I first heard about Second Life a couple of years ago, from an early adopter so starry-eyed over the whole imaginary online alternate reality thing that I thought she'd joined a cult. When--without asking permission--she began sending me multiple emails with gargantuan attachments ("Here's my avatar!"), I worried for her sanity (and my server). Since then, Second Life has become a bizarre mega-phenomenon attracting more than three million players--whoops, they don't think it's a game!--and corporate sponsors who "set up shop" and charge real money for fictional products and services. And Avatar Gal has folded her consulting tent and gone to work full time for Linden Lab, creator of Second Life. May she second-live long and prosper.
You can see where I come down on all this. One life is more than enough for me, thanks very much. And also for Darren Barefoot, the Vancouver, BC, technologist and writer behind Get a First Life, "a one-page satire of Second Life." Get a First Life is "a 3D analog world where server lag does not exist" and where you're invited to "fornicate using your actual genitals."
Great concept. Might just catch on.
Hat tip to Mike's Web Log.