I'm the green one. Click to enlarge
I thought this might happen, and I said as much in my very first post. I knew that I was going to have to get to know Second Life in order to write about it intelligently, and so after spending some more time in there, I have toi admit that I don't hate it any more. It's actually pretty cool.
HOWEVER, the second life hype still disturbs me. Every day, people are talking about a vision of the internet of the future that strikes me as wildly impractical, and therefore pretty unlikely, so maybe it's not rational for me to fear it. With a whole community free to apply their own creativity, there will be applications for Second Life that no one has ever thought of, but it's not a good interface for the virtual classroom, the virtual business meeting, all that sort of thing. It's bulky, bloated, crammed with unnecessary information, and, I swear to God, it's a lot harder to master than the Linux Command Line. I'm serious.
Is Second Life a game? People argue about that, but if you go to dictionary.com, you'll find fifteen definitions for game. Definition number one is "an amusement or pasttime". Competition isn't mentioned until definition number three.
Of course it's game... but games matter! They matter economically, and they matter technically. I heard an interview on Fresh Air with Rerry Gross featuring none other than The Mighty Linus Torvalds, the inventor of the Linux Kernel, who speaks in the most extravagant terms of his admiration for those who program games.