For those of you who haven't heard me speculate on the possibilities of virtual reality and realms such as Second Life for simulating real and theoretical situations to test the effectiveness of changes in policy and the reality of crim theories, the title of this post may have made you think I'd gone New Age. Sorry about that. Instead, let me direct your attention to this article about the classes being done in Second Life, their ability to transcend traditional campuses (for good and bad), and the difficulties still remaining in realizing the kind of potential that I've been calling for (but am absolutely too old and incompetent to pull off myself). Here's one quote that might alert us to the relevancy of the enterprise and the need for rule enforcement and sanctions for failure, as well as, you know, scare us:
Policing behavior in the virtual realm has also been difficult. In one disturbing incident, Ohio University had to temporarily close its island when a virtual gunman began shooting other visitors. And this summer, the Woodbury University island was permanently deleted after Woodbury student avatars engaged in disruptive and hostile behavior.