Dear Edward Castronova and Linden Labs,
After reading both articles that addressed virtual settings, business and culture of online games. I thought that I related a lot to what Edward was saying in his first few pages. Primarily because I am a new user to Second Life and my personal opinions of the game were that it was a joke, it was nonsense, “cartoonish multiplayer computer game, and me too jumped to conclusions, “downplaying the possibilities”. But, then after a few informative lectures by my professor Bryce, I started to rethink again about the growth trend that I was very skeptical of admitting it really exists. You stated a few good points. One was examining these video games/virtual worlds in general for their education effect. “The idea that synthetic worlds could be a test bed for learning new practices for businesses, governance, and strategy. As a test bed, they could also host constructed experiments”. After learning about all the breathtaking implications that these virtual worlds can do I too started to open up to the possibilities and changes to come.
Linden labs proved all of my doubts and my skeptics of these new technologies to not 100% enjoy using these games but understand what they can do for business. After reading the article, which highlighted IBMs success, it gave me more evidence and validity that these virtual sites can do. “A fifth of the Cost, and No jet lag.” Lol (Laugh out loud) this is really true. I cannot believe you held a Virtual World Conference and than an Annual meeting, which was hosted in a secure Second Life environment. “IBM estimates the ROI for the Virtual World Conference was roughly $320,000 and that the Annual meeting was executed beautifully at one-fifth the cost of a real world event”. This is remarkable and quite impressive. I now see virtual worlds in a different way after reading your great success and story. One argument I will have to make is when you say, “Got to work.” Instead of going to an actual desk in an actual office, you can log onto a virtual worlds from your own home just as if you were in an actual office. The one thing that these virtual worlds take away is interpersonal skills for face-to-face settings. So, yes-virtual worlds can help with having no jet lag, and saving money, but you are also losing the face-to-face relationship in using these virtual worlds.