End of the Week

Today’s digital history went well, no major hitches or issues. In my Honors College freshmen core class today, however, we wound up on the subject of Second Life and had an interesting discussion. Interesting in that, according to them, I am evidently a geek with no life or at least that is exactly how they characterize people who are involved with SL. I tried to point out that a 3D Internet environment allowed for a different surfing experience, in that you could visit and interact with sites around the world without leaving your house. The response to that was that if you want to see a site, you should actually go there and not rely on a 3D recreation. I said, but what if this wasn’t possible, due to high cost, work, etc. I was sort of surprised when they said that if you really wanted to go somewhere, you can always find a way. While I admire this can-do spirit, it seemed a bit impractical. I really was surprised that nearly the entire class felt this way. It was at this point in the discussion that I finally asked them how many of the 18 actually had been in SL – and it turns out that only 1 has tried it, and he has only spent about 10 minutes in it so far. I was stunned that they were so negative about SL and hadn’t even tried it. It made me realize that I sometimes think that young people (and I include college students in this category since I am an old person) eagerly embrace new technologies, but that clearly isn’t the case. I decided later today that one of their assignments next week will involve them going into SL – that should be an interesting discussion when I give it out. Anyway, this encouraged me to go back to surfing SL for ancient history or archaeology sites. The one I visited tonite was "The Spartan Empire." It was as advertised, a combat sim and its advertisement looked like it was based on the movie 300. I did not see any combat there tonite and did not really find anything that would be good for a history class to visit. I’ll look again tomorrow.


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