Dear Linden Labs,
After reading your article about the case study highlighting IBMs success, I thought it was very interesting and opened my eyes allowing me to see virtual worlds in a different way. I am not really a fan of virtual worlds or anything of that sort, but after having to go in Second Life for a class, I feel as I can better understand what was explained in the article. Even though I already knew virtual worlds had the real-world aspect to it for example Second Life’s Linden dollars and the ability to change real-world currency to Linden dollars for the game, I just never thought about it in this way. When this case study showcased IBM’s success by saving over $300,000 dollars by utilizing the virtual world I was amazed. I guess since the virtual worlds have been created there has always been this ability, but I have never heard it utilized to this extent and it’s pretty groundbreaking in the fact that with technology changing so much it was just a matter of time until companies and large corporations were using these new places to get virtual work done. I think other companies should use this case study as an example of what they should be doing as far as exhausting different options to save money (especially in this economy).
Edward Castranova’s article somewhat relates to your article except it didn’t point out any specific examples from one company, it just laid out all the pros and cons so one could better understand virtual worlds. He also goes into depth about how virtual worlds can and probably will change the jobs of the future as far as how we “go to work”. He explained that instead of going to an actual desk in an actual office, you’d be logging into a virtual world and sitting at your desk there as your avatar and from there on out meet people through those places for work meetings/ conferences/etc. This way, people can work from all over the globe without distance/time constraints. However, by gaining virtual skills you are losing interpersonal skills for face-to-face settings. To conclude the two articles, yes you may be making/saving money by utilizing virtual worlds, but you are losing yourself and relationships by staying in those virtual worlds.