Over on my IT PRO blog I had a little rant about Second Life earlier today. I felt much better having done it.
The reason for this is simple, I’m fed up with mainstream media outlets and various technology and lifestyle companies over-hyping this pointless plaything as the greatest thing since the creation of television.
Second Life has some limited novelty value, but it has no staying power as it lacks any kind of useful application. This is not to say that one will not appear, but there is no sign of it manifesting itself any time soon. Until then, we seem stuck with having this cumbersome online game space being rammed down our throats.
We have companies such as Sun doing press conferences within Second Life – come on!!!! A Sun press conference is usually as much fun as having your toes wired up to a car battery, and now they are going to make the process of hearing their announcement, which may or may not be newsworthy, even more overblown by requiring people to drag themselves and their business computers into a virtual 3D environment in order to watch a little graphic that allegedly represents a Sun executive act as a mouthpiece for some digitised audio.
Very soon I expect to hear the BBC will make a formal investment in a Second Life presence – it is the only reason I can think of for the insane amount of positive coverage it keeps getting on non-business and non-IT BBC news programmes. Great – another excuse to piss away more licence fee cash on a passing fad rather than invest in something genuinely useful like video on demand and normal internet broadcasting of its channels.
In a recent conversation I had with a BBC journalist, they were desperately trying to a story that depicted Second Life as the future of online shopping. When pushed, the journalist in question simply could not explain why Second Life would be a viable environment for online shopping, given it is significantly slower and more combersome than even the worst ecommerce web site. Even more frustrating was that said journalist couldn’t, or rather wouldn’t accept the facts in front of her that the planned piece was a non story and that Second Life has demonstrated nothing to suggest it will be anything other than a passing fad like Wallaby loafers, naming your kids Kylie and/or Jason, and the Atkins diet.