Monday, April 9, 2012

IBM and the better side of virtual worlds

Dear Mr. Castranova,

After reading your chapter examining how the effects of virtual life on real world life is very tough to swallow.  I believe that you may just be too pessimistic about how the real world is affected by the virtual ones.  I mean, when you mention the ability that both the virtual world and real world are becoming one with another as seen mainly through the ability to create capital gain through these virtual worlds is very understandable, but these worlds I believe can co-exist.  These virtual worlds are becoming a normal way of life within the real world.  It is odd how much activity in a person’s life takes place in a virtual world now a days and it can be seen by your examples such as those who tend to not leave home for substantial amounts of time.  This can, in some people’s eyes, be seen as a destructive force within out real world society, but the benefits of using virtual worlds are such a marvel, it is hard to disregard.

  IBM had seen the light showing briefly by the use of virtual worlds and decided to take an early stab at its power by holding an event directly held within the second life world.  This event wasn’t just want event, but a powerful well-funded event that was usually held every year in the physical world and at a cost of 320k a year.  The ability for the virtual to lessen the strain of travel and business from the physical world and drive the event into an completely online world where users could simply log on and attend actual business meetings was amazing.  The success of mixing real world business with virtual world technology really opened up a ton of opportunities for others to look into the abilities to hold events completely in a virtual world.  The savings were more than 1/5 of the allocated 320k and everyone was pleased by the information the event held.  So as you can see, it isn’t all bad.  I mean  people need to make sure that some sort of line must be held between virtual worlds and the real world so that new users can understand the difference later in the future.


Carlos Feliciano

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