Plato & Second Life — beta

Last semester I was asked by a philosophy professor here @ SEU if I could build what will be SEU’s first Sim Second Life.  Of course, I said “yes!”–after which time I decided to figure out how to build what was asked.  As it turns out he wanted a recreation of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave–from his work, The Republic.

I took the opportunity to dive headlong into SL — from sculpties to particles to LSL and invisible prims — and constructed what is now a working draft of a sim.  The main premise behind the Allegory of the Cave centers around the question of what life would be like if all we knew came from watching flat, 2-D shadows that were cast on the back wall of a Cave.  We, in fact, would be chained to our family members and would live life this way,  until one day we would escape our bonds and venture into the world outside.  We would of course return to tell our family members what life was really like, but of course…they wouldn’t believe us.  So, our version of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is an attempt to help students explore this concept by presenting them with a cave, and with the opportunity to experience this story for themselves.

The build isn’t complete since the educational content–including background materials and quizzing system still need to be installed–but the core of the simulation is functional.  To visit, go to this SLUrl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Teaching%203/85/206/23 .

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