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To answer the question, “Why do you think people build virtual worlds in places like Second Life?” I believe people who use Second Life have various reasons as to why they use the technology. Some people use Second Life to advertise business and skills, some people use second life for educational purposes, and some people use second life for personal fulfillment. Using Second Life for the purposes of business and education provides users with networking opportunities. An individual can meet potential business partners and clients by using the technology. Further, in education, users can use Second Life to visit a variety of platforms without leaving the comfort of their own home (Mesko, 2007). Second Life can provide students with the opportunities to explore virtual settings that are close to the settings in which they will work. Students can also interact in activities that they are likely to be performing on their job. Speaking of being able to explore virtual worlds, Second Life can be used for the personal purposes of entertainment. There are various tools available that can be used to promote collaboration and interactivity in all settings.
Independent consultants can use Second Life as a meeting place if they desire to market their products in the virtual setting. The use of the various technologies that are available allow the users to enhance their communication as they are discussing ways to enhance their performance as independent consultants. Individuals seeking to freely explore something new can use second life to fulfill their interest. There are a variety of things that can be used through using Second Life. Specifically focusing on using Second Life for the purposes of education, the technology can really enhance the instructional setting by making learning more interactive and interesting for learners. A disruptive technology is defined as a technology that appears out of nowhere. It is not anticipated, but it creates a new way of thinking about a technological task (Laureate Education, 2009). Second Life is a disruptive technology I think because it is a technology tool that enables individuals to explore various ways of doing things.
Often those various ways of doing things are outside of reality in the present. However, through the exploration of Second Life, individuals may discover ways to make doing things that are outside of reality an actual reality. In his video, Philip Rosedale (2008) talks about how we, as individuals may have various ideas, but are unable to express those ideas due to a lack of materials and resources. However, Second Life enables users to gain access to the needed materials and resources through the virtual world, and once a user has created an idea, they may be able to present their idea through the virtual world and get backing for their idea. Just as with many other conferencing technologies, I believe Second Life displaced the need for face-to-face meetings. When using Second Life for business purposes, it can decrease the expenses of PR value and the cost of tangible materials that are often used in the business world (Virtual Worlds for Business, 2009).
At this time, I can’t imagine that there would be another technology being created to be replaced by Second Life. I believe that Second Life is also a social networking tool, and there are various social networking tools available. Each social networking tool serves its own purpose. Therefore, just as there is a separate purpose for any of the other social networking tools, there is also a separate purpose or purposes for Second Life. As mentioned earlier, one of the social networking benefits of Second Life is that it allows users use various tools as it offers a combination of options for the enhancement of one’s social networking experience. As holographic technologies prepare to emerge, one of the implications of Second Life would be the development and integration of holographic technologies. Please see the links below to retrieve more information on Second Life.
Laureate Education, Inc. (2009). Emerging and future technology: Six forces that drive emerging technologies. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Mesko, B. (2007). How and why use second life for education? Retrieved from http://scienceroll.com/2007/09/19/how-and-why-to-use-second-life-for-education/
New business horizons (2009). Virtual worlds for business: Benefits of having a second life presence. Retrieved from: http://nbhorizons.com/benefits.htm
Rosedale, P. (2008). Philip Rosedale on Second Life [Video]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/the_inspiration_of_second_life.html.