Moving out of Second Life?
Recently, Linden Lab announced that as of January 1 2011 they would stop providing a generous 50% discount to educational institutions who want virtual land (at Wired Campus, see “Second Life To Drop Educational Discount“). This development is sure to force many institutions to seriously consider alternatives like OpenSim (short for OpenSimulator) and Open Cobalt. This past summer we explored both of them and found, unfortunately, that they were nowhere near as easy to get into as Second Life.
For one thing, neither alternative is publicly accessible (for the most part — you could probably enter an OpenSim installation without much trouble). Second Life may be clunky, but it is the most viable virtual world available on any kind of scale so far. Perhaps, if a large number of schools drop out of Second Life, there will be a new impetus for development of other virtual worlds.
The videos below begin give a sense of what OpenSim and Open Cobalt are.