Friday, November 21, 2008

Google Lively Didn't Last Long

It was announced this week that Google's 3D virtual world called Lively will be shut down by the end of the year. I can't say I am surprised. I did make a Lively account soon after the product was launched, but I found the interface confusing, and the environment crowded, almost impossible to maneuver. I admit I lost interest rather quickly so I might not have given it a good enough chance. In my opinion nothing has come close to what Second Life delivers. While I have heard some faculty comment that Second Life still has a ways to go as far as intuitive navigation and development tools, it is still the most visually pleasing and flexible 3D virtual environment I have found in order to develop educational environments.

So what do faculty want in a 3D virtual world beyond what is already available in Second Life? I have heard a few good ideas, such as they want to be able to move their avatar's more naturally with the mouse instead of arrow keys. They want more GUI interfaces to post assignments. They need ways to manage the classroom access (lock the classroom door so to speak) without having to go through confusing group and property menus.

What would you like to see in an educational 3D virtual environment?

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