Thursday, January 10, 2008

task 22: Second Life

I'm ambivalent about Second Life. I play role-playing games on my computer for relaxation, but haven't ventured into multi-player online ones. This goes back to my fear of encourntering more time-sucking-vortices and the knowledge that I can be a bit obsessional about things I enjoy. Several of my writer friends are involved in Second Life, up to buying islands and creating SL replicas of their novel's worlds and characters. One uses SL for writer chats with her readers and finds it useful. I can see how that would apply to subject-specific discussion groups and "virtual tours" in libraries.

There are a couple of reasons I'm not enthusiastic about the idea of using SL for Swinburne's libraries. The first is the sheer amount of time and training required for the staff to create avatars and build appropriate sites for such events to take place. I'm aware that there are already existing sites and that the Info Island inhabitants would likely be pleased to help more experimenting librarians. I don't know that is worth the time investment. The second is the likelihood that other SL characters will do inappropriate things ("bumping" etc) which may put new users (and staff) off. So far we haven't proceeded to get an AskUs chat running for online queries, so that makes me doubt we will hurry into the SL experience.

1 comment:

Bec said...

That's an excellent point you make about virtual reference. One would think that online chat is a much simpler concept than online worlds, and yet we haven't even been able to get that through yet! So I think we can breathe a sigh of relief and hold out on Second Life for a bit longer (thank goodness).