Click. Choose a name.
Click. Choose an identity for your avatar. Female or male? Girl/boy next door, City Chic, Harajuka, Cybergroth, Furry or night club?
Click. Here’s my Second Life identity.
I have chosen a name similar to my own name so I am sure I will recognize myself. I did not consider being a male in Second Life (SL), I was considering being a Harajuaka or Cybergroth but I was not really sure about these identities so now I am a city chic girl just like in my real life. (I am even looking forward to go shopping for city chic clothing to my avatar). I could also change the identiy completely. I am surprised that most residents in SL have chosen avatars that are similar to their real life personalities. I am happy that my avatar seems to have longer legs and a smaller nose than the real me, but it is interesting that participants do not take the chance to become another character – maybe a bit younger and fancier – than they are in real life. I looked around on OI (Orientation Island) for a while, and I have to admit that I am looking forward to get an introduction in class later this week. I am a bit nervous that I will get addicted to SL because like BeckBlogic Weblog I do not know where I should get time to have a second life – without giving up my nice night sleep. But anyway, I want to explore SL with all its creativity in art, music, diplomacy, and other businesses and activities because I am curious. What is this about? Why are people playing this? The old me (me before this class) was surprised to learn about this huge user generated society with entrepreneurs like artists, bankers (not allowed anymore), and real estate agents. I am also surprised to learn about the SL economy where residents can exchange Linden dollars for US dollars. One thing is that Linden Lab generates a profit but SL residents can convert Linden dollars into real dollars and make some sort of a living. SL residents are earning Linden dollars out of real estate, games, or funky avatar gadgets. I have not heard about any who created a fortune but still….. I am not a big player online, but games can be a great training tool especially if you are trying to communicate with the net-generation. For years, America’s Army has been on my “to do list” so I could learn more about the army, war strategies etc. It is a great recruiting tool. Now I have downloaded it and created an account. I am not patient or tech savvy so I ran out of patience. There were so many things going on. Same thing in SL – but I guess it is easier for me to identify myself with a city chic than a soldier. I also tried out FatWorld, Airport Security and Points of Entry all made by Persuasive Games. The games are effective media for communicating a message to an audience playing online games. I think the messages are clear about nutrition, immigration and airport security: Think about what you eat, think about the unfair standardized immigration system, and think about the ridicules airport (in)security. It is combining Shakespeare tragedy and comic with expressive visual and sounds effects. In that way it can be manipulatining. It is not hard to figure out the political agenda of Persuasive Games, but I guess in other games it could be more difficult to see the context.