Back in the mid- to late- 2000′s when Second Life was popular and I was a bored preteen with oodles of unstructured free time (thanks mom and dad? pro/cons for a later discussion), I signed up for this online role-playing game. For me, it was basically like Sims (c) or Club Penguin but for grownups, and I had no idea how to navigate the complex social rules of the game.
I just had no inkling of the magnitude of importance that other players put into this game. People actually BELIEVED that their online characters were them, and that they were able to have a “second life” in this online community.
I was so weirded out when people in the game would approach me and make fun of my clothing choices (it was a starter pack, ok?!?) or my general ineptness at the game. Fortunately, in the real world people do not go up to your face and *giggle* and *laugh* at your perceived ability to be a functional human being.
(*PS I still get emails about meetings on SL for classes like pottery and random other things that I am astounded at. )
Anyway, I was struck by how absorbed and invested people were in this game, and it is my goal to create or help create a game that is just as immersive and easily incorporated into everyday human life as this game. I know the gaming industry’s general trend is towards VR and AR, so I’m hoping to gain some coding and/or animation skills to jump in on the bandwagon. Else, I would have to fill a marketing/brand management or finance role to help such a game achieve commercial success.
I really do think that this is The Next Big Thing, and I’m glad I live in such an exciting time when all of this is up in the air.