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August 13, 2008

Second Life: Pixels and Panties

Filed under: Random Musing, Technology — castlewriter @ 12:18 am

Metaverse (n): The Metaverse is a virtual world, described in Neal Stephenson‘s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, where humans, as avatars, interact with each other and software agents, in a three-dimensional space that uses the metaphor of the real world. The word metaverse is a compound of the words “meta” and “universe“.

Sounds pretty noble, doesn?t it? Kind of enlightened and progressive, as if you?d peek into a metaverse and expect to see people expanding their minds, pushing the boundaries of the human experience and… ooh! Titties! Strip clubs! Back alleys full of half-formed dilettantes with papier mache hair and randy fellas with oversized plastic-looking… utensils waiting to jump on little colored balls that will simulate savagery. Not exactly what Neal Stephenson had in mind, is it?
But there?s more to the metaverse known as Second Life than the moistened jungle — although that is a part of it. Walk any street — or, for that matter, swim any ocean floor, fly through any asteroid field or visit any World War 2 battlefield, all to be found within Second Life?s wide and expanding boundaries — and you?ll run into people from all over the world, in all manner of guises. Tour a recreated French monastery with nuns who in the real world may be strippers, or explore the surface of the moon with lady firefighters, or wander through a medieval world of slave girls and alien warlords with really… um… interesting corporate CEOs…
It?s all in Second Life.
And although (just like in the real world) it takes money to make it look good, you can get your meta on in this particular ?verse for free. If you haven?t tried it yet, and if you?ve got at least 1Gb of RAM and a not-too-shabby video card, take yourself on over to http://www.secondlife.com and get your download on. Look me up — the name?s Wash Rau, and although I?m not particularly corporate or CEO-ish, I do make the ?alien warlord? bit look good.

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