Nonprofit Commons meeting and visionary projects

Just attended my first NonProfits Common Meeting in Second Life. They run an all chat meeting, which I find slow but I realize it saves bandwidth. 20-30 people in attendance most of the time.  Jon Bouchard and Chris Collins were featured presenters; great slide show, great work. I marveled over Bouchard’s work two years ago when I was building the Virtual Peace Garden in Second Life, and I am impressed that he has just kept his work growing and evolving–not all that surprising, though. Clearly a visionary guy.

What he does now, or what he talked about, is using Unity3D to convert builds in SL or Open Sim into browser accessible, still interactive, projects. Mentioned that the multiplayer dimension gets lost (the social media) but (ironically?) the project gets a lot more traffic because it is widely accessible.  Nice encapsulation of the challenges of 3D environments–their strengths contribute to some of their weaknesses.

I am dreaming of a couple of projects I’d love to work on:

  1. A virtual Duk Payuel. DP is a little village in southern Sudan.  It is very remote and will never have many visitors. I’d love to recreate it as is, keep such a project up to date as it grows, maybe even back date it to 2005–a blank slate–2007–clinic added, etc.
  2. A virtual Kakuma. Making a refugee camp like Kakuma visible / accessible might be an incredible learning experienced, connected to all sorts of other contextualizing information. Might be great advocacy work, too.

Building either in SL would be a dead end, unless made accessible via Browser.  The social experience is not crucial, or, the social dimension could happen somewhere other than in the virtual world.  Wow, I’d love to be able to work on these projects.


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