Monday, April 14, 2008

my thoughts on second life.....

So up until this class I had never really heard of second life. Although I am an avid user of facebook and occasionally MySpace, this virtual world of second life is completely strange and foreign to me. After creating my avatar in class I was so lost as to what to do next that I had to visit the second life/Linden Lab website, to get a general overview of the program/virtual world.

One of the most amazing things to me about second life is how it has a life of its own. The creators developed a canvas where people would be able to create whatever they want; people, places, things, actions you would (or wouldn’t) do in the real world. It is my understanding that the people who own and work for Linden Labs don’t really do that much creating and it is the "residents" and members of second life who develop all of the new and exciting things to use in the virtual world, it is the users who update and improve the program/game/virtual reality.

It is also strange to me how seriously people take this (for lack of a better term) program. When I finally finished the tutorial, I made it onto "Help Island" where I was greeted by what I assumed to be an employee of Linden Labs. I asked her "what are some of the best tips you could give me for starting out in second life?" She responded "treat your beginning in second life as you would starting in a real life." This statement really freaked me out. Put just as much effort into a pretend and virtual world as you would with your actual and real life? Geez I hope not!!

Granted, one could argue that spending a lot of time modifying and creating a facebook profile (which I hate to admit I do) is similar. The difference that I see is that on facebook I'm creating a representation of my own and real life rather than creating an entirely new existence as on second life. I guess that I already feel guilty enough spending as much time as I do on facebook and just can’t imagine myself ever wanting to party and meet people virtually when I can do the real thing here with my actual self.


Linda Latte said...

"treat your beginning in second life as you would starting in a real life."

Good advice above. SL is like RL, but on steroids and a PC screen. What you do or say in SL can help / hurt you in RL. Look me up in-world and I will take you by the hand, OK?

myoung said...

Second Life is a really cool program. I too have never heard about it before this class. I met this person on Second Life that said that she goes on almost every night. I guess its cool to meet new people but why doesn't she just leave her home and interact with people face to face. The time that she spends on second life could be used to meet people in the real world. I could not see myself using second life or facebook/friendster as a social network. Granted I do have a facebook account, but never check it. I like to talk to or physically interact with my friends. I feel that second life and facebook/friendster are taking away from face-to-face social skills. Even though people are communicating over the internet it just isn't the same as communicating to someone face-to-face.