I just tried Second Life, the “3-D virtual world entirely created by its Residents,” for the first time last week. It was surprisingly fun and actually a lot more multi-purpose than I realized. I already have too much going on in my first life to need a second one, but I can see how Second Life could be a good supplement to your real life.
I was a bit wary at first about going on at first. I thought I may be chastised as a n00b or hit on by some guy with a mustache, but surprisingly none of that happened. All the people that I interacted with were very pleasant or at least not unpleasant. I first spent some time on Orientation Island figuring out how to move, change my appearance, communicate and even fly. It was pretty simple to learn and I quickly went through all the tutorials. The first place I went after I graduated from orientation was Info Island, a library based space, which I had heard about through various articles. There are actually many library based places in Second Life.
The place wasn’t terribly fun and I am not quite sure who would go there except librarians, but it was a nice place to get started exploring. I talked to a few people and learned about civil rights through one of the exhibits that was there. There wasn’t too much action though so I decided to teleport and find some.
I decided that I would check out some music, and there were a number of live shows going on at that time. I first attended a DJ contest where they had multiple DJs spinning tracks. I got my avatar to dance around like a goon like everyone else was doing. It amused me for a few minutes. I got bored though and that music wasn’t really my scene so I tried something else. I went to a concert by Frenchman named Cyril Effingham. It was all live vocals and piano. He did a pretty solid cover of Imagine by John Lennon. And it was actually a lot of fun listening to him.
What I really enjoyed about Second Life is that you can do things that you otherwise would not be able to do. I can go to a French concert and do not have to be anywhere near France. It makes me wonder about all the other things that I could do. I also really liked that I could fly. If I got bored or nervous about some place I could just zoom away. It is also really cool that Second Life has the ability to help those who have social interaction problems. People who are agoraphobes who are petrified by the outside world are learning social skills and getting out of the house. I probably will not be building a house there, but I can see that Second Life has a number of beneficial qualities. And if I feel the need to listen to some Russian techno, attend a class on some interesting topic, or just fly around for a while, I may just stop back.