I have avoided the online role-playing game Second Life up until now, for three reasons: I thought there was a monthly charge, I thought they didn't make a Mac client, and I feared it would suck every minute away from my real life. I was wrong about the first two.
But it's been a couple of days now and I think I'll be able to keep out of there. From what I've seen, it's a pretty boring little world if you're not looking for avatar sex. And like in reality, sex is expensive. A decent penis will cost you $L700! That's right, you have to buy a penis. On the plus side, drinks are free. Maybe that evens out.
The exchange rate for Linden Dollars (the world's virtual currency) is about $700 to $1, so you can look at a $1 penis as a bargain, but in the real world, I got a perfectly delightful one for free as standard equipment. In addition to the equipment, you can buy character animations for the sexual positions.
So much of Second Life is built to resemble a tropical resort - there are lots of bars and shopping malls. In the time I've been there almost everyone I've met with a virtual job was a bouncer or a sex worker. It's JUST LIKE A REAL RESORT!
I'll tell you what creeps me out the most. This evening I logged on and looked at the events - there was a group therapy session/lecture about Social Anxiety Disorder. I checked it out. Pretty well attended. What good will a thing like that do people? The best result you can hope for is the participants learn better skills to cope with other avatars - thus making Second Life a better place to spend their time than in real life, where their SAD is so severe they are driven into an online singles bar to make friends. I teleported outta there and shopped for better eyes.