QotW10: Wanna Play for Credits?

Are games simply forms of entertainment, or can they be much more?

As fair warning, I had you guys start early since this will take a while. Here’s the Question of the Week (QotW), which is more like a series of tasks:

  1. Haven’t already done so? Register an account with Second Life
  2. Get familiar with Second Life (SL) via our computer labs, or via the downloadable client for your laptop (Mac/Windows).
  3. Complete the Orientation Island to understand the controls for Second Life.
  4. Add yourself to our SL group: At the lower menu, click on Search > Groups tab > enter “COM125” and join in.
  5. Personalize your avatar as much as possible by editing appearance and finding clothes you like. Search via in-world for “freebies” (there are tons of freebie places), or check out this neat SL shopping blog (freebies category). If you have real money to burn into Linden dollars, check out Wired: Second Life Must-Have Stuff.
  6. Go sightseeing in Second Life, preferably together with your classmate. (e.g. Look for web-based guides such as SLSingapore.com, Wired’s Travel Guide to Second Life or NMC’s SL Tips & Tricks).
  7. Take screenshots of your avatar at your most favorite place in Second Life.
  8. Blog about it under the title “QotW10:_____”
  9. First, publish your screenshots and write captions under them.
  10. Second, write about your avatar (SL name, likeness to your real-self, by gender, clothing, etc)
  11. Third, write about the place you’ve chosen (Explore! Don’t be lame and pick something common).
  12. Optional: Use the built-in SLurl generator to share a direct teleport link to that location.

Bonus Mission #2 (worth 3 extra credits)

  1. Based on the readings below, argue: Why is Second Life not a game?
  2. Support your argument by giving an example of how virtual worlds, such as Second Life, could be used beyond mere entertainment (plenty of real-world examples if you look hard enough).
  3. Make a concise argument in 500 words or more (proper written English), supported with at least two APA-style citations.
  4. Start the title of your blog post as “Bonus Mission #2: _____”
  5. Drop a comment here with a permalink to your blog post.

8th April, Sunday, 9am (special time!)
Warning: Late work will not be graded

Why should we take games seriously?
World of Warcraft: Is It a Game?
Virtually dead in Iraq

A Rape in Cyberspace
Synthetic statehood and the right to assemble
Second Life: CopyBot causes widespread protests…
Video: Building a Flying-V Guitar in Second Life (by Ivan and Kevin)

Unreal Estate and Virtual Capitalisms
The Unreal Estate Boom
Pitfalls of Virtual Property (PDF)
Video: Chinese Gold Farmers in MMORPGs (Ge Jin, PhD candidate @ UCSD)
Ogre to Slay? Outsource It to Chinese

Anda’s Game (short story)


204 Responses to QotW10: Wanna Play for Credits?

  1. Roshni Rawla says:

    I went to the second life site, made my avatar..but just cannot enter the code to go to the next level…its not accepting anything. Anything that i should be doing? do i need to space or bold? tried everything!!

  2. Roshni Rawla says:

    kevin please help!!! 🙂

  3. jiayi says:

    what if both the computer lab and my home computer is super laggy and really hard to actually expore around the second life???

  4. Roshni Rawla says:

    oops sorry…got it done!! thanks

  5. Kenny says:

    Ya i find SL pretty laggy even with my uber connection.

  6. theory says:

    Lag is a constant problem, especially in our region. An alternative way to improve the speed is to switch to a smaller screen size… that’ll lighten the load on your computer’s processor.

  7. Alvin says:

    Yes, Kevin is right.

    Alternatively, you can go into “Preferences” and reduce the “Draw distance” to like 64m. Play around with the settings, it might work for you that way. 🙂

  8. Roshni Rawla says:


    heres part one of the assignment.
    bonus mission coming up soon.
    Second Life was good fun!!

