Saturday, 14 March 2009


I visited Metaplace for the first time last night. It is not a downloadable program like many virtual worlds but appears to be built on Flash so is easily available through a browser. I got in, made and avatar, walked up a pathway to my house and watched a video clip and chatted in local chat. That took just a few seconds then I started to look around for something else to do. As a starting point I was allocated 30 friend invites – enough for a class of children, and 100 gold, not sure yet what that may buy!

The aim of Metaplace is for users to be able to design their own tiny virtual worlds that can be shared with many users so I can see the possibility of these tiny worlds being created by schools and their pupils if it turns out to be possible to make a useful tiny world for teaching, creating and socializing.

I started building at the simple level and thoroughly enjoyed creating a fantasy world. I was amazed when people came and visited me – even though I thought I was hidden away in building mode J So I chatted to a couple of explorers, bought a puppy – examined the whole range of virtual goods available from lampposts to wonderful buildings, animals, clothes, spaceships etc. and made my first little world. I was surprised to see that I could associate actions with objects, so they can play a video, play a sound, open a web page, act as a teleporter, say phrases in chat or move around the world. I have not had time yet to explore the advanced building capabilities; I guess that is where one can create their own objects, the next step!

It has to be said that this does not compare visually with Second Life or World of Warcraft – but has so much scope for creativity it is likely to make an impact on education.

Children could use this to make and explore models and simulations, problem solving etc. I could see loads of potential!

Having tried building I started exploring – that is when my little world fell apart – already there is adult content J  However – that is not the end of the world, I can make space so that they are invite only! Enough said! Sign up – have a play!!

No comments: