Friday, September 26, 2008

Three more chapters read now of The Making of Second Life

I have now read three more chapters of this journalistic book:
Au, Wagner James. The Making of Second Life: Notes From the New World (New York: Collins, 2008).

Au covers the idea of crowds and democracy in Second Life as one of his themes and fully admits that the masters of Second Life that is Linden labs hope to promote a libertarian style democracy. He covers early attempts to make Second Life a socially vibrant world with rules imposed on it from above like rating systems. There are rating systems in Second Life for the objects in the game that players build and then see. As well as, there are rating systems for the avatars. He also explains how these low paying jobs in Second Life such as siting in a chair for money or cleaning windows in a shop came about and this was new material I have not come across before.

In the next chapter, he looks at role playing and identity, covering furries and gender bending. He quotes Turkle at one point.

This leads nicely into the next chapter where he covers avatar sex and of course ends with the familiar detective agencies in Second Life story. He also has some good writing on the meaning and sensations of sexuality through the computer screen. He also does not use Second Life for sexual play and shows that this is a minor but sensational aspect of the game. He ends up telling a few romance stories as well.

In the following chapter he covers politics and video gaming warfare by covering the now familiar Jessie sim story. But he looks at it in the context of the war in Iraq showing what happens when war mongers and peace niks mix in their politics to the game Second Life. He does not resolve the politics very well but then he covers the general views of politics and apathy well.

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