Another Life: Virtual Worlds as Tools for Learning

By Jay Cross, Internet Time Group; Tony O’Driscoll, IBM; and Eilif Trondsen, SRI-Business Intelligence

Are virtual worlds a breakthrough technology that will forever reshape learning and business? Or are they this season’s over-hyped fad?

You’d have to try very hard to avoid exposure to the virtual world phenomenon in America these days. From “South Park’s” hilarious episode on “World of Warcraft” (the world’s largest MMORG, or Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) to Business Week’s cover article in April, and with coverage on “Good Morning America,” “CBS Sunday Morning” and countless other shows, virtual worlds appear to be the new-new thing.

Second Life (SL) is the poster child for virtual worlds (VWs), those computer-generated mass hallucinations where people fly and perform magic, companies build artificial buildings and islands, and public relations firms spend boatloads of money making virtual splashes on behalf of clients with deep pockets. Tens of thousands of people are “in” Second Life at any given time. More than three million people have registered, and SL reports 1.6 million residents have checked in during the last 30 days.

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Fuente: [elearn magazine]

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