Secondary Worlds

Teaching, Technology, and English Education

Category: Simulations

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Literary Uses of Second Life Emerging

My grant team and I are waiting to hear from the National Endowment for the Humanities about our small start-up grant. If awarded, the grant will fund the creation of a role-playing game (Thoughtcrime) based on George Orwell’s 1984 within Second Life. In the meantime, though, some other scholars/teachers are beginning to use the popular […]


Return to Second Life

Over the last few months, I have been a little too busy to spend time in Second Life, the multi-user virtual environment that now claims nearly 7 millions registered users. What have I been doing? Working on a book (with, ironically, a chapter on Second Life), designing a new joomla-based site for the Lake Michigan […]


More from Second Life: MIT Students Design Their Own Space

Thanks for everyone who stopped by my display at the GVSU Teaching and Technology Fair yesterday. I had engaging conversations with students and faculty alike, and one of the big themes was how Grand Valley might develop its own presence in Second Life in the upcoming years. MIT has a pretty compelling example of how […]

News, Simulations

More Web Politics: Edwards in Second Life

John Edwards is the first candidate to have campaign headquarters in Second Life, though the site is not officially sanctioned. From the sound of it, an Edwards supporter paid for the virtual real estate and built the headquarters himself. While I doubt if Edwards has ever been in Second Life, this puts him on the […]

News, Simulations

But Seriously, Folks: Second Life and Thoughtcrime

Even though the overall effect of my short Second Life demo was comic–unintentionally nailing that German tourist with my motorcycle probably didn’t help–I do want us to think about its more serious academic applications. As I mentioned in class, there is a very large and vital community of educators (mostly university) who are using SL […]


Clay Shirky: Second Life Skeptic

I’ve always liked Clay Shirky’s analysis of all things web: one of my favorite of his pieces looked at the way readership of weblogs isn’t really so democratic after all, with the top few weblogs attracting almost all blog traffic. So, I was pleased to see this post on Many2Many, a really interesting blog I […]

News, Simulations

Off to NCTE

I’m leaving tomorrow for the National Council of Teachers of English Convention, which for me is an annual pilgrimage to the holy land of English teachers and teacher educators. For the next four days, I’ll be hobnobbing with colleagues, attending keynote and breakout sessions, getting free stuff, and even giving a talk or two. My […]

News, Simulations

Second Life Educators Make CNN

Over the past two or three months, dozens of mainstream media outlets have profiled Second Life , some even focusing on its educational promise. To my knowledge, though, this is the first major news source to cover education in Second Life. Not that CNN is the be-all and end-all, but getting covered by one of […]

News, Simulations

Orwell Will Make it to Second Life

Even if the Thoughtcrime grant does not come through, at least Orwell will make it into Second Life–sort of. I did a double and then a triple take when I saw this article in my Google Reader. First, I thought someone had invented a game called Big Brother for Second Life (my heart sank); then […]

News, Simulations

Grant Submitted . . . Whew

Today marks the end of the grant writing process and the beginning of the waiting process. Five months from now, we’ll know if our grant proposal to create Thoughtcrime within Second Life will be successful. Even if it fails, I am very grateful to everyone who helped put it together, particularly my colleagues in the […]


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