why “secondlife” is not cyberspace

One of my scientific goals is to be part of cyberspace, to make this possible. Cyberspace means for me, that the world as we know it extends seamlessly into the information world, and things I do here and there are mixed. I go order a pizza by walking (in cyberspace) to the pizza people and doing it, the pizza itself comes here real life.

So let us look at products like Second Life.
Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by nearly 100,000 people from around the globe.

  • From the moment you enter the World you’ll discover a vast digital continent, teeming with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity. Once you’ve explored a bit, perhaps you’ll find a perfect parcel of land to build your house or business.
  • You’ll also be surrounded by the Creations of your fellow residents. Because residents retain the rights to their digital creations, they can buy, sell and trade with other residents.
  • The Marketplace currently supports millions of US dollars in monthly transactions. This commerce is handled with the in-world currency, the Linden dollar, which can be converted to US dollars at several thriving online currency exchanges.

I see that the technics are nice, but its not immersive. At the end, Ultima Online may be more immersive than Second Life (compared to interaction possibilities).

Key here is the business department: What kind of business we see in Second Life. There is no real life business there – Where is the sneakers shop in second life that has real life sneakers on the store window? You have this kind of shop in the cyberspace described in the book Otherland, and thats useful.

So – we learn that the 3d technologies are here and the community and customers do exist, but the cyberspace product misses.