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August 14, 2007


Jason Vu

Much more cool than The Music Lounge.

Alex Iskold

Congrats and Good Luck!





"No virtual world can thrive unless it has a razor sharp focus on the basic human needs that make us who we are, and satisfies those needs." Interesting, but you prefer a virtual world that has more restrictions to the explorations of those needs? It seems that your formula for happiness is, "Let us make someone else define what our needs are, and we shall be happy". I guess Erich Fromm (Escape from Freedom) was right...and that's why people like you will never understand the true essence of a much more versatile environment such as Second Life. Just an observation.


The younger the target audience the more important it is to have restrictions. Second Life is for adults, Club Penguin is for kids, and kids do indeed need somebody to define things for them. Teenagers are in the middle somewhere.

Second Life can satisfy basic human needs by being versatile. Penguin may by telling kids what to do and that may be satisfying a need as well.



Points taken. However, looking back a 50-100 years of how humans have raised their children, and looking at the adults now who were children back then, I have this feeling that the path that we have been taking "to define things for them" may not have been the ideal one. I feel that human beings need a totally new paradigm on how to "shape" the thinking of the youth, and if we follow "patterns of the past" because they are "comfy" and "familiar" (i.e. we were taught that way by OUR parents, so we think that's the pattern to follow) then I don't see why the youth will still "fail" in one way or another when their own "age of becoming" would arrive. And in my opinion, with all these great budding technologies arising around us, there must be effort directed towards finding that new paradigm via these technologies--and I'm not saying Second Life has the answers here, I do have my little doubts on this platform--I'm just expressing this need, the need to define how we should or ought to raise today's kids, so that they might be "better" adults.


And btw, Baris, FYI, there is actually a Teen Second Life. Speaking of this, I'll share this interesting blog:

This is by a Canadian high school girl who discovered a way to access the Second Life Teen grid by writing code that would allow her to use Ajax and view the Second Life grid via any web browser. She's 15 years old.

I'd rather have my kid inside a virtual world that can let her discover something "tech-involved" such as what Katharine did, rather than "get high" with music with virtual friends and spending cash to buy this music. Humankind is about to finally go back out there, reach out into space and head on to the stars, and here we are, wanting our kids to virtually bump and grind to piped music (from major Recording labels nonetheless) in predefined virtual abodes of what we adults think is the "ideal virtual world for them"? Shrugs


Every parent wants their kids to discover things, but sending them on a virtual world with some restrictions doesn't mean that they are short changing them. School, has its restrictions, far more than a virtual world, and parents send their kids happily every day.

I would love to be wrong and agree with you, but putting your 13 year old in a place that is restrictive, but without "predators" can't be wrong all the time. For some kids, for a lot of kids, that's the right thing to do.


Well that's where we disagree Baris, because I do NOT trust the current educational system implemented globally--I know it's what we have, and that it DOES work to a certain extent (I accept that), but we are thinking, intelligent creatures, and I firmly believe there is a better way to teach young human beings than the methods we currently have. This is why I admire people who are into educational research and those universities and schools who have opened up virtual campuses in places like Second Life, that constantly research on new methods of teaching and education that attempts to find these new teaching strategies and educational paradigms. I am with you on everything that you said, but only because I am helpless to admit that the current educational system is indeed what we have and that we have to stick to it. But still, I am one of those who will dare to look forward and not be "comfy" with what works for now, like the rest.


There is no question that the educational system lets down smart kids but that also does not mean that every kid out there is smart and responsible nor for that matter particularly wants adult type responsibilities.

Any social platform today should foster a space provide a creative outlet for those kids that are truly brilliant and such a strategy is a form of regulation. It takes smart adults to engage smart kids because smart adults keep an open mind about talent and human potential. In terms of educational transformation we are still talking about a minority segment of kids who can teach adults a thing or two but I acknowledge that they are out there.

I don't believe one can transform education by focusing on its weaknesses because that is only a recipe for spending funds on surveys, tests and administration on focusing on the weakness. Strengths and technology go hand in hand, and the technological space does change the nature of education in that it is the individuals choice whether their own education is going to be continuous life time practice or piece meal and/or one-time event. If focusing on strengths is on avenue of long-term change, having FUN is what is going to make technology scale.

As we focus on strengths and fun (because being online isn't simply about personal transformation) it has to be engaged in an environment that is not naive about the extremes of human behavior whether that be an kid or an adult. It is not just kids who need the foresight of smart adults, lots of adults behave like kids, just as a few kids can be mature beyond their years.

I have eight kids in my home so I am no stranger to these issues, and as a parent who understands that education does need to go undergo huge transformation in the 21st Century, my priorities come back to my own home because that is where all education begins, for what technology enables and empowers can either accelerate the good, but it can also accelerate the bad.

So I guess in terms of regulation, it comes down to recognizing that there are smart people and there are plenty of not-so-smart people and while it is uplifting to recognize smart people (be it kids or adults) parents know about the creation of responsible environments and even innovation isn't a eureka event, it is a highly disciplined effort that gathers energy in a way that benefits towards moving towards a better society.

Smart kids rarely grow up in a vacuum and do welcome a guiding hand, for order not chaos is an intelligence, and even if my kids believe I have been a great father, then its mostly because I don't confuse process with the person - by separating the two we can continue to create healthy and vibrant communities, we can make a difference.


Azam Khan

I downloaded it and tried it. I was buried in a cascade of screen stucks. It's a fairly long download and the loading time for different places is even longer. All that needs to change before anything.

3d world's are cool as long as things go smoothly. None of this getting lost getting stuck stuff. 3d worlds could never replace dancing though. Maybe if there was a way to have a neural linkup to generate endorphins..

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red bottom

Super cute! My little man would look so stylin' in those!

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