Monday, April 9, 2012

Expansion of Virtual Life

Dear Linden Lab,

As I'm sure you already know, Second Life is an amazing creation that seemingly has endless possibilities.  I had never really worked within a virtual world before Second Life but as I continue to work within the world I seem to learn more and more.  Each time it seems that I discover something different that will surprise me.  After reading “How Meeting in Second Life Transformed IBM’s Technology Elite into Virtual World Believers” I was surprised and learned even more.  Before I started visiting the virtual world, I had always made a generalization about all of these online multi-players.  Although now I see that they are all very different in many ways, I categorized things like World of Warcraft and Second Life together as pointless typesof video games that people wasted their time on.  However, learning how IBM utilized the tools available shocked me.  Being able to host very large conferences via Second Life was such a cool idea that turned out to be so much more.  People were able to experience their work life in a different environment and it worked probably better than they thought.  Instead of having to unnecessarily fly out numerous amounts of employees, they took a new aged approach to the situation.  Many companies these days are transforming into digital work environments as opposed to traditional forms so this was a step into the future.  The conference was not only much more convenient through Second Life but of course cost effective.  Saving over $300,000 is an incredible amount and something more companies will look to do in order to save money.  Although Castranova's article took a more pessimistic approach to the idea of virtual worlds, I tend to disagree with him.  He believes that people can get caught up within their virtual worlds and in return affect their lives in the real world in a negative way.  I think virtual worlds will become more popular in the future as we are moving toward using technology for just about everything in our lives.  More workplaces will change because although a lot less formal, virtual environments have proven to get the job done and be cost efficient.     

Chris Imperiale

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