Monday, October 26, 2009

Heritage Key...Are you Serious???

For my English class we are beginning to use a new virtual world called Heritage Key that specializes in education. It has a simulation of the Valley of Kings and King Tutankhamun's tomb. They're beginning the works of other places in the Valley of Kings and other places like the Stonehenge and many other historic and prehistoric areas throughout the world. Given that I love history, I was very excited to be able to explore some of the things that Heritage Key had to offer.

But I am HIGHLY disappointed in the performance of Heritage Key.

I sat down at my two month old Dell Inspiron notebook and began to go through the process to open my account with Heritage Key and the registration and picking the avatar went very smoothly. Then came downloading the software, I waited for nearly 20 minutes for the software to download and load. Once the software downloaded even more problems came.

When the screen for Heritage Key opened, I was prompted with a window that said that my graphics card did not fit the minimum requirement and I remember getting the same thing with Second Life so I figured that it wasn't a big deal. Apparently Heritage Key must have extremely different system requirements than Second Life because SL works pretty well on my computer. So I then began to walk around the visitor's center and the help area and I began to change my avatar's appearance to wear a blue T-shirt, a black jacket, and white pants (a less complex outfit than my avatar in SL). Apparently this didn't work out well. After I finished editing my avatar's appearance it wouldn't turn around and walk in that extremely awkward fashion. It would just float backwards with his arms out like he was on a crucifix. Then while he was floating backwards his jacket turned into a striped mess that looked like a zebra at a pride festival. So I figured that I would sign out and try again.


Well that still didn't work.

I signed back on with hopes that my experience with Heritage Key would be salvaged. But no, I was let down and problems persisted. My avatar still looked like a zebra in a gay pride parade and then his face began to turn gray. So I tried to ignore the odd pigment of my avatar and continue to walk awkwardly through the Heritage Key simulation. When I got to King Tutankhamun's Tomb, I wasn't very moved by it because it wasn't interactive at all. It was just me and my oddly pigmented avatar looking at a mural. I felt no emotion from it. I didn't feel as though I was really there. I felt like I was looking at a painting in a lackluster museum.

Clearly I'm not satisfied with this virtual world. This is such a disappointment to have one of the best content creators make such a sub-par simulation and virtual world. I don't know how I will be able to do any of my work for English in Heritage Key with all of these issues...

messed up_001


  1. I encountered the same system requirement issue when trying to load Heritage Key. However, once I saw the prompt I stopped trying to load it out of fear it would somehow mess up my computer.

    On the English 103 side of things.. Clarify who are the "best content creators."The phrasing assumes that the readers have previous knowledge about heritage key creation- I have none! Also, the word "best" is like a claim in my opinion and might need to be qualified. Maybe that's just my fear of the brick talking, but consider looking at that again.

    This entry made me have several laugh-out-loud moments and that's a good thing.

  2. I have some of the same ideas about Heritage Key, so I feel your pain. You definitely support your claim from your experiences as to why you are not impressed by Heritage Key.

    One thing to improve your your last paragraph you begin to rant a little bit and use "was" quite a bit. Try making some of those was more active verbs in that paragraph.

  3. This is very interesting to me, and we'll have to modify the assignment in this case!

    Rezzable needs our experiences in order to make their simulation work. If the "Saving Isis" project fails, we've all at least learned one important lesson that we can share with the creators of Heritage Key.

  4. I am sorry you have had so many problems with Heritage Key. I have not had hardly any problems. In one instance I looked "zeebra-ish" on someone else's screen but not on my screen. I hope Rezzable can fix this!