This is the first project where I was fully immersed into a 3-D virtual world. Since I am very involved in education with a large international company, I was looking at the experience from the business world’s perspective. My initial reaction was that it was too difficult for the average business computer user to learn how to interact in this type of environment. I also thought that it was too tedious to build a learning environment for other people to use. The typical training developer does not have the technical skills necessary to create the interactive environment that we created with the Pirate project. A typical trainer uses “point and click” tools to create both synchronous and asynchronous education. I can’t quote any specific studies on these points. However, I am speaking from experience with over eighteen years in the corporate training environment.
This was a fun project and I enjoyed building the objects on our island. Since I never designed or built anything in this environment, I enjoyed the challenge of learning how the development process works.
I believe the best use for this type of environment is social networking. Instead of posting and sharing information from Facebook, this method could be used to interact with others in the virtual world. For example, I could invite friends and family to my virtual house where we could have a live conversation. Another good use could be online synchronous education where a class could meet at a specified time in a virtual classroom.
I personally will not pursue using a virtual environment like Second Life in my place of employment. I thought that the learning curve just to maneuver and interact in the world was too difficult for the average person.
To summarize my experience with Second Life, I enjoyed learning the tools and how to apply it in an educational setting. However, I have no plans to implement any educational programs using this technology in the corporate world.