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The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 26, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Given this challenge, Wagner James Au crafts an excellent book about the history and nature of Second Life. Leveraging his status as a former employee and virtual embedded journalist, Au shares with the reader his well-researched subjective viewpoint into a world of fluid forms and fluid personalities. Touching on such topics as the economy, socialization, politics, the nature of self, and the interaction between the real world and the artificial one, the book weaves a narrative that is one part company history, one part personal experience, and one part industry commentary.
While the book overall is an interesting read, I found myself having to swallow some significant typos and informational errors. This is a pet peeve of mine, and I feel the book really could have used a second editorial pass and some fact-checking (for instance, the 3D embedded content viewer inDuality ([...]) is made by Pelican Crossing, not Penguin Crossing). Print is not the web, and sadly, once one publishes an edition of a book with this many errors, it's published forever.
But if you have a tolerance for typos and a willingness to do your own fact-checking (which will be necessary anyway, given the changeable nature of the subject matter), this book is a good read and can serve as a starting point for further forays into the field of 3D interactive worlds, and Second Life specifically.
Fortunately, for the uninitiated, and the mildly interested (like me), there is a book that tells you all you need to know. I was surprised at myself for liking it, but it gives an interesting insight into the process of building a successful dotcom. Deep and meaningful it isn't, but it does more than just portray events in Second Life, and landmarks on the way to making it the world's biggest (?) online community. It begins with the story of the startup, the connections and friendships, the doubts, the constraints, and the skeptics, before giving a topic-by-topic coverage of the metaverse itself. Even in the early chapters, there is a certain lack of pure narrative, so even though Au has seen inside the offices of Linden Lab, he tells relatively little of the story of the business, which might have made the book more interesting. Nevertheless, we do gain some insight into the mind of Philip Rosedale, the visionary entrepreneur behind Second Life, although I'm sure there are better business biographies on the market.
When Au covers the stories within Second Life, there are the usual ones about those who have made real money from the metaverse, and the rather extraordinary, including one about an in-world private investigator who gets paid to catch cheating husbands within the virtual world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good book. There were a lot of fascinating historical anecdotes. Particularly interesting was the account of the cyber war used to enforce political correctness. Read morePublished on December 13, 2009 by Ralph Brandt
The item was new as described. Relatively slow delivery, but product is in perfect condition. Recommended seller.Published on October 5, 2009 by Nate
This book is worth it just for the dizzying sense of being caught in one of those rooms that's walled entirely in mirrors. Read morePublished on January 8, 2009 by Jennifer M
I haven't been part of this brave new world for too long, and feel I am still finding my way. I turned to this book because I wanted, above all some sense of perspective and I... Read morePublished on December 21, 2008 by Sharon
A very comfortably understandable read, even for the non-technarati. As a very involved resident of Second Life I very much enjoyed this insider look at the beginnings and build... Read morePublished on October 16, 2008 by MooncatX aka Bliss Crimson
Not only is this book a good introduction to and history of Second Life, the popular 3-D online community and "virtual world," it's a solid cultural anthropology. Read morePublished on May 19, 2008 by Heath Row
I have been a resident of Second Life for about nine months and I enjoyed reading about its history and provenance and Mister Au does a fine job of recounting it. Read morePublished on May 15, 2008 by Robert Dini
The virtual world known as Second Life has attracted over a million active users, and offers users an opportunity to 'build' new personal worlds. Read morePublished on May 5, 2008 by Midwest Book Review