Case overview— Second Life
Second Life is an online 3D virtual world developed by Linden Lab that launched on June 23, 2003, and is accessible via the Internet, which is imagined and designed by users. Every minute, Residents assemble buildings, design new fashion lines and launch clubs and businesses. There’s always more to see and do. From the moment
users enter Second Life, they can explore, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, travel throughout the world, create and trade virtual property and services with one another. Since users can buy and sell things in Second Life, it has caught the imagination of the Internet's heaviest hitters, who see Second Life as the possible future of online commerce.
In Second Life where everyone is a member of that society, and also the creator of that world; people find life in this world, but some people here to create wealth. Since Second Life content is developed by its members, who then own the protected intellectual property rights to their creations in the real world. It means that anything created in Second Life, from shopping malls and gaming platforms to fancy duds for avatars, can generate real world money.
Second Life Land Use Fees
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Second Life is a virtual online world. The users of Second Life who called resident can interact with each other through avatars.
The most of things in Second Life created by resident, because it contains an extensive world that can be explored and interacted with, and it can be used purely as a creative tool set if the user so chooses. The kinds of creation just like building, texturing, scripting, animating, art direction, and the position of producer/project funder. Therefore, the users can create products and serves such as and sell them to others. Moreover, Second Life has its own scripting language-Linden Scripting Language. It is easy and useful to enhance objects in the virtual world. It is a virtual economy that has an internal currency, the Linden dollar (L$). L$ can be used to buy, sell, rent or trade land or goods and services with other users. It has a real-world value, so people participate that in order to earn profit. Second Life focuses on Life, Entertainment, Commerce and Education. The users can find and develop their interests in the virtual world for sport, music, dancing, gaming, etc. And chat with others by using the communication tool for an instant message or chat session such as MSN. In commercial way, it encourages companies to invest and develop several industries in the virtual world. For example, a company purchases the land to open a shop for sells. Individual also can earn money by trade land or create some games. Second Life is also used as a platform for education by many institutions, such as colleges, universities, libraries and government entities. Instructors and researchers in Second Life favor it because it is more personal than traditional distance learning.
Because of its functions are too many, so each user has to download and install the viewer. It requires high computer system that people always find that their
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computers do not meet to. It contains many software, some users will feel the Web browser running too slowly.
Second Life has several competitors, such as Entropia Universe. They also provide a virtual world for the users. Other social networks such as Facebook that not need to install any additional software.
It seems that Second Life can provide various services and is convenient for residents. So is it doesn’t have any shortcomings? The answer is NO.
; While Second Life is both network and graphics intensive, it is far behind social
networks such as Facebook and Youtube, which are accessible through a
familiar Web browser and do not require any additional software. On the
contrary, Second Life requires a high-speed Cable and has somewhat rigorous
hardware requirements. If you don't have adequate horsepower, memory,
bandwidth and graphics card, Second Life will not perform well on your
computer. In this case, even though a user is willing to download and install
the Second Life, he may find that his computer does not meet Second Life’s
minimum or recommended system requirements. So Second Life may not be
able to meet everyone’s need while there still has some restrictions.
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; The security of the personal information, which is the most worthy of
concerning. The Second Life world is a great place to hang out, meet new
friends and have fun. Before joining the Second Life, you need to provide some
personal information even your account number while you want to purchase
goods or services via the internet. Besides, some companies have
experimented with Second Life for screening prospective hires. Under this
situation, more detailed information must be involved. Even thought we can
set up a password and take some basic precautions to protect ourselves from
trouble while online, there also has a risk that someone may steal our private
information and do something illegal.
Major alternatives and Analysis
For the two problems discussed above, great system requirements and privacy disclosure, there are some alternatives to solve them.
; Since Second Life is not a Web-based software and it is a 3Dvirtual world, users
have to download and install it and make their computers meet the minimum or
recommended requirements in order to run it. That’s quite an inconvenience for
users. With regard to this problem, the creator of Second Life, Linden Lab,
should change it into a Web-based software which allows users to access to it
through a Web browser. Moreover, Linden Lab should reduce the resolution of
the graphic and animation outputs and decrease the size of it. Then, it will be
easier to run and attract more and more users.
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; In Second Life, users have to provide their personal information most of the
time, their information may be stolen by hackers for illegal purposes. In order to
maintain the users’ privacy, Linden Lab should improve the security to prevent
users’ information from being stolen. In order to achieve this goal, Linden Lab
can improve the software with some plug-ins, like malicious software filter and
KeePass. A malicious filter is designed to work in conjunction with anti-virus
software. But unlike traditional anti-virus tools, it doesn’t rely on signatures to
identify malware. Instead, it monitors your PC for suspicious malware-like
behavior. The software works silently in the background until a threat is
detected, at which point the user will be notified. KeePass enables users to
securely and easily enter their passwords into any program. Users only need to
remember one master password, so they can create the most complex
combinations they will never need to remember. The program can even
generate secure, random passwords for users. In addition, the creator can also
change the software to use dynamic authentication which uses passwords that
automatically change when they are being stolen. This helps ensure passwords,
even when stolen, will no longer be valid for use. The new password will be sent
via SMS to the user.
The factor of causing these problems is mainly the imperfect-designed IS. Linden Lab can rewrite the software in order to improve it. Rewriting the software will not cost a lot but the problems can be solved significantly. It’s totally an effective way.
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Recommendations and implications
To obtain the alternatives mentioned above, the most effective way is to change the IS design. With today’s technologies, Linden Lab can easily rewrite the software and
it costs pretty low. No addition facilities are needed. After rewriting the software, it gets the competitive advantages. For example, it can get the malicious software filter and KeePass directly from the establishers of them by cooperation. Linden Lab doesn’t need to develop these items itself. It saves time and money. Besides, after cooperation with other companies, Linden Lab can provide software with more various functions to customers.
If Linden Lab changes Second Life into a Web-based software which allows users to access to it through a Web browser, users do not need to download and install it, which means that they can enter it wherever and whenever they like. It is very convenient to the users, especially for some users who are busy with their business. Since they have to go to different places for meeting very often, they cannot install software every time in every computer. Second Life is suitable for them and they can enter the meeting immediately. Moreover, users do not worry about the capacity of computer is not enough to run Second Life if its size is reduced. It will attract more users who do not have much money to buy a high quality computer. In addition, if creator improves the security of Second Life, users will think that they are protected and they feel relieved to enter their information, hold a meeting and run their business. There will be more and more users and Second Life will become international software.
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