Lots of you have probably seen this bit of Fox’s sensationalist "news" about the "dangers" of the "Second Life website" on teens. Don’t get me started on how nonsensical the idea of "consensual rape rooms" is, or of virtual depictions of drug labs somehow corrupting minors.
Anyway, there is a lot of hemming and hawwing among the Second Life educator community about the proper response to this news story. Some folks are talking about putting together a letter to Congress on the positive aspects of virtual worlds for teens, which is certainly one way to go.
Another possibility is to counter negativity with light, showing examples of how virtual worlds are creating opportunities and benefits for youth that are easily understood by outsiders. In this way, the Wall Street Journal article today on employment for teens in the metaverse, entitled "My Virtual Summer Job," is the perfect counterpoint to Fox’s FUD. Many of the teens profiled have been through one or more Global Kid’s Online Leadership Program projects, so we are pretty proud to see them getting profiled in such a prominent publication.