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Human Communication and Networking

Limited chance of interaction in the Second Life

Some people say the Second Life is dull; i.e., there are usually only a few people in the virtual worlds of Linden Lab's Second Life. In "Game scrumble by Kiyoshi Shin" (The "Second Life" that cannot become a Disney Land (August 3, 2007, in Japanese)), Shin wrote that most of the users who logged in to the Second Life were new users, and most of them gave it up after using it only once. It is rather hard for the newcomers to experience interections when they log in because there are few people there. But, in addition, they uses the Second Life only for trial and may have no intension to interact with other people, so I guess they may avoid interaction even if there are other people.

Before I write this article, I tried to make sure my hypotheses by accessing the Second Life. So I registered and downloaded the Japanese beta version of the program. Unfortunately, the program did not start up because the program did not adapt to the video card drivers. Shin wrote that "a new user accesses to the Second Life at least once", but I guess, actually, there are many users who have never succeeded to access it like me. Such troubles can easily happen probably because the Second Life uses high-level graphics functions. However, it is impossible to popularize the environment unless it successfully works on most common PCs.

Although I have not yet been able to access the Second Life, I experienced an other virtual world. It was the DigitalSpace Traveler (DST) developed by DiPaola, et al. The previous version of the DST was called "OnLive! Traveler", and BIGLOBE (a Japanese big service provider) once serviced it. I tried the DST. Because Japanese could not be used in the DST, I was afraid of being shot by machine-gun-like English words. The world I entered was, on the contrary, dull, but I finally encountered an avatar. I tried an interaction but it was failed. I guess there is more chance of interaction failure because the DST uses voice instead of characters for chat and voice communication is easy to fail because of technical problems. I am not sure the cause of the failure was technical or human (i.e., the guy did not want to interact with me). However, anyway, I missed the only chance of interaction and I quitted the bored DST. I guess similar events often happen in the Second Life too.



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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 22, 2007 11:01 AM.

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