This is my fifth post for Media Writing. This was another “different” type of story. We had to explore the online world of Second Life and write a features story about something that happens there. I chose to write about why people use Second Life and here is what I came up with. Enjoy!
In this age of increasing technology, how a person networks online is just as important as how he or she networks in the “real world.” One such website that allows for this type of contact is Second Life, which people use for a variety of reasons.
Users on Second Life create an “avatar” that can move around the Second Life world, visit different destinations, chat with other users, from relationships, buy things, and pretty much anything else you could do in the real world.
“Abby Crystal” is an avatar for a 20-year-old woman. She said that she has been on Second Life for two years.
“My friend started and she wanted somebody else she knew to be on it,” she said. Abby spends about two hours on Second Life a day.
Not all Second Life-ers commit so much time to the site.
“I come on like an hour a week,” said “Nick Levee,” an avatar who says he’s studying psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
“It’s just a way to get out of the real world for a little while,” he said.
As with many online activities, safety can be a major concern. “Maria Millet” says she is a mother of two teenagers who wanted to use Second Life. She created an avatar to check out the site.
“I was worried about other people on the site and if it was, you know, safe for my kids,” she said. “It’s been OK so far, but they know the rules I have for them on [Second Life].”
Crystal said she doesn’t worry about safety.
“No one actually knows who I am. I could be anyone. They don’t know where I live or anything, so it’s no big deal,” she said.
Crystal is right. Avatars can have any names, look like anything, and go anywhere in Second Life. They can even build homes, open businesses, and get married.
“I’ve made way more in Linden dollars than I’ll ever make in real life,” said Levee. “It’s fun to just like, do stuff I can’t do in real life.”
Crystal and Millet agree that is the fun of Second Life.
“I have a lot of fun on it,” said Millet. “It’s fun to talk to people I don’t know without having to actually talk to them.”