  9. Roshni Rawla says:


    heres part one of the assignment
    Second life was great fun
    bonus mission will be coming up soon
    thanks 🙂

  10. Carol Liu says:


    Here’s part one! It was interesting trying things out there, and I’ve already made friends through it! 🙂


  11. Maria Paul says:

    kevin can we do one of the assignments?

  12. Maria Paul says:

    thanks for the reply kevin

  13. theory says:

    Yes Maria, you can just do the Bonus Assignment as an alternative to the main one. It’s a choice.

  14. Priyanka says:


    Only 10 blog assignments are taken for grading right? so technically we only need 10 right?

  15. theory says:

    Priyanka: Yes, I will pick the best ten. If you didn’t get full grades for previous assignments, you can do more just to make up for it.

  16. Nashrin says:

    For the last blog entry could we have a bonus mission as well pretty pretty pretty please!

  17. theory says:

    Nashrin: If you look at the Class Calendar, there’s only one week left after Gaming week. I will have one final assignment and one bonus assignment (which is the grand finale). You’ll see what I mean when the time comes…

  18. How do I know if I’ve gotten full marks for my 10 blog posts? There’ve been no comments or awards. THANKS!

  19. theory says:

    Sorry Felicia, I’m definitely not resting on my laurels. The blogs really take me a long time to grade and I’ve only finished grading the COM242 work so far. I’ll try to get this out asap, once I’m done with the remaining lesson plans and the final exam paper.

  20. Kevin, the Pitfalls of Virtual Property can’t be opened 😦

  21. theory says:

    Graceilla: Looks like the site recently went down. It’s too bad because it’s a popularly cited article. I suggest trying another day… sometimes it could be a technical issue with their web server they’re working on.

  22. Kevin, the program keeps crashing everytime I try to log into SecondLife. I can’t seem to go anywhere beyond that and can’t get anything done at all! What’s wrong? I key in my first and last name, and my password but it just keeps crashing.

  23. theory says:

    Samantha: We’ll try it in class on Thursday.

  24. Valerie Lam says:

    how how?! hahaha! you saw me get my mainland passport and stuff… but upon transporting, i lost everything… is there any other way that i can submit my blog entry?

  25. Catherine says:

    darn… registration is down. =(

  26. Yong En says:

    Hey kevin~I’ve done my bonus mission!! Shall do the 1st one as well if my laptop or the school com ain’t so lag~! But here’s the bonus mission first~


  27. Kevin says:

    This could have been a really fun assignment, but there’s something wrong with the network at SIM. We can’t teleport or meetup in there to explore. 😦

    For those of you who have problems using Second Life in school, just try doing the bonus mission instead. For the main assignment, it will be enough if you do some of the tasks I’ve ask you to do (e.g. joining com125 group, snapping a pic of your personal avatar) and to explain how you felt about it. There are also tons of Youtube videos about Second Life (Search for it) which you can use to explain interesting aspects of SL.

  28. Pam says:


    my bonus mission first…


    still desperately trying to sign in to Second Life!!! argh… 😦

  29. jiayi says:

    here!!!!!both of my assignments


  30. Jerry Tan says:

    here’s this week’s assignment

  31. Yong En says:

    Okay…this is my question of the week assignment! Sorry if the pictures ain’t much, that’s the best I can do with all the laggyness. Anyway Kevin, please note that this is my second entry! I did the bonus mission as well..=D


  32. Jerry Tan says:

    here’s my bonus mission 2

  33. heres my link , ill give you the bonus mission as soon as i can finish it haha http://rekyjos.blogspot.com/2007/04/qotw10-my-holiday-in-second-life.html

  34. Jane Killick says:

    OH NO!! Kevin, i dont know why i cant seem to send the link here. But i’ve done my bonus mission #2.

  35. im done with the avatar thing!! ill fin my bonus question asap!

  36. I just posted, can’t seem to get through. Try again! Bonus Mission done!


  37. im done with bonus question too..

  38. Loo Monica says:

    Done at last!

    Kevin how do I get to Lioncity and SIM? When I go to the search I cannot see those.


    also I will do the second mission soon!

