Joining and creating an account is free for a basic membership. However, you do have to pay monthly for a premium account. With the premium account you receive a stipend where you are able to purchase different things including genitalia. When you join you choose an avatar that you are later able to customize along with a name ("Wired travel guide," 2006). You basically have the ability to invent yourself. The Destination Guide featured on Second Life shows a wide range of categories from adults only to education to a wide variety on special interest groups. It seems that there is a destination guide for you regardless of how common or obscure your interest is.
Second Life is a perfect example of a disruptive technology. Disruptive technologies have been defined as technology that is brand new and is not a product of an already existing evolving technology (Laureate, 2009). People have used chat rooms to interact and communicate online for the same purposes that people use Second Life; however the chat rooms were limited by text only. Through Second Life users have the ability to interact with each other in a more dynamic way and use voice and/or text to communicate with each other. People who use Second Life invest a significant amount of time in the virtual world with an average of forty hours a month ("Wired travel guide," 2006).
The social benefits of using Second Life can vary depending on the person. Based off a study conducted at Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Dell talks about her own experience with the findings that self-perception affects behavior. She discovered that when she first entered the virtual world of Second Life she chose a “plain-Jane” avatar and ran away with the slightest prompting of social interaction. Later on, with more confidence she changed her avatar to be more attractive and began to exert herself more in Second Life. Dell experienced how her exerted self-confidence in Second Life transferred over to her feeling more confident in the real world (Dell, 2008). People have the opportunity to explore different sides of themselves and their personalities through Second Life. This virtual world also brings people together in a completely different way to interact and even collaborate. It has even been proposed that Second Life could be used as a form of Student Management System and called “Sloodle” – a combination of Second Life and Moodle.
Dell, K. (2008). How second life affects real life. Time, Retrieved from
Laureate (Producer). (2009). In Emerging and future technology [Audio podcast].
Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/
Wired travel guide: Second life. (2006, October). Wired,14(10), Retrieved from