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  My Second Life, Part 6  
Posted 2004-05-04 by Tony Walsh

At last I am beginning to find the better-quality people,
places, and things in SL. Like scrutinizing an object under a microscope,
SL becomes more detailed and complex the further I zoom. This sixth edition
of My Second Life marks week three of my other-worldly experiences in the
massively multi-user environment of Second Life (SL). Click
here to review the entire list
of My Second Life articles,
or read on for the latest.

Continue reading: My Second Life, Part 6
  My Second Life, Part 5  
Posted 2004-04-27 by Tony Walsh
I've been a Second Life (SL) subscriber for barely two weeks. It's been a hell of a ride, mostly due to the mind-shattering volume of material to sift through, and the nearly-unfathomable level of complexity behind the scenes. Second Life still seems impossible to define as a whole, but easy to analogize. Second Life is an Olympic-sized swimming pool filled with fantastic Sea Monkeys. More than mindless brine shrimp, these critters dance and play together, build castles, and ride around in cars. Left unchecked, the Sea Monkeys will fill the pool with suburban homes, cocktails, torture chambers, slot machines, motorcycles, stuffed animals and ray-guns. How long will it be before these genius Sea Monkeys escape the bounds of their pool and take over the rest of the world one puddle at a time?
Following are my continuing reflections, discoveries, and commentary on the massively-multiplayer world of Second Life. For earlier editions, please see the complete list of "My Second Life" articles.

Continue reading: My Second Life, Part 5
  Advertising and Branding in Virtual Worlds  
Posted 2004-04-27 by Tony Walsh
Virtual Worlds Review site manager and Terra Nova contributor Betsy Book has made her paper "Advertising and Branding in Virtual Worlds" available as a PDF download.

The paper covers in-world citizens who've create marketing for their own creations (as I've seen recently in Second Life), official ads for products made by the world developer/owner, marketing by real-world companies in a virtual world (see my editorial Big Mac Attacked), and lastly entire worlds created to market real-world brand (such as the US Army).
  Actual Press for Virtual Reporter  
Posted 2004-04-27 by Tony Walsh
Wagner James Au is Second Life's official "embedded reporter," covering the people and events that make the multiuser computer simulation so interesting (and frightening, and sordid, and hilarious...)

Au was recently interviewed by The Mercury News, and explains his role in Second Life, some of the more notable events he's reported on, and gives brief insight into what it's like being a reporter covering the media outlet that mails him cheques.
  My Second Life, Part 4  
Posted 2004-04-20 by Tony Walsh
My adventures in Second Life continue [see previous entries], both inside this multi-user world where content is king, and outside, where discussions blossom and bomb. I've been lucky enough to have an overwhelming nod of support for my series of articles from Second Life residents, but it's now obvious to me that I need to be crystal clear with some caveats in order to keep a few gripers at bay.

Continue reading: My Second Life, Part 4
  My Second Life, Part 3  
Posted 2004-04-16 by Tony Walsh
My first few forays into the strange and wonderful world of Second Life were totally eye-opening. Chaos and order are constantly at war in this otherwise peaceful virtual world, making each visit completely unique and intriguing. In my 20-plus years of video-gaming, I've certainly never seen anything so interesting and captivating.

The first and second installments of "My Second Life" covered some basic surface details such as sightseeing, as well as touched upon some more significant issues such as intellectual property and control versus freedom. In this third installment, I'll be discussing slightly more abstract concepts.

Continue reading: My Second Life, Part 3
  My Second Life, Part 2  
Posted 2004-04-15 by Tony Walsh
In part one of "My Second Life," I posted my first impressions of the multiuser online environment Second Life (SL) after logging a few hours of play time. I covered what attracted me to SL, basic avatar customization, SL's environment, commerce, intellectual property, and the importance of user contributions to SL's success.

Day two of my Second Life: Sightseeing, window-shopping, and finally some socialization.

Continue reading: My Second Life, Part 2
  My Second Life, Part 1  
Posted 2004-04-14 by Tony Walsh
Until yesterday, I'd pretty much sidestepped the entire gamut of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs). The two main reasons for this avoidance have been the potentially addictive factor of games such as Evercrack, and the subscription fees involved. I've followed MMOGs--I've even proposed civil disobedience in The Sims Online--but from the sidelines it's just not as fun.
Second Life always interested me to a degree. It's a 3D environment where the order of the day is mainly social interaction. Each user takes the form of one or more "shapes" (avatars) which are completely customizable and generally humanoid. Shapes can be switched at will. Second Life is not exactly a game, although users have created some games within the environment. Last fall, the developers of Second Life revised their Terms of Service and allowed those who contribute content to the game to retain intellectual property rights. Second Life "Linden Dollars" are transferable to real-life cash via certain `net-based exchange services, so suddenly you have a situation where, by creating items of virtual worth (such as clothing textures or other artwork) there is a possibility of real-life kickback. Then I heard about Second Life's free 7-day trial and figured it was about time I got my feet wet MMOG-style.

Continue reading: My Second Life, Part 1
  NWN Gets Community Expansion Pack  
Posted 2004-03-25 by Tony Walsh
Since the release of versatile, Canadian-made multiplayer RPG Neverwinter Nights there have been two commercial expansion packs published, neither of which I've bought. Not enough value for the money, in my opinion. But "free" is a price point I think I can handle. The talented Neverwinter community has put together a massive, polished, freely-downloadable expansion pack of their own, which may inspire me to spend more time tinkering in NWN's Aurora Toolset.
  There, Second Life, IP  
Posted 2003-12-05 by Tony Walsh
There is a white-bread community of online consumers. Second Life is an online community built primarily by the community. Both "worlds" deal with intellectual property in different ways, but only Second Life has allowed its users to retain property rights and even make a profit off their creations. Author James Grimmelmann dissects both There and Second Life with an eye on IP issues. Lengthy article, but an easy read.
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