Why ‘in SL and not in “any” website’?

A user on the SLHEALTH list recently wrote: > “One of the aspects that would interest me is what are the benefits of using a serious game in SL and not in “any” website“.

MNK Boulos replied: This is indeed one of the most important and challenging questions/tasks. Question: Why ‘in SL and not in “any” website’. Task: To identify the unique affordances/’raison(s) d’être’ of Second Life (and direct compatibles)*** in medical/health education, what it can do better or best (there are many things), and what it can’t do at all or well. Many simulations can still be designed and run more efficiently and effectively in Macromedia Flash, e.g., Edheads’ interactive Virtual Hip Replacement http://www.edheads.org/activities/hip/index.htm and Knee Surgery http://www.edheads.org/activities/knee/index.htm. Flash also allows multi-user interactive applications/chat (in fact Metaplace http://www.metaplace.com/ is based on Flash). Other more powerful platforms also exist, e.g., http://www.trusim.com/

MNK Boulos – 13 Feb 08
*** Like the new OpenLife Grid http://openlifegrid.com/ and the other OpenSim-based public grids, e.g., http://virtualworldgrid.com/http://deepgrid.com/http://centralgrid.com/ and http://osgrid.org/
(see this message)

[Update] Another reply: “The most interesting thing about SL is the communication with many different cultures, ages, and nationalities, people with different interests and goals. Having activities in a more sterile environment is less interesting, even though the game quality could be better.  Support groups are here also, a key aspect of learning.

MNK Boulos‘ reply: I agree, but many social networking and communication sites are already doing exactly this, e.g., Sermo http://sermo.com/, Facebook, Paltalk http://www.paltalk.com/, YouTube, etc. and also feature embedded games and videos (not just links to them), both synchronous and asynchronous discussion/chat tools, as well as vibrant ‘support groups’ for all sorts of topics/themes and communities.

More replies: [1], [2].

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