Socializing holds great appeal Chenelle Bremont, known in-world as Tinkar Daligdig, visits Second Life regularly to hang out with friends. “For me, [Second Life] is a game because it’s a form of entertainment,” says Bremont, who is married and gainfully employed in real life.Like her avatar, she is dark-haired, blue-eyed and pretty.The residents who visit each month — and there are thousands of them — spend time snorkeling, shopping, fishing and belly-dancing. The cool animation that can change your awkward, new-avatar gait into the feline prowl of a supermodel? The lush, vast “Lord of the Rings”-like island of Svarga? And what’s more, these residents pay for the privilege to build these things in-world. It was also a way to gather up her favorite things in Second Life and make them permanent.The genius of user-created content It’s true Second Life lacks a designed conflict and end objective. “Content can be very transient in Second Life,” she says.“Those who think it's fine to live within the world of developers’ imaginations, and those that push up on the boundaries.” Goza falls into the latter camp. But she wanted to customize her game-playing experience, and she knew other people felt the same way.“The point of ‘World of Warcraft’ is not to hang out and dance in a pub, but people do it,” she says. The term “3-D online virtual world” doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as the term “game.” And it’s a whole lot harder to get in a headline. Linden Lab, the company that created the platform that is Second Life, is emphatic that their creation is not a game.
To feed the insatiable demand for more characters, more levels and more weapons, Blizzard employs a flotilla of designers, artists, animators and programmers. Pushing up on the boundaries “There are two types of people,” says Beth Goza, known as Kealiaha Trudeau in Second Life.But the real difference between “World of Warcraft,” “The Sims” or any other game Second Life is compared to is this: Linden does not create the content. “One of my favorite islands was an amusement park, and one day I went and it was gone.” For love or money?