Friday, May 12, 2006

Second Life - Inevitably Better Than the First?

The BBC has rented an "island" in the online game Second Life, with an eye toward holding "concerts" there. The first "event" is "happening" this weekend, a live "concert" featuring Muse, Razorlight and Gnarls Barkley. Hold on a minute while I get more quotation marks.

So anyway, you allready know Second Life is a virtual world in which one places an "avatar" of oneself to "interact" with other "avatars". The world has its own currency "Lindon Dollars" which are exchangeable with real money in the "real" world. So if this concert thing takes off, conceivably bands could charge for "tickets". You can actually make a "living" in Second Life. You could be more successful in it than in the real world. If you're a band, this could be the venue where you first hit it big. Just as the Stray Cats were a hit first in England even though they are native to New Jersey, you could "sell" enough "records" in Second Life to be big there, even though you are native to "reality".

I'm not sure this is a bad thing.

Suppose you're bedridden, or simply unpleasant to look at. Why shouldn't there be a place for you to "be cool?" Or if you spend all your time dreaming, isn't it better that at least you're sharing a "dream" with a bunch of other people? Crazy idea? "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." Oh wait, sorry - that was an actual quotation. John Lennon said that, not some "virtual" "John Lennon".

I'm not going to "attend" the concert because I don't have a "membership" to Second Life, but I wish them "well". You can also hear it in real life on BBC Radio 1, though it won't be the same as "being there". (Hey, you could even listen on the radio AND attend the concert! It might rip the space-time continuum though, so be careful.) If someone can get me a copy of the "review" in the Second Life "newspaper" I'd love to read it. I'm dying to see if it's worth going to one of these concerts or if it's just more "teledildonics."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Huh. Interesting point of view. I get to call you an Angelino for calling VR a good place for those "unpleasant to look at."

As for calling VR good or bad or necessary or even inevitable is a question that will only become more important as technology advances and living virtually becomes more alluring.

As for me, there is a big pro and a big con. The Pro is more of an observation based, as this discussion rigtly should, on THE MATRIX. I thought the only thing BAD about The VR construct in the movie is the lack of consent involved. The "copper-tops" weren't ASKED. If they were, being in the Matrix would be like being employed by the machines. Give and take.

The con-- and it's a big one-- is one of realpolitik. Remember the people in the real world who don't like America don't spend a lot of time strokin' it online. And we do. Who is minding the frontier?