Monday, May 25, 2009

Cubist Scarborough and The Manual: Second Life edition

Posted by Bettina Tizzy

I hope you have a little spare time, dear readers, because I am about to lead you down a rabbit hole, a veritable treasure-trove of ideas so rich and varied that I have not yet been able to unearth them all myself.

As personal blogs go, Ian Truelove’s (Cubist Scarborough in Second Life®) is almost buoyant with optimism and analysis of all the inherent possibilities and joys of virtual worlds, and that’s very good news, because he’s an educator and he’s teaching 100+ students at a time, often introducing them to Second Life for the first time. He is Principal Lecturer (Technology Enhanced Learning) at the Leeds School of Contemporary Art and Graphic Design, in the Faculty of Arts & Society.

Cubist makes three-dimensional holograms of people's Real Life faces. Here is one of himself

Ian (Cubist in Second Life) is watching you everywhere on the Leeds Met sim

His blog reads like a private journal at times and is chock full of insights and deliberations he has with himself and has siphoned off onto the web in a way that we might all consider and possibly benefit from… simply one of the best uses of a blog I’ve run into in a very long time. Ian expounds on the dichotomy of dealing with people in public and private spaces, both in Real Life and in Second Life. He defines and deconstructs the virtual studio. It’s a fascinating stockpile of thoughtful documents pertaining to education, Second Life, OpenSim and a project between Oxford, Leeds Metropolitan and Kings College London called Open Habitat that took place earlier this year and set out to explore how Multi User Virtual Environments (MUVEs) can be used in Higher Education.

Ian's sculptures make it possible for you to get inside his head

Ian also designed the accompanying Open Habitat magazine that serves as a repository for vast quantities of data that the universities collected working with art and design and philosophy students, including surveys, blogposts and chatlogs.

But what I simply cannot wait to share with you is a document called The Manual: Second Life edition, a collection of micro-projects created by lecturers from the School of Contemporary Art & Graphic Design at Leeds Metropolitan University that Ian adapted for Second Life as part of the Open Habitat project. You’ll find different versions, including a cut-out one with instructions for folding it, a text version, and even an iPhone version here.

The Manual: Second Life edition, in Second Life

While Ian asks that we keep all 81 tasks together with the CC license text, he did allow me to share a few of them with you, just this once, to give you a taste:

# 5 Find some gesture animations and practice using them somewhere on your own. Work out a physical comedy routine and perform it to your friends.

# 6 Find a freebie stall on the mainland. Grab 12 small objects that have something in common. Arrange all of your objects into a sequence.

# 7 Build one or more of the following:
The beginning of the world
The end of the world
A self-portrait that includes your full body
Something that happened at breakfast
An image from a recent dream
Something that has yet to happen to you

# 8 Start a cult. Establish rituals. Create a meeting place. Meet.

If this isn’t a formula for discovery and enjoyment of one’s virtual life, I don’t know what is. I believe every single newbie in Second Life should be handed a copy.

You can visit the in-world version of this document and take the notecard form of it by teleporting directly from here.


Ian Truelove : Cubist Scarborough said...

Thanks for the post Bettina. I must give special credit to Kisa Naumova, Paz Lorenz and StevenW Bohm for contributing many of the SL specific tasks to this version of the manual.