Response #6 – “Second Life”

Christian Catronis

Christian Catronis

I just have to say…WTF…to the picture above.

This week, I had the pleasure of playing with Second Life.  My avatar is Christian Catronis.  I have to say, I’ve always secretly wanted my birth name to be Christian, so I was ecstatic to find the name as one of the options for the virtual ‘game.’  But, that could be a separate blog post in itself.

Onto ‘Second Life.’  After 2 hours of playing with it – from figuring out how to navigate the game, to learning how to move and position my character, to changing Christian’s nose, chin, clothing and skin color, I’m still at a loss for the point of the game.  According to the BusinessWeek article, virtual gaming is quite the craze now.  It allows users to escape their normal lives and companies to utilize social networking to reach their consumers. 

Before I render overall judgment on the game in its entirety, I plan on spending more time with it to try and realize its full capabilities.   I have yet to create animations or establish stock exchanges within the game – like those in the BusinessWeek article, but I feel like I’ve made a few strides as I’ve gotten the physical appearance that I want 🙂

But, there’s something much bigger going on inside the Second Life.  Users spend hours and hours creating, designing, coining and developing different facets of the game – for free.  Although, the residents retain full ownership of their creations, it adds different elements to the game.  So, while I may not fully understand (yet) the game, or may not be amused with the game, it’s much more powerful than one’s first impression. 

“It’s becoming apparent that virtual worlds, most of all this one, tap into something more powerful:  the talent and hard work of everyone inside”  – My Virtual Life”, BusinessWeek

This is a big industry, and I believe this will become even bigger in the years to come with the explosion of social networking.  This is just yet another tool along the Long Tail for the population to use for their never-ending pursuit of self-expression.  I can’t wait to continue exploring how this allows businesses to flourish.

Until then, I will continue using my much-easier virtual Wii game.

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