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October 30, 2007

Second Life: It's Everywhere!

Csi_new_york Have you seen the CSI: New York episode where they go into Second Life (SL) to catch a murderer? It was an interesting episode but, even more interesting, is that they have created a version of New York within Second Life along with virtual crime scenes and now allow you, the viewer to play games, investigate crimes and become involved with all aspects of the television show virtually. As one of the challenges states

The vic is wearing badly charred wings. Who caused this Icarus-like death? Collect evidence and interview suspects to solve the virtual crime. Raise your investigator rank when you catch the killer! 

What I really like about this is that it has extended the television show beyond its normal time frame. The show, on Wednesday nights, is now extended to way beyond one hour. A viewer could log into CSI in SL and engage in all kinds of activities well beyond passively watching the show. The viewer can become an investigator and be immersed in the CSI New York environment.

Further more, the tutorials on how to use Second Life to navigate in the virtual New York are really well done. If you want to check out Second Life but first want to get comfortable with movement, the environment and some of the other aspects of the program before diving in, the CSI New York Second Life Tutorials are pretty good! 

The show, The Office, also recently had an episode in which one of the characters, Dwight Schrute ventured into Second Life and his avatar was exactly like he was in real life (only it could fly).  Interesting show, very funny, however, they did not invite the viewers into their world as CSI did with CSI New York.

However, one interesting thing The Office is doing is to have an online convention complete with photos, blogs, and videos. Again, extending viewer involvement well past the mere one hour a week the episode runs.

So the challenge for learning and development professionals is to take our typical 6 hour classroom lecture delivery and extend our class beyond the six hours. Create resources that go well beyond the classroom involving and informing learner for weeks or months after the physical class ends.

What on-going learning support ecosystem do you have set up around your classes? What do you do to extend the learning beyond the short time you have with the trainee?

Learn More About Second Life:

Also, if you want to learn more about Second Life, I'll be conducting a Second Life Workshop in conjunction with the folks from Training Magazine as an extension of my conference presentation on the topic starting next week.

To learn more go to LOL's description of Second Life: Basic Design Workshop. If you want to sign up...Save $100—register with Discount Code tme27f online at: Training Live and Online.

Karl Kapp is the Assistant Director of Bloomsburg University’s Institute for Interactive TechnologiesLogoggg_2 and a professor of instructional technology. See his own blog, Kapp Notes for information on the convergence of learning and technology. He is the author of the book Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning.   


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Matthew R. Lee

The concepts behind Second Life are growing. Using it, and similar technology, as a training ground for real world interactions certainly has advantages. Thanks for the post, Karl.

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