This summer, as many as a million virtual kids could catch an infectious virus known as Whypox, causing them to break out in red welts and spout "Achoo" whenever chatting with friends.
Meanwhile, at the beach, crowds of "tweens," 8- to 12-year-olds, will see their popular hangout beset with so-called red tides, as the seashore changes from blue to red with phytoplankton blossoms.
Are these two signs of a crumbling world? No, they're learning tools for Whyvillains, the residents of an online virtual world whose population of kids has grown to about 1.6 million since its inception in 1999. Children in Whyville earn "clams" through activities and games, and use that virtual money to buy face decorations for their otherwise plain avatars. Then, they typically socialize with peers via chat, bulletin boards and the city's mail system.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
C|net | Virtual worlds the future classroom?
Virtual worlds are the future classroom?