Want to know what it’s like these days to be a scholar wandering through Second Life, the three-dimensional, virtual world that was once billed as The Next Big Thing in academia? Just fast-forward to a famous scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail—the one in which a cadaver collector pushes a cart through the streets of Arthurian England, yelling “Bring out yer dead!” An overzealous customer approaches with an alive-but-ill “corpse” slung over his shoulder. “I’m not dead yet,” the body insists. The customer assures him otherwise: “You’ll be stone dead in a moment.”
So it goes with Second Life. Once an alternate universe that held much promise for higher education—one which attracted thousands of dollars in university investments—Second Life today more closely resembles an academic ghost town.
Read more in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae site.