MOOving on up…

Posted October 2nd, 2010 by wonko

…so I was starting this unit on Virtual Worlds with my year 9 ICTE kids, and we will be investigating all sorts of worlds. One of my favourite is a browser world called a MOO

A Virtual World HQ

A Virtual World HQ

Multi-user Object Orientated VWs are fairly old-school, but none the less relevent in my opinion. In building the HQ for what will be nearly a Term worth of work, I realised how elegant and RAPID the development of a sense of space is in a MOO

An alterniverse...

An alterniverse...

With pictures and words, the sense of place is easily created and added to, we do not need to access object yards, install memory hungry clients, yet we have engaging worlds full of things for kids to do.

Narrative Crossroads - where will they set their scenario?

Narrative Crossroads - where will they set their scenario?

With some simple geographical navigation, students travel to a crossroads, make a decision (they are telling a story by establishing a narrative-based scenario) on time period, they they start to plan … I like it that good virtual worlds give you a sense of travelling, that you move from place to place – our MOO is HUGE – tens of thousands of rooms – most made by students, you can literally explore for days.

making things is easy

making things is easy

…there are LOTS of building tools in a MOO – I prefer the command line approach, but there are menu-driven alternatives also, for those that like to click on stuff. Once they have made a thing, they customise it:

editing via menu choices or command line

editing via menu choices or command line

Simple menu choices that are consistent across all sorts of objects (there are some differences, depending on the capabilities of an object), and command-line equivalents that are faster – I tend to script most things – with a single paste of a chunk of text, I can make, describe and populate an entire suburb (cluster of interconnected rooms) in a MOO.

I like it that a MOO is built for collaborating, synchronous chat, tools for mediating that are central, tools that work with many using them, implicit sharing or resources amongst teams so they all can contribute

share and share alike

share and share alike

We will be going even “nerdier” in this unit, exposing kids to pure text-based MUDs and some work in an OpenSIM (a second life clone) – few of them can compare with the elegant effective simplicity of a MOO in my considered … it is a pity most people have abandoned them for stuff that is 3D, thinking that if it looks better, it must be better.

I have said this in other forums, but I think it is worth repeating: The amount fo time invested per unit of believable detail is LOWEST in a MOO, HIGHEST in a 3D world.

Do we have the time? – no, that is why we contract others to do the work.
Is it MORE effective? – I am yet to be convinced

say hi to your mum for me 😛

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