Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Second Life, Second Chance

I'm kind of interested in this "massive multiplayer online community" Second Life. However, I think it contributes to people's lack of personal correspondence in the real world. The community may very well be called Second Life, but for some people it could end up being their only life, and that is scary. Also, I think I'd rather be going out and talking to people rather than logging on to a virtual world. But you can fly in it, so it can't be all that bad.


Aldon Hynes said...

I must admit, I don't play Second Life. It requires a computer running fairly recent versions of operating systems and fairly powerful graphics cards, both of which I lack.

However, if I had a better machine, I would probably be playing Second Life. I have a different view of Second Life. It is a community. Some people join Rotary, others join Second Life. Based on other virtual communities I've been part of, I suspect that they get together face to face as well.

For the blogging side of things, I would encourage you to read Second Life Herald. It brings a whole new perspective to blogs and to journalism.

I would also encourage you to read my blog entry, Random Observatioins.

One of the things that I talk about is the outbreak of a plague in World of Warcraft. People are now studying the reaction to the outbreak as people think about how to prepare for an outbreak like the Bird Flu.

Aldon Hynes said...

As a follow up on the community aspects of Second Life, check out Second Life Community Convention.

Perhaps more importantly take a look at Brigadoon, An innovative online community for people dealing with Asperger's Syndrome and Autism and live2give, An innovative online community for people dealing with Cerebral Palsy and similar conditions.

Kim--the librarian said...

I am sure there is a lure to being part of an online community. My problem is the old D&D syndrome as written about in Rona Jaffe's Monsters and Mazes. Too many people can't separate out their alternate reality from reality. If they put half as much effort into their real lives as they did their online personas, they would have no need for the online persona.

Some people say that MOOs and MUSHs etc., are good for people who would not be able to find other people who share their interests. Bullocks. Do you know how many times I have been at a LAN party where the whole point is to get together with people who share your interests (and blow them to little pieces while taunting them)and I find the World of Warcrack and Evercrack addicts still playing their game? Just because it makes your feel good does not make it right. We no longer live in the age of Aquarius.

The thought of a person sitting at their computer getting all emotional wondering about the effects of an outbreak of plague on a fictitous society makes me angry. It is morbid, wastefull and supercillious. We get one life, and it is the same life with or without computers. We belong to one world, many parts of which lack electricity and actually deal with plague as more than a hypothetical. I do not beleive that humanity achieves greatness in the histrionic manufacture of problems to escape our real issues.

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."
E.F. Schumacher