Friday, May 9, 2008

Wide-Range View of Second Life/Video & Review

In my last post I shared a link to CEO Philip Rosedale's congressional presentation video on Second Life (SL), which admittedly shows the very best of SL. I will attempt to present some balance by posting a link to a wider ranging view of SL.

This link is to a Four Corners (Four Corners is Australia's premier television current affairs program) freely available episode on SL, first broadcast in March 2007, titled "You Only Live Twice." This is a quality site with links to additional information.

Note: This film is also available for purchase through Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Films Media Group (FMG) and available on many college campuses titled, "You Only Live Twice: Virtual Reality Meets Real World in Second Life" The FMG version comes with a warning: "Contains mature themes and explicit imagery." (The "sex" section is a small part of the report and was, in my opinion, well done and I thought helpful for people to understand how the "rampant sex" that is often mentioned regarding SL, is a very separate, optional part of the SL experience. If it would offend you to see a cartoon-like penis then you may want to skip this section.)

My review of "You Only Live Twice" - I thought it was well done. The reporter worked hard to present a rounded view of the types of users and activities taking place in SL. However, two areas that were not emphasized much were education and non-profits. Of course this report was produced a little over a year ago and those two areas have seen significant developments during the past 12 months. That brings me to the Clay Shirky interview in this report. I'm a fan of Clay Shirky, and have read many of his publications. His viewpoints on SL were shared by many a year ago. I would be interested in how he feels about SL now, and whether his views have changed any since the number of active SL users has increased since his interview in this video. (I log in daily and can not remember the last time I saw less than 50K logged in simultaneously and as high as 63K. And the number for the last 60 days is always above 1,200,000. Again, it's been over a year since the interview, but definite growth as far as active users is the point.)

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