Second Life Wikipedia

I have never added to a Wikepedia page before so this was very much a learning experience for me. I went back and forth about what I wanted to post about and finally decided to edit the Popular Culture portion of the Wikipedia page for Second Life. When I clicked edit I was immediately brought to a different page. The page gave very few instructions but there was a text box and different buttons that I could click to help with my page. However, on the top of the page there was a yellow box that I read very carefully. The picture is below.

I was nervous about the part that said “you IP address with be recording publicly in this page’s edit history.” I was unaware of what that meant but the first thing that popped into my head was my own privacy. I was unsure if that information meant that Wikipedia would have access to stuff on my computer. I figured that since we are doing this for a class all of my thoughts were probably wrong. So I went ahead and created my contribution to the page.

Above is my contribution in the editing stage. I was able to add a link.

I pressed “save page” and after a minute the page restarted and I had to do one more step before the page could be fully posted.

I had to type out the word “tubertends.” I was surprised that there was not an “enter” button on the page and I just had to press “enter” on my computer’s keyboard. Finally the editing portion was completed and my contribution was on the page.

My contribution says: “The series True Life did an episode that involved Second Life. The episode called “True Life: I Have Another Life on the Web,” aired in 2008 and followed three people who have alter egos online that greatly differ from who they are in reality. Amy used Second Life and she had two avatars, or alter egos. The first is named Keiko, an avatar that resembles her, and her second alter ego is Mama Shepard, a 38 year old widow, who owns and operates a virtual bakery. Amy was completely involved in her virtual world. Ben Rosen, the producer of this True Life episode, explained that Second Life houses a lot of people obsessed with their “other lives” in this virtual world (http://remotecontrol.mtv.com/2008/05/29/mtvs-true-life-takes-a-look-at-second-life/). With its own currency, job opportunities, and shopping options, Second Life allows for endless possibilities for avatars and endless opportunities for the people playing on Second Life.”

The URL is not in the post because I was able to imbed the citation. My citation is number 117.

This is the URL for the Pop Culture portion of the page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Life#References_in_popular_culture


Second Life and Deomcracy

For my final post of the semester, and probably the last time I play Second Life, I decided to visit the Oval Office. I thought for a while about the last place I wanted to visit. I knew I wanted it to be a real place and I had already visited many cities so I chose the Oval Office. I read the description of the destination and was even more enticed to go. The description read “Virtual Oval OFfice: This replica of the Oval Office mimics the current decor of the real-life building, capturing all the tiny details even down to the paintings on the walls and the screen on the laptop! Have a fireside chat or sit in the presidential chair as you experience what its like to make key leadership decisions for the United States.”

I was teleported to the Virtual Oval Office and was a bit surprised. The office was in a white building on a street surrounded by other buildings. I was confused but proceeded to walk towards the building. However, when I reach the door I was unaware how to actually enter the room.

When I finally did walk into the office, there was another avatar already in there. I guess we had the same idea to act as President for the day.

While sitting at the virtual desk…

I started to think a lot about Democracy. We have spoken a lot about democracy, government, and regulation throughout the entire semester and I think it has been a vital part of my learning. In lecture we learned a lot about the Public Sphere and how it is a place “where citizens can come together to form public opinion and make it heard.” Fraser explains the Public Sphere as a Subaltern Counter-publics where group interests reached in alternative spaces, than brought to mainstream. I think this partially applies to the Second Life community. I think groups interests are met in alternative spaces, most specifically the virtual world. Not only can people blog on SecondLife.com but they can travel and explore together in the virtual world. People can chat through the game and learn features through other avatars. But, I do not think the Second Life community wants to be brought to the mainstream. This is a place for people to be who they want to be and create their own identity. It is the ultimate way to be alternative from the mainstream.

I think it is better to call Second Life a Networked Public Sphere. Papacharissi explains the Virtual Sphere as a complex network of publics  and counter publics in common virtual space and that the Internet is the new kind of public/private sphere. I believe that Second Life completely falls under this category of virtual space. In Second Life you can be as private, like my experience, or as public as you want to be. People come together and form a community and open up to one another. But regardless of how public or private you choose to be in this game, every avatar is in a common virtual space.

This is the conclusion to my blog posts about my Second Life experience.


Second Life: Linden Realms

I arrived at Linden Realm  after passing through the portal (as seen in picture above). I followed the turquoise arrows until I reached the arch and stepped through. It said 5 other people were currently in this realm, but when I landed there I did not see anyone else. The first instructions I was given was to “Find Tyrah’s workshop in the basecamp, and walk inside.”  I began to walk to the basecamp which was straight ahead. As you can see in the picture it is on the right. There was a little arrow on the way to that pointed to the basecamp, so I knew I was on the right path.

After arriving in the basecamp the next instructions popped up. They said “collect a red, orange, and yellow crystal.” There were people already in the basecamp doing the same activity as I was doing. I decided to start a conversation with people in the basecamp asking if anyone knew how to collect the crystals. After asking three different people, someone finally answered me. However, their answer did not help because they were unaware how to play as well.

Next to the five colored crystals on the top of the page is a question mark. I clicked the question mark which linked me to a URL that answered questions about Linden Realm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I searched the site and learned that the display that gave me directions is actually called the “Heads Up Display.” I also learned that it is possible to be killed in this game. One of the frequently asked questions is “I’m suddenly somewhere different, what just happened?” The answer they give is “You were just “killed” in the game by one of the hazards (like a rock monster, toxic water, or a fireball).” Because I was scared to be killed and the question I was looking for was not one of the frequently asked questions I decided to leave the realm and head to another destination. There was one FAQ that I found useful….

“How do I report bugs, give feedback or make comments?

