Back in July ,2007, I posted an entry about an educational sim that had brought Dante's Inferno into Second Life. Not long after, it disappeared and I thought: "ho hum, well that's that then." However, while off exploring today I noticed it is back. Now, it may have been back for ages, but as this is a welcome return, I thought it worth blogging about. Rather than forming part of the large NMC cluster of sims, it is now proudly on it own as the Dante's Inferno sim.
It is very much like the earlier incarnation - but rather than describe it myself, I will be lazy and quote one of the many, many notecards at you, instead:
This exhibit is meant to engage all of your senses... On each level, there are activities where guests are asked to contribute content...When I last saw it, students had already been contributing their own ideas as to the denizens of the various levels. However, at the moment this amusing and potentially thought-provoking aspect of the sim is missing. I didn't see any Lindsay Lohans or Adolf Hitlers! The notecard quoted above is right though. There is a lot to learn here, and many activities that should keep the Infernally Minded busy for a while. Here's a small selection of images to give you a taste:
Please explore all the circles of Hell. You will find notecards, activities, displays and as the course develops student generated content too. If you reach the centre you will also find details about the "Build Lucifer" contest we are running, with a L$10,000 prize. You are welcome to just walk down each level, the fall here will not hurt, but you may also catch the flying gondola ride down a level at a time if you wish.
On each level you will find rocks which offer you a chance to chat to Virgil and Dante. The conversations that result may seem to ramble, but the points they raise ask you about features of the circle that you are on, and give you hints about further learning you may wish to explore. Alternatively, they can be used just for fun!
Gloria Naylor used the concept of the Inferno to frame her modern African-American novel, Linden Hills.
The novel, and the Inferno, celebrate the results of life choices. Linden Hills focuses on the choices of modern blacks in their quest to reach "equality" and urges that "equality" is in the heart and not the pocketbook. Likewise, Dante's tour illustrates that life is a series of choices about virtue.
Unlike Dante and Virgil, once you reach the centre of Hell, you can step through the wall to enter student displays about Linden Hills. This will help you understand the book, and help you and the students understand the links between the structure of the two novels.
Dante's Inferno and The Linden Hills Classroom are property of Literature Alive! in Second Life Credits: Eloise Pastuer, Design and Content Creation, Desideria Stockton, Academic Content Designer, Daliah Carter, Assistant.
PS: I left the reference to The Gluttonous as a warning to self!