Working within virtual worlds can have its pros and cons. I personally do not like the idea of working in a virtual world compared to the real world but I must say according to the articles it does have its perks. Linden Labs claims that the cost of the international virtual meeting within second life was “one-fifth the cost of a real world event.” This can save companies a lot of money over a few years if they converted to using this program. However, meeting in second life you lose that real world interaction that you get when meeting in a face to face environment.
Another thing that I also don’t like about meeting in a virtual world to conduct work is that not everyone is capable of using the technology and adapting as fast as others. Even with basic training that IBM said they would provide to the guest of the meeting, everyone might not catch on that fast. It is a difficult call to make when over 200 guests are expected and half know how to really use the program. Some guests might miss out on interacting because they are spending so much time trying to figure out how to interact. In addition, we have all experienced the second life glitches. Whether it is because the servers are on overload or we have slow internet speed, there are just situation that you could run into when conducting a meeting in a virtual world that you would never have to deal with in the real world. It seems that sometimes accidents happen on second life like losing your hair, or your pants, al even all of your clothes, and that would just be really embarrassing if that happened during a international business meeting with 200 other people around.
I like this idea of having sessions and keynote speaks and such but it just doesn’t compare to a real world meeting. Overall, I believe it takes away from the factors of face to face interaction. Maybe if it was a fun meeting or a corporate party it would be different, but I don’t think it is a smart idea to conduct a serious international meeting in a virtual world.