What’s all the hype about MUVEs ?

I’ve always been a fan of simulations.  I used SimFarm, SimPark, and SimSafari to teach cause and effect when I was a practicing Educational Therapist.  I’ve been hooked on The Sims since the game first came out.  Got all the expansion modules…I even remember one long weekend when I did nothing but play the game.  I was still living “at home” then, my mother couldn’t understand the fascination. 

So when I first heard about Second Life, I was very interested.  I think I was reading Will Richardson or David Warlick when I first found out about it.  I thought I could just jump in late one night and got overwhelmed.  About 2 weeks later I went to a workshop on podcasting at WHRO and the instructor was talking about developing a second life course to teach int he fall for WHRO.  I knew this was a hot topic, but I still wasn’t getting all of the educational implications.  When Second Life was on the cover of the ISTE magazine, I knew I had missed domething. 

So I’m sitting here after NECC and still wondering what’s all the hype about?  I know, I should have gone to a session or two about MUVEs, but I needed to bring back info to my school division about Web 2.0/School 2.0 and check out some the sessions that touched on my dissertation topic.  I’ve done some additional reading, but right now I’m feeling a lot like the post on MUVEs in Techlearning.  I mean it’s just simulating life.  Yeah it’s cool and interesting, but I find the financial statistics alarming.  So I decided to check out some additional MUVEs.  I found Kaneva and decided to work on my apartment.  I joined club penguin.  I’m not sure what will come of it, but I’ll see if I can understand what goes on there as well.

I guess I understand the how and the social part of the why.  I’m not getting the educational part of the why yet.  It concerns me that we’ve got folks going full speed ahead into this.  Do we have pedagogical information that supports this?  My boss wants to explore it. I don’t know.  Maybe I’ll figure it out…

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One response to “What’s all the hype about MUVEs ?

  1. A good question! What’s all the hype about?

    I don’t know, though I am trying to answer that question. Is there a life for education in Second Life (or other ed-friendly MUVEs)? Or is it just hype.

    Personally, I’m intrigued with it as a programming platform, but that doesn’t really improve test scores. So we need to keep trying to answer that question…

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