Today I did some exploring and research into universities that still have their sim worlds online. I was sort of hoping I would be able to find one that had some signs of life. I had read an article about the University of Western Australia leaving the sim after many years ( http://uwainsl.blogspot.com.au/) and also this article about touring abandoned universities by Patrick Hogan (http://fusion.net/story/181901/we-took-a-tour-of-the-abandoned-college-campuses-of-second-life/) and I got to thinking about whether they were all university ghost towns or not….Turns out, they mostly are. It was a thoroughly disheartening and lonely experience.
(Update: After I wrote this...THIS incredibly wonderful news came out on the UWA blog...http://uwainsl.blogspot.com.au/2016/10/uwa-sims-saved-through-31st-july-2017.html )
|Ikran at Berkman|
Then I got cheeky, thinking about squatting and building and how awesome it would be to have a little house at Harvard….turns out they have an auto return on items. So while I was learning to build a very blocky couch right near the abandoned admin building, my little prim house went POOF! Right back into my inventory. And so my hopes of being an eternal student resident at the second life campus of Harvard were dashed.
|Film Set at Ball State|
|TIme Clock at USQ|
|An abandoned set at USQ that once |
served a great purpose
Mostly though, the campuses were beautiful and waiting. Waiting for the classes to come back. Waiting for the academics and people to come back, like a school let out for summer vacation that goes on and on. Outdated notices were still on signs proclaiming admissions procedures for 2009 or class timetables for a different year past. Relics of an era of such hope and promise and…creativity in education.
I ended my tour at a place I found on one of my very first days in Second life about a month ago now, because I needed it. I needed to be somewhere that still held that hope and promise and vision. Somewhere that had just recently come back with a bang and a whoop….it was UTSA Tejano Tech. If you only go one place, visit one academic institution or art gallery in Second life, go there. Go there and leave them a note. And then go to their blog (https://utsa-sl.blogspot.com.au/) and leave them a comment there too. Tell them they have an incredible vision and you are cheering them on. Let their people counter count you so they can show their statistics to other academics who are dreaming their dreams of a virtual learning platform and say, "It CAN be done. This dream is NOT over."
|Ball State University|
|University of Derby. OHH! Shakespeare is on today...if I was still in 2009|
|Ohio State University. I feel very welcomed.|
|Ohio State University Clear flight paths. How considerate!|
Berkman and Sandbox (Harvard)
Ball State University
University of Derby
University of Western Australia
New World News