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On Second Life, Madden, and Mario

May 6, 2010

I’ve always preferred a stylized video game like Mario Tennis over a hyper-realistic franchise like Madden NFL. The former is extremely user friendly—anyone can master Mario Tennis after a few minutes with a controller. The latter, however, is not so easily accessible. Indeed, Madden NFL is so realistic (“if it’s in the game, it’s in the game!”) that instead of spending the time needed to become a Madden adept, one might instead consider practicing pigskin football with the outside chance of walking on to the Raiders (I hear there might be an opening at quarterback).

Second Life is similar to Madden. Until SL is at least as intuitive and easily mastered as Mario Tennis, it will only be popular among a minority of people who have an above-average interest in cyber-friendship, virtual marketing, or animated BDSM. I do not write this to denigrate SL. Since spending some time in that virtual world, I’ve actually come to enjoy it. But here’s the thing: because of the clunky (though admittedly improving) user interface, I wouldn’t have bothered with SL unless I was obliged to do so.

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