Here is a report on the Youth Forum on the Teen Grid Merger that Global Kids held yesterday afternoon on Global Kids Island. It was a fun and insightful conversation with twenty or so excited avatars, most of whom had never been involved in Global Kids programs before, as far as I could tell.
As a bit of background, the virtual world of Second Life has for most of its existence had two distinct "grids," an area for adults above the age of 18 and a "Teen Grid" for 13 to 17 year olds. On the Teen Grid, a small number of adult educational and youth development institutions are allowed to have a presence there, run programs and bring in approved adults. But for the most part, the Teen Grid was a unique youht-led space that was run, developed and controlled by the teens that hung out there.
In mid 2010, Linden Lab announced that the Teen Grid as it exists would be gone, and that most of those accounts and virtual land would be brought over to the Main Grid at the beginning of 2011. Thus, this is the last week of the existing Teen Grid. Read more about it on the Linden Lab officlal blog and Betterverse.
Since this is a historic occasion, at least for the thousands of teens on the Teen Grid, we thought it would be appropriate to invite them to an open forum to talk about what the merger means to them. The full, unedited transcript of that event is appended below, mispellings and all. I know it is kind of hard to read, so I summarize the main points here.