Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hovering Kestrel: Science Sim is an open virtual world with a focus on Science, Virtual Harbin Hot Springs as ethnographic field site & WUaS in SS?

ScienceSim ( is another, open, virtual world with a focus on science as a virtual world, which draws on Open Simulator's open source virtual world code (, and which has parallels with Second Life ( Folks with virtual world science projects can build in ScienceSim, - and Intel is one of its backers.

In it, I hope to build virtual Harbin Hot Springs as ethnographic field site.

Here's a conversation from a weekly meeting in ScienceSim on Tuesday, with an overview of how this virtual Harbin will unfold ...

[10:08 AM] AD: Hi Scott
[10:09 AM] Scott MacLeod: Hi A!
[10:09 AM] LO has entered chat range (2.0m)
[10:09 AM] Scott MacLeod: How and where are you?
[10:09 AM] Scott MacLeod: Hello L!
[10:09 AM] AD: I'm at Utah State Univ and doing fine, you?
[10:09 AM] RA: hello Scott
[10:10 AM] Scott MacLeod: Great! ... I'm fine and in northern California.
[10:10 AM] RA: wb L
[10:10 AM] Scott MacLeod: Hello R!
[10:10 AM] LO: Back again Hi all
[10:10 AM] LO: I seem to have voice back after a restart
[10:10 AM] Scott MacLeod: I haven't been to this group before,
[10:10 AM] Scott MacLeod: and have an interest in building a virtual Harbin Hot Springs in ScienceSim
[10:10 AM] LO: yep
[10:10 AM] Scott MacLeod: as ethnographic field site.
[10:11 AM] LO: I could do with a soak in a Hot Spring
[10:11 AM] Scott MacLeod: I'm curious to explore what might be possible here.
[10:11 AM] Scott MacLeod: :)
[10:11 AM] AD: I hear you now
[10:11 AM] RA: I see you in the talk list L
[10:11 AM] AD: And I hear L
[10:11 AM] Scott MacLeod: Hopefully we'll be able to be in our home bathtubs and visiting virtual Harbin in SS.
[10:11 AM] RA: I heard a short thing from some one but now only the fire crackling
[10:11 AM] AD: Nice, Scott :>
[10:11 AM] Scott MacLeod: :)
[10:12 AM] RA: I heard that, A
[10:12 AM] Scott MacLeod: You'll find a Machinima movie here about the making of virtual Harbin
[10:12 AM] LO: NOw I want to tp back to Hypatia and see if the sound is working htere
[10:12 AM] Scott MacLeod:
[10:12 AM] Scott MacLeod: part way down.
[10:12 AM] LO is Online
[10:13 AM] AD is Online
[10:13 AM] Scott MacLeod: What are your interests in SS?
[10:13 AM] RA: which is the link, Scott?
[10:13 AM] Scott MacLeod: And where are you based, L and R!
[10:14 AM] Scott MacLeod: The link is here: 
[10:14 AM] RA: I am one of the admin people... I'm in Oregon
[10:14 AM] Scott MacLeod: Great, R.
[10:14 AM] Scott MacLeod: But the video is 14 minutes long.
[10:14 AM] RA: I heard a broken up something from L and an overmodulated something from A
[10:14 AM] LO: I had that trouble at my last meeting so maybe my wireless headset is dying
[10:14 AM] RA is Online
[10:15 AM] RA: you're way too loud, A
[10:15 AM] Scott MacLeod: Do you know Dan Lake, R!
[10:15 AM] LO: you are perfect to me
[10:15 AM] LO: but I adjust speakers individually
[10:15 AM] Scott MacLeod: (I can't see you R, only your name, curiously)
[10:15 AM] RA: yes... Dan and I work together
[10:15 AM] Scott MacLeod: ok
[10:16 AM] RA: Ya... I'm having appearance problems... I've been trying v3 viewers
[10:16 AM] Scott MacLeod: This is a nice build.
[10:16 AM] Scott MacLeod: It reminds me a little of Timberline Lodge in Oregon.
[10:17 AM] RA: it was modeled after the western lodges :)
[10:17 AM] RA: lost L again
[10:17 AM] LO has entered chat range (1.7m)
[10:17 AM] Scott MacLeod: Who built it?
[10:18 AM] RA: I figured out some of my audio... I now have the radio
[10:18 AM] RA: wb L... is voice working on Hypatia?
[10:19 AM] Scott MacLeod: I saw a note on the front of the Imprudence viewer that there's audio
[10:19 AM] Scott MacLeod: but I haven't found it yet.
