Project: The Second Life Archetype

The Search for Second Life Urban Legends

The friend-of-a-friend model for social networking allows us to explore our social sphere. In Second Life, a group of artists attempted to make sense of three unique archetype characters by locating or exploring the identity associated with the archetype: The "comic book guy," the "shaman," and the "gamer." While similar to urban gaming in a virtual world, this project was a serious attempt at modeling the possible networks for reaching the archetype's identity. The following four sections reviews each group's project.

Second Life Archetype Identity through Location

by Ben Kearns, Mike Yohannes, and Wayne Madsen

This project follows the experience of location which emanates from the archetypal “comic book guy” in Second Life. After a search for the best candidate in Second Life who exemplified the predefined traits of a “comic book guy,” a team of three artists began a journey through Second Life documenting the most often visited landmarks of avatars connected to the “comic book guy” by space. The journey began by following the top three locations from an avatar named Siroverkill. This then placed the three artists in locations once-removed from the archetype “comic book guy;” by requesting the favorite landmark of the nearest (by proximity) avatar, we continued our exploration, in degrees, of the world around the “comic book guy.”


After the journey was explored for a few days, a model of the Second Life world was made on the comicsgazillion land site, mapping out the paths each artist took and documenting the conversations with avatars at each landmark. By viewing the map and interacting with the information, the viewer receives all the necessary tools to recreate this path on their own, including landmarks, conversation guides and screen captures. For more information this project and to visit it in Second Life, click here .

Search For the Shaman

by Teck Liew, Brian Huntley, Vivian Mak, Jacky Chau

The Shaman group traveled a journey through the expanses of Second Life in search of who is the shaman of Second Life. While their journey never found the shaman, they passed through Second Life using different models of the friend-of-a-friend approach. Read more about their travels on their site

Group Journey

Do You Know the Gamer?

by Kin Tse, Mikey Araya, David Cheung, Lisa 

Second Life is a platform where people can create worlds, communicate and participate in social interests. It is a virtual world where people build businesses to cater to people’s interests, such as avatar shops, adult clubs, casinos, themed houses, music halls and other social gathering hotspots.

Within these themed spots, there are usually scripted games and gaming events, which only exist within that domain. These are used to both entertain and attract all forms of interactivity into that specific hotspot.

Go-Go Mini Racing one of many exclusive member-only games found in Second Life

Gamers - the most passionate people in Second Life

Gamers are competitive people who are willing to participate in games in order to gain recognition, fuel their ego or fulfill tasks to gain prizes. They are a headstrong breed, although many will claim to be casual in their gaming experience. Gamers follow rules in order to complete their games. Many gamers have a tendency to show off (in terms of bragging rights). This openness to interact make Gamers one of the most important aspects in any social community, especially in Second Life. Gamers create guilds, activity groups and events revolving around specific games found only in Second Life. This social activity establishes communities and social networks that spans within Second Life and out into the real world.

The project: do you know The Gamer?

Our task as a group is to discover places in Second Life that cater to a specific theme and have an open environment that allow games to occur. Once we find a themed gaming environment, our group will survey and ask participants about the game and the people who play. This would uncover networks of people who know other participants, and determine who the most recognized gamers are in Second Life.

It isn’t about who is the most obvious gamer in a specific game, but about who people know and recognize. It’s about the people knowing the others around them, rather than the one person who seems to be best at the games because of their personal scores.

Visit the Gamer site for more.


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