Applications and Tools, Business in Virtual Worlds, Education in Virtual Worlds, Second Life

Bioinformatics Scientist Vouches for Second Life

In tough times, one biologist/bioinformatics scientist, Sandra Porter, has come to recognize the benefits of Second Life as a meeting place for the scientific community.

Writing for the Genome Technology newsletter, Porter acknowledges not only the cost savings in terms of travel, but also that, compared to a virtual conference or Webinar, “there are some things that you can do at a Second Life meeting that wouldn’t be as easy in the physical world.”

Second Life is gaining a reputation in the health and science world for its ability to house 3D body parts and simulations through which an avatar can navigate. For example, she writes, “How many health conferences can boast a walk-through of a middle cerebral artery?”

But even these two significant factors - cost savings, and 3D modeling - aren’t enough to sell Porter on Second Life. No, it is the real-time experience of being in-world that cast any doubts as to Second Life’s value aside.

“What makes Second Life more appealing (and scary) to me is that it feels real… I could see and interact with the other avatars. It had a very different feeling… There’s a feedback quality in Second Life that isn’t equaled by other kinds of online experience.”

Porter also cites the fact the the scientific community in Second Life is growing, noting that “the National Library of Medicine, NOAA, NASA, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the American Chemical Society,” have an island.

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