JMU to Host Virtual Fashion Show

Lindsay -- December 1st, 2009

JMU Wilson Hall Second Life CampusJMU’s recently publicized virtual campus, launched in the online virtual world of Second Life, is hosting a virtual fashion show and open house “in an effort to introduce local and global community members to JMU’s virtual campus.”  The show will start at 4:00pm on Friday, December 4th Thursday, December 3rd, in Second Life.

Fashion shows are nothing new to Second Life, however this will be a first for the University and, according to JMU, a first for the Valley as well.

From the JMU press release:

JMU’s Second Life campus allows students and faculty to interact with one another and members of the global community without the constraints of physical location. Many universities throughout the world, including Harvard and Princeton, are using Second Life for educational purposes.

In an effort to introduce local and global community members to JMU’s virtual campus, its members will hold an open house, with a virtual fashion show as its premiere event. Avatars of JMU faculty, staff and students will model clothing in the traditional catwalk fashion, using a runway created by JMU staff member Jeremy Hawkins, assistant director of the Festival Conference and Student Center. Attendees can then “buy” the clothes the models are wearing for free, although clothing in Second Life often brings real currency.

Note:  If attending as a Second Life “noob” or “newbie”, you will need to create a free acount, download the program, have a graphics card and bandwidth that can handle the load, and allow for a significant time investment learning to navigate.

6 Responses to “JMU to Host Virtual Fashion Show”

  1. Jeremy Aldrich says:

    It’s a really neat area they’ve built, with several interesting exhibits. Do we know what the purpose of the project is?

  2. While I’m one of the people who does not see a problem with Second Life (as some others see it as a portal to anti-social behavior), I do wonder exactly why JMU felt the need to invest the time and money into such a project.

    I am also curious about the purpose of this project.

  3. Jeremy Hawkins says:


    The virtual JMU campus has been a pretty amazing collaborative effort, with a number of different departments, both academic and student affairs related, investigating the possibilities of Second Life and virtual environments of its kind.

    For my part, coming from University Unions, I’m interested in seeing if this kind of virtual world can provide a viable and thriving community for distance learning students who might not have the opportunity to actually step foot on the real campus. There has been quite a bit of research done on how the academic process is enhanced and more effective when students feel they belong to a larger community and are able to develop bonds and build peer relationships outside of the classroom. It’s an opportunity not readily available to those students taking courses only online.

    There are dozens of other projects currently being considered or developed for the virtual campus. For instance, there was a Museums Studies class that was held this past summer that used SL as a way to actually construct virtual art exhibits and exhibit spaces, something they would have never been able to do in real life because of lack of space and resources. It allowed them to virtually populate the exhibit with digital renditions of real artwork and then walk through the space with the entire class to see what worked and what didn’t.

    For visual and experiential learners, using this tool in the classroom seems like a no-brainer. Though, like any new approach and medium, it’s going to need to be assessed and evaluated. But maybe more students will put in extra hours studying if part of their coursework looks and feels like a video game… :)

  4. Jeremy Hawkins says:


    As far as the investment of time and money is concerned, the work on the JMU campus up to this point has been voluntary. What you see in world is the result of staying after work, giving up lunch hours, and getting together on weekends. And Linden Labs gives great educational discounts on server space.

  5. megan says:

    Phil! Where have you been?

  6. Been off getting an edumacation at EMU and working :)

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