We got the answers to some important questions like - is 'Ball' the 51st state? How important are jars to education in virtual worlds? Is guinguette a made up word? Does Pathfinder own any shoes? What is VIBE? and... How many avatars does it take to crash a sim on Ignis Fatuus Grid?
First stop this week, a long overdue chat with Professor Stephen Gasior, who showed us around REDgrid, the OpenSim home of Ball State University.
Jessica.Pixel: right clicking my head made it show up, so we're good
Wizard Gynoid: We are now in Indiana
Lucy Afarensis: oh my
LuAnn.Phillips: sounds like Alice in wonderland dialogue
Wizard Gynoid: why is it calleld Ball State?Stephen Xootfly: It's named after the Ball Family who gave a lot of $ - ever heard of Ball Glass?
Jessica.Pixel: wait, the Ball family that gave a lot of money is the jar family? cause that's awesome, i love those jars.
Selby.Evans: My family canned with Ball jars. And made preserves.
REDgrid is small, sturdy and has several very different sims, featuring some beautiful and accurate reconstructions of the campus buildings, and we started out by the pixel version of Shafer Tower.
Stephen Xootfly: The grid and the original builds here are run by the IDIA lab. IDIA's work has been used for History Channel shows but, also they tend to partner with students and faculty for intersecting projects.
Serene.Jewell: It's really great that you opened up to the hypergrid. So many educational builds are hidden away where we can't see them.
When it comes to Educational grids and regions in OpenSim, it can get a bit confusing, between the all the names of the various institutions and projects. Stephen is busy here with REDgrid, which is part of IDIA, but he's also very much a part of VIBE. So how did he get started with teaching and virtual worlds?
Stephen Xootfly: I got my start teaching in Second Life at U of New Orleans. They used to have a big SL presence and many classes, and I'm a technophile. HG safari has visited my VIBE projects in the past, that's a collaborative working group with Clowey Greenwood, Max Chatnoir, and several others. I happened to come work for Ball State and got involved with IDIA Lab. REDgrid predates my being at BSU. IDIA lab is well equipped with lots of good computers. So they just set up one to be a dedicated Opensim server. Working with BSU IT to get it setup for hypergrid was difficult, but we have an outside line now. I've recently started a community here at BSU for using REDgrid. Very recent, but we've already had a class use it for a gender identity project, and I have a build I"m going to make this summer.