Monthly Archives: May 2012

Final preparation for the presentation

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After 12 weeks our module is almost finished. Today is the final day of our presentation. Myself and Mino are going to show a video which is a compilation of everything what we have experienced during our virtual journey. The video contains of a slideshow and short movies recorded during our exploration of Second life. We planned to meet an hour earlier to practice everything one more time and hopefully everything will go well. I visited Second life last night to send final invetation for our showcase to everyone I have meet for the past 12 weeks. Even though I have done so the week before I thought that it would be a good idea to remind everyone about our upcoming event. So far I have got only few confirmations but since  two weeks I am also promoting our showcase in social networks such as Facebook and Tweeter. We were also told to think about our outfits for tonight and I decided to try to find something interesting and nice for the evening.  Here are few screen shots of my posters on Facebook and Tweeter and also a few pictures of my in my new outfit for tonight:

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The video is ready so are our speeches. We have decided that Mino is going to introduce our video that he made and I am going to talk about it after we will all watch it. Here is my speech I prepared for our presentation:

The video you’ve just watched shows our thoughts and experiences in reference to Second Life. In the first part we focused on few definitions considering the topic of virtuality and Second life within these deffinitions and asked such questions as to what extent does Second life simulate reality and what is its purpose. While we were exploring Second life we focused on similarities and differences between both realities . At the beginning of our video we compared two images of DIT college – one from real life and one existing in the virtual environment this comparison shows how greatly the college is represented virtually. It is just one example of many representing the idea that both of the realities can be very similar. During our exploration of Second life we came across a great amount of features that are alike in SL and RL like streets, bars, landscapes but most of all we discovered that human interactions are just the same. Of course we could argue that people tend to act differently as their avatars, than they would in real world but this is not the whole truth. We have learned while talking with people in this virtual environment, especially with Rob and Jaynine, that people are as they are. In the real world they could pretend to be someone else just as easily it happens everywhere and relationships in second life are as real as those in the real world. There is the same amount of effort and commitment required to maintain a virtual friendship and as Jaynine once said ‘SL is a global bar, you need and you have to share otherwise you’ll be in the corner just like in real life’. During our exploration we have also discovered that Second life is a great place to host art events and that artist are more approachable. Taking both realities into consideration Second life gives more possibilities to talk to artists and ask questions about their work. Thanks to Rob and Jaynine we could not only enjoy their art and music but also discuss all that with them. Our video shows our visit to Rob’s gallery and pictures from Jaynine’s concerts. Also as we show in the video virtual reality and second life itself is a great medium for education. For both of us myself and Mino having online lectures and also collaborating online while working on our showcase was new experience and Second life has proven to be an excellent place for that, it gives this new and fresh approach to the whole learning experience. The video also shows the other side of second life that we have experienced and that would be the fantasy landscapes, places that we are simply not able to encounter in real life which is one of the most enjoyable aspects especially for a new user. We had spent many hours exploring such places and our video shows a part of our journeys. In Second life u can enjoy flying, breathing under water, exploring worlds beyond imagination and limits of real life. To summarize our video is a compilation of everything we experienced during our virtual journey and what we learned and discovered and also we would like to thank everyone especially Rob, Jaynine , Sitearm and Elfay for all their help and time they spend talking and sharing their virtual experience with us.

It is a very important day and I hope that everything will go well. Good luck everyone!

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Research for the final project 4

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I am very happy to say that our work on the project is going very well. Following mine and Mino’s plan we meet almost every evening to disscus our work and gather informations and record videos for the showcase. During our disscusions we have decided to change the previous plan which was creating a slideshow and we have started recording a video instead but we are going to include slideshow within it as well. While meeting for the past two weeks we have gathered enough informations to work with. Our plan was very succesfully acomplished and we were able to meet few times with people that we had planned to interview- Rob and Jaynine. Last week we had a great, almost 4-hour long conversation with both of them. We disscused all the important issues, asked them about their work and experience in Second Life and what their thoughts on it are, what realtionships with other people look like in this virtual environment. It was incredibly important for our project as we are going to talk about all these things in the final presentation and gaining some knowledge from other much more experianced people was crucial. Rob and Jaynine were very helpfull we also asked them for a permission to use their work and pieces of our conversations in our showcase and they agreed. Currently we have lots of video material and Mino is going to compile it together to create the showcase, but we have decided to continue our meetings to have as many interesting videos as possible so we have a bigger range to choose from. We already have a demo video but it still needs some more work and also Jaynine promised to send us an mp3 with her music so we could include it in the presentation to create the final piece. While Mino is working on compiling the video I am focusing on taking some additional pictures for the mentioned slideshow to complete our presentation. During our Second Life’s exploration we are trying to capture places and events similar to the real world and also those which we are not able to encounter in real life to distinguish how both lifes can be be similar or different. Here are a few pictures from our meetings:

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I also wanted to take part in the video recording but unfortunatelly my computer has proven to be not sufficient for that purpose. When I was looking for a recording software I visited the following website to find out how it works and where to download the software from: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Video_resources. I chose to download CamStudio as it was free of charge and had good opinions and also looked straightforward enough and I am not very familiar with screen recording I decided that trying a simplier software would be the best idea. The problems I encountered were as follows: very slow pace of recorded video, my computer and Second Life were very slow when both the CamStudio and Sl were on, very long processing time after video recording what resulted in looking like stop motion video or a slideshow instead of an actual video. Here are two results of my recordings:

As a result of this situation we decided that Mino is going to do all of the video recordings and I will take some supporting pictures and also I am responsible for creating a poster to promote our event. Due to the amout of college work I was not able to finish the poster yet but it is going to be completed by this weekend, what will give us enough time to promote our presentation. In the meantime I have already told all the people I know in Second Life about our upcoming event and I invited them to our showcase.

Yesterday I arranged a meeting with Sitearm to practice uploading our test video and to ask some rising up questions about the final presentation day and about arranging space in Dublin conference area. I also wanted to disscus with him an issue tha I had which was that I was not able to see videos in Second Life screen. I thought that I was doing something wrong that was preventing me from seeing videos but as Sitearm explained it is just an issue with my computer which is much too slow to open it so I have to watch the videos directly from YouTube. We also talked about a backup plan if something went wrong and for some reason we would not be able to watch our videos during the presentation and we came to a conclusion that in case of a situation like that we could all watch it on YouTube which solved the problem.

Now with almost all material and knowledge gathered we continue on working on our video and both of us myself and Mino have started writing our speech based on our research and observations.