Sunday, January 6, 2008

Second Life: A Virtual World for Real Science!

For those of you who have never heard of "Second Life", it is an online 3D Virtual Environment that has been built entirely by its users using a set of built in utilities and basic 3-Dimensional Shapes and modifying their size and texture. At first glance the game reminded me a bit of another 3D Game called "Sims". But soon I realized that this one is a lot more then just a game, its a virtual paradise for Scientists, Engineers, Programmers, 3D Animators as well as the average user that knows nothing about any of the above skills all at the same time.

The beauty of Second Life is that it can be as simple or as complex to users as they want it to be. If the user is simply trying to use Second Life to socialize with other users, they can do that and never have to touch a program or create a single graphic object by simply using what others have already created. On the other hand advanced users can use a combination of 3D Modeling and Programming, along with a set of Second Life Physical properties such as Gravity and Wind to build and test real life structures and create a visually presentable version of their design concepts, which can then immediately be experienced by other users! Here is an example of the types of structure that are possible in Second Life:

As a programmer who has been on the World Wide Web from the beginning, I see Second Life type technologies as the future of the Internet. Imagine an Internet where you can touch, feel and see things in 3 dimensions, and where you can design actual store fronts to have visitors "Walk" through the door and pick up products and experience it first hand before buying!

Pete Soheil
DigiOz Multimedia

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