Second Life

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Rana Elsekhily
Professor Boyens
Argument Essay: Final Draft
Dec 14, 2012
Second Life: “a Brave New World”, or a Nightmare?

We, as humans, are virtual in some areas. For example, we use the internet to log into Facebook where we can create account(s) and put information about ourselves, which may be true or false. Then interactions occur between us and people whom we might know in reality or might not. Many online games are available for us to play: Barbie, war and soldiers’, and even car games. In all of these we are participating in something that might not be “real.” But when it comes to the point where we are creating a whole different place and are totally controlling it, it could be called “Second Life.” What most people don’t know is that creating a personal Second Life can change our actual life in a very dangerous way. To explain it widely, Second life is a new virtual 3D world which someone can create for himself, through the internet, as he likes it to be. One chooses his name, the way he looks, the place he wants to live, the people and friends with whom he wants to interact, the job and the place he wants to work, his way of entertaining and so on. In this world, one can connect with other people from different parts of the world who choose to be like him and live a Second Life. Participants in Second Life are the ones who actually create and develop things in this unreal life. As it was mentioned in the book “Coming of Age in Second Life” by Tom Boellstorf, “Nearly everything else [in Second Life] is the result of persons or groups of people spending millions of hours every month in acts of creation” (12). One who participates in this world is represented by “avatars.” Those people choose to live another life in which they can be somewhat or totally someone else. Moreover, choosing to take part in Second Life and the virtual world has many social impacts that might change our life in a positive or a negative way. Yes, one can be a totally different person in Second life than he is in real life but still Second life shapes or takes a part from the real one. In other words, there are some common aspects between one’s real life and Second Life. “... virtual worlds do have significant consequences for social life” (Boellstorf 5). Some of these consequences could be small and some could be very obvious. Second life has some advantages that one has to consider. First of all, Second Life develops the imagination and the creativity of its participants. Participants of Second Life can create their own world the way they like it to be: their houses, workplaces, the country or area they live in...etc. Second, it makes people, from different parts of the world and from different backgrounds, come together, socialize, and interact with each other. They can share thoughts, ideas, beliefs, exchange information, and more. Second life, in this way, could be used as a tool of more globalization and more of making the world smaller. Third, it gives the opportunity for what has not happened in real life to happen. For example, two people can meet through it, know each other, actually meet in real life, may love each other and get married; the video of Wonderland Virtual Adultery and Cyberspace Love Hindi Movie has shown that when Catherin met her boyfriend after chatting with him on the internet for years, they loved each other and got married. In addition, Second Life gives the chance for participants to dream about something and try to make it real. If one dreams about a specific job, and he can have it in Second Life, this might give him motivation or courage to work hard in order to get the same job in real life. Also people with disabilities can create another life where they can do whatever they want; they can move, fly, and act like other people. Some other advantages are that people can make money over participating and having virtual jobs. Second Life can also be used in the distance learning process. In other...
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