In the spirit of plodding along, I had another positive experience in Second Life. Friday afternoon, I was fortunate enough to have been given a guided tour by non other than Abbott Bundy (aka Karl Kapp).
Karl showed me around his student sandbox. He gave me a firefighter's uniform, which I figured out how to put on after a few false starts. Showed me the site of the chemical spill where the students had done a group exercise. When we were done, I took off the uniform and tried to revert to my original appearance. I went from being a short blonde to a lanky brunette with a short stint as little red riding hood.
Then we went flying in a helicopter over the island.
We teleported over to Dell Island to take a look at the insides of a computer. All of a sudden, Abott disappeared. He returned a minute later, "I fell." Turns out he fell right off the computer. It's comforting to me that it's not only the newbies who get lost or hung up.
We discussed the fact that navigation in SL is a bit difficult.
And then my hair started walking in front of my body. I was beside myself. Quite literally. I was laughing so hard I was crying for at least two minutes.
Dell Island had some great little UI and SL tips embedded in their experience. You know when you're on the first level of a game and you get target practice to learn how to shoot, or you get to practice riding a horse? So I stopped briefly at a station to learn how to see better. I suppose Orientation Island is full of that kind of stuff. (I obviously need to do more of that basic SL 101 activity).
The computer model at Dell is pretty cool. You can walk through a fan and view a circuit board. The graphics are ok. They'll get better. Dell could do more by adding notes and descriptions along the way to make it an actual learning experience. Without that, you could be walking along in any building just about anywhere.
Karl explained some of the real basics to me as we went along -- how to do "Mouselook" for a better zoom (very useful if you're looking at a PowerPoint slide in SL -- the quality of the graphics is often quite poor); how to make your avatar laugh and do other gestures.
I got stuck in a car on Nissan island. Couldn't get out. Felt a little claustrophobic - that panicky feeling of being trapped. There's a real emotional level to Second Life. Do role plays or disaster simulations and I think you'll feel that stress level kick up a notch or two.
I still need to master the fine art of flying. I kept bumping into things and getting stuck. Karl had to save me with a teleport a couple of times.
My biggest takeaway from this experience: you really need a guide when you're first starting out in SL. At least I do.
Perhaps one day, I'll be able to give you a tour.
If you'd like to read more about my adventures in Second Life, check out my first and second visits.