Second Life is altogether converging more and more towards a virtual version of your first life. In a mass effort to defeat the purpose to make a virtual getaway, is the trickling of reality permeating and polluting the Second Life experience?
According to this news article posted yesterday in Strategy Page, the US Army is taking advantage of Second Life for training purposes. In the wake of the severe push towards a greater online community they have even created their own tools on a separate and private Internet to effectually accomplish their civilian training exercises.
In an article we posted earlier, we highlighted the terrorist usage of worlds like Second Life as well. What does all this mean? First and foremost, it means effective tools for training at minimal cost. And that’s just what government and terrorists alike are looking for.
But this is just another step in the direction of making the real world and the virtual world blend on a deeper scale. Second Life has been a haven for educators, organizations, political movements, and prominently, businesses, to gather and accomplish their real world goals. Universities have also been known to construct virtual campuses for their students to partake in. What keeps people interested then, if everything is becoming a mimic of it’s natural self? Is it the curiosity factor? Is it the wow factor?
Major critics to Second Life tend to believe that the world will be short lived. Most of them claim that everyone is there to make money from each other, but few are there to spend it… and its getting worse. Second Life also has a large learning curve, clunky interface, and sluggish performance. It’s vast, creative, open world is what’s killing it’s experience for many.
With most visitors to SL going there for an escape the question is whether these real world mirror imaged organizations and movements are just clogging the virtual space, or whether they’re contributing to its growth and intrigue. Our position is that businesses help promote growth so long as their efforts and intentions stay in Second Life. But when companies use the virtual space to accomplish real world tasks primarily, it’s just suffocating the environment.
What about you? How much would you like to see Second Life cater to the imagination and unfolding of its own environment? Does Second Life suffer at the expense of the real world?