For my last practicum post I basically want to do an overview of my semester with Second Life, take it as a little outline of my final paper if you will.
When I first started Second Life, I thought it was one of the most confusing computer programs that I have ever tried to use. I messed up the first time that I started because I couldn't follow the directions of how to begin. After creating a second avatar and attempting again, I finally understood the steps that I had to go through to start my Second Life experience. Starting Second Life, I definitely was more of a troll than I thought I would be. I kind of just assumed that the people using Second Life wouldn't really realize that I was messing with them by dancing with them at a bar or messaging them when we were in the same place. I started to feel badly for joking around though when I realized how helpful people were when I had questions and that people were really communicating with one another as friends.
I decided then to treat Second Life seriously and see what it had to offer and why people were spending their real life time on this program so much. I went through all of the options on the Destination Guide throughout the week and saw a multitude of places that people travel to. My favorite portion of the Destination Guide was the events section. I liked that events in Second Life took place in real time and that you could go there and expect to see people there that are interested in the same things that you are. You can also go to places based on interest if you join groups and see where those people are going.
I think that the biggest thing I have learned from Second Life is how much of a community it really is. I think that people who are lacking social interaction in their lives or just are looking for people that they can relate to use Second Life as a source for intimacy an friendship. People use the program to meet other people and talk to them about real life things. I came across many conversations of people talking about their real lives on Second Life and I think that the Second Life community is a tight-knit group of people that are searching for the same thing, whether it be friendship or just someone to talk to. Second Life provides people with the opportunity to escape from their lives and act out lives that maybe they have always dreamed of but haven't been able to live in real life.