Thursday, November 17, 2016

Please come to class today.

Last week I gave folks the option to come or not to class, and with those who did come we at first started entering Second Life and found for most that the attention that required was a bit much given everyone's strong reactions to the week. A handful of us ended up at The Common eating, drinking, talking and maybe even bonding a bit.

When the folks attending last week all agreed we would not continue with Second Life that day, and were given the option to just not do Second Life at all this term or reschedule it, they decided to reschedule it for today.

So .... it will help enormously if you will download the Second Life viewer and register before coming to class.

Start here:

and use button JOIN NOW. You will be directed to choose an avatar. You can further customize this avatar later in-world, both for free and if you want to pay. I will attempt to give each of you $1000L (roughly about $5) to use in SL once we are all "friended" and grouped together in UMD in SL.

Here is a link to a quick start guide:

IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEM AT ALL just bring your laptop to class and we will all coach each other.

More detailed help USERS GUIDE here:

Once you have registered you will find your avatar-self at Welcome Island.

Last week I attempted to create a new account myself so I could greet folks there, however it turns out the decisions for protecting newbies means that you are randomly included with others also new so that the chances of anyone taking advantage of you is as low as possible.

So, you might as well go through all the exercises at Welcome Island at your own pace.

YOU CAN DO THIS OUTSIDE CLASS OR IN CLASS sitting next to the rest of us and seeing what is what.

At the end of the Welcome Island exercises you are directed to Social Island. From there you can go anywhere, make friends with me "Katie Fenstalker"and others from our class, join our group "UMD at SL" and rendezvous with all of us at Caledon Oxbridge where some folks are waiting to show us around.

Remember that although we all look pretty cartoon-like in SL, avatars have (mostly) real people with real feelings attached to them. (There are some bots around too admittedly.)

ALTHOUGH SL IS NOT A (traditional?) GAME, there are games to play there if you want, and lots of playful activities to engage. (or some say: "Second Life is best described as an open-ended, user-created online social game.")

There is a learning curve for various possibilities in SL and as with all games, you may be operating at the edge between frustration and fun, moving between these, and enjoying it up to a point, then turning off. That is normal for any avatar driven experience on a screen AND WHY WE ARE DOING THIS IN OUR MAKING CLASS: to experience ourselves hooking into and among screens and infrastructures, the point of this part of the course.

Let's talk about this learning curve and experiences in class today! Pay attention to how all of it feels, and be curious about that, definitely not blaming yourself for anything, and also noting when you want to blame SOMETHING for it! :)


My dashboard online but not in-world! they are different!

Katie describes her experiences in Second Life:

Blogger Grrls: Feminist Practices, New Media, and Knowledge Production. Digital Humanities, University of Maryland, College Park, 24 June 2009; at:  

SL Tranimal: My Distributed Animality. SLSA: Decodings, for panel “TRANimalS: Theorizing The Trans- in Zoontology.” Atlanta, 7 November 2009; at:

Katie's current HOME in SL -- a steampunk sky box over Music Island --

Destination Guide online (not in-world)  



Making Eval1 by Katie King on Scribd