Do you have any advice for professional or other organizations as to how they could use Second Life to help foster increased activity amongst their members?
Second Life’s advantage is the wide bandwidth for nuanced social action that it provides. That is, moving about as avatars within the environment broadens the scope for meaningful expression in ways that can form the foundation for powerful applications. From my point of view, the most promising of these are educational and therapeutic — uses that leverage the real human connections possible in an environment that allows people to express themselves so broadly.
Thomas Malaby. is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has published numerous works on virtual worlds, games, practice theory, and indeterminacy. His principal research interest is in the relationships among institutions, unpredictability, and technology, particularly as they are realized through games and game-like processes. Malaby has a forthcoming book titled “Making Virtual Worlds: Linden Lab and Second Life” from Cornell University Press.