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.

Adaptive Path

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.

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