Monday, February 6, 2012

Experiencing Second Life

Dear Mr. Bainbridge,

I really liked your article The Scientific Research Potential of Virtual Worlds.  It made me look at Second Life in a whole new light, and I realized that it serves a lot of other purposes rather than just entertainment.  I was a bit surprised by the statistics presented in your article that 6.5 million people have entered Second Life.  I had never even heard of Second Life before this, so the fact that this technology has been so popular is news to me.  I liked that you mentioned that most virtual players are in fact adults, and have a wide variety of occupations and characteristics.  This debunks the myth that the only people who spend time in SL and WoW are children and teens.  Meeting others virtually has now almost become the norm.  

Unfortunately, the popularity of the virtual world lessens face to face time, which I believe is more effective.  From my few experiences on Second Life, I noticed that conversations were delayed and talking to others did not seem as personal in character form.  When meeting virtually, there is some type of barrier that is absent in face to face interaction, and it could make someone seem even further away.      

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