Thursday, December 07, 2006

EPn-report "The Second Life of Virtual reality"

Finally the English version of the EPN-report on Second Life is available. You can ask for the pdf by sending an email to: info@epn.net They have done a interesting survey into who is involved in Second Life and came up with some surprising conclusions about what people are looking for in Sl! From the Management summary: "EPN explored the consequences of the fusion of virtual and physical reality in the areas of economics, rights and well-being by researching the new opportunities which this fusion offers our society." Here are some of the most interesting conclusions:
  • A considerable portion of those surveyed stated that they spend more than 20 hours a week in the virtual world, Second Life. A large group indicates that more than 30 hours would be the amount of time which they spend there.
  • It is striking that those surveyed who spend considerable time in Second Life frequently belong to the creative or IT professions.
  • Many of those surveyed who indicated that they spend considerable time in Second Life were women. They are frequently better educated than the men, often at university level.
  • The relationship between happiness in real life and in Second Life is strong in the group 30 hours and more except for those who are unhappy in real life. They are happier in Second Life. In the group are several people who are house-bound because of circumstances, illness or a handicap.
  • Second Life appears to be a large social experiment. Visitors form societies and make their own rules. They find their own ways to maintain their standards and values. There are, just as there are in real life, visitors who enjoy harassing others. Products are sold. Some objects can be copied at will; others are subject to copyright rules. All sorts of social and economic problems which manifest themselves in real life do so in Second Life as well.
From a seminar organised by TU Delft it appeared that several Dutch colleges and universities are interested in teaching in a virtual world such as Second Life (in a similar way to how this already takes place at Harvard). I really would like to know who is working in SL from Dutch Universities! Let me know if you know something about this.
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