I have been talking about virtual worlds for kids for a while now, including a post about an Atlanta Constitution article 11 months ago that looked at sites Nedra and I have chronicled in some detail and where the CDC has gotten involved. What started off as experiments for creating virtual worlds for kids (my focus) is turning into a full-fledged movement according to the NYT. [Image from Club Penguin.]
Second Life and other virtual worlds for grown-ups have enjoyed intense
media attention in the last year but fallen far short of breathless
expectations. The children’s versions are proving much more popular, to
the dismay of some parents and child advocacy groups. Now the likes of
the Walt Disney Company, which owns Club Penguin, are working at warp speed to pump out sister sites.
“Get ready for total inundation” said Debra Aho Williamson.
Doing health promotion and social marketing projects in schools is getting to be so...quaint. Debra estimates 20 million kids will be on virtual world sites in 3 years (8.2 million are there now).