The Background Second Life is a simulation of reality through technology. The creation of this virtual world was launched on June 23rd 2003 and is accessible via the internet. Built into the software is a three-dimensional modelling tool based around simple shapes which allows ‘residents’ to create objects.
Postmodernism: The basics Second Life is an example of a hyper reality, as it allows users to create their own avatar and environment. Second Life conforms to the conventions of Postmodernism by allowing the user to abandon the constraints of reality and enter a hyper reality where anything is possible. E.g. Flying, Teleportation and Personal appearance. Unlike traditional computer games Second Life does not comply to rules or objective-driven gaming.
Genre Hybrids Second Life does not comply to the conventions an individual Genre. Instead it conforms to many: For example: The 3D movements and actions of avatars make it similar to Video Gaming. Yet the international aspect of Second Life also conforms to the social networking and chat room genre in that the people you are talking to could be anywhere.
Postmodern Society The involvement of ‘Linden Dollar’ as a currency in Second Life makes direct references to a Postmodern society. The virtual world still relies on money in order to purchase a better standing and status. At the beginning of the game your avatar has little detail and minimal appearance, therefore encouraging the purchase of Linden Dollar to create a more ‘attractive’ style. This makes direct comparisons to a Postmodern society and supports Strinati’s theory of style over substance, even in an virtual world. Despite the Second Life being a virtual world where anything is possible, the makers still felt the need to involve money as a reference to real life. This furthermore creates a link with society and ‘Linden Dollar’ can be purchased with US Currency. This contributes to the unavoidable link between a ‘Second Life’ and your own ‘First Life’.
Theorists Strinati - Style over substance. Baudrillard – Simulacra, nothing is original – evidence found as ‘Second Life’ is a replication of real life. Intertextuality – reference to Robert Pattinson in the ‘Vampire World’. Strinati and Lyotard - Breakdown of meta-narratives – challenging the boundaries of human being’s ability E.g. flying and automatic change of appearance.