Attendees at the 4th Second Life Views sitting around a table with Lindens discussing the future of SL
I had the privilege last week of attending the 4th Second Life Views program at Linden Lab. While you will have to look to the official SL site for any notes from the discussions, I wanted to post a few observations here on the event.
This was my third visit to Linden Lab, and by far my longest visit. I met a fair number of Lindens on this trip, many more than ever before. It’s always nice to put a face to the name. My boys were happy to see a picture of Blue in RL, a Linden that they have recognized on the Teen Grid since they started up their accounts there.
I also got to meet Philip Rosedale, who came and talked with the group for about an hour. He has a vision of the future of Second Life, and that vision permeates the organization. The thing that always amazes me about the people who work at Linden Lab is how into their jobs they are, how open they are and how they want to share with you the exciting things they are working on (of which I cannot mention here). This is a great bunch of very passionate people who believe deeply that they are working towards something meaningful and important.
The group of thirteen attendees was about as eclectic a group as you could ever imagine. I can’t name names, but they came from all walks of Second Life. The thing that really impressed me was that there were two teens in attendance at this SL Views event. One runs a business on the Teen Grid, while the other works for a non-profit and dabbles in other things on that grid. I actually saw mention of his name in the past week online, and he was mentioned as one of the few “adults” on the Teen Grid. These two students impressed me with their maturity, their knowledge of Second Life, and their ability to blend into this setting with the rest of us. I kept having to remind myself that they were students.
At PacRimX we have always looked to the students for their input on the design of the islands. When I was tasked with making the video for the CoSN K12 International Symposium, it was the students that helped me to pull it together on such short notice. I am so happy to see that Linden Lab also places value on the input of students.
The Second Life platform (and other MMO’s) really level the playing field. Students can take active roles in the running of these worlds, they can have intelligent conversations with adults, and they can make a name for themselves and their endeavors without the usual barriers to entry that they face in RL. They are not locked out, looked down upon, or dismissed as only being “kids”. SL is a powerful enabler for these students to make a difference, gain leadership experience, run a small business, or make a difference in the real world by working with a charity.
I thank Linden Lab for the opportunity to participate in this project, and I hope that others in the education community get the opportunity to participate in future SL Views (both adults and students).