[10:20 AM] Scott MacLeod: Might I ask what the best ways you would suggest to initiate a building project in ScienceSim?
[10:20 AM] RA: Look in 'Preferences' and make sure voice is turned on
[10:20 AM] RA: also check the 'Audio' settings
[10:20 AM] AD: Are you planning to host your own region Scott?
[10:21 AM] Connecting to in-world Voice Chat...
[10:21 AM] Connected
[10:21 AM] LO: I am just going to quickly tp to Hypatia and see if voice is on there now
[10:21 AM] Scott MacLeod: Thanks ... I see now a white dot about my head, but none above yours A.
[10:21 AM] Scott MacLeod: Ok Linday
[10:21 AM] Scott MacLeod: *L
[10:22 AM] RA: I see the dot over you Scott
[10:22 AM] Scott MacLeod: What are good ways to get overviews of projects in ScienceSim - ie blogs, or?
[10:23 AM] Scott MacLeod: Yes, I just heard you, A ... but I'm in a cafe, so I'll speak only a little
[10:23 AM] Scott MacLeod: Yea!
[10:23 AM] AD: There is some info about projects on the wiki, and some individuals may have their own websites with info but there isn't anything complete or coordinated really
[10:24 AM] Scott MacLeod: Is this the case?
[10:24 AM] Scott MacLeod: I noticed that SS is planning some scaling projects of topography, I think.
[10:24 AM] Scott MacLeod: Thanks, A
[10:25 AM] RA: my avatar should be back...
[10:25 AM] LO: OK voice is working on at least Hypatia 1 so that looks promising.
[10:25 AM] RA: there are the Yellowstone regions which is a large area of topography
[10:25 AM] AD: There are the Yellowstone regions with a large-scale (hundreds of sims) replica of the national park
[10:25 AM] AD: :>
[10:25 AM] Scott MacLeod: Great ... who's building/overseeing this
[10:26 AM] LO: it is certainly a large landmass...would be awesome to have it populated
[10:26 AM] Scott MacLeod: There you are R!
[10:26 AM] Scott MacLeod: in avatar reality!
[10:26 AM] LO: Mic said that it is not always running as he turned on some of it for me to see once
[10:26 AM] Scott MacLeod: I see ... thanks, L ...
[10:26 AM] RA: Mic did some work on seeing more than one region in the distance
[10:27 AM] Scott MacLeod: I'm curious what you all would suggest
[10:27 AM] RA: L your voice is broken up
[10:27 AM] Scott MacLeod: for building the topographically realistic
[10:27 AM] Scott MacLeod: Harbin Hot Springs valley, particularly the Harbin Mainside area
[10:27 AM] RA: ah... I would suggest contacting Mic Bowman who is usually at this meeting
[10:28 AM] Scott MacLeod: probably 4 sims to begin 512m squared
[10:28 AM] Scott MacLeod: x 4
[10:28 AM] RA: he's on a plane at the moment
[10:28 AM] Scott MacLeod: Great, thanks, R!
[10:28 AM] Scott MacLeod: I've been in touch with him by email before ...
[10:28 AM] RA: he took GIS data to make the Yellowstone regions
[10:28 AM] Scott MacLeod: sounds like he's a main designer here
[10:29 AM] RA: he likes to tinker and build... he's done most of the support and construction for the main areas
[10:29 AM] AD: Darb Dabney has some info on his blog about the experiments he has done with recreating terrain in opensim
[10:29 AM] RA: is he the one that did terrain sculpties?
[10:29 AM] AD: yes
[10:29 AM] Scott MacLeod: Thanks ... is he in this SS world, too?
[10:30 AM] Scott MacLeod: I've met Darb once I think.
[10:30 AM] Scott MacLeod: I enjoyed his Yosemite in SL before
[10:30 AM] AD: He had a region in one of the first landgrant programs but I haven't seen him here in a while
[10:31 AM] Scott MacLeod: ok ... is this a main meeting of builders (with Mic espeically) - Tuesdays at 10? And are
[10:31 AM] Scott MacLeod: there others?
[10:31 AM] RA: this is the 'uses meeting' and is the only scheduled one for users
[10:32 AM] Scott MacLeod: thanks
[10:32 AM] RA: we're here every week :)
[10:33 AM] RA: are you thinking of hosting your own regions, Scott?
[10:33 AM] Scott MacLeod: Are any of you in G+ ?
