Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Show Me Shiomi

Another short post for you tonight, and another one strictly for Japanese Sim Collectors. This is the island of Shiomi, owned by Japanese v-learning company, SF3. I don't know whether "shiomi" is a genuine Japanese word or is, instead, a play on words, as in the title of this piece. That would certainly be appropriate for a v-learning centre. A bit of Googling does show "Shiomi" as a surname, and also there's a couple of stations by that name - one in Hokkaido, the other Tokyo - while Shiomi Dake is the name of a mountain in Honshu. Perhaps some kind soul from SF3 will tell me what it means!

The sim itself is split into 3 small islands, the largest of which is dominated by a large, shiny and rather well made learning demonstration centre. Despite its size it only has a ground and first floor. Each floor is divided so as to provide a large assembly hall, complete with streaming video (just a Nike ad at the moment), and 3 or more smaller rooms or seating areas. It is furnished largely with seating and tables from well-known Second Life designers, Scope Cleaver and Maximillian Milos. Of the remaining islands, one is largely bare, save for a few palm trees, while the second offers a more relaxed meeting area, with background music and open vistas. For the more adventurous there is a skydiving ride too. And that's about it.

Here are my snaps:

The layout does appear to be designed to allow groups of varying sizes to use the various meeting areas simultaneously without overlapping chat. It is nicely made, if unexciting. However, it does look like it would be capable of addressing its objective of providing a virtual learning environment. I could not determine, though, whether any v-learning sessions have already taken place, nor whether any are planned.

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