Once upon a time, in the year 2007, people were really excited about Second Life.
Businessweek ran a cover story with the headline "Virtual World, Real Money." Brands opened stores in Second Life malls. It was even featured on an episode of The Office.
Colleges were among those that bought the hype of the Linden Lab-developed virtual world. Many universities set up their own private islands to engage students; some even held classes within Second Life.
Most of these virtual universities are gone –– it costs almost $300 per month to host your own island –– but it turns out a handful remain as ghost towns.