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Second Life Documentary seeks input

I had some contact today from Shelley Matulick, who made the documentary \’Our Brilliant Second Life\’ that screened on SBS earlier this year. There\’s some further films on the way, so Shelley has made the following request:

\”I am looking for someone engaged in slave/master arrangement or who is a hostess in SL for a documentary for SBS. Must be willing to reveal real life identity. Contact me at phantombutterfly@hotmail.com\”.

Here\’s your chance for 15-minutes of fame ;)

Weekend Whimsy

Each Friday we provide a sampling of content generated by SL users and posted on services like YouTube:

1. Sonic of Second Life – uncut vol. 3

2. Small Step in Second Life

3. 建築デモ in Second Life 19

Aussie population update – active users decline for first time

Linden Lab have released the metrics for August 2007 and for the first time since we started monitoring Australians in Second Life, there\’s been a decline.

The active Australian population is cited as 13,567, down from the 14,832 reported last month. Australia has stayed in 11th place overall for countries using Second Life. According to New World Notes, Australia comes in fourth as far as active residents in proportion to country population.

Has SL reached its saturation point in SL? I\’d think not, although until there\’s a new reason for Australians to hear about SL such as a new corporate presence or other major event, I can\’t see any great increase in numbers occurring.

New posting schedule

It\’s coming up to a year since SLOz launched, and the growth in the site has astounded us no end. As anyone running a blog will tell you, keeping things fresh is a major challenge. Usually we publish 6-7 stories, but this will decrease to five per week from 1st October as we concentrate on more in-world activities and further work on building a community on the SLOz forums.

We\’ll be working hard to keep increase the quality of our stories and as always we\’re most interested in Australian events so don\’t hesitate to contact us with any happenings you\’re aware of. We\’re also hoping to expand our number of writers – if you have an SL issue you\’re passionate about, then within reason we\’re happy to air those views. We\’re not in a position to pay you but a full by-line is given with link to your website or in-world location. We also reserve the right to refuse publication.

As always, comments welcome!

New aussie rentals

I noticed a new aussie presence popped up on search this week: LeeLee Land. Owned by SL resident LeeLee Dagger, her aims for the island are:

\”One island, sprinkled with beautiful houses, half a cup of romance and a pinch of that community feeling! This is the simple recipe I followed to cook up LeeLee Land.

Having been on SL for a while now, I noticed many aussies tend to stick together and I thought there might be a market for rental properties – aussie owned and aussie occupied. I will provide residents with a modern home that ensures them privacy and security while ensuring a romantic atmosphere for those quiet private moments. All houses surround a gorgeous shared area comprising of a water fall, lounges and a dance floor.\”

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Of course, Telstra have a similar rental offering but it\’ll be interesting to see the level of take-up. Are you the sort of SL resident that likes close engagement with other RL countrymen?

Check it out in-world

Assisi in SL

In my recent research on foreign language areas in SL, I came across Assisi. It was launched a few days ago and on my initial wanderings amongst different world areas I missed this excellent replica build of the Saint Francis\’ Basilica in Assisi.

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To quote from the notes and in-world press release:

\”The Basilica, built with original proportions and sizes, is unique in its quality and details, and in its interior churces avatars can enjoy many renaissance paintings of Giotto, Cimabue, Pietro Lorenzetti and many others.

Every painting has a caption explaining the brief details, just by clicking on it. It\’s also possible to wear an HUD (Heads Up Display), built by Wedoit too, to have a complete virtual visit, accessing textual and audio informations about the paintings. The device is currently available in italian and english languages only, and it is distributed at the two entrances of the churches.\”

The detail and effort that has gone into this particular build is quite impressive. Add to that the use of Audio and HUD and the SL visitor has a unique experience in culture and language not often found.

It\’s possibility in structured lessons from; language to architecture to cultural studies to art to history is not to be underestimated and perhaps examples one of the fundamental ways in which SL may be headed in supporting educational RL world.

Further info can be found here.

Check it out in-world

The \”Eavesdrop School of Languages\” Approach

As indicated on Saturday night\’s posting, the interest in the use of voice technology is being canvassed. There has been a recent flurry of activity by educators interested in using the voice and audio ability of SL to enhance lessons in learning a foreign language. The approach to learning languages seems to take the form of eavesdropping in areas and cityscapes from various regions around the world.

This approach could have some interesting ethical and pedagogical issues. It would seem to be university language courses that are utilising the idea of organising field trips to various cityscapes and \”eavesdropping\” on inhabitants going about their daily business in their native tongue.

What would prove interesting is if private language colleges and teachers started to offer guided experiences in this way.

To this end I paid a visit to one popular area for those interested in learning Italian. That of Mantova – Italia – Italy.

Being in Australia you need to check the relevant timezones so as to encounter people in this area. But, at the time I was there a number of people dropped in and used the SL talk option. The quality and clarity of sound was quite good and I can see how this method could be a major resource for immersing learners in relevant language lessons and experiences.

For those interested in finding out more about language learning in SL you may like to take part in the Festival of European Languages, September 26 on Belle Isle.

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Belle Isle Europe Map with Landmark posts for various cityscapes and areas for \”eavesdropping\” on native languages for that particular country.

From the information sheet provided by the organisers:

8am SLT (4pm London) Welcoming
9am/5pm Russian/Baltic states/Finnish
10am/6pm Eastern Europe/Greek
11am/7pm Italian/German/Scandinavian
12 noon/8pm French/Belgian/Dutch/
1pm/9pm English/Spanish/Portuguese