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H800 WK25 Activity 4 Role-play and learning in virtual and made-up worlds

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 24 Feb 2013, 07:23

We role-play as children to make sense of the world, we take on multiple personas to some degree in real-life as well.

I am particularly taken by the way people with a disability can walk in a virtual world (Peachey 2010) or indeed how any of us can fly and do much more in these environments (die and repeatedly come back to life of course.)

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At no cost my dentist, or rather our family dentist, made a set of dentures for me out of dentine that fitted over my teeth. This allowed me to sing. I foolishly sharpened the fangs and promptly punctured my lower lip. I learnt by the way that unless I could have dislocated my jaw biting someone's neck is impossible. Vampires should bite the wrist or leg, but then all, or at least the obvious sexual innuendos are lost.

Was I living out a fantasy when I played Dracula in my teens?

I kept acting into my twenties until I decided that my mental state couldn't handle the selection process (rejection) and my experience in front of camera and on stage left me bored senseless (I had minor roles).

Do actors, as in role-play, have to overcome or compensate for who they are?

Peachy raises all the points in a common- sense and everyday way. I can imagine or should research where stepping into the role of an avatar has life- saving qualities, for example is not learning to fly a commercial jet-airliner in a simulator not a form of virtual role-play? I believe firemen are trained in virtual set-ups too and believe the nuclear power industry do so too.

The trouble with doing this in a learning context is the huge development costs. i.e. It has to be better to use a ready made platform. I then ask though, what is wrong with using our imaginations, that improvising and role-play doesn't require the disguises?

REFERENCE

Peachey, A. (2010) ‘Living in immaterial worlds: who are we when we learn and teach in virtual worlds?’ in Sheehy, K., Ferguson, R. and Clough, G. (eds) Virtual Worlds: Controversies at the Frontier of Education (Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World), New York, NY, Nova Science.

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H800 activity 4 virtual worlds cross dressing and role-play

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 24 Feb 2013, 07:36

I have an avatar.

In World of Warcraft.

My son took me through the set- up, vital for any software, have an informed and experienced teacher.

I wasn't allowed to make one quick choice, I had to look at the options. He had views as well as information concerning all the characters. My wife joins in and we plum for a female as the way she poses and sticks out hefty butt when she shuffles about made us laugh. I think I am a night elf. Unable to give her a real name (all taken) I got for Val d'Isere ... Which gets transmuted into Valdesire. This is a lady with attitude; I guess I see myself as a Lara Croft type smile

Aided by my son he insists we skip the intros.

Intermittently he reaches over and gives me a belt, boots and a sword. And were off. I know I am painfully slow for him but after while I can position myself in front of a hovering, dragon slug thing which seems about as easy to kill as standing on a snail. I gain pouts, collect stuff and go up a few levels.

I assume my son is off to the bathroom when he goes of, actually he has signed on a second computer and with delight says the person I am standing next to, my twin but wearing clothes is him and his (her) name is 'Notvaldesire'.

'Let's have a dual,' he says and knowing what he is like I get my sword out and put in a strike only to have some god-like voice/ figure berate us.

On returning from the shops I ask if anything had happened as my wife had taken over 'Our Val.'

We had to sell all you clothes, he said, to buy a spell that didn't work.'

Having no clothes has me think of the only campus Second Life I'm aware of at Sussex University where I understand that repeated calls go out for everyone in Second Life to take their clothes off sad

Thinking about role play as I wondered through Lewes I saw groups of language students in the same blue-tops and football fans gathering before going off to a match.

This is the town where a substantial part of the town dress up for November 5th, indeed I am in Commercial Square and dress up as a Confederate Soldier each year. We joined as newcomers to the town 11 years ago; as a social network it is extraordinarily effective.

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Sometimes only paper will do

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 18 Jun 2012, 00:26

Whilst I read books and papers using an eReader there are at times when only paper will do.

H800%252520WK25%252520Highlights%252520on%252520Paper.jpg p>

Reading course notes in H800 of the Masters in Open and Distance Education, WK25.

The again, MindCreator, an App for the iPad is rather useful. Updating this Personal Learning Environment mindmap perhaps suggests I spend very little time 'on paper,' and a good deal of time 'online'. I post this thinking it is up to date; having joined Google+ yesterday the interplay of tools here may change again.

Have we ever lived in such a fluid world?

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Created in MindCreator

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What do you call your Avatar?

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In 2001 I attended a meeting in which a company who had imported avatar software from the US wanted us as intermediaries to sell 'the' into our clients.

On Avatar names I found they are/where led by username software, so increasingly every realish name under the sun was taken. Being an early adopter I nabbed Jonathan in one domain, otherwise you end up with something like jj27vv. The othet day I had a go with the names of all 16 moons of Saturn - not one was available.

Having 'Jonathan' is of course hopeless when I wanted to be anonymous so I have since locked that website.

I have no idea what names I adopted in the couple of Second Life domains I tried out for all of five minutes. Being invited to take on a name that sounded like a Norse god would not be conducive to good behaviour.. There's a study on this which I came across in which a shigh student took on the persona of a beligerent thug and remained in character whenever on line.

There is value though in visualisation and role play.

The answer is to do as JKRowling; collect words and names viraciously, make them up to. It will always be possible to say something original.

Thinking of which, the most crass term I've ever heard is 'unobtanium' in Avatar.
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Engagement between a person or entity outside the self is core to the lesrning process. (LauriLlard, 1993) DISCUSS

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From wk25 H800 of the 'Masters in Open and Distance Education'.
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H800 wk25 Anderson's equivalency of interaction theory

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 2 Aug 2011, 20:09
Is the 'trade off' really only between:

Student and tutor Student and student Student and content

Should the tutor not also be engaged with the content?

If not they are a facilitator, not a tutor, not a thinker, equally able to challenge the content as the student must.

My interest is in a tutor who questions the script, not all do. I've had a tutor read the script as if it were Latin, locked in history and imovable.

It is, we are, living in highly fluid times.

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