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Evaluating Realism for Virtual Supporting Characters

Oct 18, 2012 09:19am
I recently caught up with Catherine Zanbaka, PhD, Principal Research Engineer BAE Systems AIT.  Catherine shared  how she and a few other educators worked with a couple of PhD Students from UCSC and ran a study to test "Supporting Character Realism" (SCR) in a virtual bar in Second Life.  They had three different types of avatars -- human controlled, bots, and those with SCR. The abstract of the course was as follows: Convincing and compelling virtual environments that are populated with rich characters demand consistent, nuanced, and realistic behavior that is integrated in the surrounding environment.  Inadequate and unscalable traditional Artificial Intelligence based approaches have made it impractical to apply this level of character depth and detail to large environments.  We introduce the concept of Supporting Character Realism (SCR) for virtual avatars by identifying the capabilities of agents which have the ability ... more...

Educators in Second Life: East Carolina University

Oct 1, 2012 01:24pm
We recently reached out once again to NMC Campus Virtual World members to check in on how they are currently using Second Life for education. We caught up with Sharon Collins and Paul LaMere of ECU and gained some insight on their fabulous program that utilizes  the virtual world of Second Life.  Paul, Technology Support Technician for the Early College Second Life Program, shared the following information with us: The East Carolina University Early College Second Life Program (ECSLP) is a visionary approach to providing academically challenging college course work to high school students. The program is run through Academic Affairs at ECU and has been in existence since 2009.  The ECSLP is open to high school Juniors and Seniors in participating counties surrounding East Carolina University, located in Greenville, NC, who wish to earn college credit through ECU classes taught virtually ... more...

Welcome Back NMC Virtual World Art Sims!

Sep 28, 2012 09:39am
Have you heard? An exciting new development has occurred!  We received not one, but TWO anonymous donors on the night of our inworld "goodbye" party to our art sims.  The donors both agreed to sponsor the sims, with one sponsoring Ars Simulacra and the other sponsoring NMC Campus West for at least one more year and perhaps more! NMC Campus West is still set up with an amazing show of early SL art from 2004 to 2007!  Please stop in and see the creativity using Second Life as a medium. If you are so inclined, shoot the artists a message if you admire their work! Stay tuned for upcoming photos as we set up a new exhibit on Ars Simulacra!  You will be able to see the amazing work of Suzanne Graves, as well as an exciting collaboration that will be announced ... more...

Saying goodbye to the NMC Art Sims…

Aug 25, 2012 01:38pm
Sadly, it is time to say goodbye to the sim that houses the Aho Museum(NMC Campus West) & the sim of Ars Simulacra.  Both sims, provided by the New Media Consortium, have showcased some of the finest artists Second Life has to offer since 2006. Please join us as we celebrate the past 6 years of creativity, imagination and celebration of the arts.  We will travel down memory lane and visit art from as early as  2004 to current day art in SL.  Our celebration begins at 6pm slt, Sunday  August 26th.  We will take time to explore the two sims, reminisce and listen to some fantastic music. At 7pm slt, we have invited the musician Andreus Gustafson aka Anj to perform at the stage on Ars Simulacra.   Anj is a vocalist and multi-instrumental performer.   He has performed in Second Life since ... more...

Welcome Colegios Peterson!

Aug 8, 2012 01:45pm
David W. Deeds, Ph.D., who has headed up several inworld campuses already,  has now brought Colegios Peterson to join our NMC Campus. Dr. Deeds, the Educational Technology Coordinator at Colegios Peterson in Mexico, shared that they will be using the inworld campus parcels for Information Technology in a Global Society (International Baccalaureate course), Cybernetics (National Autonomous University of Mexico course), as well as teacher professional development. He noted that they have four campuses in different parts of Mexico City, so they will also be used as the mutual meeting place so they do not have to bother with traffic. Virtual meeting spaces such as this one save a lot of  time and hassle when it comes to travel. Kudos on the development of the new inworld campus goes out to Dr. Deeds and Colegios Peterson! As we were chatting, David was developing the ... more...

