Unfortunately I haven't found one. But I have found some recent posts The first is from Bryan Alexander who comments on the evolution of virtual worlds at his blog http://infocult.typepad.com/infocult/2007/02/towards_third_l.html
He mentions four alternatives that I want to explore further this week.
Multiverse, Ogoglio. Outback Online, Croquet
Also, sharing a post from Onder Skall Dated March 2007
Onder Blogs at Second Life Games where he provides a easily digestible overview of the games people play in second life. Well worth a browse.
He compares a number of virtual worlds based on the criteria below
The Sims online
Virtual Object System
1. Cash transactions must be easy and readily accommodated flowing both into and out from the system.
2. Users must be able to create unique content and retain some form of ownership over it.
3. The fabric of the world itself must be possible to affect. IE: land ownership, room decoration, or some other content that remains viable even when the player who created it is logged off. (”Pervasive” is the word I’m groping for here…)
I guess the value of virtual worlds depends on what we will use them for.
I have come across a few articles which discuss the virtual economy of Second Life. It seems virtual worlds have become an interesting place to study social economic topics such as the gift economy.
This article provides a glimpse into the subject.
The link comes from from Michel Bawen's P2P Wiki - One of my favorite reading spots.
That's a great question - aimed directly at The Society of the Spectacle (Debord) I presume?
Given that "education"is one of the many intangible commodities of the contemporary age it quite clear that "cash flow" (itslef a very dated economic principle) is one of the prime reasons that "education" is given so much lip service.
The commodification of many practices is seen as a principle driver of economic growth - and as we see primary (material) resources becoming more scarce whe'll see a huge shift towards selling us our own beliefs and practices... "education" is a process rememebr.. not something you can sit on the desk and admire... it is something we can do independently of government and institutions... but we're lead to believe otherwise - "accreditation" in regulatory terms is about prioritising, hence priveleging, particular pathways to knowledge...
As educators we are complicit in this - and I suggest we need to develop our propensity for critical pedagogies in order that we at least declare our vested interest.
Hehe... I don't read "rhetorical" when it comes to questions!