Another dot in the blogosphere?

Misrepresentation

Posted on: September 12, 2009

This was recently featured in the Straits Times.

sl_not_a_game

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Second Life (SL) is not a game. There are no levels to go through, points to get, or game bosses to kill. It is a multi-user virtual environment (MUVE).

There are MUVE games like World of Warcraft, but SL is not a game. As its name implies, SL is another life you can live. It can be as mundane or as exciting as you want it to be. You can recreate your existing life or live out a fantasy. If you wish to create a game-like environment, you can. But SL is not a game in itself. It is a virtual space to create and collaborate.

Newspapers do a disservice by spreading this sort of misinformation. Label SL a game and other layperson perceptions creep in: Violence, addiction, anti-social behaviour, no educational value, time-wasting, etc. This could not be further from practice. Half the battle to win the minds of an overly critical but ignorant public is lost.

This is one reason why I include SL and other 21st century learning environments in the ICT course that I facilitate. I offer a Prezi presentation on educational SL to any and all who are interested. But the best thing you can do is get a SL avatar, try it out for yourself and read about the powerful things that people are doing with it to promote meaningful learning.

3 Responses to "Misrepresentation"

Hi Dr. Tan,
I had the chance to experience SL during an undergrad module and unfortunately, it wasn’t a meaningful learning experience. Other than the initial unfamiliarity with the prog, we merely used it as a platform to have a forum, nothing different from the usual discussions we had during tutorial. To me, it felt just like having tutorial online instead of doing it physically in class. Hope to get more out of SL this time around!

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Hi Fatma,

Glad to hear that you got to use SL. Sad to hear that it was not meaningful. Unfortunately, that is how people use newer technologies initially. They use it the way they use older technologies and then you ask yourself: What’s the point?

The SL session for the ICT course will only be an introductory one as not everyone is familiar with it. But to illustrate a few of its affordances, you will cutomize your avatar, go on a scavenger hunt and explore a content area of your choice during that session.

It will not be as exciting as gaming, but I hope that it opens up a few more possibilities or fires the imagination.

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[…] Misrepresentation « Another dot in the blogosphere? ashleytan.wordpress.com/2009/09/12/misrepresentation – view page – cached I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Second Life (SL) is not a game. There are no levels to go through, points to get, or game bosses to kill. It is a multi-user virtual environment (MUVE). — From the page […]

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