Back in September 2007, I installed my first OpenSim instance, and my kids - and their nieces - have been experimenting with it on and off ever since. With the release of OpenSim 0.7, I decided to upgrade my installation, and keep it online for a while. Frankly, it was the kids who triggered that: they asked me to start 'our Second Life' again because they wanted to play.
And playing they did! For the past two days, they have been hard at work on a new camping site - probably inspired by the summer vacation season - and I am, once again, impressed with what they've made. It has everything: a reception, a terrace, shop, sanitary facilities and cabins to stay in. The cabins are decorated to each owners' taste, too.
What really amazed me, is the quality of work these kids deliver, without any training. Sure, last year I tought them the basics, such as creating shapes from prims, linking them and using textures, but once they understood how that worked, they pretty much did the rest themselves. Today I got them started on using scripts, and that is again giving them a whole new area to play with. The first really usable chairs are appearing here and there, and my daughter is working on a revolving door! Of course they didn't write these scripts, they downloaded them from wikis, blogs and such. But, I am eager to see whether they'll get an interest in scripting in general.
Obviously, these are kids. There's plenty room for improvement in their work; especially aligning prims is sometimes hard to do. Frankly they often aren't that concerned when prim alignment is a bit off; for their play purpose it's usually good enough. Although my daughter deleted her entire shop today, as she wasn't satisfied with it anymore due to the walls and floors being aligned improperly!
I have never really worked with sculpted prims, and I'm not sure those render well in OpenSim - I think they do but I'm not sure. But after scripts, sculpties is probably the next thing I'll point them to. I wouldn't be surprised if they become more proficient with them than I was!
Many of my OpenSim snapshots at Koinup feature work created by this next generation of virtual world users. Take a look! OpenSim @ Koinup