I came across an interview with Greg Toppo the author of the book ” The Game Believes in You”. Does virtual world fall into the category of games? It is arguable. The point is that parents are quick jumping on the conclusion that games are bad. I don’t believe we have enough research to support that statement, especially with so many newer development of educational games.
According to Cheong, Filippou, and Cheong, students are experienced with games, and the perception of gamification is positive (2014). In terms of engage students and providing feedback, virtual world definitely has its advantages.
Cheong, C., Filippou, J., & Cheong, F. (2014). Towards the gamification of learning: investigating student perceptions of game elements. Journal of Information Systems Education, 25(3), 233–244.