Sunday, July 11, 2010

What Educators Would Tell Philip Rosedale

VWER June 29 2010
Location: Virtual Worlds Roundtable

Two weeks ago, the Roundtable membership held a rather boisterous meeting, its topic " 'Dear Philip': what educators would tell Philip Linden, were he present."

Here are a few highlights.
  • Louise Later noted that SL is still not accessible to many with disabilities, and this should be addressed
  • AJ Brooks claimed that community has been weakened in recent years
  • Several participants felt that the firings of the Linden Lab staff working on educational projects and treatment of Jokay Wollengong sent a negative message about how the Lab values educational institutions and content
  • Others felt that the lack of out-of-world backup hinders growth because institutions expect redundancy for projects and many educators must provide backups to granting agencies
  • The consensus was that the number of educational institutions in SL cannot be determined. At the same time, several participants sensed a decline in the presence and interest of higher education in SL.
The meeting had a humorous end. A few participants noted that stability seemed improved in the time that Mark Kingdon served as CEO. Then we all got stuck on the sim at the end of the event and could not leave. This provided a Kafkaesque twist to our situation as educators in SL.

Readers with an interest can surf the entire transcript, including my top blowing into orbit over some remarks about educators and "the American way." It's worth a laugh, in any case, to see me lose my temper.

For even more on this topic, I highly recommend Prad Prathivi's "Business versus Fun: How Rosedale's Return Splits Second Life." This post generated many comments, including this final one (and one of the best): "We can experience malfunctioning grids elsewhere, for 1/4 the price."

Perhaps Philip Rosedale and the next CEO hired under his leadership will recognize this. Given the consensus I saw at the VWER meeting, for educators that prospect seems doubtful.

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