" Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its Residents". It is a website that has grown hugely in popularity over the last few months and has over 8,718,000 residents. Although participating in this virtual world is not my cup of tea, I find the idea fascinating and its inventors genious. It is not surprising that this amount of people have seized the opportunity to be a part in the creation of this new digital world.
To its members, Second Life gives the opportunity to live a life far removed from their real one and presents a method of interaction never seen before. Another appeal that attracts people to the site is that it is a world of equality and equal opportunities, providing a a society that is more inclusive. Residents can explore, socialize, build, participate in activities and even trade items and services with each other. Their appearance within the network can be completely customised and even tailored to resemble the person they represent.
Following in the footsteps of more primitive, but hugely popular social networks like myspace and facebook, Second Life poses the question, is this where communication is taking us? It becomes easier and easier to communicate with people as technology advances and in the comfort and safety of our own homes, but as a result of this, are we taking a step backwards when it comes to communication in the real world and will we eventualy lose the art of conversation?
I discovered the Second Life website after reading an article in NME about Secondfest - a virtual three-day music festival inside Second Life.
This article shows an interview with James Smith of band, Hadouken after playing a set for a virtual festival, which saw 30 bands playing to over 15,000 people. Second Fest even has its own myspace page, http://www.myspace.com/secondfest. The idea of having an online music festival seemed to me absurd, but to the 'residents' of Second Life, their virtual world is as real as the world we live in.