Second Life as a Virtual Lab Environment

  • Dennis Maciuszek
  • Alke Martens
  • Ulrike Lucke
  • Raphael Zender
  • Thomas Keil
Part of the Integrated Series in Information Systems book series (ISIS, volume 33)


This chapter discusses the potential of using virtual worlds for inquiry-based teaching of science and engineering topics, particularly in the form of interactive experiments. It draws on experiences with a virtual lab for learning cognitive modelling and applied artificial intelligence (AI) in a university setting, realised within Linden Lab’s multi-user virtual environment Second Life (SL). The main observation was that the students, although experienced programmers, had a tough start in making use of the environment, particularly the Linden scripting language (LSL), which they experienced as cumbersome. Yet, in the end they put up with the difficulties and created an inventive AI-based game that exploited the physics engine of Second Life and the support for implementing agents in LSL. We conclude that virtual worlds are in fact useful for creating virtual lab environments, even though Second Life in particular is perceived as lacking ease of use.


Teacher Student Virtual World Script Language Artificial Intelligence Technique Second Life 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We owe great thanks to the students who participated in the experimental AI course, created the game levels detailed above, and took part in the evaluations: Arne Leitert and Christian Scheel (Level 1), Marian Nagorsnick and Martin Weitzel (Level 2), Thomas Keil and Michael Meitzner (Level 3) as well as Paul Boenisch and Thomas Podelleck (Level 4). Matthias Krause created the first project meeting environment, while Max Wieden implemented the alternative version of Level 4 in C++.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis Maciuszek
    • 1
  • Alke Martens
    • 1
  • Ulrike Lucke
    • 2
  • Raphael Zender
    • 2
  • Thomas Keil
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Mathematics and Computer ScienceUniversity of Education Schwäbisch GmündSchwäbisch GmündGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Computer ScienceUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  3. 3.Institute of PhysicsUniversity of RostockRostockGermany

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