A few weeks ago, Max Senges, Thomas Praus and I got the chance to draft and write a summer university course about Second Life for the UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, or Open University of Catalonia), a Barcelona-based university. Along with the course, of course, a textbook was needed.
Writing the book (“Virtual Worlds – A Beginner’s Guide to Second Life”) with Max and Thomas has been a blast (Thanks, guys!), and it’s been a first for me. Thanks also to the folks over at UOC who have been great: They agreed to releasing the English version of the textbook under a Creative Commons license (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike). Feel free to remix & be creative! (Also note that it’s a version 1.0, so there might be minor changes if we find any errors. If you spot any, please drop me a line.)
The textbook offers a glimpse into virtual worlds in general and Second Life in particular (some more details in this post). Titled â€œMundos virtuales. Un paseo por Second Lifeâ€ (â€œVirtual worlds. A stroll in Second Lifeâ€), the course (and book) covers a range of topics ranging from basic movement and building techniques to some theories on virtual identities.
(It also ranges from quite basic stuff to more advanced theories. Special thanks to Greg Niemeyer, whose Berkeley course “Foundations of American Cyberculture” and personal input during an interview a while back were great inspiration for the chapters on virtual identities and trust!)
It’s written for a compact summer school course, so I hope it proves to be a good read for newbies and advanced users. (If you’re a Second Life veteran, this isn’t really for you.) To give you an idea, the chapters are as follows:
- First steps in Second Life
- Building your own world – 3D model creation in Second Life
- Who are you? Identities, trust and interaction in virtual environments.
- Code is Law – Rules, laws and boundaries of the game
- Economy: Business, micro-entrepreneurship, advertising
- Second Life as teaching and learning space
- Risks and opportunities of in-world engagements
- Politics & campaigning
- Media in Second Life: In-world media, Reporting about Second Life
- Building your own world II
You can download it here:
Virtual Worlds – A Second Life Beginnerâ€™s Guide (PDF, 913KB)
Virtual Worlds – A Second Life Beginnerâ€™s Guide (DOC, 1.7MB)
You can download the current updated version here: Virtual Worlds – A Second Life Beginner’s Guide
Update: I’ll try to collect all things relevant to the book on this page: Virtual Worlds (Book).