OLJ – Second Life Evaluation

Despite satisfying the Windows system requirements, I was unable to successfully participate in Second Life. With varying success, three attempts were made to install the program although and each time I was faced with error messages and freezing screens. After creating three accounts, I was eventually able to choose an avatar and this was the extent of my progression not to mention my limited monthly data allowance taking a huge hit. Perhaps turning off video and voice media may reduce data usage although once in the game, an avatar uses data regardless.

As a new user, I was able to create multiple accounts and this presents a significant security risk. Individuals are able to hide behind duel identities and are not accountable for personal behaviour. Helmer & Learning Light (2007: 28) also agree that the ability to create multiple virtual identities leads to an increased incidence in ‘griefing’ which can include deliberately harassing other players or intentionally lagging server.

I could, however, see the point of Second Life. Glitches aside, I was able to experience second life here and here. Attending classes, doing business and visiting virtual libraries all hold great potential for education and individuals somehow hindered in reality. Emoshea (2011) highlights the possibilities of partnerships between schools and museums thus creating an endless wealth of learning experiences despite location. The situated learning provided by virtual simulation allows students to establish skills or knowledge that can be transferred to the real world (Dede, 2009).

User services are supported within The Community Virtual Library. This space allows many professionals to virtually collaborate and participate in a variety of projects such as creating collections, providing reference services and holding exhibits. Cote, Kraemer, Nahl & Ashford (2012: 14) explain that Second Life radically shifts the traditional role of a librarian to that of an ‘embedded librarian’ where the professional is a member of the customer community rather than a stand-alone service provider.

References
Cote, D., Kraemer, B., Nahl, D & Ashford, R. (2012). Academic librarians in Second Life. Journal of Library Innovation, 3 (1). Retrieved from http://uknowledge.uky.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1017&context=libraries_facpub

Dede, C. (2009). Immersive interfaces for engagement and learning. Science, 323 (5910), 66-69. Retrieved from http://www.sciencemag.org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/content/323/5910/66.full.pdf

Emoshea. (2007). Second Life and Libraries: What’s the point? Retrieved from http://infoblog.infopeople.org/2007/02/20/second-life-and-libraries-whats-the-point/

Helmer, J. & Learning Light. (2007). Second Life and virtual worlds. Retrieved from http://www.norfolkelearningforum.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/virtual-worlds_ll_oct_2007.pdf

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