What a great idea…pondering the possibilities for socializing, sharing and learning in LVM! Thank you so much Maria for making LVM one of your favorite sites to visit in SL and for considering how you want to build community in our Second Life space and blog!
LVM has gone through a lot of changes since it’s initial launch back in 2009. The initiative continues to evolve in light of platform changes and resulting impacts to the education community in SL who have worked so hard to raise awareness to the very possibilities even you brought up in your post. Virtual worlds have such great potential for delivering unique learning experiences that combine game play and simulation with real-time communication as strategies for engagement. The 3d version of fb many have said.
Pondering the possibilities is exactly what I did with my colleague Olga Herrera, Latina scholar, back in 2007 as we played with a demo of the Da Vinci Code in 3D. The xbox game version caught our attention as the developers successfully represented the Louvre Museum in 3D. The technology was avatar-game based, a combination of the game CLUE and a scavenger hunt. It was at this juncture that we really thought hmmmm why not explore 3d space for representation and re-interpretation of cultural identity through the experience as an avatar. The virtual world was our oyster to ponder…then we formed a committee and pondered from a higher level. Pondering turned into hard-core research and development and seed money to experiment.
Through many lessons learned and experimentation, LVM emerged out of a single virtual museum model representation in SL into a test bed of possibilities for exploring Latino cultural identity and connecting communities through trans-media experiences. What this means is that we have taken our research, assessment data, and our 3d resources and broadened our horizons exploring other avenues for representation and interpretation using innovative technologies. Working in a multi-user world environment such as Second Life has provided us with a wealth of audience research and outreach opportunities to communities we may have not necessarily reached via a regular web presence. Our goals are simple…summed up in this mantra: Presence, Relevancy & Access. We have to create a presence in the mainstream arena leveraging 21 Century tools and resources to remain relevant to our communities while at the same time working to preserve our cultural heritage and establishing the spaces in which we can connect, share and discover the world around us with our communities. (post by Melissa Carrillo, LVM Creative Director)
More later…Re-affirming Cultural Identity in the Age of the Social Web