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January 13, 2006

Welcome to Second Life, Let's Grope


Second Life Online Virtual WorldWelcome to your Second Life, your new virtual world awaits you! The hope of a new life, free from all the real people you know and the sorry state of your own appearance. You can look like you've always wanted to look! Plus, no smells!

Oh, but wait. First this guy wants to put his hand in your pants.

And this is just what happened to a student of mine as he entered Second Life for the first time. Second Life is an online world that allows you to own virtual land and engage in various business and interpersonal activities: flirting, gambling, building things, groping, etc.

While I'm not opposed to groping in an of itself, and I'm certainly not against online worlds, this quite common event shows just how far these worlds still need to go.

In the near future most people will have multiple avatars in multiple, interconnected worlds engaged in all manner of activities - not just games and diversions.

And just as the pornography industry blazed many an Internet trail, so too will they work out the kinks (so to speak) in online worlds. In Second Life you can go to stripper bars and watch naked pixel women writhe before you in all their herky jerky, motion captured glory. If you give them Second Life currency, they will do other things for you.

One of the big problems with these worlds at the present time is that they are all privately owned, commercial ventures. Yes this will move the technology and the ecology of virtual culture forward, but certain areas will be ignored, such as shared spaces. The immersive digital commons.

For this we need an open-source movement in virtual worlds. One they are available, people will want virtual "rooms" and they will want to interconnect them, just the way they interconnect now with flickr and facebook, and all the other social software tools. People will connect their spaces organically, like the blogosphere, free from any overarching dictator - which is exactly how online worlds are governed now.

Once we have real public space in online worlds then we'll have an online world worth entering.


Posted by Dean Terry at January 13, 2006 08:55 PM

Keep up the great work on your blog. Best wishes WaltDe

Posted by: WaltDe at August 31, 2006 01:49 PM

Hehehe, if you would have written this correctly you would have said "It looks like the guy is..., but there are only two avatars standing really close together and one is typing a chat message and the other one is changing his apperiance."

So no grooping there. (sorry for the typo's but English isn't my first language)

See me IN-World and I show you around.

Posted by: TJ Ay at December 6, 2006 08:28 AM

That's not groping...>.>...its just an angled photo of one guy typing while the other is editing.

Posted by: Mina at January 9, 2007 02:04 PM

Nope, no groping there. Just a downshot of one typing and the other editing appearance. And if it was your student who was groped upon entering second life, the picture would be the other way around. This picture shows the new avatar "groping" the altered one.

Tell your student to keep his hands away from the nice people on SL!

Posted by: Christophe at January 10, 2007 11:57 AM
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