Dear Linden Labs,
Never did I think Second Life had an use outside personal and emotional attachment. Up until this point I believed that Second Life only benefited those who wanted to express and communicate their online identity while also meeting others of similar interests. However, after reading your article "How Meeting in Second Life Transformed IBM's Technology Elite into Virtual World Believers" it is interesting to see just how Linden Labs had helped connect employees of major corporations such as IBM. Over 6,100 members of the IBM Virtual University helped train new Second Life users to attend the conference. While the training may have been time consuming, which I can relate to from personal experience, it was definitely beneficial to IBM. First of all, they saved $320,000 while holding the conference in Second Life. Not having to fly out these participants to one location definitely was a major factor in the savings. Secondly, it seemed like it was run very smoothly as there were members of the IBM Virtual Community team working as concierges to assist members on where to go. It was interesting to see how the tactics and procedures used were nearly the same as it would be if IBM held the conference at their headquarters.
Edward Castronova’s article “Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games” shares an opinion that particularly doesn’t agree or disagree with your software, but perhaps sheds light on it. He talks about the effects that living in Second Life is having on people’s personal lives. He states that people are interacting less in their personal lives because they are so tied up in the newfound technology Second Life. In my opinion, he has a valid point but only to a certain extent. I believe they Second Life is beneficial because as in the IBM case it saved a corporation a lot of money while also making it easy for employees to learn. However, sometimes people do get caught up in Second Life and it can have an effect on their personal lives. In conclusion, I believe that people need to find a fine line between time spent on Second Life and in real life. If they are able to do so, it can only be beneficial to both their personal life and “second” life.