Volume 16, Number 8
November 10, 2009

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This Week

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So I don't really want to say anything about the afterlife, because no one has ever been there and back. No one gets a second chance. Until you look at Second Life. Second Life is an online computer game that divides real life offline and a virtual life online. You can do everything there that you do in real life like our daily rituals such as eating, sleeping or studying for a midterm. 

So really, a life online - though not really an "afterlife" - is basically starting over through a computer. You know, every single person must take care of some fundamental needs to maintain their lives. Therefore, in the computer and Internet world of Second Life, the same rules apply. This is the new world wide area which consists of social networking Web sites, platforms and products. This virtual and well-known world is at Secondlife.com

Let me describe the virtual world of Second Life to you. It is a free client program. Users log on and interact as Residents in cyberspace. They interact with each other through avatars. Residents can explore, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services. They can also travel around the world.  You can attend university, learn a language, open an art exhibition and listen to live concerts.

My main point is not to advertise Second Life. Why do people (almost 16 million by October 2009) need to be replacing real life with a virtual one? I think that Residents of Second Life want to express themselves more than they have the opportunity to here in the real world. Maybe they have family problems or need psychological help. The demographic structure of Second Life is predominately made of people between the ages of 25 and 44. Almost all are college students with a four-year or graduate school degree.

This is the new world problem. These people live among more technological gadgets than generations before them. They are alone and depressive. Their lives are surrounded by stressful things. Thus, they feel they can only express themselves through avatars.

So really, don't be upset if you are sad, lonely or bored. You can continue to gain more benefits and meet new friends in a virtual life. You probably won't ever come across these Residents in real life. Who cares? This is not real life. Second Life can be your real life.


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