  39. Kenny says:

    wth why r my comments not appearing?

  40. Yepp says:

    Same here. My comments and links are not appearing too.

  41. Yepp says:

    Kevin: If my links don’t appear again, please kindly refer to my blog for details. Many thanks…

  42. wah suying says:

    my links cant showwwwww!

  43. wah suying says:

    okays, wordpress refuse to publish my links, but im done with both the bonus mission and the QotW10, so do check out my blog okay? sorry abt the links =S

  44. Amanda Kee says:

    Looks like I’m facing the same problems as the others. Please visit my blog since the links can’t be posted here.

  45. Catherine says:

    tried pastin the bonus mission link under my “website” for this comment

  46. Maria Paul says:

    same prob, my link for my bonus mission doesn’t show. so do visit my blog kevin

  47. Jonathan LEE says:

    nope still doesn’t show… bonus mission on blog.. together with this week’s QOTW

  48. Hailee says:

    Please visit my blog for the assignments.

  49. Please check my blog. Thanks

  50. Catherine says:

    my bonus mission is up n the link can’t be posted too. so do check please.

  51. Catherine says:

    bonus mission is up. link can’t be posted here. please check.

  52. Cheon Ee Lin says:

    I have sent the permalink for my bonus mission #2 twice but I did’nt see it appearing, so this is the third time I am sending it. Here it is:


    Hope it appears.

  53. Loo Nianci says:

    my bonus mission is up! Phew!

  54. Sabrina says:


    Blogspot doesn’t save my changes for my formatting today!!!! i’ve changed like 5 times and the changes are not reflected for my formatting!!!

  55. julius ethan says:


  56. Mihiri Salpitikorala says:

    man!!!! m going crazy with all these assingment submissions on monday.. help!!!!


  57. Mihiri Salpitikorala says:

    dammit….. y doesnt it show….?? please check blog kevin… thx

  58. Adnan Sheikh says:

    Both assignments done. Couldnt get the links up.

  59. Graham says:

    Here’s my bonus mission. Couldn’t get the QotW done ‘cos I can’t work Second Life at home.


  60. i did not do bonus mission #01. but i did bonus mission #02.

  61. i did not do bonus mission #01 but i did #02. here we go.

  62. didn’t do bonus mission #01 but attempted #02.

  63. my bonus mission!!! 😀 Hope you can cope with it, Kevin!!!


    p.s. WoW rocksssssss 😛

  64. Is it because Indo’s laggy internet that I couldn’t send my link??

  65. Arghhh…!! Okay.. Kevin, I’m done. Couldn’t send the link. sorry. 😦

  66. Carol Liu says:

    Here’s my bonus mission. Didn’t see it on the comments, so resubmitting just in case.


  67. Carol Liu says:

    Hi, can’t post my link up for my bonus mission here. Please check. This is my third time posting a comment. Thanks.


  68. Carol Liu says:

    Please check my blog for the bonus mission, because I can’t post the link here. Thanks.

  69. Couldn’t get my SL character created. Did the bonus mission instead. Here’s the link


  70. siti zawiyah says:

    …i posted my bonus mission #2 twice here but they dont show…wat’s up?

    Anyways, please check my blog…coz i did the bonus mission too! thanks a million!

  71. Ximin says:

    aww, not again…

  72. Nashrin says:

    okay… i posted the permalinks… not appearing yet… so yea, its there in my blog.

  73. faithyy says:

    done. www faithyycom125.blogspot.com

  74. didn’t do bonus mission #1 but did #2.

  75. didn’t do #1 but #2’s done.

  76. Hans A Yamin says:

    Here’s my Bonus Mission #2. Sorry man, can’t really play the game with so many things going on. The fact that my computer is a bloody dinosaur didn’t help either.


  77. Hans A Yamin says:

    Here’s my Bonus Mission #2. Sorry man, can’t really play the game properly with so many things going on. The fact that my computer is a bloody dinosaur didn’t help either.


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