Getting a Second Life in Cyberspace

Oct 14, 2008 9:41am

ABC News On Campus reporter Joseph Millares blogs:  When I first heard of Second Life, I prejudged it as another excuse for creepy people living in their mother’s basements to create cyberdelusions of grandeur — no offense to those of you out there.  But when I found out there was a class here at the University of Texas that was taught inside this virtual world, what I learned about this Second Life phenomenon made me think I might have been wrong in my judgments. While researching Second Life, I met Joe Sanchez, the instructor for the class, and Walt Ferguson, one his students. They explained that Second Life is used by big companies, such as IBM, to keep in contact with staff and clientele.  You can even run your business through Second Life without leaving home.  For example, real estate agents can show clients how a home will look with improvements using a virtual replica.  My curiosity got the best of me, and I just had to see for myself what this Second Life was all about.  I’m officially five hours into my Second Life existence.  My name is LeKobe Scribe. The first name is a combination of two of my favorite basketball players. For the last name you have to choose from what the program has available. I felt Scribe best fit my little journalistic experiment.  As far as looks go, LeKobe is, at least I hope, as close to me in real life as you can get.  When I first entered the Second Life cyberspace I was overcome with weird feelings that I’d never really felt when put in an unfamiliar situation.  It was like the first day of school, but different.  I’m pretty good at just going up to people and introducing myself — I wouldn’t be a journalist if I couldn’t do at least that — but walking around the Second Life world was just hard and awkward.  I had to learn the controls and how to get from place to place. I got the hang of it pretty quickly. After that, I thought, "Ok LeKobe, let’s go meet some avatars." So I did what any guy would do when  in a new town … I went to a bar.  Now, I’m no Justin Timberlake. Girls don’t exactly throw themselves at me or anything, but I think I have some game.  My "digit-getting to cold-shoulder" ratio is probably 1-2, but whatever, I digress (I think there’s still a part of me that still can’t believe I went through with this). The point is, nobody I spoke to gave me the time of day.  I wasn’t being obnoxious or anything, just introducing myself.  The preprogrammed dance moves my avatar had were straight out of the movie "Hitch" and I guess you can’t buy a drink without any Linden dollars, a Second Life currency that you purchase in the real world at $1 for every 270 Linden dollars. I left the bar completely dejected and went back to my home island where I walked around for awhile.  I did, however, meet a nice avatar named Allison, and I refuse to say anything computer animated is attractive, but in real life a girl like that qualifies as at least an 8.5 out of 10. She showed me around and taught me how to do some things like change my hairstyle and clothing.  I would’ve talked longer, but I had a class in the real world to go to.  In summary, my first experience on Second Life wasn’t so bad.  I still have a lot to learn about it, but it should make for some very interesting blog posts. See you in the Second Life.

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