Second Life = The Sims + Web 2.0


The Sims

 Architecture, Second Life



Second Life

When I was growing up, I always thought the Sims was the weirdest computer game ever. I mean, who would really want to live a life on the computer in addition to living in the real world. I never thought the concept would catch on, but now that the Sims is celebrating 100 million copies sold and over ten versions; I guess it is safe to say that the concept has become very popular.

Let’s fast-forward to 2003. It was in this year that an alternative life online emerged. This life resembles that of The Sims in that you can live a life on your computer, but this new platform allows you to do just about any and everything that you can do in real life.

This life…is Second Life. I first learned of Second Life (actually a fictional simulation) in an episode of Law and Order. I found it fascinating that people spent hours and millions in alternate realities on the Internet. Last week in class, my professor brought up MMOG’s in class and told me not to knock it before I tried it. So I did…and to be honest I can see how you someone could become addicted. But I still ask myself some of the time, what is the point?

I found the point to be money. Premium users on Second Life can exchange goods and services for real money. People can buy real estate, sell creations and attend concerts as if they were in the real world.

My real fascination with Second Life is product placement. Companies have bought their way into this world too. Occupants of Second Life have the opportunity to join communities sponsored by their favorite product. Stores are popping up, billboards and everything else that many people in the real world are becoming immune to.

Product placement in video games has been going on for years, yet most people do not express an aversion to that. I wonder why! Thoughts?


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