Sunday, March 09, 2008

Virtual Life

There was another big story in the paper today about “Second Life,” the online virtual world that thousands (millions?) of people seem to love.

I don’t get it.

It must have been about a year ago that a friend told me about “Second Life” and how wonderful it is. I couldn’t see the appeal and didn’t check it out. Since then I’ve heard about it many times and I can’t remember seeing anything negative. My problem with “Second Life,” is simple. I am firmly rooted in my “First Life,” this one, the one I live in every day – and love. Why would I want to submerge myself in a fantasy?

The “Second Life” website says:

· From the moment you enter the World you'll discover a vast digital continent, teeming with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity. Once you've explored a bit, perhaps you'll find a perfect parcel of land to build your house or business.

OK, fine. But I already live in a world teeming with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity. Why create a fantasy substitute?

Then they say:

· You'll also be surrounded by the Creations of your fellow Residents. Because Residents retain the rights to their digital creations, they can buy, sell and trade with other Residents.

Again, I’m already surrounded by what my fellow residents of this planet have created. I don’t mind looking at new creations, but not because I need to escape.


· The Marketplace currently supports millions of US dollars in monthly transactions. This commerce is handled with the in-world unit-of-trade, the Linden dollar, which can be converted to US dollars at several thriving online Linden Dollar exchanges.

Is this the hidden agenda? A new way to make money? Get a life, buddy, a first life, and do what you need to do to succeed in it.

Here’s the deal. I’ve got a full life going. It may not be perfect, but I get enormous satisfaction from it. My honey, my friends, my movies, my books, my writing, my sunrises and sunsets, and much much more. Even though I’m retired, I’m not at a loss for things to do. My days are full. Why would I take time away from all this to have a “Second Life?”

There may be something I’m missing. Maybe there’s something wrong with my picture. If so, will someone please enlighten me? ‘Cause I still don’t get it.


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