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DH Project Week 9

Fall 2019
HIST 496A/Lab: 3D/VR/AR/XR Technologies
This lab session will be mostly working on your own except for this first exercise in SecondLife. Choose a lab partner that you have not worked with before for this exercise. Ideally these would be two-person groups/pairings.
Exercise 1
1. Create a free character in SecondLife.
2. Consider the following questions as you develop your character:
• What sorts of decisions did you and your lab partner make in constructing a character?
• Did you discuss the race, gender, body type, etc. of your character choices? 3. Make sure to take a screen shot of your character.
4. Post your screen shot and write a 350-500 word post on KNIT.
• My character was female, but I didn’t get a chance to see if I could change the race. However, it did auto populate itself as a red headed white female. It assumes that every user wants to be portrayed as Caucasian male or female. As well as only two gender are only the only genders available, male and female. I did manage to change the type of character I had to a fantasy, elf like female with a pet chihuahua in a carrying bag. I chose a fantasy character since it would be harder to assume the gender and race of an elf character. But I noticed that the elf also only came in one shade of skin tone. My character also dons a black cat on her shoulder. And I also managed to wonder into a different region that introduced to me to half nude photos of men and women with “perfect” body types that were also Caucasian. What I didn’t understand that it had signs posted all the interior walls of a building that I wondered into, what looked like art gallery of models, stating nudity with a big red line across it. However, there was tons and tons of pictures on the wall of white males and females that were extremely revealing, sexually explicit, clothing and poses. Every model on those pictures looked pretty much the same, with the exception of different hair color. This game perpetuates the stereotype that only Caucasian men and women are only worth know, being, and being on model like scenarios. How did this game be acceptable for the public to play on an online platform without being completely against every activist group that stands to equal rights? I did notice, however, that you could play a different character of a different skin tone. If your chose a character that appeared black, then it would look very stereotypical, with an afro. I also noticed that the characters that were getting any type of attention from other characters were the ones who appeared to be white. If I had to choose between playing the game Second Life and the latest Sims, I would choose Sims, hands down, simply because Sims has a better approach to creation of your character and does create a bias towards Caucasian characters.
Exercise 2
1. Consider what might be the benefits and challenges of the various modes and project types below for digital history based scholarship.
2. Take a screen shot of at least one (or more) of the projects you’ve examined.
3. Post your screen shot and write a 250-300 word post on KNIT.
• Many people would that digital history-based scholarship is a paradigm shift or a revolution, but it ultimately boils down to the responsibility that is owed to history to relay and create these projects in the most accurate way possible. The benefits and challenges of the various modes and project types for digital history-based scholarship really depends on you ask and what they entail. First you have to think about what it really means to have a digital project and a digital history-based scholarship. First, digital history projects, tend to be more of collection of resources and different materials based around a historiographical question or theory. As oppose to scholars who have access to records of the history on an exceptional scale, such as collections, letters and diaries, government documents, newspapers, and so on, all at their fingertips. Some challenges that come with digital history projects are fundamentally about the integration of teaching, research and how it reaches out to the public visually. However, some of the benefits are very similar to the cons, meaning, digital history, responsibly taught, researched and sought out, can be most beneficial in an academic setting. As long as the student can defer from what is more historically accurate versus what could be completely inaccurate. For example, in Isabella D’Este Archive, which demonstrates a strong sense of moral responsibility to its users of the digital archive by elaborating that their focus was make their website a place for “scholars, students, and generally curious visitors” to visually intake the information in front of them, that was gathered and assembled by a team of professional historians, studio artists of different technical and creative disciplines, as well as digital engineers.

Isabella D’Este Archive

The Virtual Studiolo

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