It is common knowledge that Second Life is a three-dimensional virtual environment where users can socialize, simulate real life events or give wings to their imagination and dreams.
The debate on its definition is endless, yet it’s up to each resident to define this virtual world for the posture we assume when we login. Quoting Linden Lab’s slogan “Your world, your imagination”, the truth is that Second Life is what we make of it. A Game? An extension of real Life? You call the shots.
This virtual platform, considered a mix of 3D games (for its graphics, colors and textures, for being addictive like many other games, and for requiring the pc to access it) with the approach of social networks, gives us the tools and resources to adapt and shape it to our own individual needs, whatever they are, giving us a sense of accomplishment. Whether we are here for friendship, for romance, to make our dreams come true or to play a character, we are glued to a world of emotional connections to which we are not immune. Therefore, when being a part of our daily lives doesn’t Second Life become an extension of our real life?
SLE asked some residents to give us their view points on this debate without consensus:
Is Second Life just a Game or is it an Extension of your Real Life?
We would like to thank each and everyone for participating.
Jamiee Noel McDaniel (jamiee.seoung): I think SL is an extension because you don't really change who is the behind the screen, but RL still plays into how you are in SL, if you had a bad childhood in RL, and you’re a kid in SL, then you might be trying to have a good childhood
Conifer Dada: If Second Life isn't a computer game, what is it? I've been in SL for 7 years and I'd describe it as a computer game, despite seeing countless explanations as to why it's not!
Ren Toxx: It can be both. For me, it's the latter.
Wdwalker: SL is a game and possibly an extension of RL, .either way it can be of serious consequences. Watch your friends closer than your enemies.
Orca Flotta: Neither nor. More specifically: SL isn't a game by any definition. If it were I wouldn't be here; Second Life is a second life, not an extension of my first one. I'm quite content with my first life, thank you very much, so I'm having a totally different one on SL.
KarenMichelle: Simply stated, Second Life allows me to expand my life options. Case in point, I am not a DJ in real life. Here in SL I am a DJ and I get to practice Music Therapy both for myself and my audience. I also own and lease parcels on my 2 lovely islands. I especially enjoy spending time with my SL friends who I would have never met except for the serendipity of SL.
Ricky40: It is a balance between second life being a complete second life and simply being an extension of my first life. It is a hard call to make, am I my avatar? Is my avatar me? Do I have a split personality? I guess I will just have to settle for saying that my avatar is another facet of my personality.
Nuhai Ling: By definition SL is not a game; it has no defined rules, goals, or conclusion. Some argue - and rightfully so - that it is becoming more video game-like as we lose the ability to be self expressive, pursue unhindered experiences, and "own" what we create. That still does not make it a game, just a repressed virtual landscape where the unpaid work and skill of many make a few people very rich. Aside from that, SL is an extension of my RL self in that I see it as a creative hobby and means to socialize in a different way than Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Facing reality head on, it’s pretty cool I can bump pixels in-world without messing up my hair and having to lock the door after a guy disappears.
Amethyst Jetaime: While you can play lots of different games in SL, SL itself is not a game but a virtual world. SL has no goal, there are no points or prizes, no rules of play, no competitors. These things only exist in the context of what you set for yourself or agree to in a game or contest you voluntarily enter into inside of SL. On the other hand in SL you can do most everything you can do in RL, including work, create real art, and have all kinds of relationships, serious learning and education, participating in support groups or serious discussions etc, none of which are part of a 'game'. Those that think life is a game may think SL is one though, and people that are 'players' and gamers tend to think it is too, but that's because that is what they use it for.
Got your own opinion in the matter? Do share it with us by adding a comment to this article.