Worksheet Second life Why should the business world take notice of the goings-on in the virtual world, Second Life? 1. What do you know about the web-site ‘Second Life’? Discuss your answer with a partner. 2. Read the article and complete the Fact File on Second Life below. ‘Second Life’: Fact File Year founded: Transactions (Jan. 2006) Founded by: Users (last year) Currency: Users (current) 3. Podcast transcript. transactions buying or selling buildings, clothes and other Virtual business in a virtual world objects created by players. This figure is set to grow rapidly. Businesses across the globe are sitting up and taking notice of A year ago, there were about 20,000 people using Second Second Life, a virtual world on the Internet. Why? Because Life. This figure has already exceeded 2 million. virtual worlds could offer a way for businesses to test new ideas in a safe environment. They could provide Businesses are now taking notice. IBM, for example, has used opportunities in areas such as training, product design, Second Life for virtual meetings. In the same way, companies marketing and projects involving cross-border collaboration. have the potential to bring together participants from all over In Second Life, you can test drive a virtual Toyota car, buy the world for training courses. Many educational virtual footwear from Adidas or hold a virtual meeting. organizations are already exploring ways that Second Life can be used to promote learning. A chain of hotels has made Second Life was set up in 2003 by software company Linden virtual models of future hotels, showing that the corporate Labs. It is a multiplayer gaming environment that is world can test consumer reactions in a risk-free environment. modelled on the real world. Players create everything in this One US clothes company, American Apparel, is now selling virtual world, trading with each other using "Linden dollars", digital versions of clothes which it markets in real life. the game's currency. Yet some aspects of this environment However, while big business is just starting to arrive in are real. Players can convert their ‘play’ money into U.S. Second Life, some entrepreneurial players are already dollars, at an exchange rate of about 300 to the dollar. This making virtual fortunes. So, perhaps one day soon this type virtual economy allows players to build something, sell it of virtual world will become an extension of the real business and make a profit: just like in the real world! In January last world. Does anyone fancy a game of virtual golf? year, Second Life saw people take part in over 4 million Glossary: Virtual Not real Avatar: a picture on a computer screen that represents a person 4. Discussion questions: a. What do you think about the concept of ‘Second Life’? b. Have you ever visited a ‘Virtual World’? If not, would you like to? c. Are there any ways in which ‘Second Life’ or virtual reality could be beneficial to your own company? This page has been downloaded from www.te4be.com It is photocopiable, but all copies must be complete pages. Copyright Barney Barrett and Pete Sharma.