Interesting essay on Second Life and business by Susan Kish.
When you raise the topic of Second Life (SL) in a conversation, you usually get one of two reactions: (1) Dismissal as just another game, people should get their first life together first, or (2) Rapt attention as questions start pouring out, and opportunities and risks are explored.
How should enterprises look at Second Life and, more generally, at Virtual Worlds?
Is the topic still too early or too distracting from real business?
Or is SL actually close to the tipping point where, like so many technologies before, it will flip into the mainstream with unanticipated results?
Second Life (secondlife.com) is a synthetic world, a 3D online simulation where you “walk” (slow) or “teleport” (instantaneous) around in the shape of an avatar – a computer representation of actual people, in lifelike form – and can interact (through messaging, voice or video) with others, buy property and build buildings, shop,
listen to music and much more.
It’s not a game: it’s a social space. To get there, you go to secondlife.com and download a piece of software. It’s free as long as you only want to “walk” around; you have to pay to buy local currency (the Linden, which is convertible into real dollars) or to buy virtual land (so you can build, invite your friends over, set up a shop, or resell).
This essay looks into these and other questions relevant to businesses in relation to the emergence of Virtual Worlds.
We consider here particularly Second Life as the most important and fastest-growing, but there are several other similar entities.
Read the full essay here (Second Life and the Enterprise 1.4 MB – PDF)