Monday, October 16, 2006

webheads do second life - 10-06

Around my house, Second Life is when the first cereal box is down to the crumbs and you get to start the next one fresh. But these days it also refers to an extremely popular and scary online game that according to this article has over 700,000 users and is being given the eye by educators. Since webheads aren't afraid of anything they were given a tour of it this week by the very same Gavin Dudeney (I believe) who is quoted in this article. Since I am already multitasking on Sun. morning I was unable to get the voiced part of the tour, but got enough of the essence of it to be flabbergasted nonetheless.

My question really is, this Second Life business is ok for those of us who are already doing fairly well in First Life- have a job, an education, fluent in English, etc. What if one gets to "Second Life" before one gets to "First Life"? What if one's exposure to English comes by way of chat, by way of this online world? Just curious. I'm sure this has not been studied in any depth- SL is relatively new. Not to malign the intentions of SL makers, who probably made something cool basically because they could, but the implications of having so many people on SL are enormous, and completely un-thought-out, is my guess. They can try to manage them, but it's already a city larger than St. Louis (another SL, I guess).

We're still sticking to the cereal boxes- I haven't started in on SL yet though I expect one of my kids to give it a whirl any day now. As it is, something is overriding "force quit" and "log off" on his profile and making it so you have to unplug the computer in order to start over and do anything else- I suspect it's some whirring function of cockroaches on astroturf, otherwise known as runescape, that keeps going long after even safari or firefox has shut down. And is there any way for us mortals to figure out what it is? I doubt it. The cord may be our only true weapon.

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