What makes Second Life eerily powerful is the zero-distance between thinkers and technology by ZDNet‘s Dana Gardner (and the ‘Briefings Direct’ podcast)– There is an egalitarian equalizing effect when your avatar IMs with another … even if you know who they are. There’s a comfort level with being virtual, and the IBMers seemed eager to chat with lots of folks. I can see getting better access to executives and the creative minds at IBM in Second Life than I do in real life, and that’s a good thing.
He’s right. But people also said that the internet and computers themselves take away a certain amount of the human experience too. I was told this ever since I fell in love with ‘playing’ on a computer as a child. I was told I was wasting my time and ‘missing out’. I sat and thought that I was seizing an opportunity to learn about these things, as we’d soon be surrounded by them everywhere we went. Whether for business or pleasure.
Then, when the Web and interent came along, I immediately connected and communicated with people all around the world (this totally blew my mind). Some of these people have become good friends who I go to stay with, or vice versa, in the ‘real world’.
Communication like this is so unbelievably powerful and incredibly resourceful, it almost brings a tear to my eye. Just about all the fundamental knowledge in various programming languages I know came from information from people on the internet, directly or indirectly. (I owe them all big time – and try to share knowledge back to this new ‘community resource’ as much as possible – and more in the future, in a more structured way).
I was invited to this IBM event too. Who me? Little old me? Sat at home on a computer? Yes. Me. How cool is that!? Unfortunately I couldn’t make it. We know the world is round, but sometimes we forget the time differences in a global forum. 😉
I had the pleasure of having lunch with Dana back in the summer too. All through connections made through work, which in themselves are a product of my online world. A great, smart guy. A pleasure to talk to.
Second Life provides us with a feeling of ‘proximity’ to people we communicate with and gesture to. It’s hard to explain. It’s not like the odd feeling you get having a video conference with someone, where you look into the camera or not. It kind of feels more natural in a virtual world. (For me, anyway)
This platform is so powerful it must not be ignored. The interfaces will become more stable and realistic as time goes by. The landlord of the metaverse of the future might not be Linden Lab. It could be you. It could be the person sat next to you. Whoever it is, I promise you it’s not going to go away. It’s going to get BETTER.
Embrace it. You will thank yourself for it in the future. And who knows, you might actually make some money and new friends and have some fun on the way! 😉