Saturday, October 9, 2010

A threat to the Virtual Birth Unit?

The owners of Second Life have just announced that they are no longer allowing educators and non-profit organisations to buy land in SL at a discount. This has caused considerable discussion and consternation because of the implication for funding ie the cost of projects in SL is going to increase considerably and may become too expensive for educators and non-profits to continue.

This may have direct implications for the Virtual Birth Unit. At the moment it is being hosted by one of the educational institutions in New Zealand until August 2011. After that, I suspect it will be closed down because of a lack of adequate funding.

I have a midwifery education research project in the wings that I have just started work now I am wondering if it is worth continuing with it. It will certainly need to be wrapped up by August next year.

In the meantime, I invite anyone who is going to continue keeping land in SL to copy the birth unit for their own use, because I do not know if it will be available in the future.


Ray Tolley said...

Hi, Sarah,

Here a snippet of a reply on this subject:

"Linden Labs has a long history of not listening to the education communityt.

Most unis and schools will now either scale back or migrate their content to Open Sim (free) or other Virtual World service providers.

It's a pity because the biggest eduction community is in Second Life."

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Ray

I am not an expert in this...I dip in and out of SL only when I have a specific project to work on. But the people I know who are educators who use virtual worlds a lot are talking more and more about moving to OpenSim (in fact, thats what my next post is about).

For those who do not know, OpenSim is free but has not had the quality of SL. However, as more and more SL 'experts' move into OpenSim and work there, it will become more stable with better graphics etc.

Having a look at OpenSim is on my list of 'to dos' in the next few weeks :) Have you been into OpenSim? If so, what do you think of it?