Sunday, October 28, 2007

Second Wind for Second Life?

Second Life (SL) seems to be back in the news, thanks to the TV programme CSI:New York, which has featured the virtual world in some episodes and also launched a Second Life game based on the show (see video below). As there are competitions to solve crimes and track down murderers by finding clues and filing reports, it could be interesting to English language learners (I've only just joined in so I'm not sure how valuable it is yet).

(above - the CSI SL game also has its own SL viewer and simplified SL orientation to help players with the interface and the game. More photos here)

This transmedia storytelling (thanks to Ewan McIntosh for the link) seems to be something we'll be seeing a lot more of, and Second Life is an attractive option because it is cheaper to build a game using this platform than starting from scratch. It also takes advantage of its existing user base. Could this prove to be a second wind for SL, now that the hype / criticism cycle of the virtual world has slowed down.

Another example of this happening is the game that has been made in Second Life to coincide with the launch of the film I am Legion, which looks like a Hollywood version of the film 28 Weeks Later. The Second Life game is "a multiplayer first person shooter / RPG" game, and so is probably not as valuable as CSI is for language learning possibilities.

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