10 October 2006

Second Life: What Can You Do With It?

Second Life is an interactive online environment where you can spend all of your time if you want. Some people make their living in the real world from what they do on Second Life.

"Second Life" now has more than 800,000 denizens, of whom more than a hundred are earning a real-world, full-time living there, selling things like virtual land, clothes, jewelry, weaponry and pets, or by offering virtual services, notably sex.

Yes, people pay real money for things they can only use in Rosedale's world, which is created on powerful servers and accessed through the Internet. Hundreds of thousands of real dollars change hands in "Second Life" daily, and it would have an annual gross domestic product of around $150 million if it were to stop growing today.

But Rosedale forecasts it will pass a million users this year. A rush to be part of the "new new thing" is on, and organizations like Major League Baseball, Harvard University, American Apparel Inc., and CNet.com are among the many opening operations in "Second Life," while musicians like Duran Duran and Suzanne Vega have broadcast virtual concerts there using the world's lifelike animated characters.

Find much more information about SL, particularly from the creator's point of view at the source.

The best article that I have found describing Second Life is this one. There you can find interviews from several Second Life addicts, and links to a variety of YouTube clips from SL.

The intriguing thing to me about Second Life is how dedicated the creators/operators of the enterprise seem to be toward improving the simulation and making it more realistic.

Second Life has a lot of potential to grow. Other virtual environments such as World of Warcraft could conceivably become mere subsets of the Second Life world. As interfaces grow more and more realistic--including sensory body suits and haptics--most forms of human interaction will become possible. If you imagine a total sensory experience combined with ultra-wide bandwidth, you begin to see the future of networked interaction.

I recommend reading the two articles linked to above, and view a couple of the YouTube videos at the Phoenix site. Unless you are already familiar with SL, you will probably be amazed by what is there, and blown away by the possibilities for the future.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Pastorius said...

That's rather amazing. I imagine I could probably afford a better house in the Second Life world, than I can in the, uh, real world.

Wednesday, 11 October, 2006  
Blogger al fin said...

Whatever you want, my friend. If you think of a product or service you can sell in SL, you might just become rich in the physical world. The more real the interfaces become, the richer worlds like SL can be.

The possibilities of this type of virtual environment are not nearly being realised--not only the potential for more intense physical interactions through sensory environments and haptics. As intelligent programs learn to imitate real people better and better, inhabitants of SL may achieve immortality as their physical selves die, but their "agents" live on in SL.

Wednesday, 11 October, 2006  

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