Introducing Virtual Worlds

by | Mar 27, 2009 | Articles

Have you experienced a second life? Increasingly people have, and for learning purposes. Mystified by what it means. Thanks to Saffron Interactive you can read a short paper by Clive Shepherd which demystifies virtual worlds and their role in learning. 

This is an excellent starting point to put into context work in the military, retail stores and in the health sector.

Clive highlights some of the reasons for virtual worlds; serious business reasons for investing. He explains learners can practice safely without harm to others, explore hazardous environments without real risk, organisations make possible what was impractical. Given that mistakes provide us with our most powerful learning experiences what better place to make a mistake than in a virtual world. 

New technologies inevitable have a hurdle in adoption and our research shows 8% of organisations are using virtual worlds; with another 18% considering their use. What is the best way of explaining virtual worlds to business leaders, what is the best way of explaining their benefit to learners, their benefit to business? For the 92% of organisations not using Virtual Worlds this is a good place to start.

This paper introduces the concept of virtual worlds in a language that is straightforward to understand. It explains virtual worlds are an extension both of games and the new collaborative nature of Web 2.0. It describes the advantages of simulations and identifies the difference between simulations and virtual worlds; put simply one player or many players.

The paper finishes with a comment about Second Life, perhaps the most well know example of a virtual world.. “Residents can explore their world, meet other residents, socialise, participate in individual and group activities, create and trade items and services from one another. In the process, they could learn something.”. By reading the paper you might learn something!

For something more serious read about the Serious Virtual Worlds Conference

This paper was created for Saffron Interactive’s Advance community and is reproduced with kind permission.

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