Thursday, May 04, 2006

I haven't tried Second Life... But I'm scared.

After reading this, check out the link to Second Life. I hope I can explain the concept to you because even with all of the information on the Second Life web site, I'm not sure if it fully explains the idea.

I heard about Second Life from Adam Curry on his Daily Source Code podcast. The best way I can explain it is that Second Life is like the Matrix without all of the kung fu fighting Actually, there probably is some fighting. Another way to explain it would be that it's like using MSN or AOL Instant Messenger except there is a world for you to walk around in instead of simply watching a text screen on your desktop.

According to the web site you can log on and walk around the world for free. Or at least free for a while. After that you pay $10 to get fully involved. Then once they have their hooks in you pay $10 a month for a premium account and a little bit for services and you can pay a small monthly fee if you purchase land and build things.

Yes, you can purchase land. A 512 square meter plot will cost you like 5 bucks a month all the way up to an island that will cost you nearly $200 a month. That is real money by the way. More on that later.

Little services can cost only a few cents. You can purchase "services" from cyber hookers. And I'm pretty sure you do actually pay. It might be just 10 cents or a quarter, but either way, you're a John. Besides, I think you might have to buy some parts before you can do that anyway.

One U. S. dollar is equal to 250 Linden dollars, the currency for Second Life. The free membership gives you 250 Lindens and 50 per week as long as you login weekly, but I'm thinkin' that 50 Lindens won't go very far. With that cash you can build stuff in the public building areas to get the idea of how things work. And if you can't script or figure out how to build things, just buy them from other people who know how. You can build cars or planes or whatever.

Curry bought some land and built a castle. Some of the things he did to his castle was decoration and things like that cost small amounts of money. This past weekend he actually threw a party with music and everything and about 50 people showed up. It was a good party because several people "got laid" and his Second Life neighbors did come by and complain about the noise later that day.

You can play music and screen video and all kinds of crazy stuff. It's basically the new cyber-crack.

I just got my first computer when message boards were all the rage back in '96. About a week into my new Gateway 200 Mhz Pentium Pro, real-time chat began. Rooms were tough to find but you could sit in a room and chat to actual people across the world. Real-time chatting was cyber-crack. Once you got hooked it was tough to get away.

Now chat rooms suck. Too many kids getting online just so they can curse and flame people and too many people are in the rooms. In the beginning people would just get online to see if it worked and now Second Life could end up being the uncut funk of cyber-crack.

Here's my theory. Most everyone has heard of telecommuting to work. Instead of physically taking yourself to work, you just turn on your computer and hook up with headquarters. If you need to talk to someone you just jump on an instant messenger and have a video conference with a camera and mic and send or view files accordingly. In all actuality, I could do this on Tuesday's with my job if everything would go like it's supposed to. But it doesn't, so I digress.

With Second Life, there could be a virtual workplace. You could have business meetings in your Second Life offices instead of having people drive or even fly in from God-knows-where. Anything on your computer can be played or viewed in Second Life. Music, video, movies and presentations. Imagine if someone bought some land and created a movie theater that would play the newest leaked out blockbuster film that hasn't even hit the theaters yet. Or for Seinfeld fans, imagine if they played bootleg movies.

I know it sounds over the top and you probably think I'm crazy, but it's really not that far fetched.

What's the harm? A little bit won't hurt. The first taste is free.

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