PostHeaderIcon Conundrum: what -IS- Second Life?

Facelight-7It's not a 'game', right?

Anyone in Second Life for more than a week will argue feverishly with you on that point. Though it's actually quite easy to describe Second Life as a game.

I actually still kind-of do: "It's animated digital Barbie dress-up dolls mashed-up with AIL Instant Messenger."

C'mon. Am I really that far off the mark?

The quick and easy answer is MMORPG. The Massive Multiplayer Inline Role Playing Game. But 'Role Playing' might apply... but not in the sense of a traditional "RPG" as that is not goal or paradigm of Second Life. Of course "metaverse" comes into play... but that more or less describes the virtual environment.

So they call it a "Virtual World". This also doesn't fully describe it. World of Warcraft and There and Twinity are all "Virtual Worlds." But beyong that, what is Second Life?

I have been referring to it as a 'platform' for quite some time. Written about it and read about it as a platform before here, here and here. And like most bloggers, the idea was kind of rattling around my head long before I actually tried to write about it. But, meh.

And now, Linden Lab and 'leading thinkers' pose and ponder the same question in deep contemplation and kumbaya thought:
Name that metaverse: "Linden Lab convened some of the leading thinkers about virtual worlds for a round table discussion here Thursday and tried to tackle precisely that question: What is 'Second Life'?

"To those gathered for the third annual State of Play conference--a mix of lawyers, academics, consultants, journalists and others--the question revolved around the dynamic that 'Second Life' has become something akin to a platform, an operating system and a browser all rolled into one."

via C|Net News
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