A little over three years ago, I started Betterverse.org because I wanted to create a platform to showcase all of the great work that people were doing in virtual worlds to improve the human condition. I didn't really know how far I would take this little experiment or how much attention it would get.
We've had a good run over the past three years, 652 posts later! Among our more popular news stories and features:
- Stories and commentary about Second Life discontinuing the discount for nonprofits and educators
- Monitoring the race to create virtual world "web viewers" like Tipodean , Second Life , Blue Mars and Kitely
- Our list of social issue machinima videos
- Our coverage of the launch of the awesome "Virtual Mine" game in Second Life, which was nominated for an Emmy
- The Egypt pro-democracy protests in Second Life
....and a ton more great projects and builds that I got to write about over the years!
Betterverse was also instrumental in me giving the opportunity to give the keynote address at the last Second Life Community Convention in 2011. This was a tremendous honor and a lot of fun to deliver!
Why the Wrap Up?
So why am I closing Betterverse? It certainly isn't because of a lack of stories. There still is a lot of great work being done in the metaverse, from new web-based worlds like Cloud Party, interesting places to visit like JPL in Second Life, and cool projects like Minecraft in the classroom.
Honestly, my heart isn't in it anymore. I still love virtual worlds, visiting the eye-popping 3d spaces and builds, learning about exciting educational and public good projects, and meeting all the inspiring people I encounter along the way. But I have many other demanding projects on my plate now, and I don't have the time and energy it takes to keep this site alive and relevant. I've been feeling burnt out and uninspired, which is not the right kind of energy to give to this project.
So it just feels like the right thing to do set down this project now.
Thanks to all of you who have over the years read my stories, shared, and commented on them. I hope this site has been useful for you in finding out about the exciting work that others are doing out there to improve the human condition, using these exciting virtual tools.
I believe that there is still an important role for Betterverse as an archive of educational, nonprofit, government and philanthropic efforts in the virtual world. So I'll keep this site up for as long as I can. Perhaps someday I'll be in a position to bring this site back, or pass it off to someone who can take it to another level.
But for now, Betterverse is closed. To all of you creating better worlds out there, I salute you.