Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Explore It!

On Saturday, November 6th EXPLORE IT! launched at SBCC Explore It - La Playa, Sbcc Explore It (113, 46, 21). Explore It! is a site where Second Life residents can learn about career options in a variety of technical and service industries. The project is funded by a state grant from California, and is a project of Santa Barbara City College.

A lot of SL residents are working on the project, many of whom are combining this SL exhibit with their RL positions. The creative SL people behind Explore It! are: DB Bailey (David Denton in RL) - Architecture/Building, Keystone Bouchard (Jon Brouchard)- Building and model construction, Desdemona Enfield – Scripting, Douglas Story (Dennis Schaefer) - Writing, interactive gadget concepts, and voice-over, Hilda Diavlo (Nina Jensen) – website development, Zil Jewell (Liz Russotti) – Grant Director, LeaLea Llewellyn (Leana Bowman) Grant writer, Chrome Underwood- Cast avatar design, and Persia Bravin-Press and Promotion.

Although I’m happily employed here at SL Newser, I took advantage of a chance to get a sneak preview of the site a few days ago, and I liked what I saw. At the Welcome Station there’s an easy-to-read sim map. The site contains a multimedia studio, a hotel, an automotive showroom, a radio broadcasting platform, greenhouse, culinary arts building, and a Freebie store. The buildings are sleek and modern and surround a courtyard filled with lovely palm trees and fountains. In every station there are friendly greeters, too.

I didn’t have time to explore all of the options so I had to narrow my choices. Since I avoid all kitchens, virtual or real, I skipped the culinary arts. But I fancy myself a pretty good gardener so I put greenhouse on my list. I love traveling and staying at hotels so I decided to check out the options there, too.

At the greenhouse, the greeter told me to click on the teleporter to go to the sky box where I could learn about ways to earn some "green" from my greenthumb. A second later, I arrived at a location that had a nice variety of careers in this field. Each station has a set of slides that give a brief description of the job, the basic educational and skill requirements, and typical salary range. A "Day in the Life" video features RL people telling about what they actually do in their job. The stations I checked out had a couple of videos and links to get additional information. An interactive display is set up for each job, and some of them were a lot of fun.

The choices at the greenhouse were Nurseryman, Landscape Architect, and Agricultural Scientist. The interactive display at the Landscape Architect rezzed a plot of land when touched. Soon there was a stream running through the plot, a bulldozer creating dust bunnies, and trees growing on the hillside. Clearly I have what it takes to be a Landscape Architect!

Next I decided to check out the hotel. The Greeter invited me to go directly to their hotel career stations. I was immediately transported to a replica of the posh Double Tree Resort Lobby in Santa Barbara. There were 3 career choices here: Event Planner, Front Desk Clerk, and General Manager.

I like events, so I started there. The informational slides are set up the same as at the greenhouse, which makes it easy to compare careers. The salary for Event Planner wasn't as high as some of the landscape positions, but it sounded like a lot more fun. Travel to luxurious hotels and interesting places. Meet people from all over the world. This sounded a lot like SL to me. I may have found a new career!

Explore It! is a great way to use SL to educate, inform and entertain. The information was easy to find, up-to-date and accurate. The RL videos were especially useful. For anyone considering a new career, it’s a site worth visiting.

Grey Lupindo

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