Second Life

Second Life, Inaugural reading by Kate Thorpe in Second Life

Mark Anthoney, a student in the University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science and an Institute of Museum and Library Services Fellow, has been doing research into the online virtual work of  Second Life. Mark's IMLS fellowship is designed to train him with the various skills required to become a librarian specializing in digital services. The building he has constructed in second Life will host readings by University of Iowa writers and a forthcoming concert from the Maia Quartet. The inaugural event featured poet and first year graduate student in The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, Kate Thorpe, and was sponsored by the University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science, The Virtual Writing University Experimental Wing, and the School of Art and Art History Intermedia Area.

Of his work in Second Life, Anthoney writes, "Second Life, a free program, is an immersive, 3-dimensional online world. It is similar to the popular video game series  The Sims. However, unlike The Sims, Second Life is entirely open source. This means that users create the lay of the land and its contents. Users also create scripts, making the space interactive. Second Life differs from  The Sims because programmers have pre-determined the possibilities of the world. The only limitation to the Second Life world comes from its users skills and imagination. As a result, Second Life is very experimental. I make sense of this online platform by comparing it to navigating information in a web browser. One typically scrolls to browse a webpage, and clicks on hyperlinks to enter other webpages. Analogously, in Second Life you walk, run, or fly through areas to browse a particular space, and use teleportation to jump to other spaces, much like hyperlinking. Second Life is indicative of a potential future for online environments. Faster computers and Internet bandwidth in homes make it possible for online environments to closer resemble real life."

Mark Anthoney's Second Life Page

This page was first displayed
on January 28, 2008

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