by Matthew Holt Comments Feed" href=""/>

Second Life-maybe I can be convinced, by Matthew Holt

Despite all the hype, I’ve been very down on Second Life.  I’ve downloaded the app, logged on, blundered
around and never figured out how to make it work. I spent my first 4
goes trying and failing to get off the first island where you’re supposed to do a series of tests. There’s no
tutorial, no clear explanation of how to make your avatar move around,
and almost no help. That’s why despite 2 million downloads only some
30–50,000 people seem to be regular users.

But despite that, I managed to be introduced to some people with
various disabilities and various conditions who were using Second Life.
Last week I logged on with their help and met them. They helped me
teleport over to their island, and they spoke with great hope and
expectation about the power they felt that Second Life gave people who
had problems leaving the house, meeting others, and generally dealing
with some of the every day activities of daily life.

I’ll tell you more as this goes on, and as I get permission to share
more. But perhaps I can be convinced that the problems Second Life
gives the initial user can be overcome. And perhaps something very
valuable can be created there that’s has very positive health benefits.

Matthew Holt

5 Responses to Second Life-maybe I can be convinced, by Matthew Holt

  1. John Norris says:

    Glad to hear you got into Second Life, and with a group of folks that will give you an interesting perspective on things.
    Hopefully you may find your way over to Health Info Island, and places like Virtual Hallucinations, The Virtual Neurological Education Centre, and other early explorations into what Second Life may offer.
    Whether you end up liking it or not, I'll be very interested in hearing what you think!

  2. Rob says:

    2nd Life has one non-obvious advantage: Because you have an avatar and appear as a person, instead of text on a screen, social norms apply. Get too close to someone, and they move. One can have a conversation without things turning into a flamewar.
    I don't know how long that will last, but it's fascinating to examine, and I think can be a big part of
    - Lectures (with live sound)
    - Distance discussions and symposia
    - Meetings and other organizational functions
    And so on. It actually works, and that's what's good.
    That it is often a playground for an adrift class of online users who act out frustrated middle-class fantasy lifestyles then get bored with their yachts? Well. That's why it's empty.
    We should take it over.

  3. gjudd says:

    While Matt's suggestion that Second Life's usability issues thwart more lasting visitor engagement has some merit, I'm partial to Clay Shirky's more thorough appraisal here:…
    (actually, I'm partial to practically anything Shirky writes about human behavior & tech)

  4. Matt - I think it is an interesting topic. I blogged about it a little back in August, but I still haven't had the time to go and play with it.…
    One of the people who commented on my post actually has simulation out there using Second Life.
    I think the key point is that there are lots of technologies that healthcare doesn't embrace for both legitimate and paranoid reasons. As we continue to move to a more patient centric model, this creative approach to technology and using it to embrace patients will be more important.

  5. Brad says:

    I tried Second Life a few times a year ago. I went to a few different islands. There was too little Help in using the functions. There were few people around who wanted to talk. It seemed like an vast beach pf partially compleated sand castles that people had started and abandoned as no one came arond to admire their creativity. Or maybe a library filled with books that no one ever came in to borrow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Health 2.0