Thursday, November 19, 2009

Emily and Emily's SL

Second Life is a very interesting concept. We went into it thinking it was some sort of game that was absolutely free, yet we were wrong. It turns out Second Life is a living economy within a virtual world. To get anywhere in SL you must first purchase currency, called Linden dollars. The Linden dollars can be used to exchange for any number of things from virtual hot tubs for a SL home, to an evening gown to wear to the disco. The whole idea of Second Life isn’t that of a game, but literally to have an alternate existence in a virtual world.

If you are not familiar with it, Second Life is difficult to start and has a rather large learning curve. You have to learn the basics of walking, flying, gesturing and communicating before you can effectively do anything. You are started in a virtual land surrounded with signs offering tidbits and information on the basics of SL. After you learn these basics, you can feel more comfortable entering a different area with more people present. Here you are able to enter in to different events ranging from an invisible band concert to the opening of a theme park. It is also possible to buy a home or even set up a business.

In second life, there are an infinite number of ways to alter your appearance. You can change your body shape, hair style, and face structure, not to mention the millions of different apparel options available. The issue once again is that to get any sort of legitimate apparel, you have to have access to Linden dollars, so you better pull out your Visa. The outfits that appear on the spring runway are in the range of L$10,000 which is around $39 dollars.

Communication comes mostly in the form of chatting with people in close proximity to you. The catch is that since Second Life is available to anyone anywhere, there is no guarantee they will be chatting to you in English. We had lots of trouble with this and couldn’t ever find anyone that we could have an actual conversation with because they were all communicating in another language.

While second life was interesting, we do not personally feel the urge to continue using it. It all depends on your perspective of how much of your actual money is the virtual goods and services are worth. It is amazing to see that people actually construct buildings, apparel, and countless other items, and are able to turn their Linden dollars into actual income. The whole idea of this virtual world was astonishing to us, and we are glad to have a better understanding of it, but do not plan on visiting Second Life on a regular basis.

1 comment:

  1. Wow that's wild! The idea of second life sounds pretty fun. In some ways it could be interesting from an acedemic perspective by studying a virtual economy and peoples behaviors with L But I cant see forking out too much real money to play. Out of all of the social media projects, mine included, yours seemed like the most fun