NMC Post workshop discussion
CDB Barkley, Anya Ixchel and Kim Pasternak discuss the drama.

On Saturday, Anya Ixchel (Angela Thomas) and Kim Pasternak (me, Kim Flintoff) presented our session at the New Media Consortium’s Symposium on Creativity in Second Life. We used aspects of Process Drama to develop a structure that can be used to explore issues and concerns through roleplay in the virtual world. The basic premise was that we located the story in the future - 2009. This was a time 2 years after several changes had been made to the governance of Second Life communities. Many existing (2007 reality) freedoms in Second Life were restricted or outlawed in the fictional future.

The material requirements for the drama were quite simple -Angela has some good pictures on her discussion of the event and JoKay Wollongong also. We used a mock up TV studio, a couple of sofas, a changeable backdrop screen (with international locations), a poster and a collection of role badges to help identify the general roles played by participants, and a Polling station.

We introduced the pretext material, randomly distributed role badges (Parent, Student, Admin, Teacher) and asked participants to group in their roles. Each group was asked to determine a representative who would appear on a TV debate. I played the TV host and Anya Ixchel was our roving “vox pop” reporter. The title of the debate on the TV was “Disneyland or Jurassic Park: What kind of Second Life do YOU want?”

The entire drama came and went very quickly - our 50 minute session was barely long enough to contain the interest and buzz that developed. Initial feedback after the session indicated that participants found the process engaging and effective.

Some nice photos from the event can be seen here.