Premise and Purpose
The premise of “Step 9: Reward” in the Hero’s Journey is that the notion of reward is more than materialism and immediate gratification. The purpose of illustrating this point is to show students that drive, reward and mastery are one. They determine the success of each and every individual hero along their journey.
Audience and Market
The audience and market for Peninsula College’s SecondLife portrayal of the hero’s journey are their multimedia communications students. This is marketed as a tool of discovery along the path to success that provides tangible results for learning opportunities.
Medium, Platform, and Genre
SecondLife is the chosen medium for this project because it’s a fully immersive experience. The platform is a lightweight viewer for both Apple and Windows operating systems with solid building capabilities. The genre of the virtual reality map being created by students is educational, creative and entertaining which invites students to fully engage with the program.
Narrative and Gaming Elements
The narrative of this virtual space is guided by each step of the storytelling formula. From beginning to end student’s avatars are encouraged to explore this user created world that carries the lessons of the storytelling process. People learn more from story driven experiences and interactive 3D objects along the path are provided to offer a more immersive experience. While it looks and feels like a game, it is in fact an extremely powerful communication tool.
User’s Role and Point of View (POV)
The users are students and educators whose role is to travel along and create a path of discovery using an avatar. This journey is seen through the eyes of the hero.
The characters along this path are the hero (student) and the mentor (teacher.) An apple is offered along the path as a symbol of knowledge.
Structure and Interface
The trail can be viewed in 1st person and 3rd person perspective using the scroll wheel on a mouse to zoom the camera and arrows to pan. The structure is a 3D trail in a forest with interactive objects and signs to guide users along the way.
Story world and Sub-settings
There are locations, objects and themes in the map that display the duality of this technology. Parts are very much based on real world aspects of Peninsula College and other various scattered Easter eggs relating to real world knowledge along the path. Others are complete adventure and fantasy to add to the immersive experience through the use of various visual aids.
Users are invited to engage with every step of the hero’s journey for a more in depth analysis of the storytelling process while creating and interacting with a virtual world that behaves more like a modern MMOG (Massive Multiplayer Online Game) which makes learning fun.
Overall Look and Sound
The overall atmosphere of this space incorporates elements of Northwest forestry, ancient ruins and colorful creativity. It is informal while remaining informational. The campfire offers an area to meet in a laid back environment to discuss ideas.
Interactive Scavenger Hunt
Along the path there are Easter eggs. Some objects are hidden and others are in plain sight. They are objects placed along the path that offer knowledge relating to the journey. Some objects are interactive such as videos and hidden documents and others are to observe like signs.
Marketing of The Hero’s Journey
The hero’s journey is as old as time. It’s been infinitely re-imagined and marketed for various purposes. This map is marketed specifically to multimedia communication students but more broadly toward the pursuit of knowledge.