Two of my interests are virtual worlds and enterprise collaboration. I attended an event recently that touched on both of these interests. Two University professors talked about their recently released book on collaborative learning in virtual worlds.
In the early days of education, the predominant model was a master/apprentice one which didn't scale as the population grew and as democracy became popular. So, the model switched to a declarative one. Now, with the advent of 3D virtual worlds such as Second Life, the apprentice model becomes scalable since there is no economic boundary to physical location anymore.
Other movement has indicated an increased interest in virtual worlds for the enterprise. SAIC, Inc. provides scientific, engineering, systems integration, and technical services and solutions to various branches of the U.S. military, agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other U.S. government civil agencies, state and local government agencies, foreign governments, and customers in select commercial markets. They have recently acquired Forterra Systems, Inc. which provides a virtual world technology focused on enterprise training.
What do you think? Will virtual worlds ever mature beyond that of video games? Is there a legitimate use of virtual world technology in the enterprise? I'd be interested in your opinions.