Luckily, avatars don’t get tired of standing. The fantastic events put on by the Science Center in Second Life have been standing-room-only lately.
At a recent lecture at Second Nature, Nature magazine’s island in Second Life, a very large crowd gathered to hear Dr. Phil Holliger of the Medical Research Council Molecular Biology Lab in Cambridge, England speak about new ways to rescue damaged DNA from ancient samples (specifically, a 60,000 year old cave bear.)
NASA events continue to draw crowds. I missed an event put on by CSIRO (Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization) because I overslept and tried to log in to the 5 am event about four minutes late. The sim was full — it had reached the maximum capacity of avatars it could host — and I could not get in.
Second Life appears to be a wonderful medium for this sort of thing. And this is not only due to the platform-independent, interactive approach with a global reach, but also because of the world itself: the ability to build 3D models to explain complex ideas in a visual format makes SL especially enticing.
Edutainment is big. Just look at the popularity of The History Channel or Discovery, even C-Span. People want to learn in an environment that feels like entertainment. Second Life or other immersive environments are ideal for this.
Here’s a quick look at some of the ways SL is being used for science education: