Tuesday, 4 November 2008

A visit to the London Language Show

I had a wonderful time on Sunday when I visited the London Language show. I watched a couple of seminars, both with lots for me to learn, wandered around the stalls to see what is new in languages technology for primary schools and bought a couple of Spanish CDs for myself – I will get a rudimentary knowledge if the language one day! 

It was strange to see people out of context – people I expect to see at the BETT show, and who expect to see me at the BETT show and not a language show, but ICT is being used so much for languages these days there is a huge cross over.

During the day I met up with several Second Life friends whom I have talked with, some quite extensively and some occasionally, over the last year. It was very strange to meet almost strangers, certainly face to face strangers, but at the same time feel that I knew them well enough to sit and chat with - a bit like old friends, where, though time has passed there is plenty to catch up on and enough common ground to make it interesting. In fact I was so relaxed that I could have happily stayed there all day talking over coffee and sandwiches. It was so lovely to meet the real people instead of the avatars that represent them in SL, but strange, in a comical sort of way to watch the mannerisms or hear the voice that I associate with an avatar and not the real person. Someone commented about my hair (in real life it is almost the same mop as in Second Life) and someone mentioned my earrings  - again similar :-)

It was so strange – a few days later it is almost as if it did not happen, did we chat in Real Life or was it just another few moments in Second Life? Can Second Life avatars really become friends – when they live hundreds, possibly thousands of miles apart? Yes I think! I have met and enjoyed being with people in other circumstances I may never have met – a huge unexpected bonus from Second Life membership.

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