Response to Week 4 Readings


Chapter 12: Staking your claim in Second Life (pp.175-190) Robbins, S. & Bell, M. (2008) Second Life for Dummies. For Dummies.

Before renting any property, ask the landlord for referrals from other tenants so you can see what kind of person you are doing business with. Always be cautious and ask many questions. (Ibid, p175)

… just like real life!!!!!! It remains a struggle to not only buy or lease land on a larger scale but even to find basic housing. Why is capitalism inside of game/virtual worlds? I guess it is not what dominates in all game worlds and it makes sense that it is replicated in Second Life given the model it was established on. It just seems to me though that if one were to create a virtual world where the law of the (virtual) land could easily be abundance and a gift economy, that things could be made to look a lot differently. I am still mind boggled over how the “real world” economy and imaginaries are replicated in Second Life and myriad other virtual worlds. To anyone reading this…can you think of any counter examples with other virtual worlds or games? What about counter examples that go against the capitalist grain within Second Life itself? Maybe there are sims or SL guilds or groups based on mutual aid and universal housing and access to other necessary goods and services? Within other virtual worlds?

The problems can be that people sell you land at inflated prices, put neighbors beside you that you might not like, and disappear leaving you in the lurch. If you are looking to buy an entire island or wish to access educational discounts, you need to purchase land through Linden Lab. (Ibid, 177)


How much land should I buy?
[…] Also, if you are concerned with security and neighbors, you might consider buying an island. An island gives you a huge amount of space (more than 65,000 square meters) and up to 15,000 prims. (Ibid, 179)

…and even the same “good people” vs “weirdos” dynamic being replicated. I would love to see games or in world efforts that go against this ‘othering’ danger and security narrative as well.

Now on to my responses / follow up to the other reading for this week…

The “MD to fight stress in Second Life(The Boston Globe, 2008) article hints that Dr. Daniel Hoch and others were doing a study on the topic. I searched for and found the 2012 openly published study here:

More recent scholarship following up on “MD in Second Life”…

I dug deepest into a particular source of many sources available online Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine 2014: Positive Change: Connecting the Virtual and the Real and found a lot of interesting articles within down this MD in Second Life rabbit hole, including another article on Second Life in particular “Grief Support Groups in Second Life” (Ibid, pp118-122). Of course there is much more recent stuff happening. I would be curious to see what is happening in this kind of realm but with virtual environments on the High Fidelity tier of VR…

Oh and before the whole list of un-annotated sources below, this is also worth checking out which was just published on the website of a scholar mentioned in the MD in Second Life Article (he has a wordpress site that was linked in the article, I started following it and the new post popped up in my feed as I was writing this…

John Craig Freeman, Portal to an Alternative Reality

Emerson Urban Arts, Media Art Gallery
Opening reception: Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 5:00-7:00 pm
Exhibit on view: September 21 – November 18, 2017
25 Avery Street, Boston, MA 02111
Gallery hours: Wednesday-Saturday 2:00-7:00 pm

Sources (citations all auto-generated APA by UHM library website):

Brewin, Bob. (2009, September 01). Veterans suffering from PTSD can visit virtual Chicoma Island for help.(post-traumatic stress disorder)., p., Sept 1, 2009.

De Schutter, Bob, Brown, Julie A, Marston, Hannah R, Freeman, Shannon, & Musselwhite, Charles. (2016). Digital Games as a Source of Enjoyment in Later Life. Games and Culture, 11(1-2), 28-52.

Dolan, Pamela Lewis. (2008, September 08). Sept. 8, 2008. Parallel universe: Entering an online 3-D world.(Business). American Medical News, p. 16.

Duffy, Vincent ; Lightner, Nancy. (2018). Advances in Human Factors and Ergonomics in Healthcare and Medical Devices, 590.

First Real-Time, Interactive Healthcare Conference Held in Second Life, Featuring Panel From ‘Real Life’ Partners Connected Health Conference. (2007, October 16). US Newswire, p. US Newswire, Oct 16, 2007.

Fox, Arena, & Bailenson. (2009). Virtual Reality: A Survival Guide for the Social Scientist. Journal of Media Psychology, 21(3), 95-113.

Gallace, & Spence. (2010). The science of interpersonal touch: An overview. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 34(2), 246-259.

Jacob, R., Girouard, A., Hirshfield, L., Horn, M., Shaer, O., Solovey, E., & Zigelbaum, J. (2008). Reality-based interaction: A framework for post-WIMP interfaces. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 201-210.

Kipnis, A. (2012). Chinese Modernity and the Individual Psyche. Palgrave Macmillan.

Knowles, Stelzer, Jovel, & O’Connor. (2017). A pilot study of virtual support for grief: Feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes. Computers in Human Behavior, 73, 650-658.

Larry Fiorino. (2009, January 02). Commentary: Need a Second Life? Have your avatar call my avatar. Daily Record (Baltimore, MD), p. Daily Record (Baltimore, MD), Jan 2, 2009.

Lindner, P., Miloff, A., Hamilton, W., Reuterskiöld, L., Andersson, G., Powers, M., & Carlbring, P. (2017). Creating state of the art, next-generation Virtual Reality exposure therapies for anxiety disorders using consumer hardware platforms: Design considerations and future directions. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 46(5), 404-420.

Linton, D., Bello, H., Senelly, M., Milik, M., Baim, M., Hoch, D., . . . Kvedar, J. (2012). The Feasibility and Impact of Delivering a Mind-Body Intervention in a Virtual WorldPLoS ONE, Hoch, Daniel B., Alice J. Watson, Deborah A. Linton, Heather E. Bello, Marco Senelly, Mariola T. Milik, Margaret A. Baim, et al. 2012. The feasibility and impact of delivering a mind-body intervention in a virtual world. PLoS ONE 7(3): e33843.

Linton, D., Senelly, M., Baim, M., Bello, H., Millik, M., Watson, A., & Hoch, D. (2008). Translating medical practice from the real to the virtual: Adapting an existing clinical program to a virtual world. AMIA … Annual Symposium Proceedings. AMIA Symposium, 1026.

Matthews-Juarez, P., Juarez, P., & Faulkner, R. (2013). Social Media and Military Families: A Perspective. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 23(6), 769-776.

Pallavicini, F., Gaggioli, A., Raspelli, S., Cipresso, P., Serino, S., Vigna, C., . . . Riva, G. (2013). Interreality for the management and training of psychological stress: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 14, 191.

Peterson, M. (2013). Computer Games and Language Learning (Palgrave Macmillan’s Digital Education and Learning). New York: Palgrave Macmillan US.

Shumaker, Randall. (2013). Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality. Systems and Applications, 8022.

Tay, L., & Kuykendall, L. (2013). Promoting happiness: The malleability of individual and societal subjective wellbeing. International Journal of Psychology, 48(3), 159-176.

Wiederhold, B.K, Riva, G, & Wiederhold, M.D. (2016). Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine 2015: Virtual Reality in Healthcare: Medical Simulation and Experiential Interface. Ios Press.

Wiederhold, B., & Riva, G. (2014). Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine 2014: Positive Change: Connecting the Virtual and the Real (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics). Burke: IOS Press.

Wiederhold, B.K, Riva, G. (2013). Annual review of cybertherapy and telemedicine 2013 : Positive technology and health engagement for healthy living and active ageing (Studies in health technology and informatics ; v. 191).

Virtual world sets scene for real-life safety: 3-D Web site plays up staff disaster readiness.(Technology)(Second Life). (2009, May 01). Strategies for Nurse Managers, p. 3.


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