I am absolutely new to Second Life, and also a bit of a cynic. My first impression was great someone has taken Dungeons and Dragons to a new level. Thousands of computer geeks (a profile that I resemble slightly), will be spending even more time in the basement, in a sea of old pizza boxes, empty 2 liter bottles of Mountain Dew, and dirty clothes.
After watching the Google tech talk video and reading some articles I think I have changed my mind defining who participates in Second Life. I also realize that it is much more than and has nothing to do with Dungeons and Dragons and/or other fantasy games.
Real, intelligent people are behind Second Life, and real intelligent people are actively participating and making a living in-world via Second Life.
But, I still ask the question of “Why do we need Second Life?”
In an article from The Atlantic Monthly magazine from July 1945 a Dr. Vannevar Bush asks the question to post World War II scientists of what next? He states: “It is the physicists who have been thrown most violently off stride, who have left academic pursuits for the making of strange destructive gadgets, who have had to devise new methods for their unanticipated assignments. They have done their part on the devices that made it possible to turn back the enemy, have worked in combined effort with the physicists of our allies. They have felt within themselves the stir of achievement. They have been part of a great team. Now, as peace approaches, one asks where they will find objectives worthy of their best.”
I am struck wondering a similar thing. All of the time, money, science, technology, brain power, and other assets and resources spent in creating, supporting and participating in a virtual world such as second life, could they be spent on better things that improve real-life, in this world?
I am not sure I know the answer to this question. I have not seen enough, or spent enough time in-world to understand all of its applications, and therefore it would be premature to judge it. I am hoping to be able to answer this question by the end of this class. I am looking forward to seeing what conclusions I reach and also the conclusions of my class mates.
See you in-world.
Mogue Underwood (tjb)