Archive for Imaginary Worlds

Using role-play to activate students’ imaginations

This is an interesting ‘how to’ on ways to get kids in the classroom fully immersed in the role they take on for a role-playing exercise.

Bringing the Classroom to Life with Role-Play
By Lenore Blank Kelner
Anything is possible with role-play. Don’t worry if you are not an actor—all you need are a few props and your imagination. Try changing your voice, pitch, pace, or accent. The more you or your students look and/or sound like someone else, the more exciting the role-play. Read More

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What are Virtual Worlds?

In the article ‘What are Virtual Worlds?’, Richard A. Bartle addresses the definition of virtual worlds and the sometimes confusing terminology and acronyms surrounding them. This article is excerpted from Designing Virtual Worlds by Richard A. Bartle.

Some terms and definitions that grabbed my attention –
1. Virtual worlds are places where the imaginary meets the real.
Real. That which is.
Imaginary. That which isn’t.
Virtual. That which isn’t, having the form or effect of that which is.

2. In this context, a world is an environment that its inhabitants regard as being self-contained. It doesn’t have to mean an entire planet: It’s used in the same sense as “the Roman world” or “the world of high finance.”

3. Most virtual worlds adhere to certain conventions that distinguish them from related non-real spaces such as chat, table top roleplaying games, first person shooters.

This is must read article for anyone wanting to understand what virtual worlds are.

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Some forms of Imaginary Worlds

Listed below are some forms of imaginary worlds that people engage with.

Virtual worlds
A definition by Richard Bartle – “A computer implements virtual worlds (or network of computers) that simulate an environment. Some—but not all— of the entities in this environment act under the direct control of individual people. Because several such people can affect the same environment simultaneously, the world is said to be shared or multi-user. The environment continues to exist and develop internally (at least to some degree) even when there are no people interacting with it; this means it is persistent.” More

A definition from Wikipedia, “A computer-based simulated environment intended for its users to inhabit and interact via avatars. This habitation usually is represented in the form of two or three-dimensional graphical representations of humanoids (or other graphical or text-based avatars).”

List of virtual worlds –

  • Active Worlds (For teens and adults), PC and Linux
  • Barbie Girls (For kids and teens), PC only
  • Club Penguin (For kids and teens), PC and Mac
  • Forterra Systems (For training applications), PC
  • Gaia Online (For teens and adults), PC and Mac
  • Habbo Hotel (For teens and adults), PC and Mac
  • Neopets (For kids and teens), PC and Mac
  • Second Life (For adults only), PC and Mac
  • The Sims Online (For teens and adults), PC only
  • Teen Second Life (For teens only), PC and Mac
  • There (For teens and adults), PC only
  • Whyville (For kids and teens), PC and Mac
  • Zwinktopia (Mainly for teens), PC and Mac

Role-playing
In roleplaying, participants adopt and act out the role of characters, or parts, that may have personalities, motivations, and backgrounds different from their own. Roleplaying is like being in an improvisational drama or free-form theatre, in which the participants are the actors who are playing parts, and the audience. More

Role-playing games
The only thing that separates an RPG from the act of role-playing is that an RPG occurs within the confines of a game structure with general rules put in place to produce a specific and expected experience. More

Role playing games can be single player or multiplayer. Multiplayer RPGs can be further categorized into live and not live. More

Some role-playing games –

  • Choose your own adventure
  • Dungeons and Dragons
  • Everquest
  • Assasin

Some traditional childrens games also involve simple forms of role-playing –

  • Cops and Robbers
  • Playing House
  • Teacher
  • Doctor

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