I have very little patience with Second Life. As I tweeted a few days ago, I find it conceptually rich and empirically vapid. And for the most part that hasn’t changed all that much over the last year and a half. In fact, I have tried to spend as little time in this virtual world as an instructional technologist could reasonably get away with. So it is a bit ironic that during the first week and half at the University of Richmond I found myself talking Second Life more than I had for a long while.
My bionic colleague Tom Woodward and I share a healthy cynicism for this virtual world, so it was strange for me to be so intrigued while previewing the presentation/history of Second Life he was to deliver this evening. And while his presentation didn’t convince me to buy a tiara for my avatar, it did go a long way towards illustrating how much the thinking about these various technologies has everything to do with how it is narratively framed for you.
Tom found a frame for this world that sparked my interest yet again (albeit more conceptually than experiential once again), by tracing the nature of crime in Second Life. He remarked this afternoon that if you can begin to understand a culture by its laws, than perhaps the nature and frequncy of crime in Second Life may help this (and other virtual worlds) make more sense. It’s an interesting approach to this space I had yet to think about, and while I most likely won’t be spending any more time in this world, I may find myself a regular subscriber to the Second Life Community Incident Report (or Police Blotter).
All this said, I always have fun thinking about Second Life, its just being there that bores me so. But when I see the possibilities before me now, I’m not so sure I couldn’t be having a bit more fun as Tom pointed out so saliently 🙂