Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We broke it :(

Well, after a little less than two weeks, we managed to break Second Life. Or at least break the sims we're in.

Seems one of my kids figured out how to edit terrain. Since he didn't really know what he was doing and figured he could undo whatever he did, he raised a whole bunch of mountains -- mostly over the tops of buildings. Then the period ended before he had a chance to change them back. When we ran into them (literally) the next day, I tried to flatten them, but since landscaping isn't in my realm of expertise, well...we were stuck.

Not one to give up easily, I searched for tutorials and found one that showed the steps. I did the steps. Nothing changed. I finally wrote Lynn (owner of our sims) and told her we broke it and couldn't fix it. I also got the kid to did it to fess up when I told the class I wasn't mad and he/she wouldn't be punished for being curious.

In fact, the incident helped both Lynn and me to understand a part of the purpose of my class: we're beta testers. We're there to break as many things as we can so we can then figure out how to fix them when others break them. Or to figure out how to set the permissions so things can't ge broken again. Both are valuable pieces of information. So I congratulated the kid for giving us a challenge and he felt a lot better.

I have one student who is too old for the Teen Grid, but he's in the class at least till the change of semester. He's fascinated with scripting and has been searching websites for cool animations and activites. He then sends the script to one of the kids inworld and works with the kid in helping him to create. Today they created a box that, when you sit on it, it counts down from 10, then launches the avatar X number of feet in the air. The avatar then free-falls to the earth. The kids loved it and several spent quite some time having fun being launched.

Now some would be concerned: does such a scripted object have practical use? I would say, "YES!" One, it taught the kid how to change the script in an object. Two, the distance covered gave each of the kids a great overview of the islands. And three, it was just plain fun. And having fun together creates community -- something I very much want to achieve with this group.

So we're "breaking" things, and stretching boundaries in our attempts to find out who and what we are inworld. If all groups "Form, Storm, Norm, and Perform," we're definitely Stormin' now!

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