Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Second Life: real or fantasy ? ( updated scroll down for sunset view)

Being a blogger means you are involved quite a long part of the time online. Additionally internet technology advances mean we are 'IM ing' our friends, relatives and colleagues all over the place and at any time. If you put telephony platforms like Skype where we can actually talk voice and video conferences for free ( pc to pc ) into consideration, then it seems like myself and many others on this planet are living in a virtual world where the physical distance is hardly a problem anymore : with an internet connection and a console you are set .

However, there has been a small secret kept for the nerds and initiated which has started to spread in popularity in the last year(s). It’s a whole parallel world in cyberspace called appropriately ‘Second Life' . Corny eh ?

Articles are increasingly cropping out about Second Life and that means I can no longer keep silent about this phenomenon or another of my addictions : P to see new horizons, especially if the Swedish Embassy is opening an office now ! While the radical French politician Le Pen ideology has recently been greeted with protests and even violent demonstrations here ( hattip Programmer_Craig ).

Politics and activism ? this is serious stuff so if you were thinking that this place is teaming with cybersex and all sorts of 'fun' then think again. The 'greenies' are here as well , so if you care for the environment and global warming then why don't you log on to 'climate island' and check what solutions they can offer.

WOW, this means Second Life is NOT a fantasy world as we thought but a REAL one with all the attribute of this first life somewhere else. Online !

Background info

“Second Life, established in 2003 by the San Francisco-based Linden Lab, is proving an increasingly alluring alternative to the real world. Its founder, Philip Rosedale, says he's been into computer simulations since he was a kid. The firm provides a platform for users to create virtual businesses, take virtual marriage vows, have virtual sex, file for virtual divorces, build homes, hold jobs, buy Nikes and other pretend duds so their avatar (at least) looks cool. Second Life exists online, though there is a warehouse a few miles south of San Francisco humming with the expanding number of servers required to sustain its residents' dreams.[…] Avatars gather to simulate terrorist attacks using software that might be used in the real world - ideally, to prevent them from happening there. Politicians have started doing interviews in Second Life: earlier this year, the former Virginia governor Mark Warner, a possible Democratic presidential candidate in 2008, flew into a virtual town hall on Second Life (or rather, his avatar did) to be questioned by a virtual journalist and a crowd of avatars about such real-world issues as Iraq. Doctors are doing simulations that may have real-world benefits: a Californian psychiatrist, for instance, reported the Economist this week, has created simulations of schizophrenic hallucinations in Second Life to convey to his students a sense of how his patients suffer.” [more The Guardian].

Second Life has it’s own paper as well : The Herald ?

I have to admit I am a member there as well and my avatar is cute he he he. I was not very imaginative and tried to make it look like me ( modesty again). So NBA if you want that toe photo you can ‘see’ me there, while Craig can check my belly dancing outfit (joke).
Upon my arrival on ‘orientation island’ recently the inhabitants have been very gallant, maybe I managed to have that lost look even in cyberspace? Apparently men love to help you …. Well that is my experience at least :P so don't be shy or afraid everybody try it!

Now readers , would you confess if you are living in Second Life too ? tell me about your experience(s).

Actually thinking about it… maybe the Libyan Bloggers could have their meet up there since we are located in so many different countries saves on travel expenses eh ? or alternatively we could all agree to meet on Skype one day …. what do you think?

Other links :

(1) Journalism in Second Life
(2) Second life for kids
(3) Blogging Second Life
(4) Murder in /because of Second life

Some inhabitants enjoying the sunset!


Libyan_NBA said...

"I can no longer keep silent about another of my addictions : P especially if the protests and even here."

Don't tell me you can't even enjoy yourself in the virtual World :p ?

"So NBA if you want that toe photo you can ‘see’ me there, while Craig can check my belly dancing outfit."

Actually they are off limits even in la la land .. lol

"I managed to have that lost look even in cyberspace? "

What you couldn't find your way even in Cyberspace.... OMG!!!!!!!
Is this post a cry for help ????

"Now readers , would you confess if you are living in Second Life too ?"

Don't live there too corny for me:p., and I still have hope for the real thing :p lol

Tateru Nino said...

