|Christensen, author of |
The Innovators Dilemma
Second Life is a virtual world filled that is populated and created by its users, and was created in 2003 by Linden Lab. Second Life allows users to create a virtual character that interacts in a virtual world. The founder of Lotus 1-2-3, Mitch Kapor stated “Second Life is a disruptive technology on the level of the personal computer or the internet” (As quoted by Nuthall, 2008). The reason why people are claiming that Second Life has such potential at being a disruptive technology is that it radically shifts how and where people can interact socially.
Second Life replaces that traditional environment for people to interact in. Through the Second Life world people can attend classes, meetings, stores, and parties. Now people from all over the globe can get together in a virtual environment to interact. In a 2008 TED Talk, Philip Rosedale (founder of Second Life) summarized the popularity of Second Life with two aspects: it is a new way to socially interact with information, and since it is a virtual world with images language becomes less of a barrier.
There seems to be a lot of hype about Second Life in the technology world, but in the real world Second Life does not seem that popular. Personally, I know very few people who have heard of Second Life, never mind use it on a regular basis. It is going to take a many years before Second Life is a fully adopted technology. Once Second Life is a fully adopted technology it is at this point that a new technology could be developed that disrupts Second Life.
In the academic world Second Life has the potential to offer courses to students who live in rural areas with limited academic offerings. With deep budget cuts affecting academic offerings at many high schools across the country Second Life is an inexpensive option for students to take a larger variety of courses.