1. I think Second Life has become so popular because not only are people busy but they are tired. People work a lot more these days than they used to. Our lives are busy and it’s a lot more difficult and tiring to get outside of our offices (wherever or whatever they may be) socialize, try out new venues/products, and meet people. A lot of people feel a lot more comfortable and confident when it comes to partaking in these events online.
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2. The reason why I think some people view Second Life as not a game but a real-life experience is because for them it is. There was once a feature on the MTV show called “ True Life” in which a talented female musician could play her music on Second Life and had a large fan base but froze when she hit the actual stage. She had also developed a life for herself on “ Second Life” which even involved a friendship that developed into a serious romantic relationship. She was able to sell some of her music and add to her personal life – something that is not often done in ‘ just a game’. If I were to visit this site perhaps I would see it as just a game as I have no involvement in the virtual world. I have no stakes but to some people, this is their way of building a personal community where they can confide, socialize, and create relationships that become part of their real worlds.
3. Some of the opportunities for companies to promote their products could be music in the form of background or virtual concerts, branded clothing that the avatars could wear, surveys that could be conducted, tourism could be promoted by showcasing hotels or travel spots for the avatars, food and drink brands of choice could be carried by the avatars, transportation vehicles could be showcased…I could continue on but there are so many different ways that companies could use a program such as “ Second Life” to promote and sell their products.