Archive for the 'Second Life' Category

Second Life, Part Two (Project Fest)

Posted in cyberlaw, Cyberlaw Project, Second Life on December 8th, 2006

I entered Second Life today, probably at the expense of the Constitutional Law work sitting in front of me. It feels strange to be doing something so closely related to how I previously entertained myself, even if it is for a course.

On the syllabus there was scheduled a “Second Life Fest” for both the law and extension school students, apparently mandatory for the latter. I suppose I am not up to date on their altered syllabus, since there were not too many people there. Fortunately, I did run into a few ‘at-large’ participants who were interested in discussing the projects (although they had not done projects of their own) and was able to observe those portions and representations of ES projects that were stationed in Second Life. I viewed websites advocating warnings before an avatar enters a mature area, a project about Second Life, specifically Linden Labs owning the creations of the users.

The person who asked about my project had already seen the video, but I was able to discuss it more. I realized that my project was requiring a little too much in the way of explanation, and created a gateway page for entering the website and blog… I might have to refine it, but it forced me to state more clearly what I am trying to accomplish. I also altered the text on the “What Can I Do?” page of the site to reflect the aim, which is a very abstract goal of sheer awareness… More on that later.

Second Life – Part One (A Changing Society)

Posted in cyberlaw, Cyberlaw Project, Second Life, The Internet, Wikis on December 8th, 2006

The course has simultaneously been going on as an extension school course and a project for the internet community at large. Many of the meetings have been taking place in Second Life, a virtual community. In the beginning of the course, we were instructed to download the program and create an avatar. We were later paired up for tours of Second Life (but of course by then I had begun exploring on my own).

I was a beta tester for the Sims Online. In college, Sim City was about the best way to waste time; a shared addiction to that game united me with another young dormer who is now (11 years later) my husband. When the Sims was released I was nearly as enthusiastic, and would spend way too much time teaching my Sims to cook, making sure they slept. The Sims Online was a place to unite with others playing the game. You could join up and make pizza for profit, combine your profits to buy land and build a house.

When the beta test was up, I was offered the chance to stay on, keep my character and her money and all she had accomplish. Perhaps at the cost of all I had accomplished. A monthly fee plus my spare time was too high a cost . . .

Second Life, on the other hand, is free and far less addictive. Instead of doing repetitive tasks to earn money, you can create and share items, which people do, freely. Since an item can be replicated, it is far more of a collaborative environment. You can earn money in-game, and I’m sure people do, but many people are just there to learn, to create, and to share.

It does have a strong connection to many other things in the course, such as Creative Commons, Copy Left, the GNU Software License, and Wikis, especially Wikipedia. People operate by something other than market forces, in a decentralized way to build upon what each other has created and improve it. This is more than just technology, this is a change in culture itself fostered by that technology. Perhaps those of us who marvel at the technological age we are living in will not see it until the future, but we might be living though changes larger than we realize. . .