Virtual Worlds

Video available of Barry presenting at Second Life educators conference 

Barry Joseph's presentation at the Virtual Worlds - Best Practices in Education conference this March.

Eulogizing Teen Second Life over the open casket of his Teen Grid Avatar, GlobalKids Bixby will share his deep grief over the loss of Teen Second Life. Meanwhile, a surprise guest will celebrate the end of Linden Lab’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy” for teens and herald the new age of mixed-grid education in Second Life.

Teen Second Life is Dead; Long Life Mixed-Age Second Life 

Almost three years ago, residents of the youth-only Teen Second Life held a protest march, walking (and flying) en masse across all teen public lands. Their slogans and placards reflected demands which only make sense in the context of a virtual world: grid merger, which is to say, eliminate the teen grid by combining it with the adult-only main grid. Merge the economies. Merge the social space. Merge the properties. When Linden Lab, the producers of the virtual world Second Life, announced last Fall they would be closing Teen Second Life, they offered just that in return, a grid merger, in which older youth, their avatars and properties, would be transferred to the main grid.


Barry's main grid avatar standing with Terrence Linden on GK's TSL island, for the first time

I've already spoken about how disappointed I am at the closing of Teen Second Life, now that it occurred this past weekend. But what I'd like to do now is reflect on the potential, and perils, of the grid merger, written before it occurred.

Talking about Virtual Worlds for 2011 BAVC Producers Institute  

Producers Institute for New MediaLast Saturday, I had the honor of addressing an audience of about 150 documentary makers and new media experts at the Tribeca Film Center on the subject of virtual worlds and new forms of storytelling.  It was part of the awesome Producers Institute for New Media Technologies, a two-week long crash course for documentary filmmakers on integrating digital media and storytelling, organized by the nice folks at the Bay Area Video Coalition

This Saturday, January 8, I will be presenting at a conference on the intersection of documentary filmmaking and new media as part of the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies. Sponsored by the Bay Area Video Coalition, the Producers Institute brings together up-and-coming documentary filmmakers with specialists in digital media for a two-week intensive camp focused on developing next generation storytelling tools and products.

On January 8, there will be a public Conference Day held at Tribeca Cinemas featuring panel discussions and presentations on emerging tools and platforms that are changing the face of filmmaking and empowering social change movements around the world. I will be speaking in the afternoon on virtual worlds, along with an impressive panel talking about mobile tech, gaming, augmented reality, and many other cool tools for activists and documentarians.

For more details and to register to attend, see the BAVC website.

GKid Teengrid Transfer Open Forum (22)

Here is a report on the Youth Forum on the Teen Grid Merger that Global Kids held yesterday afternoon on Global Kids Island.  It was a fun and insightful conversation with twenty or so excited avatars, most of whom had never been involved in Global Kids programs before, as far as I could tell. 

Come to the Youth Forum on the Teen Grid Merger December 29 

The 3/14/07 teen panel talking about GK programs in SL in the past year

Global Kids invites all Teen Second Life residents to a Youth Forum on the Teen Grid Merger this Wednesday, December 29 from 3-4pm PST. It will take place on Global Kids island on the Teen Grid of Second Life at this teleport link.

Global Kids will be providing a safe and moderated space for teens to make their views known about the Teen Grid merger with the Main Grid, which is taking place in early January 2011.  If your teens can not come at that time, we will have drop boxes on site so they can leave notecards whenever they want. Or they can leave their comments in this post. 


1)if the environment changes rapidaly the speices will die out and eventully well die.

2)Hmans adapat to their environment by having a weapon .So in case if some one attacks you can protect yourself.

virtual mine launch today

Today at 5pm PST I am honored to be participating in the launch of a new educational game about sustainable energy called "Virtual Mine." 

The Virtual Mine is an innovative multi-player game inspired by the documentary "Deep Down" and built in the world’s most popular virtual world, Second Life, by developers at Sand Castle Studios. The Virtual Mine is a recreated town and power production system with a working mountaintop removal coal mine, power plant, and an emerging power crisis that players must solve through the game.  The project includes videos, an unfolding story, and curriculum for teachers to use in the classroom.

I will be speaking at the launch event along with Second Life journalist Bernhard Drax (Draxtor Depres), filmmakers Jen Gilomen (Girl Tenk) and Sally Rubin (Tracks Elcano), Wendy Levy of the Bay Area Video Coalition (Shayna Capalini), and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth's Beth Rosdatter (Frederica Lexenstar).

wbi_logo.pngGlobal Kids was honored to facilitate a strategy session at the World Bank Institute in DC on using virtual worlds for learning. Barry Joseph and I met with about 15 World Bank Institute staff to talk about the various educational applications of virtual worlds, from immersion and simulation to avatar creation and multimedia engagement.

The World Bank Institute can be considered the knowledge sharing and training arm of the World Bank. As we learned, the World Bank Institute has an impressive history of training development professionals, government officials, World Bank staff, NGOs, parliamentarians and business leaders on a range of subjects, from climate change to foreign language learning. While many of these trainings take place in person in seminars and workshops, the WBI has implemented a number of e-learning solutions already.