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Posted by Erica Driver on October 4, 2007
by Erica Driver.
I am chomping at the bit about the 3D Internet (of which virtual worlds and massive multi-player online games are early iterations). What I see is its potential to improve my work experience dramatically — and the work experience of information workers world-over. Not that I've got it rough — I am privileged to be able to work from my home office in rural Rhode Island when I'm not on the road. But working remotely has two major downsides:
Here's where virtual worlds come in. Picture this:
But, sadly, Second Life has a long way to go. At least for newbies like me. Last night I decided to spend some time trying to make my Second Life avatar (Erica Burns) look more like what I think I look like in real life, and go out and explore Second Life. A couple of hours in and I still didn't get very far with my avatar (see photo and Second Life snapshot). And that was the least of my concerns. While I located a few islands that look like terrific places to experiment with new ways of working (e.g., IBM's executive briefing center and EOLUS One), I didn't see any avatars in them while I was there.
And I got caught up in a bunch of junk along the way. Even when de-selecting "mature content" I came across way too many avatars with not-enough clothing on, even on the public help island. My avatar was even attacked, yes, attacked, on the public help island by some weird red monster thing brandishing some sort of fiery-looking stick and carrying a placard about the Burmese people. All this while I stood with a small crowd of other avatars trying to figure out the meaning of a bloodied, dead avatar surrounded by yellow "crime scene do not cross" police tape.
Call to action for Second Life developers: Help business people like me find ways to benefit from all the great things virtual worlds have to offer, while at the same time shielding me from the anarchic nasties. Help me easily get to freely-accessible, though private-while-I'm-there, conference and meeting rooms so I can begin to experiment with the 3D Internet. In return you'll have a shot at the eye and ear — and keyboard — of multitudes of information workers jonesing for a better way to work.