Journalism & Communication
Pages 5 (1255 words)
Relationships in Second Life and How They Can Affect Real Life Relationships in Second Life and How They Can Affect Real Life Introduction The information age has spurned the creation of 3D virtual societies in which users can log on and create avatars, virtual representations of themselves.
These immersive 3D environments, also known as Multi User Virtual Environments (MUVE) (Mennecke et al. 373) or Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs), allow large numbers of users from diverse backgrounds and locales to interact via the Internet (Ducheneaut, Wen, Yee, and Wadley 1151). However, for many inhabitants of Second Life, it is not just a 3D online game, but another world that “…has its own economy and millions of residents who own and create property, make friends and even get married” (CNN Living, 2008). These virtual worlds (VWs) have become conduits for socialization, collaboration, entertainment, social networking, and business development (Mennecke et al. 371). Second Life vs. Real Life In VWs like Second Life, users must build virtual representations of themselves through creation of customizable avatars, which gives them a 3D body that they control and provides a “tangible embodiment of their identity” (Ducheneaut, Wen, Yee, and Wadley 1151). Through the avatars, users can discover an ever-growing assortment of virtual sites, fabricate all sorts of items, from clothing to buildings, and create businesses to sell their goods or services, forge relationships with other players through their interactions with their avatars, and buy virtual property (Hayes 154). ...