Case Study 1: Reality in the Virtual World – A Study of Second Life As a virtual world accessed through the internet, Second Life offers a three dimensional online digital experience that is imagined and created by its own inhabitants. Second Life boasts over 15 million users and is a universally appealing service. Many of the leading scholars on technology suggest that multi-user visual simulations like Second Life are at the edge of revolutionizing computerized technology. As such, Second Life can offer incredible advantages such as its affordable business solutions and increased personal touch (as opposed to email, etc.), yet it also presents large potential social problems. To view an interactive video on Second Life please visit: http://secondlife.com/whatis/?sourceid=0909-sergoog-slSecondLife-wisl&gclid=CL32roWLh6ECFRQRswodRmqAvg Benefits
Encouraging active participation and interactive learning, experiences in Second Life can ultimately impact real life. For example, a walk though a proposed museum allows people to understand what it will look like after it is built. Further, Second Life can provide its users freedom from geographic and monetary constraints to allow real collaboration and learning. As one of the early pioneers of the business applications of Second Life technology, the Chief Technology Officer of IBM stated that using Second Life allows them to work more effectively together in a more entertaining way. IBM even conducts their most serious meetings in this medium because of the added benefits of personal touch. Additionally, conducting meetings and business in Second Life allows companies like IBM to save money on transportation costs as they no longer have to fly employees to meetings. Second Life is an example of video gaming technology that is changing the way people are communicating. According to the founder of Second Life, the aim of the program is to rewrite the rules of social interaction: “Being close to each other, even...
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