At the Second Life Community Conference in Boston today, Linden Labs CEO Philip Linden delivered a keynote today announcing numerous upcoming changes to Second Life. While Linden made promises about various tech upgrades, the most contentious news was confirmation that Teen Second Life would be closing.
Linden said that the company has long wanted to merge all grids and said that it was a mistake to create a completely separate grid for kids. (Second Life content, including any avatars or inventory, is not transferrable between the grids.) The immediate plans are to convert the avatars of 16 and 17 year olds on the Teen Grid to the main one.
But after those teens are out of Teen Second Life, "we're basically going to turn it off."
Linden says the company is working with educators to help "move forward" and to figure out what changes to make to SL to help support younger users. More details are still to come, promises Linden, but it sounds like there might be a lot of really fabulous work and educational projects abandoned on the Teen Grid.
"We as a company have got to focus on where the greatest resonance and exponential growth can be," said Linden. And apparently that's not in a separate education-focused virtual world.
(You can watch the entire keynote here.)