Yesterday I came across the documentary Life 2.0, based on the virtual online world of Second Life. I was quite shocked to see how consumed the people featured had come with the alternate reality, risking their real life jobs, families and health to spend as much time as they can living as their custom made avatar.
However one case stuck with me of one lady (Asri Falcone) used the online world to be make real money from designing everything from virtual clothes and houses to stay at home and look after family members. During the course of the documentary she faced the issues of another Second Life member duplicating her items and selling them as their own. It followed her as she set out on a real life court case to locate and stop them as she was loosing out on her second income. This shows that there is some links between this virtual world with the presence of real life rules and regulations to follow.
The main criticism of these alternate reality platforms is that there is potential for a person to become addicted to the vast range of activities and connections it offer’s that they choose to interact with it more than going out and experiencing the real world.
The most scary thing about all this is that it all related to social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, two things that I use on a day-to-day basis.
With mobile applications we never seem to leave the virtual world, with these worlds in our pockets its sometimes hard to forget about them for any long period of time, even I find myself having a look at what is going on in the online world at least once every few hours in situations when I should really be taking in the real life surroundings.
– Jason Spingarn-Koff, 2010. Life 2.0 [video, online]. Available from: http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/LIFE_2.0/70129457?trkid=50000009 [Accsessed on: 20 March 2014].