not so sweet. Not sure about the pink hippo either.

The Linden gods of Second Life have played dice with my avatar, poor Emerald Dumont (green hill - geddit?) by making her home inside a small model of a volcano in Mahulu. Everytime I teleport home, I end up in the volcano, thrashing about in fire and have to ask passerbys to teleport me out. At least I'm not like John Blyberg, who in SL had a grand piano stuck on his head for a while.

I'm beginning to think of SL not as a game or a virtual world, but as a user interface, similar to a web browser. A successful game would be interesting all the time. A successful virtual world would feel "real" all of the time.

A user interface can be friendly or unfriendly, but if it works well, then your focus should be on what you used it for, rather than the interface itself. If you browse the web with Firefox and what you find is boring, offensive, or unsatisfying, you don't walk away disenchanted with Firefox.

In academic libraries, we will soon have huge numbers of undergraduates who are used to this type of interface from gaming. They love it and understand it. To deliver the services where they are, we should understand it - and maybe learn to love it - pink hippos and all.


( I never, ever cheat with these cards, just draw 'em as they come, but they keep being pertinent to my posts!)


rochelle said...

Hi Kathryn--a friend sent me some stats on SL and one that surprised me is that the average age of a SL participant is 31. Stephen Abram pointed to some similar info on other 2.0 environments. I'm anxious to see how the academic library SL projects go.

I'm hoping to be able to offer an interview with some SL principals in the next few weeks. I'll probably publish it on LISNews. Keep posted!

Adeghord said...

Everytime I teleport home, I end up in the volcano, thrashing about in fire and have to ask passerbys to teleport me out.

Hi Emerald,

You *should* be able to set your home to any (non-volcanic) spot of either public land or private land that you own... It's under the "World" tab at the top of your SL screen. Failing that, you can always enter SL where you last left it (that's an option on the splash screen once the application is loaded but before you've gone in-world.) Though now that I think about it, I suppose getting teleported out by strangers might be a good way to meet new people!

_Adeghord Malthus

Kathryn Greenhill said...

Sorry - been away for the weekend.
Rochelle - The "31 years" thing is not so surprising when you consider the organzational skills it takes to get groups together and keep them running like you often do in SL.

Adeghord -Thanks for the tips. I do enter SL at the point where I last left. Usually I sit on a sofa or something first. I'm just waiting for the day when I log on and find myself sitting on someone's knee. Every so often I go back "home" just for the thrill of writhing in flames.