Graham Attwell Needs to Take a Closer Look at Second Life

Sean Fitzgerald, seanfitz, Dec 20, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Article responding to the criticisms of Second Life offered by Graham Attwell, not successfully, in my view, but makes up for it by linking to the Second Life Education Wiki where you'll find Real Virtuality in your Second Life and beyond, a paper on Second Life and education, the Second Life educators' forum ("users have posted a total of 154 articles"), graduate student colony, info on private islands (you need one if you are an educational institution - "Islands are priced at US$1,675 for 65,536 square meters (about 16 acres). Monthly land fees for maintenance are US$295"), a list of organizations on Second Life, a bunch of stuff I have to be logged in for (and I don't like that bit about 'valid payment info on file for your account'), and a list of websites about education and Second Life. The Fitzgerald article is housed in another wiki.


Fitzgerald links to a more detailed argument against the sceptics, The Second Life Doubters Club, this article posted on the apparently anonymous Pacific Rim Exchange blog, which "will chronicle the development of the Pacific Rim Exchange island in Teen Second Life," where 'Teen Second Life' is a parallel world where adults are barred (except, presumably, administrators and Second Life sanctioned educators). I don't like the tone of the article; the first line, in response to a Danah Boyd article: "Add another doubter to the pack, how many people can fit on this bandwagon?" Bandwagon? This is one of those articles that refers to Shirky by his full name and Boyd only by her first name. And who insists that critics must be "someone who has either not spent time in SL, or has had a bad experience and now wants to convince the world that SL has no value and no future." There's no actual discussion of Boyd's post, which is unfortunate.
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