English 216, Literature, Technology, and Society: Invented Worlds
Spring 2008, T/TH 3:45-5:00 Ryland 205
Dr. Joe Essid
Writing Center 9c 289-8935 or jessid@richmond.edu
Office Hours: M & TH 10-11 and by appointment

Class Schedule: Readings & Other Work

Week of Jan. 14:

T: about our course
TH: Krakauer, Into the Wild

Week of Jan. 21

T: Krakauer, Into the Wild
TH: How to read a film (Readings TBA): Herzog, dir. Grizzly Man

As soon as add/drop settles down, I will invite you to our Wikispace page (via your @richmond address--make sure you either check it or forward your mail). E-mail me if you do not get the invitation.

Week of Jan. 28

T: Herzog, dir., Grizzly Man

Make a copy or bookmark our list of literary, Second Life, and film terms in your writing.

Before class on Tuesday, set up your Wikispace page and e-mail me if you have trouble. You'll find a link from the main page to one I've set up under your name. Play a bit with the interface as you set up your page. Then you will want to see how I've structured my page, "Rust in Peace," and how I'm using discussion and images.

Begin regular reading of these blogs:

Wagner James Au's "New World Notes"
Joe Essid's "In a Strange Land"

TH: Introduction to Second Life & Virtual Reality. Read What is Second Life? and explore the links as well as Rolling Stone's "Inside Second Life: The Net's Virtual Paradise Heats Up"and
CyFishy Traveler's Absolute Newbie's Guide to Second Life.

Before class on Thursday, also set up your avatar and your avatar at the Second Life Join Page. You may skip the "join a community" step. Expect to spend about two hours getting your avatar ready. When you appear in-world, you may find someone with the words "Second Life Mentor" above his or her head; these are volunteers who can assist with the basics of movement, commnication, using objects, and so on. These mentors will not be about after you finish your orientation--though sometimes they will appear in-world at other spots.

Send me your avatar's name in an e-mail. I will then offer you friendship and, when you accept, send you some in-world money, a "newbie's suitcase" with goodies, and a landmark for a free-item and lost-cost-item shop so you can customize your avatars' appearance and gear.

Even though it can be hard to find an official Linden Lab mentor, the residents of the metaverse shown below have agreed to help students all semester; when you IM them, be sure you identify yourself as one of my students.

Cynthia Barley (German SLer--on in the mornings)

"The best quote is really the one from the T-Shirt Tenchi gave me 'Obey Kitty!' I didn't know I was obsessed with Hello Kitty before SL. Hello, my name is Cynthia, I'm almost 30 and obsessed with pink little kiddy stuff.
It's out! :D"

cynthia's head

Beeble Baxter (Richmonder)

"Pleased to meet you, won't you guess my name?"

"I may be digitally dizzy, but I'm fundamentally furry."

"Ground Control to Major Tom."

beeb's head

Milosun Czervik (a faculty member from VA Tech)

"Gaudeamus igitur, iuvenes dum sumus."

Milosun's head

Dianna Defiant (Richmonder)

"It's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!!"

So true for SL inventory!


Rev. Lucifer Lee Enoch

"If you think I'm going to hell, you should meet Pappy!
(just kidding)"

"Always ready with fervent fiery foaming from the big black book."

"Repent and celebrate your sensuality! The day of Digital Doom is upon us!"

Rev. Lucifer Lee

Pappy Enoch (a virtual hillbilly! The Rev's Cousin)

"We gonna pitch a wang-dang-doodle, all night long!"

"I hopes y'all am reddy if'n yu meets me, chirren. I gots sum free Shine tu share wif awl n' sundry in this-hear fake wirld whar I are stuk inside a Web-cornputin' mersheen."

Pappy's Head

Cecil Hirvi (Independent film-maker and Cyborg)

"Assimilation is not a dirty word."


Tenchi Morigi (German SLer--on in the mornings)

"Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law."

Original by Immanuel Kant and only too true for SL.

tenchi's head

Ignatius Onomatopoeia (that's me, folks)

"If you are not in a gorilla suit yet, you are not paying attention. "

"Oh, the humanity."

Iggy's head

Kyo Runo (England)

"I made this mace thingy for somone xD"

Kyo is learning to design clothes and items. They are not for sale but "tips are appreciated."


Kyo Runo

E-mail me and Amir Effat ASAP if you have difficulty. Amir can offer advice, and he and I will then set up mentoring times to meet your avatars in-world and will give you some free items to make SL more manageable. As a company volunteer, I can visit you on Orientation and Help Islands, where all avatars begin. Amir cannot but he'll help you find Richmond Island and can assist you there.

Week of Feb. 4

T: Thoreau, Walden

TH: Thoreau, Walden

Wikispace initial evaluation by me: I will assign a tentative grade based on what you have.

Week of Feb. 11

T: Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

Make a good faith attempt to contact, if not meet, your SL mentor in-world by the end of the week. IM them and visit a few locations (try Best of Second Life Blog for ideas) on your own including the region I assign to you. You will have a landmark for your assigned region from me by this point.

If your mentors are not online when you IM, they'll get it as e-mail. So will so, if they reply in kind. Write about what you accomplish (and where you need help) in your Wiki. My first entries (March & April 07) from the archive of "In a Strange Land" may help you.

TH: Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

Week of Feb. 18

T: Weir, dir. Mosquito Coast Project one due at Wikispace by start of class
TH: Weir, dir. Mosquito Coast

Week of Feb. 25

T: Johnson & Bird, dirs., World of Tomorrow
TH: Gibson, "Gernsback Continuum" and "Dogfight"

Week of March 3

T: Ballard, Concrete Island
TH: Ballard, Concrete Island

Spring Break:

Linden Gorillas

Begins after last class on Friday, March 7

Week of March 17

T :Stephenson, Snowcrash
TH: Midterm exam in class

Week of March 24

T:Stephenson, Snowcrash
TH :Stephenson, Snowcrash and E.M. Forster, "The Machine Stops"

Week of March 31

T: Wachowski, dir., The Matrix and "The Meatrix" (see why my wife and I gave up meat, except locally produced meats w/o antibiotics or growth hormones on Jan. 1 2008. Ready for a real-life red pill? Warning: those chicken-strips in D-Hall will become part of your past...)
TH: Class canceled while I am at the CCCC meeting. You should work on your Wiki project, especially the Second Life portion, during class time.

Week of April 7

T: Coover, Universal Baseball Association Project two due at Wikispace by start of class
TH: Coover, Universal Baseball Association

Week of April 14

T: Brooks, World War Z
TH: Brooks, World War Z

Week of April 21

T: Gilliam, dir. Brazil
TH: Gilliam, dir. Brazil

Week of April 28

M: April 28 last chance for any feedback from Amir and Matthew on your projects
F : May2
Final project due at Wikispace by noon. I will lock the Wiki at noon and no further editing will be permitted.

Final Exam: Monday April 28 2-5 (IDs only, no essay...should take you 2 hours)

Note: Second Life® and Linden Lab® are trademarks or registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc. All rights reserved. No infringement is intended.

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