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June 26, 2008


Shirley Williams

I just saw this on the feed to MUVEnation (http://www.muvenation.org/). It sounds as though you had a fun time. I have a couple of questions:
1. How did inexperienced competitors get on?
2. did any teams actually participate in the event, and if they did how well doid they do compared to the winning individual?

Steven Warburton

Yes it was fun, in brief the more inexperienced participants struggled a little (they can correct if I am wrong) and yes, two teams did compete but they could not match the individual builders.

Margarita Perez Garcia

Here my comments as participant in the event! First congratulations Steven, you proved now twice that animating and managing group activities (and djing!) in SL is your stuff. Long life to Emerge socials. Bravo!
From my point of view the event was just like being in hell. At 8:00 CET I am always in the middle of driving 4 kids to eat, have a bath, not to fight and go to bed. I have asked some help to Disney and bought one new film thinking that this would give me the free space needed to participate in the activity... Illusions! IRL sound level was out of the range plus fighting, moaning, biting, beating, shouting, crying and even peeing on the carpet. With this IRL background my social skills were divided by 10 and spent all the session saying: stay calm-silence-cooperate-shhhhhhhhhhhh-mummy is working (!)-silence-pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaase-arhg
I agree changing locations was a bad idea, I had the feeling that we lost the less experienced avatars on the way to the sandbox. Forming teams was also a difficult task, but mainly because we did not have a full view and idea of the real number of participants wanting to build. We were all there: some flying, some TPing, some wondering around... even with good camera's skills, the sense of togetherness didn't work as in RL: I could not spot who wanted to participate in the activity and I approached the two persons I knew the most in there.
I found myself cooperating with Cubist with the double aim to have fun and to test how difficult co-building was in those circumstances. We managed, after one failed attempt, tons of IMs and changing permissions to build not the tallest and not the most beautiful tower, but in a team and with physics switched on from the very beginning. I struggled but enjoyed very much this activity.
My only regret is that there was no public presentation of each teams and individuals work at the end of the activity. I would have loved something like “and now by XXX, the tower XXX” with a little explanation of each project by the builders themselves.
At the end I was also a little bit disappointed by the results of the competition. I understood that Art's tower was the tallest and that Angrybeth's built the most beautiful one. But their work did not follow the guidelines given: they built their towers on their own and the difficulty of the task was precisely the teamwork. I still wonder, have they switched on physics from the start? I could not spot this as I got confused when their towers fall at the end or they made them fall on purpose?
So I was disappointed. Twice in fact. First I felt guilty because I knew that Cubist could have done far much better alone as Art and Angrybeth did. And second because It was unfair to give the winning prize to a tower built outside of the guidelines given. Why not a prize for individual and also team work?
Of course we weren't there for the competition, but for the social(!) and to have fun and this was largely accomplished even with my IRL mess in parallel. BTW, can we change Emerge socials to a decent working time or after 9:00/10:00 CET when kids are finally (soundly) sleeping?

Mark Childs

Learning how to build a team was probably more difficult than learning how to build a tower probably. It can be tricky with others crashing (me too - I think the stability of people's connections with SL can still get in the way of activities - more so than the stability of the towers) or just wandering off in the middle of conversations (that's weird behaviour in any world, folks). In the end I just got stuck in and created a tower on my own. I was a beginner but found creating and editing objects to be pretty simple. I found stacking them impossible, though, but trying to catch them after they fell apart and bounced all over the place added to the fun. Lesson learned: build on flat land, and create easily stackable objects. I have some machinima of the final results if you're interested, Steve. The only downside to the activity was that I found it so absorbing I lost track of time and everyone had moved on by the time I'd finished.

Steven Warburton

Thanks for all the comments and the take-home messages from this one are fairly clear: organise organise organise and stay true to the original aims of the task. I think the latter is the toughest one to stick to when in mid-assignment you realise you have set a juggernaut in motion and are powerless to stop it. Feeling exhausted by the end of it all left me feeling unable to address some of these issues. But now ... I think I do have the measure of organising this task again.

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