I’m pleased to say we launched this ship today. It’s taken a long time to organise but thanks to a few interested people we had a stab at it.
It was a very different exercise than the small drama Anya Ixchel and I undertook at the last NMC Symposium.
We had 12 people to get the ball rolling and a vast variety of experience within Second Life and with Drama Education generally.
Some of the immediate challenges were that facilitating this sort of drama requires slowing things right down and pacing the activity. Unlike a drama that happens in a classroom this process is more distributed and much more challenging to track.
While I had anticipated certain aspects about the partial nature of things I hadn’t factored in a lot of other elements. I skipped over the introductions phase and sort of dumped people in role.
I had intended to assign roles much earlier but with an ever shifting cast it was proving tough, so I decided to assign roles when I knew for sure who was there. My original notion was that people would have plenty of time to consider the role and prepare their avatars – we got off to a rushed start tonight that unsettled everyone I think. I know I was a little rattled by it all.
Everyone was very gracious in discussion about offering their suggestions to streamline things – the introduction process was reclaimed at the end of the first in role session on the island.
The time factor for this is much greater than I’d originally allowed.
Other aspects were that while everyone was asked to explore the island and take their time to get to know the space and embedded materials, some people felt the need to leap straight into roleplaying. This seemed to increase the feeling of racing towards a conclusion rather than letting the scenario build and letting dramatic tensions arise.
Several of the participants were relative SL “noobs” and the experience was a little overwhelming – a common reaction when people first start to engage in large groups in SL.
Another phenomenon I noticed, and this also occurred in the MOO dramas I did several years ago – was that everyone was very keen to contribute to the chat but many were not taking the time to actually read what was being added by others. I will need to find more effective strategies for moderating this behaviour.
I had expected that the characters would wander individually and meet in pairs and threes to begin with – but it seemed they started to clump in groups very quickly.
While we didn’t really make a lot of headway with the drama scenario we did begin to identify many aspects that need to be managed in future attempts.
I won’t name names but special thanks to the avs who helped with transcribing my voice chat for those without audio – and the level headed observations that came from some of the more experienced AVs.
I hope to make several more attempts at this drama scenario and would like to invite you all to keep monitoring when sessions are happening and come and join in. Its all about learning for all of us – a bit scary at times when it all seems to be falling to bits and then refreshing when new insights arise.
I’ll keep posting to this group, Facebook and the inworld DEISL group about upcoming sessions.
Cheers everyone and a huge thank you to all those that made it to first session of the Drama of Lost City.