I’m long overdue in posting about SecondLife. Perhaps, it is because I’ve been too busy exploring it and writing about the implications of persistent virtual worlds in a paper I’ve been working on. From my perspective as a persistent, if not presient, technologist….SecondLife changes everything. It is a virtual world inhabited by several hundred thousand people with its own economy and its own emerging culture. I’ve got lots of ideas about how virtual worlds like this will be used in the future. Most of the ideas are exciting, but a few of them our outright scary. Within the next few months, SecondLife will also have the ability to render html code within the game, so some of those ideas I have for 3D virtual reference libraries don’t seem as far fetched any more.
The potential for virtual collaboration is also very interesting. Just as an example, I attended a conference in SecondLife that was actually held in California. In SecondLife, I was able to sit in an auditorium with other SL residents, watch and listen to a live video feed of the event, and ask the speakers questions. If you think in the context of truly Distributed Intelligence Response Teams, the implications are huge. I hope to hold at least one class in SecondLife next semester at Georgetown.
I don’t have a lot of time to explore something like SL, but to ignore it would be like ignoring the WWW in 1995. In 5 years, a lot of people will be using the web via a SL interface, and I want to be there first.