BBC plans online children's world

The BBC so loved SecondLife evidently that it has decided to spend money on building a virtual world for kids aged 7-12.

Naturally "Bosses said CBBC World would not have the financial aspects of other online worlds such as Second Life."

It is expected to go live in the summer with a full launch in the autumn to coincide with the CBBC relaunch.

This is what folks have been crying out for, particularly at a time when the BBC licence fee rise was claimed to be insufficient for the BBC's needs!


posted by John Wilson @ 1:44 AM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


At 8:19 AM, Anonymous noah kagan said...

Do you think all these companies should be creating second life stuff?

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Hawkeye said...

Since Second Life appears to still be growing at a very rapid rate I think it is right that the BC maintains some kind of presence in the area, after all the BBC is in the entertainment, culture and media fields and that is EXACTLY what Second Life is. It may not apppeal to you or to me, but it clearly does to some people and 'may' be the next big market. we would be castigating the BBC for not following the trend in a few years if this does prove to be the case.

At 6:41 PM, Blogger John Wilson said...

Hawkeye, I've no doubt about the appeal of Second Life but don't see the need for the BBC to develop a clone of it.

I am a big fan of the BBC programming efforts on both CBeebies & CBBC - both provide quality programme without the heavy advertising of channels like Disney & Nic Jr. The content is both entertaining and educational.

Yet, as I understand the "SL jnr" project, it will be available to a worldwide audience of kids (and you've got to hope that it is rigorously policed to ensure only kids). Bearing in mind that BBC is not allowed to operate for profit, why not let BBC Worldwide run the venture, say on a subs basis.

Parents are likely to trust a BBC brand and not resent paying for the kids to go into a "safe" learning environment. Obviously, keeping it safe will be a challenge, particular if there are high subscriber numbers - this is a reputational challenge that may expose the BBC to a litigious America.

Such a venture needn't charge high prices but should aim to generate a surplus to put back into kids programming, for instance.


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