New Media. Second Life: the Virtual World is Taking Off
Second Life The Reality of Virtual worlds
The first time I’d heard about Second Life the rapidly growing virtual world with thousands of people signing up every month was in the Financial Times weekend colour supplement a few weeks ago (now available online here). They had sent a reporter in to check out this rapidly growing phenomenon.
Once you come across something it seems to be everywhere. its in this month’s Net magazine and a swift search is finding stories about it on the technology pages of the BBC website. so let’s start to check it out.
Special World for Teenagers
Because of the more adult nature of Second life and because many don’t wish to meet teenagers even dressed as avatars the creators of Second life have created another world especially for teenagers.
Take some time and follow the BBC links and also the other links. There’s a story of one person who in real life got into debt and managed to win the trust of his Linden friends to lend him real money! Wow…. now there’s impressive.
You’ll find the BBC runs rock concerts in there and IBM are there too. Addidas and Toshiba are selling virtual trainers and cars. some people are reckoning that this is the ‘killer’ application for broadband internet, in other words how to make real money in the real world.
Other Virtual Worlds
The online game World of Warcraft is hugely popular with more than five million people now regularly spending time in Azeroth, trying to turn apprentice adventurers into fully-formed heroes.
World of Warcraft is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game and, as that lengthy title implies, gives gamers the chance to control characters in a large net-based fantasy world.
For some Warcraft players slaying monsters and gathering treasure is not enough. Instead of swords they are using economics as a weapon.
This is because for all its fantasy trappings, one aspect of Warcraft is alarmingly similar to the real world and that is the importance of money.
Virtual worlds is bocoming a big thing. They are working on different models of development. The World of Warcraft is dungeons and dragons for the web however Second Life is a far more creative and dynamic model which is generating real interest in the world of business as well as individual adventurers. Please see the entry which is summarising the Net interview with Philip Rosedale the founder of Second Life. Certainly some are beginning to see Second Life as the new ‘killer’ application for the broaqdband era for it is the availability of cheap broadband that is a core technology in allowing the model to operate. Broadband is to Second Life what roads are to a city.