[10:33 AM] Scott MacLeod: Great ...
[10:33 AM] Scott MacLeod: Yes, I'd like to explore co-building a virtual Harbin Hot Springs, if possible, for a book I'm writing.
[10:33 AM] AD: No G+, I'm a recovering social media addict
[10:33 AM] Scott MacLeod: Here's my G+
[10:33 AM] RA: I'm on G+
[10:33 AM] Scott MacLeod: ok ...
[10:34 AM] Scott MacLeod: and ... has a number of my social media links
[10:34 AM] LO: I'm n G+
[10:34 AM] Scott MacLeod: I'll find you both
[10:34 AM] Scott MacLeod:
[10:35 AM] Scott MacLeod: How would you suggest finding co-builders in SS?
[10:35 AM] LO: Why do you want to make the hot springs...I missed that
[10:36 AM] Scott MacLeod: I'm writing an actual /virtual ethnography/ book about Harbin
[10:36 AM] RA: following that G+ URL crashed my Imprudence
[10:36 AM] Scott MacLeod: and want to make a virtual Harbin as ethnographic field site
[10:36 AM] Scott MacLeod: welcome back R
[10:37 AM] LO: I don't know what that means?
[10:37 AM] LO: are you going to place data sets there or something?
[10:37 AM] Scott MacLeod: (There are a lot of RA in G+ I saw ...what's the best way to find you?
[10:38 AM] Scott MacLeod: L - The link is here again:  - to a movie about the Making of Virtual Harbin
[10:39 AM] LO: thanks Scott I will watch and learn!! :)
[10:39 AM] Scott MacLeod: With group voice chat and text chat, engage in participant observation, and compare with the on-the-ground ethnography I'm writing (I'm in the 6th chapter of my book, which so far has been about actual Harbin)
[10:40 AM] Scott MacLeod: I'm coming into conversation with Tom Boellstorff's "Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human" (Princeton 2008) in the writing
[10:41 AM] RA: I like the builds in Hypatia, L
[10:41 AM] LO: They aren't mine R, they are a free thing called the Universal Campus
[10:42 AM] LO: they suited us as a sTEM site as a starting point
[10:42 AM] LO: we'll knock down what we don't want
[10:42 AM] Scott MacLeod: (You can find the first few draft chapters here - )
[10:42 AM] LO: and add our own flavor to what we keep
[10:42 AM] Scott MacLeod: What's Hypatia, L!
[10:42 AM] Scott MacLeod: ?
[10:42 AM] RA: Scott... my email address for G+ is ... although I don't post much
[10:43 AM] LO: It is going to be a STEM themed virtual world for girls 11 to 16 as part of another communiyt
[10:43 AM] Scott MacLeod: Thanks!
[10:43 AM] LO:
[10:43 AM] Scott MacLeod: STEM? - great
[10:43 AM] Scott MacLeod: Thanks
[10:44 AM] LO: Yeah science tech engineering math
[10:46 AM] Scott MacLeod: couldn't find you yet, in G+ with that address ... will keep looking
[10:48 AM] RA: I found and added you, Scott
[10:48 AM] Scott MacLeod: Wow, L .. that looks great!
[10:48 AM] Scott MacLeod: thanks!
[10:49 AM] Scott MacLeod: is one address for the above G+ link ... and post a fair amount there
[10:49 AM] RA: boy... there are a lot of people with my name on G+ !!
[10:50 AM] LO: You are an individual just like everybody else
[10:51 AM] Scott MacLeod: (As another big project, L, I'm developing World University and School - - which is like Wikipedia with MIT Open Course Ware ), where 1) we can all teach to and learn from each other, as wiki, and 2) with free degrees planned - BAch, PhD. law and MD accrediting on MIT OCW)
[10:51 AM] Scott MacLeod: (it's a nice name)
[10:51 AM] Scott MacLeod: What's the SSURL L, for Hypatia?
[10:52 AM] AD: I need to run.. See you later
[10:52 AM] Scott MacLeod: WUaS is primarly university and college focused - and free and open
[10:52 AM] RA: by A
[10:52 AM] Scott MacLeod: Nice to meet you A
[10:52 AM] RA: bye
[10:52 AM] Scott MacLeod: See you another Tuesday I hope
[10:52 AM] LO: currently Hypatia is just 4 islands here as our meeting place for plans and testing ideas
[10:52 AM] RA: open the map and searching for "Hypatia" works
[10:53 AM] LO: we are awaiting an NSF bid outcome
[10:53 AM] LO: fingers crossed
[10:53 AM] LO: but Opensim won't scale for our needs
[10:53 AM] LO: so we'll have to shift platforms if we grow
[10:53 AM] LO: there are 5 million girls in the NGCP community
[10:53 AM] Scott MacLeod: great (as WUaS begins to matriculate Bachelors' students potentially in 2014, keep WUaS in mind, as your STEM project develops ... )
[10:54 AM] LO: yes that is very interesting the accrediting body is MIT?
