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Does anyone still use Second Life?

Does anyone still use Second Life? The answer, according to a recent report (which is a bit of a pain to get, but free), is a strong yes. Not only is Second Life thriving, its citizens spend more hours each week in world than those in other multi-player online games. The hype around SL has been more subdued in educational conferences this year. Of course, with all new technology, it first needs to go through an insane hype cycle, be declared dead by a prominent theorist/writer, fade into obscurity (i.e. acknowledged by those who hyped it in the first place), and then quietly emerge as a viable tool.

3 Comments

  1. Geoff Cain wrote:

    You hit the nail on the head there. I have been at conferences promoting some work that John Miller and I had done and there was always some “expert” saying “I just don’t know about that Second Life” as if their lack of experience teaching in virtual worlds (or in non-virtual worlds) somehow qualified them to make a pronouncement. Fortunately time has been on our side. There are many other nursing programs, for instance, now using Second Life as a simulation and training environment.

    Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 8:44 pm | Permalink
  2. gsiemens wrote:

    Hi Geoff – I personally have had some difficulty getting hooked on SL. However, I see many educators using it…and now that the tone has gone from “it will change the world!” to “hey, this is really good for ____” I’m less negative on SL :) .

    Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 9:31 pm | Permalink
  3. It is likely that with emergence of stable grids running OpenSim that use of SL like Virtual Worldsin education will grow in a more natural way. Cost is now reasonable, < $75 per month for a reasonably well equipped 4-6 region mini grid totally under your own control. It is still a little rough around the edges, but getting better by the week and already supports most building and scripting features of SL. I have 3 kids age 9-13 and they quite enjoy terraforming, building and we are starting to explore simple object scripting. My greatest fear is that instead of using Virtual Worlds as free range places to explore things like mathematics, physics, social structures of simple community etc., Educorps will construct elaborate edugame structures designed to interface with “official” backend LMS systems. That seems to be an emerging trend, but starting to see more movement in the other direction, have to wait and see I guess.

    Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 11:43 pm | Permalink