Second Life: Soma or remedy?

Cindy Anderson at The Write Reason explores Second Life, a place that sounds intriguing but also a little creepy and self-indulgent.

Frankly, I need all my time, creativity and brain power to deal with my First Life.

A few years ago (quite a few, actually), I had the game “Myst” on my home computer, and my family followed that with “SimPark.” Both were incredibly addictive for me, but at least “SimPark” seemed to have some educational value. “Myst,” on the other hand, became a total retreat from reality for me, and could suck up hours of my time without me realizing it. I stopped playing.

I’m afraid Second Life would be the same for me, so I’m just not going to go there.

I must admit, looking around on Youtube this evening (another addiction I rarely let myself do), I can see that perhaps blogging, forums, You Tubing, Second Life and other technical innovations might give people ways of connecting with others when real face-to-face life becomes too problematic. Still, I wonder whether those connections can be detrimental when carried to extremes. Balance seems key, as it is in First Life.

And I can see marketing advantages in being in Second Life, but so far I have doubts about its journalistic value. I’d love to hear more, outside of Second Life, from the Reuters reporter who’s been stationed in Second Life for about a year now. Is his job just becoming a marketing job with Reuters and Acura car partnerships, or is there any real journalism there? Can media organizations afford what looks to me like that extravagance in this economic climate? What about the energy usage that Second Life eats?

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3 responses to “Second Life: Soma or remedy?

  1. I find that video both accurate and hilarious.

    The idea of second life always struck me as peculiar for a lot of reasons, and I think you’ve captured it well.

  2. Amanda Toler Kelso

    I, too, enjoyed the video!

    “I’d love to hear more, outside of Second Life, from the Reuters reporter who’s been stationed in Second Life for about a year now. Is his job just becoming a marketing job with Reuters and Acura car partnerships, or is there any real journalism there? ”

    This immediately made me look up the Reuters Second Life site. I cannot imagine being “stationed” in Second Life. First, I’d hate to have to spend so much there and second, I’d have to buy truck loads of pajamas because I would never get out of them all day. The Reuters site (http://secondlife.reuters.com/) had some very interesting studies highlighted, including that says the cybersex and gambling are not large draws for Second Life.

    I also saw this post, which really caught my eye – http://secondlife.reuters.com/stories/2007/09/11/remembering-911-in-second-life/
    I sit here amazed.

    The Reuters Second Life blog led me to explore the Wired Second Life column on Second Life, which I found mainly deals with SL intimacy.

    For some reason, just call me naive, but I was surprised to find out that Reuters and Wired would devote a person or persons to covering SL topics. Is there not enough happening out there in real life?!

  3. Amanda Toler Kelso

    I, too, enjoyed the video!

    “I’d love to hear more, outside of Second Life, from the Reuters reporter who’s been stationed in Second Life for about a year now. Is his job just becoming a marketing job with Reuters and Acura car partnerships, or is there any real journalism there? ”

    This immediately made me look up the Reuters Second Life site. I cannot imagine being “stationed” in Second Life. First, I’d hate to have to spend so much there and second, I’d have to buy truck loads of pajamas because I would never get out of them all day. The Reuters site (http://secondlife.reuters.com/) had some very interesting studies highlighted, including that says the cybersex and gambling are not large draws for Second Life.

    I also saw this post, which really caught my eye – http://secondlife.reuters.com/stories/2007/09/11/remembering-911-in-second-life/
    I sit here amazed.

    The Reuters Second Life blog led me to explore the Wired Second Life column on Second Life, which I found mainly deals with SL intimacy.

    For some reason, just call me naive, but I was surprised to find out that Reuters and Wired would devote a person or persons to covering SL topics. Is there not enough happening out there in real life?!

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