I just can’t get hooked. I tried it, but I just couldn’t. Second Life, it sounds so good: a place, like a parallel universe, a simultanious reality, an alternative sphere of existence, not unlike our own, in which we can have a new, and different, house, wife, car, identity, career and basically be a whole other person in another (second) ‘life’.
Don’t we all sometimes wish our lives were different? That we looked better? That we were a little more socially adept? That we (for the boys) had a bigger car or (for the girls) bigger boobs? That we could fly, instead of having to walk? Well, Second Life makes a pretty lousy life-alternative in my opinion.
I just can’t get emotionally attached to avatars, the virtual robots that walk around in Second Life, operated by other people looking for alternative lives in the safety of their homes. I hate the fact that I can’t see the other people in the eye, a primal necessity in getting to know another person. I keep seeing bits ‘n’ bytes, computers creating a simulation of something that’s really a zillion times better when real, called ‘life’.
The technology to make it all possible is awesome though: an open scripting gaming environment and a sort of combination (with a little imagination) between World of Warcraft, the Sims and Myspace. The way the system works is really out-of-this-world. Also, it is the future. Not far from now, new initiatives like these one will emerge, with even greater functionality and larger communities.
I guess it’s just not for me. I cannot escape the feeling that when I’m in Second Life, the realworldly time I have in my First Life, is just being flushed down a hungry digital pit of amnesia. It brings me no real joy at all in the end. Maybe it’s just me, maybe my imagination not strong enough. Or my First Life is just too good to enjoy surrogates.