Had a great time today visiting with Second Life researcher and rhetoric instructor Sarah “intellagirl” Robbins and her friend Mark Bell. The folks who came to listen to Sarah and to talk with her completely overfilled the physical room (60+ people) and filled to overflow two Second Life stages (over 80 – 90 avatars that stayed the entire talk). Thanks to Larry Taylor and to Mark, operations in both worlds worked wonderfully once we were set up. [Sarah's blog post about the talk here. Her powerpoint slides here at SlideShare]
Since my computer was being used to animate Sarah’s avatar, I didn’t liveblog the talk, but fear not Larry videoed the talk in Real Life and we will have it on ibiblio in the Speakers area in the next day or so.
Sarah gave a good talk that not only drew on her experiences in teaching and learning in Second Life but also grounded in identity theories, games research and rhetoric. The questions were well thought out and provocative — both from within Second Life and within the room. Sarah’s speaking style is engaging and promotes good interactions and enthusiasm — and that worked here as well.
It was great to see someone who really understands Second Life well and who has the academic engagement to impart not just experience but understanding working in both worlds.
Later a couple of us (Carolyn, Larry and myself) took Sarah and Mark to one of Chapel Hill’s two best BBQ places — the BBQ Joint so’s they could have “some South in their Mouths” (as Mama Dip used to say). They (and we) were not disappointed. Good talk and some ideas for future projects.