Opinions on Saving a Virtual Reef

September 2, 2010

Occasionally, in WhyReef, a perturbation is introduced resulting in the reefs degradation. Currently, the North Reef is undergoing a bleaching event and Whyvillians are rallying to Save the Reef. They are given several options to participate and find ways to bring the reef back to a healthy state. One of these actions includes writing articles for the Whyville Times to inspire other Whyvillians.

Recently, an article was written and published in the Whyville Times that explained the importance in saving this ecosystem and outlined how Whyvillians could help. In the Whyville Bulletin Board System (BBS), two Whyvillians had a fascinating exchange in response to this article. The first Whyvillian was very disillusioned with WhyReef, and found it to be a waste of time. She also thought the “Save the Reef” activities to be a “gimmick” for Whyville to get clams (Whyville’s virtual currency). The response from the second Whyvillian rallied in WhyReef’s favor, and found meaning and purpose in the “Save the Reef” activities.

These BBS postings are compelling for two reasons. First, they demonstrate a diverse range in youth’s attitudes towards virtual worlds – pointless with no meaning to their real life or invaluable experiences that will help them in their adult and real lives. Second, this debate over saving a virtual reef is analogous to debates over the conservation of real ecosystems and environments.

Save the Reef BBS