Last Monday, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg spoke with the members of the (real life) educational community to talk about the future of Second Life, SL2, the educational discount, and how all of that will impact real life education in Second Life.
The big news is that Ebbe Altberg committed to maintaining Linden Lab’s fifty percent tier discount for (real life) educational sims, saying “we’re not going to mess with the current pricing you have in a negative way for you.” In return, participants made sure that Ebbe Altberg was aware of the typical delay in the funding cycle for (real life) educational institutions, and that any changes in Second Life pricing could take up to a year to have any effect on the level of use of Second Life by those institutions.
The entire Q&A session is well worth reading and I recommend it.
The Two Second Life Educational Communities
You may have noticed that throughout this post I’ve been careful to indicate that this was a meeting with the “real life” educational community. That’s because Second Life has two of them.
First here is an educational community made up employees of real life universities and institutions that have a presence in Second Life. Then there is an educational community of resident-run and resident-financed help and education organizations that exist solely (or mostly) inside Second Life.
It is this second educational community that the Help Education Quorum was created to represent to Linden Lab. We are not them, and they are not us, and rarely do the two intersect—with the annual VWBPE conference being a notable exception. While both educational communities are vital to Second Life, the interests, needs, structures and missions of the two communities diverge so much that we really don’t have that much in common.