I meant to go slowly. I meant.
I had imagined I would write reflectively about my experiences in Second Life, one after the other in the neat way a blog requires. But virtual worlds are real whirls of experience. They are AA: absolutely addictive.
So here am I, in the middle of a (virtual) world conference about virtual worlds (VWBPE, Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education, 2017 edition). Not bad for somebody who had started using her SL avatar three months before!(Look at the enchanting venue!) Three crazy evenings in front of my PC, from 6pm to midnight, sometimes 1am, listening to people who have apparently known each other for years and who unveil worlds to me. Most of them university professors, as Second Life is not home to under-age students.
Interesting as they are, lectures and panels cannot distract me from the side events, which are equally engrossing. I must see everything, try everything! I feel as if I had entered my childhood’s wildest dreams!
First of all, there is a magical underwater Quest of striking beauty. Then there are social moments when you can just sit, relax and chat with the people next to you.
Which, apart from being pleasant, is not of secondary importance to a teacher of English who cannot afford travelling.
Finally, there is educational immersive Gamification, which is of extraordinary interest to me as a teacher. There is this web service called Rezzly.com that creates Quests for students. Their clever marketing staff have created a number of side activities to the Conference and… Well, they hooked me! Not everything worked and I missed the synchronous activities because of the different time zone, but the progressive awards and badges did create expectation. And if it worked with a middle-aged lady…
Last but not least, I realized that the virtual universe is made of many different worlds and is ever-expanding. I have already set my foot on at least three other virtual worlds: the beginning of a long, wondrous journey.