Saturday, January 26, 2008

(Educational) Self City on Teen Grid

Dutch MDC [Lost in the] Magic Forest finished developing an island on the Second Life Teen Grid for the Waag Society a little while ago. As I don't have TG clearance it took some time before I picked up this story.

The Waag Society is an organisation which started in 1994 as 'Society for old and new Media', de Waag'. Founders were Caroline Nevejan and Marleen Stikker, who is still Waag Society's director. Before, Stikker was the mayor of the Digital City, the first internet community in the Netherlands.

The Society's -soon to be called 'Waag Society'- mission was to make new media available for groups of people that have little access to computers and internet, thus increasing their quality of living. After a complete restauration of the Waag building, a small group of enthousiastic idealists began their activities in 1996.

The island in Second Life (TG) is called Self City and is an educational project to experiment with new teaching methods for pupils with special needs in the age of 12-14. It is about students which cannot function properly in a normal classroom, often through social emotional or light mental handicaps.




Dobre VanBrugh from Lost in the Magic Forest says:

"We developed a complete city on the island with a movietheatre, (fake)gambling hall, basketballcourt and a Heads Up Display (HUD) to assist the pupils in their interaction (see screenshots). The scientific findings of the new teaching method in Second Life have been gathered in this report (Dutch only): Research Report Self City"

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Real Life Cities revisited: Brussels, Utrecht and Brugge

One of the trends in 2007 was the creation of Real Life Cities in Second Life. Most of these sims were MDC showcases providing a home for their community. Quite a bit has changed though at a few of them.

Brussels

In July I blogged on the Belgian city of Brussels (Bruxelles), which housed a grand casino in the Royal Palace. I needed a clear Belgian sim as a decorum for a machinima and went back to Brussels to find it completely changed. Probably this is due to the gambling ban Linden Lab imposed, but the current sim is an assorted mess of prefab homes.


After a bit of a search I found another Brussels (Capital of Europe) replica in a quarter of the Edmond sim, which looks a lot like Brussels, but is of a far less quality. It mainly is a sim full of basic square prims laden with textures.


Utrecht


For the same machinima I went in search of Utrecht, but found it taken down. The MDC Evident evidently has overplayed its hand on this one.


Brugge


In July I also blogged Brugge, another Belgian city which at that time was at the early stages of construction, but had a promising look. Now it's finished and looks marvellous:








The only problem I have with these sims is that they're so heavy on textures that it takes ages to render the graphics at high resolution. So forgive me for a couple of snapshots of bad quality when I grew too impatient to wait for the screen to fully rez.

[UPDATE]

I received an update on Brugge:

Hallo Veejay, ik merk dat je op je blog over brugge spreekt. Er zijn namelijk 2 sims met Brugge. Virtueel brugge heb je besproken de eerste keer (sim = Belgie), nu heb je een "ander" Brugge besproken. Het klopt dat Virtueel Brugge
voor mij een showcase is als MDC. Meer info op
www.louisplatini.com en www.virtual-bruges.be

which reads: There are actually two sims that are Brugge builds. This one is one the Brugge sim, the one in the older blog is Virtual Brugge, build on a sim called Belgique and is build bij Louis Platini

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