08/15/08 12:13pm

Welcome Center, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston Second Life Campus

The University of Houston is buying an island on Second Life! It’ll be used for the school’s Department of Health and Human Performance and the Texas Obesity Research Center.

Plans call for an interactive campus where students and professors adopt avatars to walk (or fly) around campus or teleport to any number of thousands of other islands.

Virtual doesn’t come cheap. UH paid $1,700 for the island and pays Linden Research another $300 a month in rent.

Not cheap?? You try renting an entire campus for $300 a month. You could hardly get a dorm room for that. But the best thing about UH’s new space is clearly its high quality design.

A virtual architect designed and built the campus as a very, very loose replica of the real thing “with better architecture,” says Associate Professor Brian McFarlin.

After the jump: More views of the beautiful UH-Virtual!