We did a story about that murder, and it had nothing to do with Second Life: http://www.secondlifeinsider.com/2007/01/20/from-second-degree-murder-to-second-life/

AngloLibyan said...

I tried it some time ago, I got completely lost and gave up.
I tried it again now, I got completely lost and I gave up :o(

NOMAD said...

I expect the "le Pen" 2nd life place is, in a way, a new "french bashing", the beret cliché disturbs me

and Craig , will he bethe "Terminator" or the "lover" character in the 2nd life scenario ? hehe, :lol:

a fiction video (in french)about the 2nd life actualities

seems to me funny, but I am afraid that many people will not distinguish wether it is relevant of real life wether it is of a novelist mind

Libyan_NBA said...

"but I am afraid that many people will not distinguish wether it is relevant of real life wether it is of a novelist mind"

yes, not for the weak minded

programmer craig said...

I had no idea "Second Life" was so old... it seems pretty clunky to me, compared to online games such as World of Warcraft. But, there are a lot of things you can do in Second Life that you can't do in WoW or the other online games, like create your own content (scripts, objects, etc)... I dunno, haven't made up my mind if I like it or not yet. I'm pretty certain I'm not going to get addicted to this one, at least :)

I think it's best use might be as a visual chat program, to be honest!


and Craig , will he bethe "Terminator" or the "lover" character in the 2nd life scenario ? hehe, :lol:

Hey, it's not my fault! I had to shoot some French dudes last time I was in the Second Life, in self defense. I started out wearing a Tuxedo. Now, I'm wearing bib overalls with no shirt uderneath, and barefoot. And smoking a cigar. And carrying a chain gun. I'm going for a classic American look, so the Frenchies will know what they are dealing with!

Here was my first encounter witha Frenchie:

Snotty Frenchman: *shooting at me*

Programmer Craig: *shooting back*

Snotty Frenchman: Whips out a sign about Gay Rights and takes a screenshot of me shooting him while he's holding the sign.

Programmer Craig: *still shooting the Frenchman*

Snotty Frenchman: *speaking French crap*

Programmer Craig: "No, I use a lot of sunscreen!"

Snotty Frenchman: *speaking French crap*

Programmer Craig: "Yeah I like shopping at Walmart too"

Snotty Frenchman: "you are banned"

Programmer Craig: "you have any pictures of your sister?"

so on and so forth...

Like all the online games, second life allows people to act out their fantasies in ways they wouldn't, normally. Including, abusive people!

So, not for the faint of heart!

But it does have promise, and most areas don't allow people to *actually* harass anyone, they can only do it verbally.

NOMAD said...

lybian nba,
thanks for the link, kind of you to show me how helpful you can be

PC, the terminator part suits you, I bet it is a natural gift !

I don't mind acting the french gay since they are allowed in the Marine too (hehe 2nd life)

programmer craig said...

Hi Nomad,

I don't mind acting the french gay since they are allowed in the Marine too (hehe 2nd life)

He came up and started shooting while I was editing some stuff. And then when I shot back, he whipped out that "gay rights" sign so he could accuse me of homophobic harassment. He's not gay, he's a typical griefer. His objective is to get people banned.

By the way, to the person who just asked me if it really happened, yes it really did :)

SL has potential and I like the fact that virtually anything is supported, but they really need a way to deal with those who exist (online) only to make other people miserable. I'm talking about you, LibyanWarrior :P

Highlander said...

Libyan NBA :) yes my navigation skills are nil ..

tateru nino, thanks for the link and welcome to my blog.

Anglo Libyan :) don't give ... I'm stuck with my belly dance outfit and somehow can't remove it :)

Nomad, actually Le Pen's place is real , this guy is looking into the future...

Programmer _ Craig you managed to get shot nooooo way ...he he he will go right now to check you in bibs...oh an by the way LW has not been around :P and he has been on best behaviour since we last saw him OK :P ?

NOMAD said...

H Don't Worry, Le pen is "dead", 3 potential clients as Sarko-sego and now Bayrou will have the major parts

no, I didn't met PC in his barrack, but, on a ship cruise, actually I was his Maistre D, and I got him eat worms alike spagetti a la bologhese,and some chicken asses in the bouchées à la reine ; the poor got anxious whe he saw the heads of the chicken on the buffet, as some trophee decoration : I asked him :"do ya know where the eggs come from ? though you have your scrambles each morning" - "uhe, no" - "they come from the chicken ass" that is why they have that brouny color ... this guy made me so laugh, such a genuity in a bib incarnation; now I can help me telling how he was such a carricature of the american dream to my grand children :lol:

programmer craig said...

