Monday, June 25, 2007

Second Life

I spent most of the weekend in Second Life. I say "in" rather than "playing" because every article I've read stresses the fact that "it's not a game." It feels like a game, but it's a game in the way The Sims is a game, more or less. Bob kept coming downstairs while I was "playing" (there's really no other verb that I can think of at the moment that fits), walking by and laughing and shaking his head. I think every time he came down I was sitting at a cafe table talking with someone.

I also did tai chi, played drums in a drum circle, taught a yoga class, took an aerobics class, did some whale watching, and stood under the ocean and watched fish.

The very intriguing part, to me, is the "real life" (how can you talk about this stuff without overdosing on quotations marks?) companies that have presences there. Not the big companies, really--AOL has a big place, for instance--but the smaller companies who buy a piece of land, put up a building, and basically set up an office there.

I ran across a public relations firm that has an office with a conference table, a conversation area, and a row of "bells" at the front of the office, each one with someone's name on it. You can walk into the office and page someone, send them a message, or pick up a copy of the company brochure. I assume that the employees come in occasionally and have virtual meetings -- I say "come in" in that they log on from wherever they are, and their avatars sit around the table and talk, or sit in the comfy chairs and sofas.

There are places where concerts are held, or movies are shown; there are lectures (I was somewhere yesterday and listened awhile to an interview with one of the founders); there are classes, although I haven't checked those out yet. I've only been doing it for a few days, so I don't know a lot about it, but I think that it's free to go pretty much anywhere, you only have to pay if you want to buy land or build something.

Of course, it's not all lofty -- there's also the possibility of having sex with a raccoon. Not that I did, although I did have a tail for awhile.

previous | next


Liora said...

Thanks for the belly laugh! And I'd never heard of Second Life til this post, so thanks for the distraction. I know where I'll be playing with spare time in the next few days. :)

Judy said...

I tried 2nd Life a couple of years ago because an old cyberpal of mine has been really into it for years and kept asking me to join.

So I tried it for a few days but it seemed very clunky to me and hard to navigate. Maybe it's improved though since now it's all the rage apparently! :)

If you run into my old friend there, he goes by the name "muzzlehatch" - say hello to him for me and tell him I miss him!

Willa said...

It *is* a bit clunky and difficult to navigate; I still have LOTS of trouble getting around -- I keep banging into things (like RL, I suppose!). I find that it's better at night. Apparently the majority of players are in Europe, so by the time I get home and sit down around 9:00, it's 3:00 a.m. across the pond, so they're mostly offline. I tried getting on briefly yesterday morning, and it was INCREDIBLY crowded. Of course, the whole point is to meet people, I guess, and in that, I'm definitely in the minority -- I prefer it quiet.

Brandy said...

I've been exploring SL the last week or so as well. Like you, quiet exploration has been the best part for me so far. My grad program is wanting to do some get-togethers there, which is why I finally got around to trying it out.

I managed to get to part of a conference in SL last week for a professional organization I belong to, and that was interesting too. Also, the BlogHer conference is doing some stuff in SL next month in case you're interested.

Anonymous said...

It was a very good, interesting and a different story and i had never heard of second life so i really appreciate it.
Thanks alot