Welcome to Your Second Life


Second Life logoAfter seeing Robert Scoble, Dave Winer, and Emily Chang all blog about Second Life, and all three being sensible grownups (mostly), I figured it was time to check out the game. In a nutshell, Second Life is exactly that – a complete online virtual world where just about everything you can do in real life (buy real estate, build a house, start a business, etc.) has a parallel in Second Life. Of course, if that was all there was to it, who would go? After all, who needs a second or third job with virtual bills to pay? In fear of stating the obvious, everything in the Second Life online world is enhanced. For starters, you can fly. Second, you can control every aspect of your appearance. Have you ever seen a flying Elven supermodel? Well you will, and this seems to be a large part of the appeal of most all virtual worlds; very few people in Second Life are twenty pounds overweight or have bad hair days. Take Carinthia Sansome, a virtual skydiver for example. Carinthia is a player from Amsterdam and often frequents the scene around Abbotts Aerodrome, a functioning virtual airport complete with space age vehicles. You can communicate with anyone you encounter. (Yes, that’s my character in the hat.)

Carinthia Sansome from Second LifeAll of the fantasy stuff in Second Life is well and good but the thing that really interests me, and I daresay interests Scoble and Emily Chang is the fact that people do real business in these virtual lands. The game uses it’s own currency but it is in turn funded by real money. If you want to by a prime piece of virtual real estate, you can buy it! Want to build a skyscraper on that land? You can hire someone who specializes in virtual architecture and build it, and from the look of things – real, professional architects are at work in Second Life. You can then lease virtual office space. Want to create a skydiving business? You can design the airfield, vehicles, and charge money for tours. As a side note, programmers and graphic designers have a real advantage in Second Life – most all objects in the game can be scripted with a language similar to JavaScript. Designers can use their design skills to create new items, everything from clothing to virtual furniture that people will in turn buy.

What finally pushed me over the edge to try Second Life? I read that Emily Chang held a launch party for her new StyleHive project in cyber space complete with fashion show. StyleHive maintains a virtual world headquarters in Second Life. I believe other young businesses, and major corporations looking to get in with kids (both young and old), will follow suit. It’s a brave new world; welcome to your Second Life.

[tags]second life,business,virtual,scoble,winer,emily chang, stylehive,trendmedia,mcnitt[/tags]