Student Art Exhibition in Second Life: National Chiayi University

May 17, 2012 06:09am
Dr. Mary Stokrocki, Professor and Area Head of Art Education, Fullbright, recently shared a story with me about using Second Life for education. Dr. Stokrocki is conducting research about multi-literacies as well as cross cultural research. On April 26, while teaching on her sabbatical, Dr. Stokrocki arranged for her undergraduate students from the National Chiayi University in Minshong Taiwan to have an art exhibition opening in Second Life called Taiwan Now. The university is a combination of an agricultural school and normal teaching college and is famous for its agricultural research, especially orchids and  peanuts. This was the  first time for many of these students who hardly speak English to be in  Second Life, and Dr. Stokrocki could not use a Chinese keyboard. Imagine the challenges they overcame! In this introduction to Visual Culture and Art Education class, 40 students chose different avatars: robots, ... more...

Triple A Learning Opens NMC Cybercampus

Mar 6, 2012 09:18am
Triple A Learning, a company that produces online workshops for International Baccalaureate and other teachers, has opened a cybercampus on the NMC's Teaching 2 sim! Triple A's new Second Life location will be used in conjunction with training modules produced by David W. Deeds, a longtime NMC lessee and member, whose current school's virtual facilities are on the nearby sim of Teaching, also located on the NMC Campus. Their virtual campus participation is evidence that international school educators are becoming increasingly interested in games-based learning in general and 3-D virtual worlds such as Second Life in particular. Triple A will also have an OpenSimulator region in JokaydiaGrid so teachers can learn about both Second Life and OpenSimulator. Feel free to drop in on the sim of Teaching 2 to take a peek of Triple A's inworld facility. If  you are interested in a virtual ... more...

Let’s Talk Sustainability

Jan 17, 2012 03:11pm
Global Kids held their second talk show in the virtual world of Second Life on Friday January 13th, where students produced and presented a live show to audience members. The  show delved into the important issues of electronic waste  and climate change. Student hosts Jackie and Javon are in the 11th grade. They presented material, introduced guest speakers (Delia Lake-SL and Makayla-SL), asked questions of the audience members and included fun, interactive games where audience members were encouraged to move about and participate. Using various props such as a globe, a plant with scripted "gasses" to demonstrate how more carbon dioxide is escaping into the atmosphere rather than being absorbed by trees, videos, ppt presentations, ice melting in water,  notecard givers, and game/quiz stations  inside Second Life, they discussed and demonstrated the difference between the terms Global Warming & Climate Change and ... more...

Join Global Kids for their Upcoming Live Second Life Show!

Jan 10, 2012 08:37am
Global Kids will once again gather in Second Life to produce and take part in a live virtual world talk show called "Let's Talk Sustainability." We would love for you to take part in Let's Talk Sustainability as audience members,  this Friday, January 13th from 5pm-6pm EST. There will be two separate shows/topics occurring back-to-back: Climate Change - What is the science of climate change?  Are there solutions to climate change that we can take action on now, or is it too late? Electronic Waste - What is  e-waste and why is it the United States' biggest export?  What are the global consequences of e-waste, particularly for developing countries? Join us at the New Media Consortium Convention Center for these two exciting live shows! To participate as audience members, please fill out this form. more...

Upcoming Art Exhibit!

Dec 14, 2011 12:57pm
The full sim exhibit celebrates ART with MUSIC, MOTION, LIGHT & COLOR.  Join us in Second Life on Sunday, December 18th at 12pm slt. [caption id="attachment_11671" align="aligncenter" width="508" caption="STAR DANCE-Created by Gwen Carillon"][/caption] In the above 3d light sculpture, the pieces glide gracefully to mimic a beautiful dance.  You cannot see the motion and movement, or hear the music and sound of the pieces in this exhibit ...unless you drop by and see them! The exhibit can be found on the NMC Campus sim of Ars Simulacra in Second Life. We invite you to explore the question that is so often asked these days: Is art created in a virtual world, really art? [caption id="attachment_11681" align="aligncenter" width="503" caption="GEOMETRICS #1 & 3-Created by Maryva Mayo"][/caption] Here you see the Geometrics wall art, created to display smooth motion of  shapes and color. These pieces will keep you ... more...