Make Ends Meet: Collaboration Opportunities in Second Life

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This report has been a coursework assignment for my classes in “People & Technology” at Royal Holloway Universiy of London.

Introduction:This report presents an overview of Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVE) as a field of Computer Mediated Collaboration. CVE research activities will be introduced and their findings will be described. CVEs have been intensively researched since the mid 1990s. Second Life (SL) seems to be the first commercial Virtual Environment that has been adopted by a large community. As of September 2007 according to the company behind SL Linden Labs more than 9.5m users have registered for SL (Linden Labs, 2007 [1]). SL is a Virtual Environment respectively Virtual World where users interact with other users, objects or agents by means of a client called viewer on their computer that communicates with a central server grid. Second Life is a consumer VE that offers multiple possibilities for collaboration. This report applies findings of CVE research activities to Second Life and introduces some ideas how CMC activities like virtual meetings can be realised with Second Life. SL’s current monopoly on the field of Virtual Environments promises to be a salient platform to research and implement CMC activities on. In terms of successful CVE implementations it seems to be more likely that lacks in SL can be overcome to realise collaboration activities than that a VE environment solely for collaboration purposes will establish in the near future.

Read the complete report: CollaborationSL (pdf, 107 KB)

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