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Second Life Experiences

May 2, 2010

On my first attempt to play Second Life in LIBR 203, I could not delete the ugly skirt I was wearing, so I tried to cover it with a larger skirt, and ended the assignment with some distaste for the whole thing.  When I returned to it this week, I found that the glitchy skirt was gone, but my avatar had become mysteriously bald.  After spending an hour getting my hair back on, I tried to get accustomed to the awkward controls.  I’ve been a casual gamer for years, but I’m still not very good with hand-eye coordination.  These controls did not help.  (Then again, I am used to the Sims 2 controls, which seem easier to use even with my rusty skills.)

The meeting went fine, and I didn’t have too much trouble making an object (albeit a simple, unattractive one), but when I attempted to do the extra credit, I realized I had no money.  Unlike most games, SL makes it incredibly difficult for beginners to get money quickly.  After some Googling, I tried out something called Cone Jumping which gave me $2 for visiting different locations for 10 minutes each.  After doing this for an hour, I had enough money to upload a .tga file and put LIBR 240 on a shirt.  I may be a bit spoiled by RPGs when I say this, but spending hours earning money as an entrepreneur (or just paying real money) in order to upload images seems a little too close to real life for me to fully enjoy Second Life as entertainment.

Although I can see where it would be fun for the artistically and technologically inclined, I’m not sure that the learning curve makes it an enjoyable experience for everyone, especially those who are either in Second Life to accomplish something specific (like attending a meeting) or just want to play around.  I plan to explore Second Life a little more this summer, so I may change my mind, but at present it still seems a little too technical for beginners to really enjoy this interactive online setting.

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