SPP - The Bee and the Rebellion Cube
These are the notes of an informal interview between Amba and one of the SParkers who was active in Phases 2 and 3 conducted in early March 2009. Posted by PeterT to preserve the anonymity of the SParker (with their consent).
Two of my activities in Schome
Very early on, I came across a scripting tutorial which showed me how to make things which flew around. I put this script on a model bee and put a sit ball on it, so you could sit on a model bee and have it fly around. I set up poll on the forum to see who had seen it. Later I tried to make a swarm but I couldn’t work out how to shrink the bees so they would be small enough. The bee was eventually deleted because of planning rules.
This annoyed me to the extent that I built a large cube so high up in the sky that it would not be worth caring about, but it would still be infringing on the planning permission rules that had been set up. I called it the rebellion cube. It was hollow, you could sit in and relax. I had a little, but not a lot of help. Another Schomer gave me a phantom script for one side so I could control who visited me. I have not checked for a while, as far as I know it could still be there.
What I have learnt
All I’ve learnt in Schome Park has been about how to do things in second life. A common analogy I use is that it is like a K’nex World of Warcraft. One you make yourself, build stuff, make stuff, and make stuff move. Unless you are an expert you end up with extremely rudimentary blocks which don’t resemble much and will end up being cast into oblivion sometime soon.
I am really not keen to put this on the Schome forum because my experience is unlikely to be used in any presentation due to it being rather negative.
Any environment where I have to rely on three separate worlds (second life, forum and wiki) to have the faintest idea of what is going to happen in any of the others is unappealing to me. It’s the simple fact that you have to be checking so many systems in order to have an idea of what is going to be happening in the next three days that makes it uninteresting and unusable for me. It just takes up too much time.
It stops being fun, and that sort of defies the point.
You can get the same sorts of things from other virtual worlds – the interaction, the people, the environment, all the creative things … you can get from any other and every other virtual world. The only thing that make Second Life different are the scripts and the building tools, but these are only found in second life and can only be used in second life. It is too self contained, and does not have any real world relevance for me. I know people on main grid have made recreations of famous cities and places, but you can get all that from Google earth and pictures on the web. I would rather keep a video game like environment and my learning environment separate. If I’m using a computer generated character, which looks like a video game character (no matter how hard people try, they will look like video game characters), I would prefer it to behave like a video game character and for there to be an objective that can be completed rather than arbitrary individual unconnected activities that take up far too much time in what is essentially a video game.
Taking charge of my own learning
Most people, if asked to take charge of their own learning in an informal environment by people who have no effect on them in real life would either find it difficult to do this or simply ignore the request.
People in the Schome project (or any other project) no matter who they are, are going to feel under pressure to be in support of it. If they met each other in second life, they would still feel pressured in the same way that they would in real life.
I generally avoid interviews because the interviewers are likely to edit what you say to make it publishable. Or I end up having to agree with their pre-conceived concepts.
My ideas generally conflicted with the schome ideas. One of the attractions of a gaming environment is that it gives a break from learning activities. If sonic the hedgehog started trying to teach maths, I think it would be even more unpopular.