Friday, November 14, 2008

Second Life: A parallel online universe

The Second Life website was created on the internet five years ago to act as a parallel online universe. Users, called "residents", interact with each other through creating characters called "avatars". They chose how they look and can then explore, meet other residents, socialize, play sport, go to concerts and trade items such as virtual property and cars.

It uses an internal currency called the "Linden Dollar", which is purchased for real money. Land is treated as a valuable and scarce commodity; residents can buy, sell, and rent land areas from each other. Some users have reported making up to £70,000 a year in real cash from such transactions.

The Maldives became the first country to open an embassy in Second Life, followed by Sweden. Live theatre has been performed by the Second Life Shakespeare Company and Duran Duran were one of the first artists to join the "metaverse". In 2006, Mark Warner, the former governor of Virginia, America, became the first politician to appear when he gave a speech in the virtual community. British comedian Jimmy Carr also performed a virtual show last year.

(Telegraph UK)

No comments: