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By | September 2010
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CASE STUDY
Is Second Life ready for business?

1. How can Second Life provide value to businesses that use it? 2. What kinds of businesses are most likely to benefit from a presence on Second Life? Why? 3. Considering what you have learned about Second Life, how could you, as an individual, create a modest start-up business on the Grid? What goods would you sell? Why would this be a good choice of product? What, in simple terms, would your business plan be? Why would it work? 4. Visit eBay on the Web and see what Second Life items you can find listed for auction. How would you rate the activity surrounding these items? Are you surprised by what you see? Why or why not? 5. What obstacles does Second Life have to overcome in order to become a mainstream business tool? Does it face fewer or more obstacles to become a mainstream educational tool? To what do you attribute the difference? 6. Would you like to interview for a job using Second Life? Why or why not? 7. Is Second Life a precursor of how business will be conducted in the future or a corporate experiment? Justify your answer.

The software is just a viewer. Second Life is a collective effort. The most powerful element of the Second Life environment is the people who populate it. Linden Lab provides access to the grid, which makes Second Life a service rather than a product. That is not to say that there are no products in Second Life, however, products that are sold in Second Life are sold by the residents, who make money from their work, not Linden Lab.2 The name Second Life is very aptly chosen: the virtual world reflects all the characteristics of real life, although in a cartoonish, sometimes grotesque manner. And, as in real life, the peculiarities of the world can be seen as positive or negative depending on the subjective point of view. For example, the sheer complexity of Second Life is daunting. Every resident creates their own content and the grid continues to grow, making it virtually...

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