PostHeaderIcon Second Life Legitimized by Governments?

Cool BuildsIt's no secret that Linden Lab';s Second Life turns-out to be a platform for all kinds of nonsense... and sensical things, too. Mark Kingdon, Philip Rosedale and all the rest at Linden Lab should be proud of what Second Life is turning into and rightly so. It's 'growing-up'.

There have been the trials by business to make something of Second Life and though several have failed, they have paved the way for hundreds more who consider it a success, some commercially so.

The education industry has really wrapped their arms around SL. Well, anyone in the education business, including local and national government agencies, as Second Life really does provide an optimal long-distance learning environment.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, like most government agencies on the United States and abroad offer educational programs geared toward their functions. The problem with this is in the difficulty for citizens to actually participate. Though the access is open, the access can be difficult. I'd love to spend a day in the U.S. National Archives, but that's on the other side of the country from me as I'm in the other Washington.
Snapshot_012.jpgBesides, it would be more fun to stalk Torley Linden and maybe torment him when he leaves the house. Problem with that is he might find me and egg mine.

So governments, or rather divisions within governments are embracing Second Life for some very good reasons:
Living NOAA's Second Life: "NOAA is testing virtual worlds for use in educational outreach, data visualization and other applications. We are using Second Life as a platform because it caters to a worldwide audience and provides access to people who could never visit our real-life offices.
"Ideally, we can show students parts of our world they otherwise would not see, like the bottom of the ocean or the northern lights. Much of the data that NOAA produces is inherently 3-D, and Second Life provides unique opportunities for visualization."

Another example in the news is how a government agency is actually defending their use against a public backlash. Okay, wrong choice of words... I should say defending against a shrill vocal minority as is usually the case. Such as accusation of the U.K. Department of Works and Pension being accused of wasting tax-payer money:

UK Government Defends Use Of Second Life: “We are currently exploring the potential of use Second Life and have active interest from a number of Government departments," said a DWP spokesperson in a written statement. "Our new innovation centre in Second Life is a virtual area where both Government and private companies can showcase technological innovations, such as low carbon footprint technology."

Again, it comes down to physical location in First Live, the reality of travel and time expense:
UK Government Defends Use Of Second Life continued: "The DWP claims the innovation centre is currently only a pilot project and has been developed to support the activities of a real-life innovation centre. The department claims the site will actually save taxpayers money by allowing staff to explore new technologies online without having to visit other departments or companies in person."

Case in fact: there are many examples of universities and colleges using Second Life for the same reasons and to great success. There also are tax payer-funded efforts from organizations in the likes of NASA (and there are several more - search NASA,) and even media companies, such as the Discovery Channel (also with several entries.)

I say "Bravo" and "Drive-on".

via "Federal Computer Week"
and "eWeek Europe"

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