Thursday, June 17, 2010

Virtual Worlds - Exciting or Lonely Places?

Yesterday, our class visited Second Life and I'm still struggling to resolve what I think about it. The technology behind it is certainly remarkable and the locations built by others are imaginative and enjoyable to navigate. In addition to entertainment, there are sites that are very educational. I enjoyed my travels there with my avatar and found myself lost in the experience, not even hearing the conversation going on around me. Yet, while I can't explain why, the experience also seemed lonely and empty. While fascinated, I wasn't quite comfortable being there.

I plan to visit again to explore and try to resolve these thoughts. I also plan to think through practical applications of Second Life in higher education, academic as well as business (i.e., admission process). What has been your experience with exploring virtual worlds? Can you offer me your insight?

Photo from Personal Library


  1. It will be interesting to find out why you didn't feel comfortable in Second Life. It is a unique experience but what were your feelings.

    There are many resources for learning more about educational applications, but I would like to refer you to the videos and resources that I included in the RWLD #7.

  2. Sorry, Dr. Z. I'm kind of with MartyLM here....I'm not sure I get 2nd life either...but then a year ago I said I didn't get Twitter and now it is probably my most valuable professional resource. Maybe I should take this class and give it another try!

  3. I like the academic aspects of Second Life, so cool to be able to "meet" professionals from all over Iowa and the world to discuss education. But, on the other hand, I worry about addiction to these virtual worlds. I have students that the real world just sucks and they bury themselves in these virtual worlds, currently gaming worlds, for the whole weekend. There has to be a middle ground to this world.

  4. I'm not that excited about Second Life either. I'd much rather Skype, meet in person or have a chat session. While I agree with Carrie that having an opportunity to meet and collaborate with people globally is remarkable. I'm instantly turned off that I'm not 'meeting' real people - only caricatures. The experience is too fanciful for me. I'm interested in engaging real people ; not who they'd LIKE to be.