On Monday, October 4, Linden Lab announced, that the reduced pricing for educational sims would be given up by December 31, 2010. Many educators (Universities, K-12 education providers, Schools and Institutes) have intensively commented on the consequences of a raise of fees in the middle of the academic year on blogs and lists in the first days after the Linden’s announcement. Non-Profit and educational provider’s presence in Second Life seemed to be threatened.
Many institutions commented, that they wouldn’t be able to raise the double fee and the discussion of alternatives to Second Life was drawn out from many angles to get forward to alternative ways of carrying out the splendid experience with activities in a virtual world, which many educators have.
OpenSim was often mentioned as another virtual world, which could offer similar facilties for educational work. On the other hand some insiders could participate with observations of, that OpenSim looks good as a future platform but still misses the technical infrastructure, which residents from Second Life are used to. In this discusssion, parts of the educational scene still announced to leave SL and others declared to stay in the well known metaverse.
Some of the problems seem to be, that it is difficult to export buildings and environments, which have been constructed for and in SL with great efforts.
BABEL Language School has always paid full fees, as we are a privat language learning provider. But BABEL Language School has also profited from and hopefully contributed to the huge network we got from our togetherness with other educational institutions at Second Life. So, we were about to follow our disapointed collegues or at least share there new experiences with them, by making a big new step towards another virtual environment too.
On Friday, October 8, 2010, Linden Lab by Terrance Linden in an interview took a turn around and opened for continues rabates on the normal land fees, if the providers renew their holdings before December 31, 2010. According to these latest information renewal now is possible for 6, 12, 18 or 24 months. With this statement in hand, educational providers and non-profit organisations now can look forward to maximum 2 years more on the old conditions.