OK, so the title is a little cheesy, but I don't think I'm wrong here. Linden Labs announced today that it would be regulating the adult content rampant on its virtual world, Second Life. According to TG Daily,
The company will implement a three-tiered rating system - PG, mature, or adult - that will be used to identify content and set individual preferences for residents. In addition, Linden Lab will require Second Life users to verify their allegedly mature age before visiting sleazy red-light districts and accessing stimulating adult-oriented search results.
Hardcore content will also be pushed to a new "continent", freeing the Second Life mainland from the more intense interactions later this year. TG Daily, among other sources, suggests that the new "PG" area could be a haven for educators in the virtual world. However, with so many great online tools for bringing teachers and students together, why would we possibly bring the tarnished brand of Second Life into our schools, whether K-12 or university?
Everything from BlackBoard to Moodle to Google Docs to any number of other so-called "learning management systems" exists, allowing real-time interaction and collaboration, as well as asynchronous communication tools. All have minimal or no client software to install and have drastically lower bandwidth requirements in most cases than Second Life. They are specialized for learning environments and many are completely turnkey; others can be easily customized.
Second Life is a fine time drain for those who have the time to spend. For me, though, Second Life is dead in ed (I just had to say that again).