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MMORPGHS November 5, 2007

Posted by jmoran21 in Comics, Education, Games, Tech.

second lifeBack in middle school, one of my summer reading books was the autobiography of Ryan White. What I remember most (other than his mother buying him an issue of Playboy) is that at one point during his illness, the school district where he lived patched his home through to a closed-circuit TV system and a two way radio so that he would be given his legally-guaranteed free education, without exposing other children to the Aids virus. Weren’t the 80’s just so enlightened? Being a classic antisocial loner, I thought that this was one of the highlights of having a terminal communicable disease, and it stayed in my mind for a long time.

So this warped but alluring concept meets New Media in, where else, Second Life. While not a citizen myself, I do love hearing about the development and growth of the metaverse, preparing myself for the day when they eventually get a real interface and you can actually begin playing it without a reference manual on your lap. I am told that all kinds of universities, libraries, and the New Media Consortium itself all own or rent property where players can attend lectures and avail themselves of information with real life professionals. But as I previously intimated, this is great for the millions of people who play Second Life world-wide, not so much for the billions who don’t.

I myself have taken a few distance learning classes, but they don’t really feel like class. I have only felt one teacher made up for the lack of personal contact, and this she did by assigning tons of homework. There must be a better way, right? Imagine: a federally funded and maintained virtual environment, available to anyone as an alternative to traditional public education, complete with a fully recognized (grade school/high school) diploma. Specially designed terminals combine with a nationwide high bandwidth network enabling interactions on par with and exceeding anything done in multiplayer gaming today. There are no textbooks, no school lunches, no disruptive students dragging down the process. There is social interaction in common areas, completely absent of physical intimidation, social class discrimination, or personal danger. Just use your imagination and the possibilities for this type of system are endless. There are obvious challenges, but it’s definitely possible even within out current level of technology, if not our current level of technology awareness. Personally I’d be ecstatic if my grandkids had this kind of system available to them.



1. Andrew Przygocki - November 5, 2007

Hi there John look sick!

2. Crime and Punishment « Blue Tattoo - November 19, 2007

[…] talking about Second Life here. My own appreciation of Second Life has increased a bit since my last comment on the not-a-game, due mostly to a lecture I attended by The Tracer, a Second Life architect. So of […]

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