8 thoughts on “Exploring Second Life and its Potential in Real Life AEC

  1. I have problems finding enough time to live a real first life. How can I spend time sitting around running a second even if it could be a parallel existence!

    If, reportedly, serious real money is being made by buying and selling something that isn’t really there then this is the Emperor’s New Clothes gone ballistic.

    I can’t even understand using this virtual world to demonstrate the virtues of a building design – it would not be set in its correct surroundings.

    Presumably the unfortunate inhabitants will get virtual illnesses and need virtual health insurance and virtual hospitals. If there’s virtual money there will be virtual crooks so you will need virtual police, legal system and prisons, virtual buildings may virtually catch fire and need a virtual fire brigade, etc., etc. ad nauseum.

    I’ve got a better idea let’s just learn to live our real life with a bit more humanity.

  2. This is the best article I have seen on Second Life and its relevance to AEC. It describes briefly how Second Life actually works and how we may engage with it. The Author’s insights for future directions for CAD software companies and for virtual worlds are also very interesting.
    Reading this article, I think, makes it easier for people to venture into Second Life.

  3. Here are some ideas previously posted elsewhere. I believe they share the core rationality of Second Life if not necessarily its virtuality!

    A hospital project is modeled in such a way that on completion it remains as the basis of a network to link all the people who have an interest in it – staff, patients, government officials and so on. Each of these people lives somewhere, and if that place also had a model it also becomes part of the network. Expanding this, it is clear that buildings provide “programming-type objects” to which people attach or retrieve information; the same is true of roads or any other real or planned physical entity.

    It seems to me that AEC (rather than technology by itself) could be the lead industry in reforming the way society communicates; and that a key element is an underlying protocol for unique identification of objects and collections of objects.

    The problem of identification is not the most difficult to solve. But it seems to me no solution will penetrate nor perpetuate without a popular commercial model. Here are some ideas for comment:

    Registries for specific sectors of society deal in tradable knowledge. Like banks they do not store vast volumes but pertinent links. Like banks they provide appropriate facilities and security.

    The ‘commodity’ is nuggets (for want of a short name) – digital counterparts of purchasable objects. The value of each nugget is given in name/value pairs describing attributes and properties. Collections of nuggets form digital counterparts of towns, buildings, elements, products and so forth; each collection is stored as data and/or links by its owner.

    Digital devices transform nuggets into displays for manipulation and analysis; such devices range from sophisticated graphics to plain text. Digital associative lists simplify identification. Devices and lists are also traded.

    Internet enabled markets provide access to pertinent reusable nuggets. Sellers advertise; buyers try out alternates pertinent to a task at hand; a form of cheap, direct and requested advertising. Sellers pay registry fees. Strong registries, like banks, become a sign of a strong knowledge economy.

  4. I really enjoyed Peter’s comments – Hilarious!

    However, there is no doubt that Second Life opens up opportunities that are totally new. I agree with Alamdar’s comments about the article.

  5. In my opinion Peter is quite right but Chris’ comment also has substance to be aware of.
    Since it is a new Phenomena, we have to keep debating about it for the good of all.

  6. However eminent, often researchers will baulk at any unfamiliar phenomenum and say something like:

    “It’s conceptually interesting … [but] I think, beyond the technology limitations, the realities of economics and sociology do not favor these things happening.”

    So what I find refreshing about Second Life is that its very existence undermines dismissive statements such as these.

    Yuri Gagarin had to pop into space to deflate that senator who determined no human get there until well into the twenty-first century. Well I would not suggest anything as extreme but Leka’s suggestion for a debate seems most appropriate.

    Two things intrigue me: first, how come AEC almost ignores the Internet and second, what is the cold commercial reality of BIM?

  7. There is a good book that pertains to the subject of video games and the work world: “Got Game” by John C. Beck and Mitchell Wade Harvard Business School Press.

    Beck and Wade page 7:

    “If you are a business professional over thirty-four, the chances are very good (two to one) that you had little or no video game experience as a teenager. For professionals under thirty-four, the proportions are not only reversed, they are doubled; our survey shows that chances are four to one that people in this age group have had substantial game experience growing up.”

    Simply put, if you are over thirty-four you probably have never used video games, just don’t get games, and as a result don’t see their potential. Surely most of us that manage parts of the AEC process fall into the gray haired part of Beck and Wade continuum.

    In a way I think that the question of game understanding vs little game understanding is another of one of the chasms like will BIM vs won’t BIM that the AEC world has to, and eventually will cross.

    To me Second Life is:

    #1. Fun!

    #2. On the way to becoming a very good way to show clients, subcontractors, city officials, realtors, first responders, etc. complex design ideas — in context — 24/7.

    Great job Lachmi!

  8. I have seen a very nice application of virtual environment for organizing professional educational events. The virtual environment was used to develop a realistic conference-like setting (complete with main lobby, exhibition and conference rooms) and thus enable informal interaction among participants in the virtual world. I believe that it has a great potential also for telecommuting.

    For more information, please visit http://www.bridgeart.net/portal/node/46

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