Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nothing Like A New Project To Lift One's Spirits



There is a lot of potential in the virtual reality called Second Life. This is the virtual building I'm looking to purchase in Second Life and use as "The Jubilee Center." The building will serve one purpose two ways. As you know, my life's work is to educate people about the realities of homelessness. And here I plan on doing that in Second Life as well. On the first floor of this building will be several shops from top Second Life Designers. Charging rent for these spaces at the current market rate, will pay for the rest of what I do here. The second floor of this building will be the educational center, where I, and others, will work to educate the public about real life homelessness, using displays and real time conferences and lectures. The building itself covers the equivalent of 100 Square Meters.

I chose the name of the place, "The Jubilee Center" to reflect the celebration of life, and the message of forgiveness, which is so vital to being able to enjoy life. Most homeless people have lost the ability to find joy in life, and so they must be helped and taught to see the good in life once again. And we all can help them return to a sense of celebration of life mostly by being forgiving towards them, and helping them to remember how to forgive - to forgive others, and themselves. Besides the retail and the learning center, there is enough room in the place to hold events, like dances, or band performances, etc, to help raise awareness of the center among the residents of Second Life. Everyone likes to party in Second Life.

Currently, there are two types of "sims" in Second Life. There is the full sim which is equal to 65000 square meters - and it can hold a lot of buildings and support a lot of activity. And there is a new sim they just released, called an "Open Space" sim. This sim is the same size in square meters, but supports only 1/3 of the buildings and activity of a full sim. But, where a full sim costs 1000 usd to buy and 295 usd a month to maintain, an Open Space sim is only 295 usd and 85 usd a month to maintain it. And for what I will need for the Jubilee Center, I believe that an Open Space sim will be enough. Yet if the popularity of center exceeds expectations, it can always be moved to a more powerful sim.

In the short time that I've been in Second Life, I have met two land holders who were interested in helping me with this project. And I've met with several Second Life designers who are willing to put stores into the mall.

I figure it will take me a month of work to make the education center part of the building complete. The designers would install their own stores on the first floor.

It would be great if I was able to purchase a sim of my own and not have to worry about a landlord. But if someone give me free access to land, I'll definitely take them up on it.

One person has offered an Open Sim to me for this project. All I would have to do is pay the monthly maintenance fee - called a 'Tier fee' in Second Life. That means I would need 85 dollars for the first month while I build. Once that first month is over, I'll have the first floor filled with shops - and the rent from those shops will take care of any future monthly tier payments.

And, the building itself, will cost the equivalent of 20 dollars. So, to make all this happen, and have a homeless education center in Second Life, the start up cost would be a minimum of 105 dollars.

If anyone, or group would like to help sponsor this project, I'll gladly accept your donation. And will promise you significant recognition for your help with this project.

Every 60 days over a million people log into Second Life. There is much potential there.

2 comments:

  1. I guess I am too old to comprehend. Why are people paying money for something that isn't real. Why not use the time and money in dealing with life in person. So much time seems to be spent in making a perfect life on the internet instead of learning from our mistakes in the day to day of real life, facing the actual people. I love the internet but its so easy to let it take up way too much time.

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  2. Oh, it's not an age thing - lots of "old" folks get into it. The internet, and all it's many offerings, is a tool to be used for whateve purpose you have in mind. Sure, from time to time all people use the internet as an escape - but don't we all need to escape from time to time? We already do that with TV and Movies - the internet is just a more interactive, involving, form of that. But, just as TV and Movies can also be a tool for education, and for enhancing our everyday lives, so too can the internet be that tool. And even more so.

    And that's my purpose for the Education Center on Homelessness in Second Life. It will be a place where people can go and learn about it. And that education will follow those people back into the real world, and effect real lives.

    Personally, the internet has been instrumental in helping me overcome my social anxieties, and to learn of my other issues so that I could over come them.

    In Second Life there are many real life educational institutions, universities, etc, set up with online classes that can only be accessed through Second Life. Some things are just better taught in the Second Life environment.

    And so it's all what you make of it. Like anything else, you get out of it, what you put into it.

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