Home > Misc > 2010-02-02 We Are The Network: How in the World do you Explain a Virtual World?

2010-02-02 We Are The Network: How in the World do you Explain a Virtual World?

January 31st, 2010

We Are The Network logo 300How in the World do you Explain a Virtual World?

Please join us for a discussion every Tuesday at 12PM noon SL (US Pacific Time)

This Tuesday, Feb 2nd, at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life

This Week’s Topic

How in the World do you Explain a Virtual World?

If you have spent a while working, building, creating or socializing in virtual worlds, you’ve no doubt ended up trying to answer the questions “what is a virtual world?” or “what is Second Life?” Most of us who have virtual world experience are used to the blank stares, incredulity, interesting assumptions, and inability to fully communicate what in the world a virtual world “is” to those who have no context for the discussion.

How do you explain a virtual world to someone who has no idea what you are talking about? Which ways of explaining what a virtual world “is” work, and which don’t? Do you need to tailor the explanation to the person, or are there generic explanations that seem to reliably connect with your listener? Are the press-induced brand identities of places like Second Life too overpowering to overcome, except on a one by one basis? Can a virtual world grow sufficiently to have more than hyper-niche acceptance if each new user must be courted individually.

These and other questions arose near the end of our last discussion “How Would you Measure the Health of a Virtual World,” so we are continuing the discussion into a related new area this week.

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon SL, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

Best regards,


Reading links below – have fun and see you soon!

How do you explain virtual worlds to people who don’t know anything about them?

Learn to explain virtual ventures to relatives

VWR: What is a Virtual World?

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* Watch http://joelfoner.com or add this feed to your RSS reader

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* Join the We Are The Network group in Second Life™

* Join the We Are The Network hippoGroup ( this does not take up a group slot – tap the “We Are The Network” sign at the Epoch Institute in Second Life™)

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Please Note – Mixed Text and Voice Session:

We Are The Network is an open, mixed voice / text discussion session. Please feel free to participate in voice or in text, to your preference. The facilitator and some participants will be using voice, so you may wish to enable voice in your viewer so that you can hear the voice portions of the session.

To enable voice, choose Preferences from the Edit menu, click the “Voice Chat” tab along the left of the form, and then make sure that “Enable voice chat” is checked. Again, speaking is not required for this session, however if you do not enable voice, and use speakers or headphones, you will not be able to hear part of the discussion.

Thanks for attending!

Joel Foner (Second Life: Joel Savard)

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