August 23, 2007 4:00 AM PDT
'Second Life,' after the backlash
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There's a big downside to that: an outsized reaction when a morning news show talks about Second Life's potential as a terrorist training tool, or when a blogger comments on how nothing seems to draw the crowds in-world like a sadomasochism den--not to mention all the high-profile stories about disappointing advertising ventures.
But recent history could be in Second Life's favor. "A lot of the negativity that I've heard about Second Life echoes nearly exactly some of the complaints about the World Wide Web in the early '90s," Shigas said.
"Where people say there's nothing to do, or it's too complicated for people to understand, or there's too much sex, or I'll never trust my banking information--all these arguments were really prevalent in the early '90s about whether people would embrace the Web and whether it could be a place for commerce or business," he added.
In fairness, signs of user-friendliness are already starting to appear in Second Life.There's already Slurl, a Linden-grown project that assigns HTML addresses to specific in-world locations so that your avatar can "teleport" to a new spot on the grid through your Web browser.
In other words, Second Life gurus willingly admit that the overdose of media attention and subsequent scrutiny gave the virtual world quite the hangover, but it still knows how to party.
Even if corporate America doesn't want to attend.
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