Monday, September 10, 2007
Students in Tech writing talked about the use of virtual worlds in technical fields; we ended class with a visit to IBM's codestation Labyrinth.
My kids have these tapes - you remember them....the Magic School Bus? Well, Sharpie Boy has an addiction to the Busasaurus tape. We have watched it at least 568 times (exactly). Fortunately, his fearless accomplice, Giddy-Up Man, is currently addicted to Smallville, and we ALL know how cute Bo Duke is at any age.
Sadly, you can not watch both Smallville and Busasaurus at the exact same time. Even though we have multiple DVD players, everyone has to be in the exact same room. Generally, this is the same room I am in.
So, as I was stopping WW3 in my living room today, I was thinking about manners in virtual worlds. I am amazed by how many people do things in SL that they would never ever ever do in real life. For example, in real life, no one would ever walk into your classroom and start chatting about your shoes. Now, I only wear sandals or hiking boots, so maybe they WOULD talk about my shoes if they were at all interesting, but I doubt they would do it in my classroom. In real life, no one gets bent outta shape when you say, "sorry, I gotta run - I have class in 3 seconds." In virtual worlds, some folks think you are blowing them off when you say that. As a person with 6 classes inworld and 176 students, I can honestly say that if I say "I'm in class" or "I'm with students" - It is very likely true. It doesn't mean that the person isn't important; it just means that we have to catch up at a different time. Finally, no one would run up to me at the start of a class, tell me 10000 important things and then say, ok, gotta run. I have no way to focus on that kind of information. Email or a notecard is WAY WAY WAY better :-)
Anywho. In stopping the fight over Busasaurus and Smallville, I had some sort of epiphany. I am not sure what...but something...something creeping up and saying that in addition to everything else my students need to learn in SL, they need to learn manners. Manners are transcendent.
As we remember the vicitims of 9-11, please visit Liam Kanno's memorial inworld (search for 911 Memorial). May the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in Peace and rise in Glory.