An old coworker from about 12 years ago, pays all of her real-life expenses, by making jewelry in Second Life. The graphical client program runs pretty well on my giant MacBook Pro, which was given to me in lieu of a severance package. But as it turns out, there are a couple of different viewers for Second Life, like Phoenix Viewer, which I am still getting used to. It is quite immersive, and I find myself just standing in places looking at some of the architecture and people for however long I’m in there.
The Sims is another game with similar qualities. In The Sims, there are virtual people that a player directs to do various things. Players first play dress-up with the virtual people. Then the player directs their little virtual people to do things like make dinner, pee, shower, and go to work to meet some game-related goals. Neighbors wander by and knock on the door sometimes, as there are points to score by getting a neighbor to like your little virtual person. Second Life is similar to the Sims, in that it is required to play dress-up, and that the player is directing their little virtual person. Unlike The Sims, there isn’t a requirement to use the toilet all the time, or shower, or eat. Eating is pretend eating, as is the sex, real-estate, and some other functions of Second Life. The points, I suppose, are Linden Dollars, and the challenge is to figure out how to earn them. Another difference is the scale of the virtual world, and also the volume of places to go, and things to look at.
I am having a blast seeing the stunning sights, and wacky creations. It is really neat to explore a virtual world without getting killed all the time. I will have to check out the social functions, and meet some other people. I’m also intrigued with the programming language, and how some others have made agent processes, which will go and perform a task for you. Mostly, it is advertising, but my imagination is certainly sparked when I look at some of the examples.
This is certainly not for everyone. There is a large investment of time involved just to figure out how to do things. This fills my need for casual gaming. It is also a more futuristic form of social networking.