25 November 2010

MEChA High School Conference

I presented Aztlan for the 2nd time to an overfilled room of Chicano/a high school students at the  MEChA  conference. Like the last time, there were as many girls as boys and only one or two of them had heard of Second Life. The ECAR study of undergraduates and ICT says the same thing--virtual worlds (SL) are not on their radar.

At the end of this year, Linden Labs is opening the main grid up to 16 year olds, or if you were an educator working on the Teen Grid, you'd likely be saying, they're closing the teen grid. It's a bit like closing Disneyland and saying Las Vegas is now "appropriate" for kids. Oh we've done the latter.

I don't work with youths enough to consider how I might present something. So when I said at one point, "there's a lot of adult content in SL", I totally set myself up for one of the boys asking "What kind?"

We've got artists on the island whose work deals with complex themes involving sexuality. I don't know how I'd orchestrate the presence of teens on the island given that. I'll likely get the advice of a high school teacher, when the time comes.