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A draft of a literature review I'm working on.
Interest in the use of online virtual worlds for education continues to grow, but the research literature to date is composed largely of small-scale case studies. This review interprets the results of these studies in order to answer questions about competing virtual world technologies. Questions considered include whether there are clear advantages common to all virtual world technologies; whether some programs work better than others; whether students respond better to massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) or to non-game MUVEs; and whether the literature is sufficient to define a set of best practices for working with virtual worlds. This review focuses on English as a Second Language (ESL) education using virtual worlds in order to minimize problems of content alignment, but supplementary materials on other educational uses of virtual world technology are included for background and to fill gaps in the literature.