Friday, February 10, 2012

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How Kids Could Benefit From Using a Safe Version of SL

Second-life-custom-version-the-tech-museum

Dennis Shiao explains why his third grader loves to play Second Life. No, not Second Life online, but a non-online version of SL that Linden Lab developed years ago for the San Jose Tech museum, specifically for kids. Dennis argues this is a great age group to introduce SL to: "Third graders have reached an age where they’ve begun to assert some independence," he writes. "They pick out their own clothes in the morning, have clear opinions on what they like and dislike and have completely developed a sense of 'self.' Selecting an avatar and outfitting it with a tricked-up outfit feeds directly into this notion of 'self' and more importantly, self expression." Totally agreed. I think it'd be great if the Lindens marketed a somewhat upgraded version of the Tech Museum SL to schools -- since it was developed in 2004-2005 (I believe), the technical requirements are much less demanding than the current version, and I can see it becoming a great educational resource many elementary schools could use. Read more about it here.

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shockwave yareach

What a great idea. We can make a place where only kids can go - no adults allowed. And we can let them play together and build together and have nice safe clean fun without any threat of child pervs, and any pervs found will be reported to the cops.

And we can call it, the TEEN GRID!

Ciaran Laval

How old is third grade?

I agree with Shockwave on Teen SL, it was a very noble concept.

Graham Mills

How would this be better than OpenSim?

Hitomi Tiponi

In a way Teen Grid was aimed at kids that were too old - at that age you are a 'wannabe adult'. Pre-teens would get something very different out of SL, and they would accept the 'wow-factor' of creation and exploring a lot more readily.

Inuko Arashi

I get the point of an offline version - it'd be great to be able to use for a kids holiday program - we'd have kids flocking to it.

The problem NOW with merged grids is you have illegal teenagers age verifying themselves and getting jobs in SL which require an 18+ age range.

I'd know, i had someone come up to me with honesty and say they were 15 years of age. Legally i sell webhosting and shoutcast for SL, so this kid is far too young and under 18 means he's a legal risk for me.

So basically if SL is doing what they usually do, they'll have this online in six months waiting for people to let a savvy 5 year old log in and try and be an adult.

Mera

This already exists in OsGrid so there is no point in SL doing it...Kids from 10-12 have their own sims and community to play in and they are building really great stuff. Im impressed by them <3

Melponeme_k

Perversely, I really believe what children enjoy most is how avatar based games throws out age difference. A child will essentially look the same age as his/her parent in these worlds. They may even be better at coping and excelling in these worlds then the adults they know. Which leads to a greater sense of autonomy for them and knowledge that they can do well on their own.

Children so hate to be patronized by adults.

Dartagan Shepherd

Disney has a show called Suite Life on Deck, which features a Second Life parody 3d world called Better Life.

Caught an episode that showed how kids lost real world skills by becoming too immersed in Better Life. Using it as a substitute for real life interactions, etc.

http://betterlifegame.us/virtual-worlds/better-life-game-from-the-suite-life-on-deck/

To virtual worlds and young kids all I can say is "heh". Don't introduce that nonsense into their lives outside of the classroom, it takes everything they've got to learn how to cope in RL and learn real lessons about the real world, before they piss endless hours away on doodling with glorified legos.

At least Disney gets it.

Virtual worlds are no substitute for real life with kids, no matter how good or well intentioned. Their lives are too important, we adults can make better choices than they can, and moderate ourselves.

Pussycat Catnap

Lol @shockwave. :)

But actually, if we called if 'kids grid' and marketed it to 3rd graders rather than dealers, thugs and hoodlums, er teens... then it might be a good idea.

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