[10:54 AM] Scott MacLeod: What are you thinking of eventually moving to, L?
[10:54 AM] Scott MacLeod: And scale in what sense?
[10:54 AM] Scott MacLeod: How are you using SS for teaching teenage girls math and science, in a nut shell?
[10:55 AM] Scott MacLeod: (NGCP?)
[10:55 AM] LO: well it would be very costly to host an opensim for large numbers of users due to the small number per simulator
[10:55 AM] LO: NGCP = National Girls Collaborative Project
[10:55 AM] Scott MacLeod: thanks ... yea, 40 per sim seems to be the number I've heard as the limit
[10:56 AM] LO: we are making clubhouses, quests, scavenger hunts, presentations, role models, and linking to causes out of the virtual world in the real world
[10:56 AM] LO: few Opensim locations ever get 40 in my experience
[10:56 AM] LO: not doing things anyway
[10:56 AM] Scott MacLeod: Yet, I think the conference method (I went to Reed College in Oregon) is an effective way of teaching and learning, - science too (
[10:57 AM] Scott MacLeod: and 40 avatars is enough ...
[10:57 AM] LO: so Hypatia is a world not a game experience but it has mini games in it
[10:57 AM] Scott MacLeod: sounds fun L!
[10:57 AM] LO: yeah we hope so
[10:57 AM] Scott MacLeod: ok
[10:57 AM] RA: I need to run also...
[10:57 AM] LO: I ahve a group of kids about to start working with me testing and building stuff but needed to get voice working
[10:57 AM] RA: great meeting you Scott
[10:57 AM] LO: now that is solved it is time to rock and roll
[10:57 AM] Scott MacLeod: Very nice to meet you R ... and I need to move along shortly as well
[10:57 AM] LO: me too
[10:58 AM] RA: and I'll see you both soon
[10:58 AM] LO: thanks guys
[10:58 AM] Scott MacLeod: great!
[10:58 AM] LO: Scott
[10:58 AM] Scott MacLeod: Until soon ...
[10:58 AM] Scott MacLeod: Yes, L
[10:58 AM] LO: is wiki like mooc
[10:58 AM] LO: I mean is conference learning like a mooc
[10:58 AM] Scott MacLeod: mooc?
[10:58 AM] Scott MacLeod: (I see wiki as a kind of conference method)
[10:59 AM] LO: Massively Online Open Course
[10:59 AM] Scott MacLeod: but it's communication - group text and voice - that makes virtual worlds so compelling to me for learning.
[10:59 AM] LO:
[10:59 AM] Scott MacLeod: focused students and faculty who facilitate the conference method are key
[11:00 AM] Scott MacLeod: thanks L
[11:01 AM] Scott MacLeod: Let's continue this conversation on a later Tuesday
[11:01 AM] Scott MacLeod: your project looks fascinating, L!
[11:01 AM] LO: can you send me a link to the conference method as it is a circular link on the page
[11:02 AM] Scott MacLeod: what's your email?
[11:02 AM] LO:
[11:02 AM] Scott MacLeod: a circular link? (does copying and pasting the url into a browser avoid circularity?)
[11:02 AM] Scott MacLeod: thanks for your email
[11:02 AM] LO: Scott have you seen the OER University stuff?
[11:03 AM] LO:
[11:03 AM] Scott MacLeod: Yes, I think it's linked at WUaS on the main Courses page
[11:03 AM] LO: cool
[11:04 AM] LO: my other project is on there at
[11:05 AM] LO: ok bye for now guys
[11:05 AM] Scott MacLeod: bye for now
[11:09 AM] Scott MacLeod: I'll send you both an email shortly, to keep in touch another way, R
[11:09 AM] Scott MacLeod: Nice to meet you.
[11:09 AM] RA: my work email is R.A@…com
[11:10 AM] Scott MacLeod: great ... ok .. just sent the email ...
[11:10 AM] Scott MacLeod: but I'll note this one as well.


This whole Science Sim virtual world could become a significant space of World University and School.


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