Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Small Worlds - A simple yet powerful MUVE
Small Worlds is a simple, neat, fun, and "potentially" educational virtual world that doesn't require any downloading and installing of special software such as in Second Life. According to the developers, "SmallWorlds brings together the best aspects of online games, instant messaging, social networks and digital media, and wraps them into a persistent 3D virtual world." It's very easy to use and the graphics are pretty cool too. It kind of reminds me of the Nintendo Wii in some aspects. You can play mini golf, shoot pool, watch youtube videos, import your flickr photo album, etc. It might be an easier way for online students to hang out in a MUVE (multi user virtual environment) because there is no special software and getting around is quite easy. Plus, it might be cool to have office hours with your instructor over a game of pool or mini-golf. The gaming aspect of Small Worlds has great potential since the entire site is Flash based. Plus, they are opening up their API to flash developers so the games and widgets will probably be pretty cool; and if educators get a hold of it, I think they could develop some pretty neat educational materials as well. Go ahead and check it out and let us know what you think. My avatar's name is Ter Rock. I think a lot of research still needs to be done to discover what educational scenario's are most beneficial in the MUVE environment. What are your thoughts?