Friday, May 30, 2014

2014 EDU: OPENSIM: WRITE: Teaching creative writing in a virtual world: How get the world.

Teaching creative writing in a virtual world: 
Storytelling and world building.  
How do we get the world built?
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What is the best way for creative writing students to construct their story world in Opensim? 
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I found queries in Virtual Worlds Best Practices In Education asking for advice on how creative writing students might create a story world in Opensim presenting the world in which their story is placed.  The options suggested were:
  • learn in-world building?  
  • 3D design program like Blender?   
  • combination?  
  • design what they want and have actual virtual builders create their world?
Since there may be others with somewhat the same quest, I am publishing my response

Don't think building first.  Think researching to find what is already available at zero or little cost.  Here are a few places to start:  
In particular you can get whole sims already built and furnished (OAR files).  More are becoming available all the time.  If you check with Seanchai in Kitely, you might even find some that they can make available to you--worlds built specifically to fit with story-telling or experience training.
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If you start with most of the building done by other sources, your students can concentrate on the story and on creations that are essential to the story.
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I suggest that along with the initial story planning, you send students on a treasure hunt on the web (web research) to find suitable builds (OAR files, or packaged builds).  They will develop their web search skills (skills of broad application and high value).  If they find some OAR files of interest to them, the OAR files can be uploaded into a grid.  If not to the grid you are working with, then certainly to Kitely or Sim-on-a-Stick (SOAS).
You might have the students meet in a few of these worlds and imagine stories that might fit in these worlds. 
  • What would be the quests?
  • Who would be the characters? 
  • Who would be the protagonists? The antagonists?
  • Etc. 
Perhaps you would have them play out (improvise) some scenes.   They might find that this helps them in writing the dialog for the scene and perhaps in understanding the characters.
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I also suggest that you consider adding video production to the project.  Scroll down for help on making videos in the virtual worlds.
  • Video of the improvisation
  • Video of scene rehearsal
  • Video of a final performance
  • Post on YouTube
  • Send info to parents
  • Students can include in portfolio to college or job application
  • Send press release to bloggers
  • Present at Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education next year

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News and Notes

Related blog posts, upcoming, current, and recent events
Scroll down for news and notes

U.S. Army Research Lab’s Simulation & Training Technology Center announced an open postdoctoral position on the MOSES team, which is working to develop the MOSES OpenSim grid and associated technologies.   Hypergrid Business

    Around the virtual worlds  

    Arts

    • The Spotlight Theatre League, in association with Lady Garden Cabaret, 
    • is auditioning for the musical Rent in Second Life    
    • The performance will be held October 30th at 7pm slt
    • Auditions will be held June 9th - 13th from 1pm to 4pm slt
    • in the showroom at the Lady Garden Cabaret.
    • Location Link. Click to go or drag to the viewer screen:
    • http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Liberty%20Coast/161/111/1201
    • Please contact Brad Mactavish in Second Life to schedule an audition.

      Writing

      Web resources

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      Video-Machinima in virtual worlds
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