Second Life Needs To Clean Up Its Language – Weekly # 6

I first heard about gaming when a friend’s son was accepted in 2003 to a top University where he announced his major – gaming. A straight “A” student, I felt sorry for his father that all that brain power was going to waste. Wrong. Fast forward to 2010, online gaming is big business generating millions of dollars.
When I logged on to joinsecondlife.com it took so long, I was afraid I would be in my second life before I got to play the game. It turned out the program did not like the first name submitted for my avatar- Taylor – and refused to give her a last name. After starting over with a new first name it promptly listed several last names. Maybe too many “Taylors” running around in Second Life.

Entering this imaginary place was exciting for about 20 seconds. Right away things went sour. As my Avatar walked around this virtual world, she was immediately asked to chat. Being new to the game, she didn’t respond. That’s when the foul language began. I couldn’t believe it. When the question was asked “I wish you would say something” that should have been the end of it. One assumes that the questioner knew she was a first-time participant but the R rated language continued. So my Avatar quickly learned how to fly away. The R-rated language in the freewheeling Second Life needs to be cleaned up.

When my Avatar came down to the imaginary earth, she was chased by a character who looked like Casper the Ghost. Running away for a second time, I taught my Avatar to chuckle, shrug, say thank you, etc. We purchased clothes which turned out to be all white. (Not certain why other colors were not available.) After about one hour of playing in this virtual world, my eyes were watering so much that I needed to close the program. On a subsequent visit to Second Life, my Avatar visited Spain. Since she couldn’t understand the language it was much more enjoyable. This world seemed calm and friendly.

I also tried WorldofWarcraft.com but after downloading the free demonstration program, I was never able to enter that world. As part of the research, I also visited Farm ville on Facebook. Here there was no vulgar language but it was a much slower paced game. Farm Ville only welcomes invited guests.

Online games can be important for people who want to escape to a fantasy world for a time. It’s a marvelous training tool for the U. S. Army and its online war games or a global company could use it to strategize about new products.So what’s the point or message of all this? Online gaming is an escape, entertaining and fun but the real world is a much more unbelievable place.

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