Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Second Lives

If anyone has any doubt about the potential of virtual online realms such as Second Life (SL), they need only read one of the books I am currently reading myself, that being "Second Lives" by Tim Guest. Tim relates the story of a group of people with cerebral palsy who are expanding their lives through SL. Although they cannot physically do many activities themselves in Real Life, using the virtual world they are able to enhance their quality of life and experience many new things. The group play as one character that can be whatever they want he/she/it to be. They can interact freely with others virtually. To give you some idea of how liberating the experience of using SL is to these people, here are some quotes from the book: "Second Life gives us the voice we've always wanted to have" and "It's like being rescued after drifting what seemed like a lifetime at sea. Like a door I've been banging on was finally opened, or like being born for the first time. It feels how I imagine an innocent man who has been locked up wrongly feels when he's finally set free." (page 49, "Second Lives", Guest). In some ways I feel ashamed of my reluctance to get into these virtual realms, where this group of wonderful people are bursting with the need to express themselves and the desire to interact with others. It is heartwarming to hear that new technologies such as these are helping people to have better lives, rather than just being for vanity or amusement.

1 comment:

pls@slnsw said...

Thanks for the reading suggestion.

Ellen (PLS)