Second Life

I was just checking out the things in life that I usually overlook. I came across a certain program, virtual world, when my professor of PR social media told the class of "Second Life." After showing the class a video on youtube of what this virtual world is all about, I was at first a little stunned and shocked to see that waste of time involved. Then it hit me.. My professor explained to the class that real money can be made off the virtual money in this program. An avatar on the game can literally do a job, like making virtual clothes, and sell them to other avatars. This transaction has an actual exchange rate to real world U.S. currency. Outrageous. My mind opened up to the great possibilities for PR professionals immediately. For example, my friend and I have started writing music recently but haven't really made any big steps like playing live shows or making a CD. We really don't have the time and we don't want to make the effort. But imagine how easy it would be to put a few songs on this virtual world and expose a mass audience to the music, and at a very quick pace. Not only that, but we could actually make money from doing this. Virtual meetings between different hostile countries could actually take place in the virtual world without someone being worried of an assassination attempt, or a fight. Sure, maybe the avatars may fight each other, but who wouldn't want to see that go down? Or a meeting ground for people who arn't of good physical health to still attend meeting with others, without showing their fatigue. To me, the possibilities of promoting awareness to a cause or just getting a brand name out there may not come any faster than this type of virtual world. To a PR practitioner, the possibilities are endless when creating conversation between a mass audience. I mean, they live in this virtual world; you know where to find them.

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Second Life is unique

Second Life is a unique thing. A friend of mine, who does alot of call center work - latched onto it immediately. Alot of people in SL spend alot of time having cybersex.

 

Some of it is really fun. For example, you can login, and walk around in a giant kitchen with a sixteen story tall toaster. I think that place is called 'greenies' or something.

 

But what we need to be careful of with SL is the fact that Linden Labs, the company that operates the place - is installing an increasingly authoritarian form of governance.

If you want to promote awareness, you need to be free of things like an authority that exists to snatch away all your content, or to cause a ban on your content - without explanation. There was a founder, a burner named Philip Rosedale - who did a good job of making it an open place. But now it's being run by venture capitalists, and it's in danger of becoming some kind of facebook application somewhere down the road. They take serious liberties in that virtual world.

For example, they implemented a rule that gambling was not allowed. Even though you were only gambling what amounted to pennies.  Nickels. Dimes. On a bet.

 

They didn't consult with anyone. There wasn't a vote. It was just. Remove gambling. So anyone who had a casino in there.

 

Suddenly. Got shut down. End of story.

 

Things like that happen all the time. If you want SL to be a good forum, I recommend getting actively involved in helping Linden Labs to become more responsive to their user base - and improve the stability of the environment. The first step would be democracy.

 

Just like in the real world.

 

:)

 

by Trey Rentz 2010-11-15 01:11PM | 0 recs

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