How Some View The Virtual World

neoThose not part of Second Life often believe it’s a game, a place of make believe, or in some cases “a waste of time.” I can’t even count the times I’ve heard such comments. They usually come from people who have never tried it, have falsely pre-judged it, or logged in once, saw one sim and decided the entire virtual world was exactly the same. To me, that’s like seeing one webpage and thinking you know the entire internet.

I was one of the first to go online where I lived, and people had the same attitudes regarding the internet back then as they now do Second Life. I used to avoid mentioning the computer, because online stuff was viewed with disdain or considered an unimportant waste of time.

There’s a scene in the old musical Singin’ in the Rain that reminds me of the way some people react to new things. In this scene, a group of Hollywood people from the 1920’s are shown a “talking picture.” Back then, films were silent so if you saw one you had to read the dialogue.

What was their reaction? Watch it yourself if you like, but here’s the gist of it: The reaction was not so positive. Some thought the talking picture would never amount to anything, while one lady even put her nose in the air to declare it was vulgar.

This is how many people view the virtual world. New things are not for everyone.

Personally, I have always been fascinated by science, technology, and progress. Since I express myself better in writing (and Second Life allows me to type while providing a 3D environment) I feel I can express more of “me” in the virtual world than I can in person.

What is a body? A vehicle for the mind.

What is an avatar? Same thing!

Second Life may not be for everyone, and that’s ok; but I look forward to a time when virtual reality is as acceptable as talking on the telephone.

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  1. If people have an image of Second Life at all, it seems to be something like how Second Life looked in 2008. Things are entirely different now.

    People once said the same things about other areas of technology that they now say about SL :

    ” While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming.” – Lee DeForest, 1926

    ” Radio has no future ” – Lord Kelvin

    ” There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” – Ken Olson, president of DEC, 1977

    ” Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible” – Lord Kelvin again, 1895

    ” There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.” – Albert Einstein, 1932

    ” The cinema is little more than a fad.” – Charlie Chaplin, 1916

    ” People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” – Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, speaking about television in 1946.

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