Real competition for Teen Second Life?

There are some great virtual worlds out there for kids' entertainment, but nothing quite holds a candle to Teen Second Life for its collective-creativity tools. Until Lego Universe arrives on the scene, says Barry Joseph, director of Global Kids' Online Leadership Program, in his blog. In the organization's blog he refers to it as "a bright light in the distance," he wrote in the organization's blog, point to Lego Universe, expected to debut sometime next year. Apparently it'll be virtual world and massively multiplayer game combined. The reason why it could offer TSL serious competition is Lego's track record for collective creativity online and the fact that it has a tangible, well-known Real Life connection: those little plastic bricks (you may be interested in my interview way back in 1998 with Robbie Berg, whose work at the MIT Media Lab contributed to the development of Lego MindStorms). Joseph's post includes a video preview of what Lego Universe will look like, including one that depicts "one avatar building a car followed by a second avatar collaborating on its construction." With this game/world, parents probably will quickly find the same kind of comfort level they found with Lego Star Wars. In that case, little Lego people running around with light sabers just can't seem very violent; in the case of a virtual world, this environment's more like ClubPenguin than Teen Second Life. Building and leveraging RL Lego fans will have to make up the difference for teens. [See also "Top 8 workarounds of kid virtual-world users."]


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