Of course links were shared to further information on Virtual Africa, which I decided to check out. One thing led to another and before long I found this video which I feel compelled to share. There is a 2 plus minute segment in this video on Virtual Africa. But that's not why I'm sharing this, though worthwhile. I'm sharing because this video is very well done and an example of yet another educational use of virtual worlds. From the website:
"Life on Life" is a 13-minute docu-narrative produced inside the virtual reality platform SecondLife, composed of vignettes narrating one avatar's path through her first year in the metaverse. From magical safaris and artificial lifeforms to hackers and virtual suicide bombers, the real world plays itself out around her in virtual space, and Life passes through with hope and wonder intact! The film explores an intersection of the first and virtual worlds--the drawbacks and the potential.
"Life on Life" has been accepted to the Cambridge Int'l Film Festival, UK, had a scene screened on CNN.com, and has been promoted by the virtual worlds projects and presses: Orange (France Telecom), Dancing Ink Productions, Babel News, Koinup, Rockcliff University, New World Notes and massively.com. Thank you to each of these!
I've been interested in digital storytelling since attending the SLEDCC 2008 Conference in Second Life (SL) this past September. The session where I was introduced to digital storytelling in SL was related to work being done by Peggy Sheehy (SL: Maggie Marat) and others with teens in Teen SL. Their work incorporates a broader array of media than the narrative video above. I never did blog about this experience, partly because I couldn't quite figure out how to articulate the impact it had on me. It turns out she and others presented at other conferences during the past summer and a blogger (and SL friend of mine) Chris (SL Topher Zwiers) wrote an excellent post on this on his MUVE Forward blog titled "Ramapo Islands: Quality Learning in Second Life."