Periodically a secret society of elders come together for a
summit to discuss the health of the virtual world; Second Life. The last summit seemed to be filled with uncertainty and questions about the fate of this virtual world and the unraveling of a community due to negative activities and griefers.
The elders questioned if Second Life would ever be taken seriously by the real world. Many would agree that this argument is an ongoing struggle to encourage people to understand what this virtual world is all about and how important it is to those that utilize it daily for a supplemental income, creativity, improving skills, fundraising, education, entertainment even companionship and love.
The secret summit took place at a remote location away from the daily virtual world activities and consisted of a handful of elders who wish to remain anonymous. These elders have been immersed in Second Life for over eight years and have a well rounded perspective of the many facets of this virtual Gem.
The challenges that the Second Life community face are generated from people who have not done their research and think it is a just a game with no real value that can be conceived from it.
Another issue is with those that use the virtual world harboring hidden agendas and motives. They poison the atmosphere and hurt other’s opinions of the possibilities this platform offers.
The elders feel there is a wealth of information within the virtual world and with the rapid growth of technology; the virtual world is the future of global communication.
The elders’ reasoning behind that thought was clear. Second Life is unique and allows people to work and play together on a grand scale that unites many cultures and countries around the world.
Some may argue that this is a farfetched concept and an impossible transition between virtual and reality based perspectives if Linden Labs cannot weed out the troublemakers and cater more to the business and creative side of the grid. “Free will is the torch that continues to light the way for SL residents”, a concerned elder explained. “That cannot be messed with”
The elders agreed that free will is the catalyst of this working virtual world environment but some leadership needs to be involved to keep things in order.
Other factors include lag and management of capacity. “Can Linden Labs handle the flow of users it has now and what about when more discover Second Life?”, asked one of the concerned elders.
“Lag has always been a problem, but it is possible at this time there is no cure available and residents just have to wait for new technology developments that can handle hundreds of thousands of users, their issues, needs and concerns.”, said another elder.
With the challenges discussed by the elders, it did not detour from the fact that things seem to be on an upward path. The elders are beginning to look on the bright side.
“It has been a decade of virtual world growth and the new ideas and developments created by the residents are astounding”, one elder cheerfully said.
I agree, said another. “During Second Life’s infancy, there were no voice chat options and live music and video streaming. Now avatars can create and debut machinima movies, talk shows, perform live music, DJ, ad hold important discussions for educational purposes.”
An elder with a taste for fashion shared, “The quality of clothing has also improved from prim to mesh. There are multiple viewer options that residents can choose from and the SL marketplace is booming. As time goes on residents are mastering their building and scritping skills and creating new and innovative gadgets to help organize business practices.”
An elder pointed out Smartbots as a wonderful tool for business promotion. “It reduces the time it takes for promoters to send notices one by one through their accessible groups.”, she said. Another elder familiar with the program stated, “This program can auto send notices to multiple groups on a schedule as well as include landmarks and products directly through groups for a small monthly fee.”
“I use this product daily and see positive results because it keeps my group members up to date with our activities, products and services”, the third elder said. A fourth elder chimed in that he will need to try it out for his business.
“Second Life isn’t all about business, this is a platform for some people to live their fantasies with others”, another elder included while changing the topic focus.
“There are people who have disabilities that prevent them from engaging in certain activities in the real world, Second Life is the perfect place for them to experience things they cannot in the real world.”, she continued.
“You are absolutely right!”,said one of the elders with her own story to tell. “There was a resident that really opened my eyes to the possibilities back in 2007”, she continued. “This resident was a writer for a recognizable media source here in Second Life and his name was “Fasttoes”. One day the editor of the newspaper asked him what inspired such a name and what he said amazed her.
Fasttoes was a paraplegic. Paralyzed from the neck down and was confined to a wheelchair with around the clock caregivers catering to his every physical need.
Second Life was his way of releasing his creativity energy. He typed with his toes using a custom home setup that allowed him to communicate with others in the virtual world. His story is just one of many inspirational uses for Second Life.
An elder added, “Think about those that are hearing imparied or suffer social anxiety and have a difficult time communicating with people in the real world” he went on to say “In Second Life people with illnesses, disabilities and anxieties can communicate with anybody on their own terms and in any language just by using a translator system.”
“None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for a community that was built on creativity and the belief in the possibilities of this virtual world.” another elder added.
The question, “What do you see for the future of Second Life?” was asked during the summit and it excited all knowing elders. They practically all started talking and sharing their visions at once. Some of their visions were clear enough to visualize but out of fear of manipulated the natural plan of the virtual world, the elders refused to reveal that information. Instead, they each recorded their views in the summit doctrine for future reference.
The summit was adjourned with satisfaction on the faces of the elders who pulled up their cloaks and disappeared into the virtual mist until the next gathering.