Craig , will he bethe "Terminator" or the "lover" character in the 2nd life scenario ? hehe, :lol:

You see, Nomad? I can do both! Showing off my guns to a pretty girl, works every time :P

Too bad I accidentally shot her! But then she fell in the river and I got to gallantly rescue her, so it all works out in the end :)

NOMAD said...

then you must be a snake

Libyan_NBA said...


Chris in MB said...

"....have virtual sex,...."

Alright, now I've really got to try this thing out. :D

programmer craig said...

It seems like all people do in "Second Life" is have sex! And shoot people! Shooting and sex, that's what it is all about. Somebody asked me to stop smoking my "cigar" earlier - so I shot her!

It's just like real life :P

programmer craig said...

Chris, you wouldn't believe how much sex there is in this thing! And it's very realistic too, the script writers have done a great job with that! It's kind of bizarre walking around minding your own business and happening upon a hardcore sex scene though! But the areas are clearly marked for what kind of activities are permitted in them, so that's good.

Chris in MB said...

damn, I'm using a satellite connection. Works yet some packet loss & strange things happen when I attempt an appearance change.

Chris in MB said...

btw, WTF?? no toques in here?

programmer craig said...

Hey, you're in the game Chris? What do you think of it so far?

I found some cowboy hats so I'm sure you can find one of those ski caps! Just keep an eye out for "freebies" - there's one place where they are giving away hundreds of items. I'll write down the name of it next time I log in.

Libyan_NBA said...

"It seems like all people do in "Second Life" is have sex!"

Yeah thats what I noticed too, when I checked the popular places they were all sex related, and nearly more than a million and a half ( out of 3 million ) of the people where in the sex places. Couldn't get the percentage of people actually logged in and not in the Mature area though :p.
Now I remember why i didn't like it the first time around, with all the currency exchange seems like it has been abused and has become an online red district lol.

I wonder if ICANN approved the .xxx domain where this game would end up, would it be split in two?

Chris in MB said...

hmmm, interesting.....
damn... it's getting late

It does seem to work for the most part with the satellite connection, some problems with texture generation.

So where do I find a whore house?? :P

NOMAD said...

by the ways it was a 2e degré story, but it could have been for real as a chickeny cartoon one ; I took the chicken image cause it is one of your favorite images of us in the holly US

NOMAD said...

by the ways it was a 2e degré story, but it could have been for real as a chickeny cartoon one ; I took the chicken image cause it is one of your favorite images of us in the holly US

red said...

Humm, I don't know, Highlander. I might get hooked @ I don't have any interest in it at all!

Anonymous said...

Hullo Hi!

Welcome back, I guess I missed your arrival, hope your trip was good.

2nd Life? I think these ideas are fascinating, as a concept, and it is interesting to read about new developments and phenomena. But I feel no attraction to take part myself. Is this a contradiction? Dunno, I haven't asked my shrink :p

Snotty Frenchman: "you are banned"

Programmer Craig: "you have any pictures of your sister?"

That was pretty witty.

NOMAD said...

obelixyeah, for a stereotype fantazy, he wanted to dress up with a costum of a french maid, since he could not enter in one, the photo would help him with any satisfaction

NOMAD said...

yeah, for a stereotype fantazy, he wanted to dress up with a costum of a french maid, since he could not enter in one, the photo would help him with any satisfaction

dania2004 said...

hey..HL.. Do you know that Sweden had opened an embassy in the second world ... first embassy there...brilliant!!!


A.Adam said...

I don't know if it is possible to find some job for me in the second life, I heard from the news time ago that one of EU country has opened an Embassy in the second life.
for I love to separate between the two.
Highlander, you love to be anonymous right?

A.Adam said...

ah sorry Dania I didn't read your comments now I'm sure and another person read the same story like me :D

I have questions for people who joined the second life :D . how many people die everyday in the second life? and born every minutes ;)

Highlander said...

