CBBC Virtual World

Over on 3pointd Mark Wallace has a piece on the news relating to a BBC childrens version of a Metaverse/Second Life.
Personally this is great news as with a toddler who already thinks her websites are not good as “daddy’s work”. She occassionally sees a screen and says “daddy is that man you” alsowith another one on the way any moment now it is nice to think I will be able to share my kids exploration of all things metaverse and say “I remember when all this was fields”. As well as atleast in part understanding the whole point of this, but hopefully without putting them off the whole thing.
The BBC have a very forward thinking view on many things and a noticeably high quality output of childrens entertainment and education.
I wonder if I can finally get a blue peter badge as a metaverse evangelist?

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About epredator

Director of metaverse and emerging tech consultancy http://www.feedingedge.co.uk Former IBM Consulting IT Specialist with 18 years at the company Games player epredator xbox live tag. epredator potato in second life

10 thoughts on “CBBC Virtual World

  1. I was surprised to see this described by the Guardian as ‘Second Life for kids’. Perhaps Second Life has already become the generic brand name for virtual worlds (like ‘Hoover’, ‘Bluetack’, ‘Sellotape’ in their own markets)?

  2. Pingback: Up Your Ego - » Virtual CBBC

  3. In The Netherlands, there’s a metaverse for young teenagers, called Habbo Hotel. One of the first times I was logged into SL, my daughter (aged 7), in passing, said “hey, that looks like Habbo hotel.. is that for grownups?”

    Although Habbo and Sl do not look the same – not by a longshot – she apparently recognized SL as a metaverse, from having seen another one.

  4. Habbo Hotel does indeed have a huge user base and is one of the first places to create the much talked about buy virtual receive real as reported on 3pointd.com in July 2006 in a metaverse.
    SL and Habbo Hotel have the magic ingredient of the presence of others.
    The principle of receiving a virtual and real object for payment is not so far fecthed as we do that all the time when we ‘add to basket’ on any web shopping site. The difference is that you basket tends to empty into an order history rather than adorning you web presence.

  5. Hmm, interesting. I wonder if this could become the ‘killer app’ implementation of virtual worlds? I’ve written before Second Life and how it seems to lack precisely that – http://www.andrewferrier.com/blog/2006/11/12/is-second-life-able-to-cross-the-chasm/ (I’m aware that such writing probably doesn’t win me any friends here!).

    But kids are normally less goal-oriented and far more interested in play. I think that’s actually what Second Life offers right now. The problem, of course, is that most people wouldn’t want their kids roaming loose in Second Life, unsupervised. If the BBC can figure out a way to fix that problem with removing the fun social interaction (and I have to admit it’s not entirely obvious to me right now how they’d do that), they’ll be onto a winner.

    Of course, whether they should be spending license fees on this is an entirely separate debate… 🙂

  6. The bbc has a a duty to explore and provide lots of things so they are ideally placed to spend the license fee on this, its much better than “realitymakeover talent” TV 🙂
    The Public Purposes section

    The Public Purposes of the BBC are as follows?
    sustaining citizenship and civil society;
    promoting education and learning;
    stimulating creativity and cultural excellence;
    (f ) in promoting its other purposes, helping to deliver to the public the
    benefit of emerging communications technologies and services and, in
    addition, taking a leading role in the switchover to digital television.

    The killer app does not have to be running in a metaverse. The connection of people in the environment at all ages and levels IS the killer app. IMHO 🙂

    I agree that concerns about who is doing what need to be addressed. However it is easier to chaparone and baby sit within a metaverse environment. Though it is a thorny issue and one I know I am facing now with the potential things my 3 year old can get exposed to. As with games, the web and chat many parents/guardians will be unaware of the human interaction and depth of experience possible.

  7. ‘its much better than “realitymakeover talent” TV :-)’

    Couldn’t agree more. If have to have a license fee, I’d rather it’s spent on this. I’m duly chastened.

    I think I’d debate the point about communication a little more though. Whilst SL and others obviously provide a method for folks to communicate, it’s not immediately obvious to me that this is more compelling than many other methods that exist (phone, email, IM, post, or good old-faishoned chatting in person). I guess maybe that’s where we might have to agree to disagree. I’m therefore looking for a bit more from virtual worlds – something built on top, in the same way as Amazon took the infrastructure of the web and built a business model on it. I think that app is yet to appear.

    I think the world by itself could work for kids, though. Kids have an exploratory nature at heart, and the virtual world can provide that very easily. Kids will work round any shortcomings in interaction more readily (although it’s not immediately obvious how that interaction will occur if it is to be kid-friendly). I’m a bit concerned about kids spending more time in virtual worlds than is healthy – to be fair, though, that’s no different from many other media that have been unfairly blamed in the same way (TV, computer games, etc.).

    Just my thoughts – keep up the good work, it’s good to hear what you folks are doing in SL.

  8. It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why their is a problem in the first place

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