Please submit bug reports and other feedback at lr_project_feedback@lindenlab.com. Please do not use Jira to report bugs.”

Heres my feedback and comment… HOW DO I PLAY THE GAME?

 

 


Second Life Update

“Update” in the title does not refer to me updating you guys on my Second Life adventures. It literally means update. Today when I tried to open Second Life to explore more worlds, I had to update the software I have been using. When I opened up the program and attempted to type in my username and password, a message popped up that read “Software Needs to be Updated. Second Life must restart in order to update the software.” I was really angry because whenever I update anything on my computer it takes a good 15 minutes before I can use the application again. The computer usually needs to check for all available updates, than prepare computer for updates, than download new software and a few other steps that I do not really understand, but all involve that slow moving bar, and lastly restart the entire computer. I was expecting a long process so I pulled out my iPad and began to play “Words with Friends.” Before I could even add one word to the board, I am usually very quick with the games, the upload was complete. Unfortunately, I had to put my games on hold and get back to Second Life.

The program automatically reopened and a window (image below) popped up that read “Display settings have been set to recommended levels because of change to the rendering subsystem.” I had zero clue what that meant.

There was a new aspect of the home page that caught my eye. It is called Linden Realms. There was a scrolling picture on the homepage that promoted and explained Linden Realms. It explained the Linden Realms is a new game inside Secon Life where you “complete quests, find adventure, and earn currency.” I debated whether that would be my new stop in Second Life because I thought it would be fun to play games. I was a little hesitant to try it because I still do not understand Second Life fully but I figured it was worth a shot.

I clicked on “Select to set as your starting location” from the picture above and it advised me that I would be teleported there once I log in.


Tracking My Computer Usage

Yesterday, Sunday December 4th, I decided to ditch my work and just hangout with my iPad all day. I had recently downloaded “Words with Friends” but just started playing it Yesterday. I instantly became addicted and made all my friends stop what they were doing to respond to my words so I could continue to play, and hopefully beat them. During the intervals of my friends doing work and not responding to my games, I played other games, such as “Angry Birds,” which at one point I was an avid player, and went on Twitter and LinkedIn. I switched off between iChat and Facebook which were constantly on my computer screen and my iPad. At one point, my friend had walked into my apartment and commented that I had looked like I was in an Apple commercial with my  iPad and computer. The only missing link was the iPhone; I have not switched from Blackberry to iPhone yet. I think I will use the Internet, and other computer aspects, on my phone more often when I make the switch. I use my Blackberry for communication purposes only. I would say that I was using a computerized gadget at almost every point of the day and at one point I even woke up in the middle of the night and checked if any of my friends had played in our “Words with Friends” games.

I never realized how dependent I was on all of my gadgets. Even if I am at the library, I am always using my computer and phone and will usually have my iPad so I can play some games during my stressful day.


YouTube vs. Hulu

Both YouTube and Hulu have clips on their homepages for viewers to watch. The YouTube homepage lists clips that are “Recommended for Me,” “Most Viewed,” and “Top Favorited,” just to name a few. The Hulu clips are “Recent Episodes,” “Popular Clips,” and “Featured Content.” I decided to choose one clip to watch from the “Most Viewed” on YouTube and the “Popular Clips” from Hulu.

 

The clip I watched on YouTube is called “Goosing!-Raw William Johnson Video.” Before I could view the video, I had to watch a Minute Made advertisement. The video features Ray William Johnson as he talks about different videos that have been on YouTube and other social features. It is 5 minutes and 16 seconds long and has been viewed 2,511,820 times; I, however, had not been one of the viewers, until now. It is clearly a very popular video with almost 40,000 likes and 5,000 dislikes. People are clearly interacting with the content. The website allows me to like and dislike the content, add the video to favorites or play list, share, flag, and comment. I need to have a login to do most of these activities. I am comfortable with YouTube’s layout and all of the features that the website offers.

 

YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBzCzMSJRhc&feature=topvideos_mp

 

Most of Hulu’s most popular clips were from “Saturday Night Live.” I decided to watch the first one “Saturday Night Live: Kissing Family Thanksgiving.” The clip, featuring Jason Segal and Paul Rudd, is a 5 minute and 20 second clip about how affectionate a family is during Thanksgiving. Similarly to the first video I watched, there was an advertisement. However, the differences were brought to my attention right from the beginning. The website does not list how many people view the videos and instead of having the comments directly underneath the video, there are tabs for reviews, discussions and tags. Hulu seems less casual and more organized than YouTube. I had more trouble with Hulu because I have never really used the website.

 

Hulu Clip: http://www.hulu.com/watch/302524/saturday-night-live-kissing-family-thanksgiving

 

I would choose to use YouTube over Hulu to view content


Copyright

Copyright laws have always been a very unknown territory for me. I am unaware of many of the issues but I have heard many stories of people getting letters or notices about their illegal streaming use. I, on the other hand, have made an effort to stay away from illegal downloads for numerous reasons. I once used Limewire or Mojo. I know Limewire is illegal but I am not even sure if Mojo is. But, both drastically slowed down my computer so I deleted them and have not installed them since. If I want to watch a television show that I missed, I usually will watch it on the networks own website because it is usually better quality. I will once and a while use sites that post TV shows and movies but I am not sure if those are illegal or breaking copyright issues. In my mind, they are unethical, but are they illegal? When it comes to my schoolwork, I always cite the work I use. It is so simple and quick to add parenthetical citations and a bibliography page that it is not worth consequences of plagiarism. The only copyright issues I am fully aware of and understand are the ones that apply to my schoolwork and scholarly works. I hope to learn more about the issues of copyright in streaming television shows and watching movies on websites.