Inside Second Life

Here’s an interesting article written by a psychologist specializing in the psychology of cyberspace, as he gets his feet wet with the much-hyped game/alternate universe Second Life.

I’m grateful for this article, because it confirms a suspicion I’ve had about Second Life since it first appeared on the landscape: It consumes enormous amounts of time and energy which would be better spent on the life that is right in front of you. It apparently takes a tremendous amount of time and effort just to learn how to do basic things like walk and interact with people, and once you reach this plateau, most of the things you end up doing involve sex acts or parties, and a good number of the inhabitants of Second Life can be characterized as “addicts”.

I’d been meaning to check out Second Life for some time, but the problem is I have a First Life that involves raising two daughters, being a husband, owning and maintaining a home, having friendships with people who are actually physically present, teaching students, and keeping a real job. I think I would have a hard time explaining to my 3-year old that I can’t play with her right now because I’m busy tweaking my avatar.

There are efforts afoot to utilize Second Life for its supposed educational potential — some universities are evidently even offering for-credit courses in Second life — but I’m afraid I just don’t get it, and I’m no Luddite here.

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Filed under Education, Educational technology, Social software, Technology

One response to “Inside Second Life

  1. You know, I had the same suspicions. It’s one of those things I decided not to get started with, given the constraints on time.