Hmm it's interesting where the conversation has headed that was not what I had in mind ... still I'm glad to see that Chris is back because of it he he he

Actually they are off limits even in la la land .. lol

Actually Libyan NBA yes they are - only my husband will get to see those, IRL or in second life :P

Nomad you have had such a varied life experience that I'm thinking to make a deal with you and write a book :)

Red :) there is no fear of getting addicted , the place is quite safe. You see you can go visit some painting exhibitions, attend a concert or a speech at the UN , or check a library or a conference or watch a documentary. The places where you might run into mature content are clearly demarcated. For all the times I've been in SL I have not seen anyone even hug someone else- I've simply seen fancy looking people or monsters and many were ready to strike a conversation and none of it was to ask for date. It was more of like where are you from and what do you do just like IRL . I guess the anomymity makes them bolder somehow. I ended up talking to a teacher about new methods of education and he was showing me some castles and stuff - boring eh :P - I guess I have not been daring in my exploration yet.

But apparently according to Chris, Craig and Libyan NBA it's full of 'sex' too in the popular places hmm not that I've seen any of that yet.

Basically it caters for everyone just as IRL is...

Adam , you always crack me up lol @ your shrink . You know you can write code for that place and make money ?

Dania2004 :) I know about the embassy ( see my post ) that's what prompted me to write about it. I was thinking ok it's getting serious since an embassy is opening there.

A. Adam yes I love to be anonymous :P
I have not seen anyone die yet - though I've seen people just arriving. Maybe you are lucky and find a job. There is a lot of business going there now and recently someone became a real life millionaire from SL business can you imagine ? and his business was selling property ...unbelievable.

A.Adam said...

you know what Highlander I'm happy with my first life and I don't need the complicated things in SL. I know now that there are some people who got new Job in SL and they are getting hired on that, read this article I got my Job in SL Via CNN Money.

another cool site could tell you how many died today in FL First life Get First Life
the latest news tell us that Tax-men are coming in SL? & fascists already there,I know this from links you put for us here.
Wish you luck all in SL.

Curt from Houston said...

This looks intriguing but I currently have my hands full with my real life. From what I've read about this virtual world, I believe that it's going to be extremely dangerous for the weak of mind. H, I hope you know what this may evolve into. It could potentially make the pervs in Hollywood look like Sunday School teachers. From the screen shots I've seen, this medium is still in it's infancy. What happens when all you have to do to enter this realm is put on a VR helmet and slip out of the here and now?

Gheriani said...

Fantastic HL, but makes me feel that I'm coming out of the stone age. I read once about MS Vertual Reality, but this 2nd life Vertual World makes Asimov's three laws of robotics like like kid stuff. So, what's next, the Matrix come true?

Chris in MB said...

I fooled with it for several hours but only ended up sightseeing. Walking around underwater & flying is very fun though.

LOL, it just occurred to me that even in a virtual world I tend to avoid large crowds & interaction! :P

programmer craig said...

Hey Chris, I did pretty much the same thing... just wandering around a little bit... it's got a lot of potential but there has to be more fun stuff, in my opinion. A reason for people to want to log into Second Life. I plan to keep my eye on it (and keep up to date with it) just to see where they go with it, but I don't expect to be spending a lot of time there.

Chris in MB said...

craig, just a day before this post seen a news story about virtual university courses. They never mentioned using "Second Life" specifically, but I'm pretty sure that's where it was taking place after seeing the pictures.

I see great potential in such a thing.

Rik Panganiban said...

Fascinating discussion. Second Life offers a variety of experiences from the most base to the most heavenly, literally. Several churches and religious groups have been having meetings in SL. The Casablanca sim has an absolutely beautiful mosque.

Yes, there is gambling and sex and violence, but in my experience these are easily avoided.

There are impressive potentials for more compelling and deep interactions between people from different cultures and even linguistic groups (there are several in-world translator devices you can wear)! I've met Iraqis, Brazilians, and South Africans in my travels there.

Obviously it isn't for everyone. But it's clearly more than "just a game" although not quite the Matrix or the Metaverse yet.

Highlander said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Rik, I did not know about the Mosques and Churches but I heard about the translation device. I still have not learned how to combine skype though ..any ideas ?