Bark of the Dragon

November 30, 2006

Sometimes Virtual Reality is silly…

Filed under: Second Life — tomashausdorff @ 10:05 pm

Akela over at Second Life Insider drew my attention today to something in-world that is just a little bit silly: a virtual telephone that let’s you call up other avatars with the same phone and have a text conversation with them.

As Akela points out, the ability to chat with another avatar is already something of a “feature” of Second Life.  It’s called an Instant Message, or more colloquially, a private chat.  In that light, the phone in question seems rather silly: why do you need it? 

But let’s think about this.  The phone is a virtual object simulating a real world function that is already a feature of the real world Second Life client.   Another “silly” class of object in Second Life is the virtual object that simulates a real world function that has no *purpose* in Second Life, and further isn’t even something particularly glamourous in real life.  For example- a virtual garbage can, or a virtual toilet that actually can be “flushed”. 

Which is actually more silly?  Something that actually has a function (the phone) which already exists in Second Life (chat)?  Or something that has no function whatsoever in Second Life and isn’t even particularly desireable in real life?  Maybe I can subscribe to simulated delivery of virtual utility bills, or perhaps what we need is some sort of faux head cold so that we can stay home and be sick rather than go to our alternate-reality jobs.

Right at the moment, I’m actually finding this whole discussion is beginning to make me dizzy.  I think I’ll go take a theoretical nap…



  1. What about a virtual deodorant stick? My avatar hasn’t have a shower for months. An what about virtual kids you have to feed and care for (like a tamagotchi). And have to spend time to help with their homework from virtual school?


    Comment by Stefan Weiß — December 1, 2006 @ 1:29 am

  2. Good ones, Stefan 🙂 It makes me think I should search for deodorant and perfume next time I log in to SL…

    Comment by tomashausdorff — December 1, 2006 @ 8:05 am

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