I no longer use this blog and have decided to let the membership to TypePad expire when January, 2010 rolls around. I will keep an archive of the blog and all of its comments and, perhaps, post that somewhere for those who need to continue the conversation elsewhere.
I have no guidelines or expectations as to the kinds of discussions associated with this post. I have not entered Second Life in years and was not addicted in the deep sense that some folks have described. I do manage the blog and update it in order to maintain the vibrant, robust community that has emerged organically around this particular post.
Perhaps it is part of the regular pattern of becoming acquainted with a new computer game, but I have been addicted recently to Second Life. This may explain the spotty blog entries this past week.
It is not exactly a "game" and it may not be a new concept (since "The Sims Online" was one of the originators). However, the execution of Second Life is, I believe, quite stunning and unique. In a nutshell, a company in San Francisco has created a digital world and allowed you to populate it with your avatar.
Once you have you alter ego online, you simply roam around, chat with people, play games, buy land, build homes, create objects you may want to sell for the local currency (Linden Dollars) and so on. What makes this unique -- there is no ultimate goal or quest; people simply form emerging social and dwelling systems and economies: a laissez-faire experiment in a digital petrie dish.
The objects you create can involve complex scripting -- for instance, you may create a doorbell on your Second Life home that triggers an e-mail and/or IM alert in your First Life. The world comes pre-populated with a roster of such objects but intrepid scripters and builders have been creating their own inventions and distributing them or selling them. This creativity has caused the company hosting the world to address intellectual/digital property rights -- good news: you make it, it's yours...digitally, at least.
In the past few days, my character has bought land, designed and built a home, had guests over, gone to a strip club, gone to a dance club, bid for new land in an auction, participated in movie trivia games for Linden Dollars, and much more.
Have a look -- don't get too addicted.
This particular entry has become an important location for many people who have shared their stories surrounding their relationship to the game for over four years. I have kept this blog up-and-running, in part, to allow this community to keep flourishing and evolving. If you want to help me a bit with by minimizing the dent of the yearly fee to keep the blog running, please feel free to send a donation via secure PayPal. No obligation, of course.