By Wesley Regenbogen
Avatars can actually work out in Second Life!
I recently found the “Avatar Fitness Club,” which was unexpected place to find in Second Life. Owned by Thynka Little, the place was created in September 2012 as part of the project of Cooperative Extension a non-formal community education network run by universities around the USA. (http:// www.extension.org). The place is located across the Reality Check Café. When visitors come from the pub across the street, they get the message with options on how to burn the consumed calories again. High-energy Internet radio stations play tunes in the club, though it is suggested residents turn it off before entering the Yoga room. In the lounge area where people can relax, it turns off automatically.
There’s a swimming pool as well and also a room where you can work out on many work out machines. At the entrance there’s a large trampoline ( or springboard ). You can’t look near it. There are seats when you enter the club as well.
The owners have two professionals who give programs at the club : Leia Kedem, a registered dietician from University of Illinois Extension, and Jason Jarred, an exercise physiologist from Australia. They motivate people to “work out” their avatar by giving L$ 1 every 20 minutes. In January they will together be offering a 4-week series of classes called Post-Holiday Shape Up. Registration information will be posted in the club later in December.
I later talked to Thynka Little. She said to me, ”Cooperative Extension in the USA is a nationwide network of universities offering research-based community education on various topics, such as: nutrition, agriculture, small business, youth development and personal finance. Their educational programs are delivered in traditional methods, such as workshops, publications, and broadcasts; and also new ways such as social media and virtual worlds.”
The place was developed by 3DFox Design. (http://www.3DFoxdesign.com). Readers can find more information through these channels : SL events calendar, Google calendar, club signage, group messaging, Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/avatarfitness ) and on YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO-WM3TwIMo ). Residents can also contact Luann Philips, by emailing the project manager firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personally, I like this fitness club very much, but I must admit I haven’t “worked out” there yet. The fact that this place is part of real life research, makes this project very interesting.
You can find the place at this location : http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Morrill3/208/94/24