No Second Chance, Second Life!

Was at a talk at the Swedish embassy here in Berlin last night in which the developers presented the "Second House of Sweden", the Swedish Embassy in Second Life. The presentation was nice and slick. They have a blog about building the place, of course.

The teachers of Scandinavian Studies who were sitting around me were groaning - guess we have to go look at this, more work. But we first enjoyed the good wine and the nice finger food and the conversation with all the people currently working in E-Learning in Sweden and Norway who were attending the pricy Online-Educa.

Today I fired up Second Life for a demonstration. It crashed my machine before I could log in. Okay, maybe I had too many things running in parallel, like Parallels, on my Mac. I restarted the machine and then Second Life. I started to get my avatar to move, but the place she was in had so many new things that need rendered, it was just soooo slow. I tried to use the search button, and my machine froze.....

Okay, third time's the charm. Restarted the machine, restarted SecondLife, this time the search button works. Now, what was it called? Typed in "Second House of Sweden" and got all sorts of entries having to with, um, Sweden, I suppose, on a long shot. These are not the places I want popping up when demonstrating this in class.

We scrolled down to Sweden and Swedish, all sorts of places, but not what we were looking for. But finally we say it and "teleported" ourselves out.

The Linné gardens are lovely, but we wanted some action and decided to head for the building. Now the gardens are nicely laid out with curving sidewalks. Ever try and walk a curve in Second Life? You can only go forward, back, left, right, and turn. Walking a curve is a bitch. We just walked through trees and stones - and eventually a glass wall as well, and we were finally there.

Two guys were speaking Swedish with an official guide. We headed off towards the pictures. We were at an awkward angle for seeing, however, and had a hard time manovering around to see the picture head on. We clicked on a picture and got a nice card explaining in English and Swedish what the picture was about and who made it (Anders Zorn). But there was only a teeny tiny picture to see, no details available, no large version. I would expect a link into the Wikipedia or the national gallery with a larger photo or some such.

Tried another picture, turned out to be advertising for a nice blog. The guy at the desk was free, so we walked up and asked him, if there was some way to get a larger picture. He didn't understand what pictures we were talking about. So we tried to explain, but mid-sentence Second Life crashed AGAIN, taking the machine down again.

We had wanted to ask the way to the Raoul Wallenberg room, but one's patience does not hold up forever. No Second Chance for the Second House of Sweden in Second Life. It does not seem to be ready for prime time yet.

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