Great Expectations

A blog of the Department of English at BGSU:A place for faculty, students and alumni to connect.

BGSU Celebrates its Virtual Campus Birth/Earth Day

Posted by bgsuenglish on April 21, 2008

The BGSU virtual campus in Second Life is celebrating its first birthday in conjunction with an Earth Day celebration in the virtual world on Tuesday, April 22 at 6:30 – 8:30pm EST.

The festivities will include poetry readings, art exhibition openings, live music by BGSU student DJs, with the evening culminating with a “Save the Virtual Island” scavenger hunt. The event will take place on the Bowling Green State virtual campus in Second Life and simultaneously presented in the lobby of the Bowen Thompson Student Union.

The Birth/Earth day celebration will begin with an Open Mic poetry reading at the BGSU Writing Center in Second Life. Students, faculty and staff are invited to “step up to the mic” at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, where their words will be broadcast into Second Life. The BGSU Virtual Campus is also proud to host an amazing art installation by Jeff Lovett from Ohio University. His work explores the concept of observation and surveillance through photography and virtual immersion. Artworks produced by members of the Computer Art Club and Digital Arts students will also be displayed in the Vertical Gallery and avatars are invited to “fly” through the gallery. Live music by BGSU student DJs, What the Bleep and DJ PsysiX, will be streamed into the Performance Center in Second Life from the BGSU Student Union. Avatars are invited to socialize and dance to the sounds of Ragga-Jungle and Psytrance music.

A special Earth Day scavenger hunt on the BGSU Virtual Campus will also accompany the festivities, beginning promptly at 7:30pm EST. Avatars will compete in a quest to find information on how to help combat global climate change. The first three avatars to find all the clues will be awarded prizes in Linden dollars. Participants will face simulated elements of climate change and environmental disaster that will be both challenging and thought provoking.

The BGSU virtual campus in Second Life was founded in April, 2007. Since its inception, the island has provided classrooms for online classes, offices for faculty and staff, and educational exhibits open to the public. The virtual island has also hosted numerous art exhibitions, live music events, visiting guest lecturers, and film screenings. One of the most popular feature on the island is its “Sandbox.” Avatars from around the world come to the BGSU Virtual Campus to design, build, and script virtual objects. Visiting the sandbox has been a valuable learning experience for BGSU students, faculty and staff as they interact and converse in various languages with these visitors.

Second Life is a ‘multi-user virtual environment’ (MUVE) in which users of an online 3d space can interact through avatars using voice and text chat. Also called ‘Residents’, users can explore, meet other Residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, as well as create and trade virtual items and services. Second Life offers educators and students an online environment to meet face to face, dramatically changing the dynamic of online meetings and education. Since Second Life is used by people all over the world, it presents an opportunity to engage in cross-cultural networking and research within a global community. The Second Life virtual world is a dynamic 3d space and immersive learning environment that can be created and experienced by student or teacher.

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