NMC Symposium on Creativity in Second Life, Aug 12-18, 2007
I know folks are rather polarized in terms of being wildly excited about Second Life or being totally dismissive of it. Rather than just pontificating or bikcering about it, I’m more excited to be a part of giving it an experimental full bore run — this is is something the NMC can and does do.
So this week, we are running an entire conference in the world of Second Life, our Symposium on Creativity. Today we opened it with a round of our “studio” sessions (more below), and a reception at our newly designed “NMC Conference Center”.
It was not without snafus. At the time for our studio classes to start, suddenly no one was able to teleport (transport) from one place to another. A number of people ignored, or missed emails this week about registering their avatars with our participant list, so they could not get in. This stuff happens at RL conferences too- registrations get lost, baggage gets waylaid, we end up in the wrong city (maybe not, that is a joke for John Ittelson), but its not like we blast the whole concept of a conference, right? Life happens, you roll.
When we first started talking about this earlier in the summer, I was pushing for a format completely devoid of “presentations” – I was pitching something that was all hands on. This did not completely pan out, but the spirit remains, and most of our presenters are cooperating by stepping out of the pure presentation mode box. At least that’s how the proposals read.
But we did keep this notion in the concept of our studio classes — these are led by some of the masters in SL in areas of building, machinima, virtual photography, fashion design, and teaching. But rather than instructor led, participants get the basics to be creative in these areas, and are charged to spend the week on creating something, with the mentors available at scheduled time to assist.
But the real action happens tomorrow, when the first full day of events happen, with breakouts, a keynote, some entertainment, all your typical conference stuff, except we are all home in our PJs with our avatars flying around and chatting.
I have to say for just half day’s worth of working this, I’m worn out; so when we have schedules next week that run from 8am to 8pm, we’ll see how much fun it is.
I think it will be.