Sunday, 23 November 2008

Reflection : My first hours

For the second activity, we have been asked to :

Please share here your stories about your first hours of life in Second Life. Reflect on your experience: How would you describe your first steps? What were the technical issues, if any? What did you feel about the avatar you chose? What was orientation island like? Could you find help as needed? Where did you go? Did you speak to other avatars? What would improve the experience, if anything? What previous knowledge and skills helped you?

My first steps were not steps but rather fumbling, bumbling, embarrassing moments until I discovered the 'fly' feature and I escaped! The problem was, I didn't know where I was flying to! However, it was sheer bliss to fly and put a distance between myself (yes, 'me' although I was sitting at my desk in front of a pc screen), the avatars popping up everywhere in the orientation island and the distinct feeling of not knowing what on earth I was doing.

My free spirit, or fear of bumbling along further, took me to a weird place with avatars in black leather and carrying whips! I was on skype and pinged a colleague to get me out of there! It never once occurred to me to quit the programme. So I got my first teleporting experience.

Once I was on 'safe' land again, I got tense again as a big muscled avatar ran past and bumped me. 'It' didn't talk but just stood there I really felt uncomfortable. Then 'it' chatted with me and was in fact a colleague. We met up with some others and I discovered the dance feature and just went wild with this. My colleague passed me some more music and I couldn't stop! I loved it! However, when I should have moved on with the others, I couldn't as I didn't know how to stop dancing so I looked rather dumb!

As for my appearance, I didn't really worry about it and in fact, don't now. The orientation island was confusing for me and nobody really helped me, hence my need to escape it. Having experience of working online helped me to just dive in and try as the technology didn't frighten me. The environment in itself was the strangest thing for me. In fact, it still is.

Once I got over the initial buzz of this new play area, I wondered how it could be used for and with learners. I still am.

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