Education in Virtual Worlds, Virtual World Platforms

Sun Microsystems Project Wonderland Gets Student Labor

I haven’t been tracking Project Wonderland as much as I used to - from what I gather there are still a whack of educators who are hot on the project, which is their open source approach to virtual worlds, and seems particularly interesting because of its relatively seamless integration of Web and desktop content - kind of a more advanced Croquet, with the usual affliction of many of the virtual worlds, namely blobby looking avatars that look like they were imported by

But a recent report from Asia has me wondering if they aren’t shifting some of their evangelism overseas, or have at least found a champion in the Thailand office or wherever, finding Sun supporting development on Wonderland amongst the university set:

“The world’s first Wonderland 3D virtual world competition kicked off in Thailand and demonstrated the abilities of Thai students in open source and Java technology. The judges were looking for unique examples of overcoming technological limitations and turning them into positive points, said Professor Putchong Uthayopas from the Department of Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, at Kasetsart University.

“I want to emphasise to the world about Thailand’s technology capabilities,” he said.

The competition helps to stimulate imagination of young computer scientists in Thailand and spark an interest in 3D virtual worlds.”

I’d be curious to hear from the Wonderlanders out there: what’s the uptake with the platform these days? Who’s using it? Is it still primarily focused on the education market? And what ever happened to the NMC’s big announcement (and $250k investment) that it was making a shift to Wonderland, back when they seemed unhappy with their relationship to Linden Lab?

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