Monday, February 6, 2012

A Social History

Dear Joe Sanchez,

            After reading the second chapter in Implementing Second Life, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed learning about the history or virtual worlds and the how interesting the chapter was. I just joined Second Life very recently for one of my classes. We meet in a physical classroom Tuesdays and then a Second Life classroom on Thursdays. I’m still very new to functioning, but it’s amazing to see all the things you can do. You talked about how early on, people were creating things in MUDs but could not use or even hold them, but it was highly impressive that they were able to do that. Now I look at all the things people can create and I am astonished. We had to create avatars and I chose a generic one, but when I went into Second Life, I saw a person whose avatar was the Kool-Aid man which I’m still curious as to how they did it. You can go to actual places in Second Life, there is a Rutgers portion where I can go to and then go to the grease trucks when I am there.

            Since I didn’t know much about Second Life or any other virtual worlds, I knew nothing about the history. I can’t imagine people playing these games decades ago, with nothing visual to go off, but instead just words to describe where they were. I find it interesting the turn that these virtual worlds have taken, where once it was about going on a quest with a distinct mission like ‘kill the dragon’ to now where in Second Life there isn’t a game going on as the central point, but you can basically do anything you want to. It seems to have taken a turn on the more luxurious and social side of things. I’ve never played a MMORPG before but I’ve seen some of World of Warcraft before and the concept seems cool, just not something I’d be interested in doing. There was an episode of the popular cartoon show South Park where the four main characters got the game and when they went to play it they were immediately killed by a higher level player. So the boys decided to dedicate all their time to becoming better plays (by hiding in the forest and killing boars) so they could get revenge on the guy who killed them. In the process the boys got fat and acne because they no longer cared about their hygiene or physical fitness. When I saw that episode, it was the first time I ever heard of the game and that has always stuck with me, anytime WoW is mentioned I always thinks of that show.

Ana Luisa

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