Woodbury University’s online campus in Second Life has been deleted for what Linden Labs called a violation of the game’s social contract.
Like many other universities, Woodbury set up a virtual campus inside the online world, but the world’s administrators claim avatars associated with the university repeatedly violated Second Life’s terms of service, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported.
An in-game correspondent with the Second Life Herald spoke to someone supposedly from Woodbury University, who said, “Second Life is not the peachy euphoria that it’s advertised to be, it’s a facist company-controlled cookie-cutter world where all the citizens are expected to comply and conform to the model of life that the Lindens have outlined.”
The spokesperson also compared Second Life to the Catholic church and Woodbury to the Lutherans and said the university would write a book about the incident.
The same Herald correspondent later spoke with Dr. Edward M. Clift, a faculty and administrator at Woodbury, who said the deletion of Woodbury’s island in the game was a strike against academic freedom.
Clift said the Woodbury 2.0 campus served a diverse group of students who were not necessarily members of mainstream America. He said because Woodbury’s online campus was not just a mockup of their real life campus–which he says of other Second Life campuses–they were deleted.
“All institutions of higher education are now put on notice that they better not do anything too ambitious or “enlightening” unless they want to risk being shunned and eventually expelled from the Holy Grid,” Clift said.
Second Life, seemingly wholly within their rights as the service provider here, has not responded to the deletion or the articles about it. The site currently lists just under 8 million registered users.