The first time I heard of Second Life (SL) was on TV, years ago. This odd, cryptic world where people got lost and opted out of their real lives to become entangled in dangerous relationships with strangers, seemed more of a waste of time than an interesting place to explore.
After the first days only, it became disturbingly clear that SL was a rather intriguing yet fascinating place. And I say disturbingly clear, because the more immersed I got, the clearer it was that people were the key; small communities of friends and wanderers coming together joined by their idiosyncrasies.
In SL however the sense of community is far more complex, often clipped by the lack of a general common ground. Countries have language, culture, geography, history. SL lacks that unifying element. Is there really a sense of community? Or is it solely a sense of belonging to one of many other groups? Is SL still a cryptic world where people get lost? Or is there a true feeling of growing strength and community?
I must admit, I still find SL fascinating, yet more and more I focus on individuals and avoid the so-called Community.