Saturday, April 12, 2008


Second Life Journal:

“Nickelodeon explores virtual worlds including ‘SpongeBob’”
It is not surprising to me that Nickelodeon is developing a virtual world based on Spongebob Squarepants. Children are already quite obsessed with program. I don’t think that I would let my kids play in a virtual world like the one that Nickelodeon is making because I don’t think that it will be educational at all and I also would want my kids to play outside and exercise for at least some portion of their day. I think that the key is balance. I think that video games can be beneficial, as long as they don’t completely take over or become addicting. I think that in terms of video games Nickelodeon will probably not make such a good program either. They are not know for producing amazing video games so I would be pretty surprised if they did come up with something very creative.
“Charity Raises Funds With Homeless Avatar”
I can’t believe that people used second life to raise money for a child in the real world. I think this is a great idea and a very creative way of using Second Life. I did not realize that companies could use Second life like this. A virtual world like Second Life probably reaches more people than it would if a real boy in sat in Rockefeller Center and asked people to donate money for charity. I think that in a virtual world like Second Life people will not feel uncomfortable around a homeless person because their character is not really suffering. I think people tend to try and pretend like they don’t notice real homeless people because it makes them feel awkward to see someone else truly suffering, this was a really creative idea.

“Study on Second Life and the Pursuit of Happiness”
I think it makes complete sense that people who are successful in real life would be successful in second life, yet I disagree with the idea that it could be therapeutic for those people who feel uncomfortable in the real world. I know quite a few people who are extremely uncomfortable in normal social settings, and these people tend to spend hours on video games. I have not noticed any improvement in their social skills, but what I have noticed is that because they are more comfortable in their virtual games they tend more and more to want to stay there than socialize in the real world.

“Rosedale Discloses FBI briefing probe to Congress”
It is so surprising how the line between the virtual world and the real world is so fine. It makes a lot of sense for people who are trying to organize terrorist groups or abuse other people to use second life because it is all make believe. No one is true to his or her actual identity, so it might be very hard to trace this. I wonder if in the future virtual worlds might be so engrossing for some that they forget to take care of themselves in the real world, or even forget which world is real.
“The Last Big Feature: “HTML on a prim”
This sounds a little scary to me because if one will be able to do anything that one can do on the internet in second life, people may stop using the internet and just start using second life. This would make sense because then one could socialize and meet with friends as well as conduct business while at the same time shop online, share videos, or do research. It would actually be great if for one of my classes such as biology that instead of having to meet at the library we could meet in second life and work on projects with our group. Online access would mean we could look up measurements or buy tools we need for lab all at the same time.

“At VWO8 Kids Are the Focus”
I would think that it makes complete sense for companies to target kids and young adults. First of all they have the most time on their hands, and they are also more adapted and aware of video games. In college especially social life can focus a lot around video games. For example the spending a Friday night getting drunk around a game console is considered pretty normal. I think it might be a lot more difficult for older people to adapt to the social norms of a virtual world because they might spend a lot of time just trying to understand how to sign into the game or how to simply move around.

“Ageplay sim eyes new grid”
I think it is really disgusting that people would be having child adult sex in second life. It is not hurting any real children and I can see why it might be hard to control because it is not real, but I that does not make it any less right. It makes me really uncomfortable because the fact is it isn’t real, yet the idea is wrong and so should not be promoted even in a fake world. Games like second life are very strange to try and control because rules of real society don’t need to apply because in theory no one is truly getting hurt because everyone is a fake character. Yet I still think that there is a lot of evidence that people get very attached to their characters and therefore probably could still be psychologically damaged.

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