Second Life bashing has become a sport of late. And now there are rumors that Google, IBM and/or eBay will introduce a virtual commerce form of virtual reality. You can be sure they won’t require a complicated download or interface. But don’t hold your breath for one that really takes off.
Virtual reality is still an idea waiting for a neural interface technology, and it won’t look anything like Second Life, which is basically a game that is disliked by most people who try it, says Clay Shirky at Valley Wag:
“One of the basic promises of virtual reality, at least in its Snow Crash-inflected version, is that we will be able to re-create the full sense of being in someone’s presence in a mediated environment. This has been a human desire at least since Shamash appeared to Gilgamesh in a dream.
Re-stated in technological terms, this version of virtual reality is a belief that communications will finally become an adequate substitute for travel. We have been promised that this will soon be achieved with current technology since ATT demoed a video phone at the 1964 World’s Fair.”