Friday, June 22, 2007

Nonprofits stage virtual events in Second Life

Once again, the virtual world Second Life is the center of innovative ways to share information. I guess I'm going to have to get serious about exploring Second Life more intensely. The cost kind of turned me off. Second Life is advertised as free but the bottom line is if you want to be able to "do" anything in the virtual environment (like save information, create anything permanent, etc.) you need to pay at least $9.95 per month for a minimum account and "purchasing" virtual real estate gets really expensive fast.

"Charities and other nonprofit groups are also beginning to migrate into the so-called metaverse, seeking ways of attracting new donors and hoping to educate a broader audience about the issues they address.

Adventure Ecology, a British group, staged a virtual flood in Second Life to show what global warming might bring, and a psychiatry professor at the University of California, Davis, created a way for his students to experience in Second Life what a person with schizophrenic hallucinations experiences.

"It’s a wonderful awareness-building tool,” said Beth Kanter, a nonprofit consultant. "You can walk someone through an experience there or sit down with them to discuss the work you’re doing in a way that you can’t in the real world or on the Web."
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