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9 Jan

Predictions for 2009: Education and Personal Development


The majority of new virtual world launches in 2008 have been in the casual gaming space. We anticipate an emerging sub-sector in this demographic segment in 2009 for worlds based around education and development.

Although a common view shared when considering educational spaces is that kids/tweens are unwilling to participate/engage with learning themes, we disagree and feel this is a sector ripe for both success and growth.

Importantly, parental involvement with respect to encouraging and allowing kids/tweens to engage with educational worlds could also provide extra stimulus for take-up. In other words, VW’s focusing purely on gaming could potentially face tougher times competitively.

Continue reading →

3 Sep

Bantam Dell Books


Bantam Dell Books. The concept of communities in virtual worlds is one of the most compelling factors driving usage.

Communities exist in Second Life around many different subjects. One popular theme, particularly with new residents is virtual recreations of real places. The reason for the popularity and therefore generation of a category-specific community is based on having a sense of context and familiarity in a sometimes chaotic environment.

Music is another binding factor proving effective at growing a base of interest-driven individuals.

With the entrance of Bantam Dell Books into Second Life, the company is hoping to harvest their own communities – based around the different literally-themed aspects of the books they publish.

The project, designed by the claims to be the ‘ First North American Publisher To Enter the 3D Virtual World of Second Life ‘ – unlike sectors such as Automobiles and Technology, the publishing category has been slightly slower in adopting metaverse strategies.

So, what’s on offer?

Firstly, and unsurprisingly, the venue is a virtual bookshop, complete with tables and chairs, books (phew), and a coffee bar, in other words, an environment designed to create dwell time in-world.

Continue reading →

28 Jul

UK academia in Second Life

UK academia in Second Life. Not-for-profit professional IT services group Eduserv, has recently completed an evaluation of UK academic instiututions in Second Life.

The report (available here) is a ‘state of play’ evaluation of several colleges and universities present in Second Life.

8 May

Education gathers pace in the UK


Education gathers pace in the UK: Interesting article from the Guardian on UK academia and Second Life.

It’s a world of possibilities

4 May

SL academia no.3: Nova Southeastern


SL academia no.3: Nova Southeastern. NSU is a Florida-based University with over 25,000 students. American colleges have taken the lead in terms of having a presence in SL and this venue acts primarily as an information tool for potential students. The build quality is average, so probably done in house, but at least functionality has been considered.

Information for potential students can be obtained in the admissions area via hyperlinks back to their website as well as via downloadable brochures. Continue reading →

1 May

SL academia no.2: Sprott Shaw


SL acamedia no.2: Sprott Shaw: As first reporting by AK over on Rambling, Canadian private college Sprott Shaw joins the growing number of universities and colleges in Second Life.

The island build has been completed well and the venue has a nice campus/retreat feel to it. The island itself has been modelled on the real world, which is not always a great idea but in this instance it works well.

Encouragingly, Sprott Shaw has recognised the importance of integrating SL activity into other channels and supports the venue and initiaitive with a dedicated blog. Continue reading →

1 May

SL academia no.1: Insead


SL academia no.1: Insead. The international business school INSEAD launched their SL presence on March 20, 2007. The venue is part of a larger plan to integrate SL into their MBA, EMBA and Executive Education programmes. Here is their and a quote:

As an international business school with participants from around the world, INSEAD embraces innovative approaches to learning that will enable us to develop leaders who are prepared to operate in a constantly evolving global business environment, said Antonio Fatas, Dean of the MBA Program at INSEAD. We recognise the growing importance of the digital marketplace and want all of our participants to have the opportunity to experience it first-hand.

Really, considering the reputation of this school and its relationships with major brands (already in SL) it makes sense for them to use SL as a platform for students, potential students and of course employers.

What makes slightly less sense is the fact that half the island is still being developed (and therefore off limits), thus creating an unsatisfactory experience when visiting. Also, slightly too much emphasis has been placed on created a futuristic design. This is further supported by the display on show of the 3D rendering. Continue reading →

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