I, Avatar

Posted November 15th, 2012 by wonko

We are exploring virtual words with my year 9 students and it is a rich and varied experience, well, that is the plan at least. The worlds are textiverse (a custom MUD for them to edit), a browserverse (terraMOO, a hybrid world) and an Opensim (full 3d world called terraceLIFE).girls

Today we ventured into terraceLIFE and explored the notion of “avatar” – the brief for the first half of the lesson was simple enough – get your avatar to look like you.

What could possibly go wrong? Year 9 boys, in an opensim, where the default avatar is RUTH, a buxom female.avatars

After some initial explanation, they took to creating a virtual presence fairly well – it is interesting to talk to them about how they see themselves – shorter than they really are, heavier than they really are, bigger nose etc. I guess it is a tall ask to do body-image stuff with year 9 boys, given the hormone storm they are currently weathering but, you know, they handled it pretty well.vpeople

Very happy with the performance of the opensim also Р30 kids at once, all doing wonderfully interesting things, worked a charm. Next session we will explore building techniques with a simple construction project, then we will get complex and go for a collaborative building project (there will be tears before bedtime there I suspect).

I have a chunk of terrain for them to play on, will let them mark their territory and see how it goes – the only real rule here is “don’t be a dick” – it will be interesting to see how they cope.

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