Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Second Life - Measure of Society

I was able to get Second Life to function on my lap top to some degree, but wish I could get it to operate adequately on my PC. I have always been one to want to create a "new me" and personalize things, so could easily see myself spending some time exploring.

I am far from a prude, but it has bothered me considerably that my children are exposed to "sleaze" on a day-to-day basis. Just walking in the mall, I can regularly point out "what not to wear" as we make our trek from store to store. It is very hard to find appropriate clothes for 9 years olds....everything is too skimpy or too mature.

When I started playing with Second Life, I liked that I could suddenly make "myself" thin and beautiful. However, I dislike that no matter how I adjust my clothes in "appearance" (without "shopping"), that my jeans are too low and my shirt too high.

This alone suggests alternative purposes in Second Life. I can see this being a magnet for lonely people, or a platform for other "alternative" activities.....say like those I have seen on Real Sex (HBO). I doubt if I would want my children participating in a teen or kid version of this game. It seems a perfect place for sexual predators. Everytime that I am approached by a stranger, I anticipate that I am going to be propositioned. I remind myself that many people involved in the game are like the rest of the students in our classroom....but what do I know about what the rest of you do when alone with your computers? (wink, wink, nod, nod, say no more, say no more - Eric Idle).

2 Comments:

At 8:18 AM, Blogger Kathleen Borsos Wooley said...

Loved that skit! SAY NO MORE!!. I totally agree that these types of MMORPG's can be breeding ground for all kinds of sleazy people. I would rather put my energy into educational games. Even then, its going to be a challenge to keep the slime out.

 
At 5:35 PM, Blogger Cathy said...

I also agree with you that the current culture of Second Life caters to explicit sexuality and other questionable activities. In my opinion, it's a pervasive cultural undercurrent that's developed in SL. In fact, because of what I've noticed as I've "played the game", I've become hesitant in recommending it to other people.
Perhaps, for that very reason, I think it's so important for educators such as ourselves to use our abilities, opportunities and influence, to develop Second Life resources for more noble purposes. It's a very powerful tool and needs to be stewarded wisely.
Recently, I was allowed to see an application within SL being developed ultimately for the Teen Grid. On that island, participants will be interacting in a virtual cultural exchange with other students from around the world in guided, appropriate, educational activities. It's projects like these that encourage me to not "throw the baby out with the bath water" - but, rather, to be a positive influence.

 

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