Chris Flesuras III is home from Japan for the holidays. While he is here, we took this opportunity to go to Linden Lab’s office in San Francisco to do a meet and greet of the initial group involved in the PacRimX project. Here’s Chris at our meeting at Linden Lab’s offices:
This meeting was set up by Claudia (if you are at all involved with education in SL, you know Claudia). During our visit we were introduced to Jean, she is officially (per her business card) a Community Manager. Her background is in international communications. A lot of her past and current research is in communications and interactions between people of different cultures in online virtual worlds. We had a great visit and discussed many things related to our PacRimX project, and where we might be going with this over the coming year. Jean is going to be a great resource for us, and we look forward to working with her.
We took four students involved in the project with us to this meeting. This was not a tour, there are no tours available of the Linden Lab offices. However, while us adults were still talking about the less exciting aspects of our project, Claudia arranged for the students to go back and meet Eric Call (Machinima Expert and Senior Artist at Linden Lab). A little later Chris and Rodney also got to go back and meet Eric. They all had a great visit and learned a lot from him. For those unfamiliar with his work, he produced the popular SL movie “Silver Bells and Golden Spurs“.
It’s always nice to know who is on the other side of the screen when launching a project like this. I thank Claudia and Jean for their time that they gave us for this visit. It has truly inspired the group, and after this visit we have three new members to the PacRimX crew (one new student liason and two teachers). Here’s a group shot in the Linen Lab lobby just before saying goodbye (and thank you):
That’s me on the far left with Jean and Claudia in front of me. Rodney Owen, Director of ROP (Modesto City Schools) is wearing glasses and is to the right of the Christmas Tree. Rodney has been instrumental in getting this project funded, and helping to lay the foundation for this project. To his right is Chris Flesuras III. To his right in the back row is Mary Jane Owen, Rodney’s wife and junior high school teacher. In the front row, far right, is Ann Flesuras (Chris III’s mom) who teaches high school business at both Modesto City Schools and in Turlock Unified School District. She is interested in this project, and several others that might fit well in the SL environment. The others, the students, will be introduced over the next few days in their blog entries and by their avatar names.
The one comment that was universal from those who attended was how nice everyone was at Linden Lab. We all took away a small treasure from our visit, a real life prim from Linden Lab. This little souvenir is a glowing cube with the SL motto printed on the face. The glow of the light cycles through several colors. On the way home last night we had several soft glows emminating from the back seats of the Yukon as we drove a car full of sleeping students home after a long day in San Francisco.
Keep an eye on this page over the next couple of days. I’ve added Chris to the administrators list for this blog. He will soon be contributing to this blog on a regular basis, as will several others in Japan that are involved with this project. They are all still waiting for their background checks to be completed, anxiously awaiting their chance to get on the island. All of the others, included the students, will also be posting blog entries in the next few days about their visit to Linden Lab, and their expectations for this project and SL.
It’s going to be a great new year as this project moves into full swing. For more pictures from this visit, check our Flickr page.