This section is meant to capture high-level information as grassroots support of OLPC forms in virtual worlds (and to suggest how it might form in the future).
A presence has been started on Second Life to promote the XO laptop. You can go to the first "kiosk", which is under development, and which will eventually include an interactive laptop. It basically has links directly to www.laptopgiving.org and two grassroots projects -- including an album project that will be recorded at Peter Gabriel's RealWorld studios. Perhaps the coolest thing is that you can visit the kiosk and get a free virtual OLPC "t-shirt"
- Actions you can take: invite your friends, bring them to the location -- and if you are a second lifer -- there will be opportunities to place a copy of the kiosk on your own island.
For more information see 3d
Multiverse is a new 3D virtual platform that is being developed to empower people to create their own virtual worlds. It is currently in beta. Exciting. Anyone whose imagination is captured by this idea in relation to OLPC should join the email list at the top of this page and send a query out.
Pronkle is a dream vision of a virtual world for kids. Second Life has a PG-13 version for teens; there is the commercial Webkins site of course -- but there isn't really an open, global virtual world for children with free access.
The dream goes something like: find a way to create a business, which can help to provide the revenue needed to support something like this; or find a way to get started, and leverage community support to make it a reality aka wikinomics (see amazon.com, a book called Wikinomics). Find partner institutions and community support for the resources required to explore the legal hurdles, to examine the safety and security questions, to think in the spirit of OLPC -- not why it can't be done, but how to do it.
The initial DNA: To provide a virtual experience for kids, in all languages, free for all, and accessible to all, themed especially around the idea of learning about the environment and participating in community, cultural exchange (and having fun at the same time).
Rationale: Granted that a virtual world is not a panacea, and like many other things with strong appeal, can be harmful in large doses. But there are many ways in which a virtual world can help bring people together and cross gaps of language, distance, economic disparity and other divides, and allow them to experience each other without many of these barriers. Furthermore, a virtual world could add an additional dimension to the digital experience of children in the developing world, and provide them with experiences and simulated experiences that they might not otherwise be able to enjoy. This could be a 3d re-creation or precreation of a historic, or present, or future place, event, etc. And ideally, eventually, kids on the laptops would have the computing power and option of creating their own 3D worlds. (wherever a persistent Internet connection is possible, which is everywhere, just a matter of economics and logistics, and perhaps it could also be set up within mesh locales as well. Exciting!)
There are a variety of technical, legal, ethical challenges, but it is believed by those who are interested in this concept, that these questions could be/should be explored, and that if it proves to be possible for there to be a safe, secure, accessible, sustainable and scalable way to do this, that it should be done. And there are some ideas about how to make this happen.
Action you can take: join the Grassroots mailing lists, express interest.