This parallel universe, an online service called Second Life that allows computer users to create a new and improved digital version of themselves, began in 1999 as a kind of online video game.
But now, the budding fake world is not only attracting a lot more people, it is taking on a real world twist: big business interests are intruding on digital utopia. The Second Life online service is fast becoming a three-dimensional test bed for corporate marketers, including Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Sun Microsystems, Nissan, Adidas/Reebok, Toyota and Starwood Hotels.
Am not a big fan of Second Life. Downloaded it, registered and tried running it. But the application hogs the system’s resources, and I cannot do anything else while running the application. I haven’t really found a stripped down version. Besides, unless there’s a specific event that I want to attend, I get bored rather easily. I struggled with the flying, moving backward and forward. I suppose once you warm up to it, it would get easier. But what’s the point. Unless Second Life becomes a very quick install and has a UI that would get you straight to a venue instead of making you jump, hop and landing on a water body because you have no idea how to “fly”, I see limited use. Perhaps if it became more like an IRC client – where you can join channels with relative ease, Global Voices could even consider a more robust presence there. (Is that already possible?) I know there are some ideas floating around. Reuters has a news desk for Second Life – which I think is rather interesting.
The Economist covered it just recently. (sub required) Perhaps all the excitement is justified and I am not able to enjoy it. But for people with limited RAM and system processors, Second Life is simply frustrating at the end of it.