Prior to this class I had never used Second Life. It was an interesting experience to see how people could interact within a virtual world. I believe that games in Second Life could be effective if made properly, but if the users are new to the virtual world, they would have a difficult time getting accustom to the different features of Second Life.
Throughout my experiences in Second Life, I would say that they were overwhelmingly positive. I learned how to make a token and trap, which is something I felt was totally out of my reach. It was very interesting to see how one could manipulate almost every aspect of the tokens and traps. The tokens could be anything from a coin to a treasure chest, and the developer had the freedom to decide. Doing an exercise like this allowed the students somewhat of a free rein to put their production skills to the test, and I enjoyed being able to work on a project that I had no past experience with.
One limitation I found was that it was somewhat difficult to get the avatars to do the things you wanted at any given time. An example of this was when I would click on an object, my hand would raise, and often times never go back down. I’m sure this issue was likely user related, but the problem happened more than once. I think that the tutorials we watched online were great for creating the game, but I needed more of a beginner tutorial to learn how to do everything else. Another issue that came up was that oftentimes Second Life would lag. This made it difficult for the characters, and environment to interact as desired.
I believe that a game such as this would be an excellent tool to teach 14 and 15 year olds about the lives of pirates. It was interactive and engaging for the students, so this enabled them to learn the necessary information while having fun with it. Since e-learning is likely to have a major role in education, it is important to learn different ways to connect with your learners. Although I don’t believe that Second Life will be the best environment for online learning, it is a good program to get familiar with the concept.