My spidey-sense is tingling; I keep hearing things about Second Life, the kinds of things you hear about something that turns out to be real big. So far, I don’t really get it, but that doesn’t mean anything. Read on for a picture of my Second Life persona and some impressions.

Tim Bray’s Second Life avatar

Tim Bray AKA Bengal Solzhenitsyn.

The avatar-construction kit is really pretty slick, I have to say. They don’t do male pattern baldness very well, but the rest is good. In real life, I don’t wear glasses unless I’m reading or staring at a computer, but first of all, I thought they made Bengal more interesting, and second, well, I am staring at a computer, really. I think there’s a lot more scope for creativity in setting up a female avatar.

I go way back on this stuff, I remember when AlphaWorld was new, and hey, it still seems to be there.

For a quick summary of why 2L is probably more interesting than ΑW could ever have become, see Scoble; the comments too.

I don’t know, though, like Scoble says, it obviously takes hours to find your feet, and I don’t have ’em, so for the moment, 2L probably belongs to the kids who have the time to suss it out.

I built Bengal Solzhenitsyn there a couple of months ago and have only been back once or twice since. Whenever I go back, the world is mostly empty, there are a few people hanging around where you arrive, wearing outlandish outfits and chatting away about things I don’t understand. Get out into the country and it’s built-up but desolate, a brand-spanking-new digital ghost town.

Also, either the Mac client is lame or a 1.67GHz PowerBook ain’t up to it or it’s just as klunky and awkward to move around in as any other VR that isn’t a hotrodded game.

But if the buzz I hear is correct, it’ll get crowded soon. I imagine that that Jane Jacobs’ thinking on real cities probably works for virtual landscapes: density is good.

Maybe later this summer I can steal a couple of days from working on technology and do a 2L crash course; if it isn’t a whole lot busier by then, it’s probably just a fizzle.

author · Dad
colophon · rights

March 27, 2006
· The World (148 fragments)
· · Life Online (273 more)

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