Monday, April 16, 2007

Reading Journal

In legal limbo, Second Life poker rakes in profits
By Eric Reuters

This article was interesting in looking at how the Texas Hold’em craze has even fit second life. It wasn’t too long ago where every weekend some friend was inviting me over for any type of card-playing, although usually Texas Hold’em. It is understandable that players didn’t trust the honesty or fairness of Second Life poker. I think it is a good idea that there is a very watchful eye, though and it seems as if creator, Mith Patel, is doing a good job of maintaining the online gambling site.

Study on Second Life and the pursuit of happiness
By Adam Reuters

This was very interesting for me, since before this class I had never even heard of “second-life.” It makes me wonder how many people that I know actually use second life as well. I’m not sure if I would agree or think that people with strong social connections and relationships in second life would have similar sorts of relationships in the real world. It just seems like the friends people make through the internet aren’t the same as having friends whom you can speak to face to face. Also, spending 30 hours a week on second life seems almost ridiculous. I realize I am being somewhat judgmental but I thought I used a computer a lot and used myspace/facebook way more than others, but 30 hours!? I just don’t get it…

Charity raises funds with homeless avatar
By Adam Reuters

I think it is a very nice gesture to be raising money for healthcare and education for a child who is starving in real life. Something interesting about this is that Alex Luna of Arnold Fuel was quoted saying “But the main goal is not only the money, but people’s awareness, mainly among young people.” Yes, awareness is important, but how aware are people going to be about such important issues through second life? I do agree that this is an important and beneficial way to help children, and wonder how this was thought up in the first place.

Europe takes lead in Second Life users
By Adam Reuters

It does surprise me that US residents make up 31.2 % of second life residents since the US is so technologically advanced I expected it to have the most users. Then again, I remembered in class that there wasn’t one person who raised their hand when asked if anyone had used second life before. The only reason we are using it now is because of a class assignment, as I had never even heard of it before. I was surprised that Europe made up nearly 50% of second life users. What might have been the most surprising thing to read, however, was that there are more males who use second life. I guess I just expected more women to use this type of technology. It would be interesting to see a poll of why people use it and how they became aware, as I am a new person to second life and am interested and feel almost out of the loop for not knowing about this craze!

Artists struggle but don’t starve in Second Life
By Rubina Reuters

This is a good idea, actually. This way people are able to put up their art and express themselves via second life. Making money by selling art in Second Life isn’t any easier than it is in real life, but at least there isn’t as much to lose as there is in the real world. Also, most people aren’t even interested in the money they make, they just want a way to show the world what kind of art they have and perhaps even make a name for themselves in the real world. It would be interesting to know how successful artists or other businesses have become with the help or usage of second life.

Virtual reality TV: Big Brother to launch in SL
By Adam Reuters

I guess I’m not really sure how this whole virtual big brother would really work. I also wonder how successful it would be. How would people watch the show? Would it be actually televised or only be able to be seen through second life? What exactly would contestants have to do for 8 hours a day besides just building replicas? So many questions, I’m still not getting the hang of this second life thing and wonder how people think of such things and take it so far! To think that the internet wasn’t even around when we were born is crazy, especially in seeing how much it has expanded.

A Rape in Cyberspace

To start, the beginning of this article confused me completely. Once I finally got into the later pages and began actually understanding what was being written, I still found myself having trouble relating to the subject. As said in the other part of my blog, I thought the amount of time I spent on myspace and facebook was more than enough of virtual worlds. But I was amazed to see that the virtual world is much bigger then that. I have never created a whole other person and would never even think to expose myself to the public over the internet. The whole idea of not being able to see who I’m talking to or actually hear a voice or be able to put a face to a name. Another thing- I disagree with the idea that Bungle should be punished the the highest degree possible because I feel that while Mr. Bungle is kind of disgusting, it is more of just a fake creeper/ weird man who has nothing better to do then harass people over the internet. To be physically harmed is different and I don’t think this qualifies as “rape.”

The Virtual Community-

Before reading this, I admit that I was very hesitant of the idea of a virtual world and living, basically, another life. It seemed to be a waste of time, originally. These MUD’s, or alternate identities, are actually people and I feel as if a lot of times there are stereotypes and quick thoughts concerning people who spend so much time on these type of websites. I think that Rheingold gives a little better of an explanation of what people actually do on these websites. I think the closest I’ve come to a “virtual”/reality world is playing the sims online. I can spend hours on that game and it is kind of fun being able to make characters and live through them almost. But I wouldn’t say that I am looking for companionship because I have friends, a family, a boyfriend, so it’s more out of entertainment and boredom.

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