Adaptive Path research Second Life. Yawn.

by Andy Polaine on March 2, 2007

It’s been interesting (in that way that your mum says your clothes are ‘interesting’) to see all the hype excitement about Second Life build over the last year. Andrew Crow over at Adaptive Path is doing some research on it with his Second Life Project.

<img src=’’ width=’400′ height=’80’ alt=’Adaptive Path’s Second Life Project’ />

Obviously it make sense for Adaptive Path to do so as they’re in the business of understanding digital experiences and clearly Second Life is a much broader environment and more heavily penetrated into popular culture than previous efforts have been. But am I missing something here when I say that there has been masses of research and writings about this stuff for 15 years or more? There seems to be a lot of re-invention of the wheel here – especially considering the art and cultural theory brigade have been banging on about this for some time.

I know SL is an online world “imagined, created and owned by its residents” (except, they don’t own it apparently). So is it the presence of real money and companies that make it more interesting than AlphaWorld was? Is it simply the fact that so many people are in it? I found the interface really irritating and the graphics not that much improved on AlphaWorld’s, which is 12 years old now.

So, tell me, what am I missing? I clearly got frustrated with it before the threshold of engagement was reached.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Knotty March 2, 2007 at 2:50 pm

Not that many people are actually IN it.. By IN I mean using it every day…

Good analysis.

Most visitors in Second Life are just trying it out… They are visible ‘lurkers’ and contribute very little to what the Second Life creators would like to believe is an alternative economy.

Hype Hype Hype…

2 Andy Polaine March 3, 2007 at 6:36 pm

So does that analysis you pointed to mean that SL will end up in Negative Inflation or Hyper Inflation when things start going wrong? My grasp of economics is pretty bad.

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