Well, so says the BBC. According to this article at the BBC News Magazine website, Second Life is on the way out: What happened to Second Life?
The author of the article, Lauren Hansen writes:
"Not long ago Second Life was everywhere, with businesses opening branches and bands playing gigs in this virtual world. Today you'd be forgiven for asking if it's still going."
Read the feedback section on the above page and it's clear that the News Magazine's readers have mixed views.
There is no mention of education in the article, but some of the contributors in the feedback section do mention the value of SL in teaching and learning. I wrote a comment to the BBC website in the feedback section, indicating how useful SL is in education, especially in language teaching and learning, but it has not been published - not yet anyway (23 November 2009). The BBC article is very biased and highlights the ignorance of the writer, Lauren Hansen, who is obviously interested only in the business aspects of SL and could not be bothered to do further research. Maybe she should take a look at Module 1.5, Section 14.2.1, which is all about language learning and teaching in SL. And I am sure she would be impressed by the EUROCALL/CALICO HQ in SL.
Apart from education, I wonder if Lauren Hansen is aware of the excellent work being done by organisations such as the American Cancer Society (ACS) in SL. The ACS holds regular support meetings for cancer patients, who can give voice to their anxieties in their anonymous avatar guises and seek the support and advice of other cancer patients. I was once invited to talk about my own experiences as a cancer patient to an ACS support meeting in SL at Hope Haven. It was a rewarding and very moving experience.
What do you think?
BTW, this topic is also being discussed in the EUROCALL/CALICO Virtual Worlds Ning, and it has featured in Twitter too.
Graham Davies (Groovy Winkler in SL)