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INF506 – Reflection on ‘Second Life’ as a Social Media Tool

on May 27, 2013

You will need to write a short evaluation (no more than 400 words) of your use of Second Life as a 3D virtual world throughout this session. Include a critical evaluation of the effectiveness of different features/functions and learning experiences encountered, as well as a brief statement on the different ways an information organisation may be able to utilise Second Life to support information services, learning and/or collaboration of users and/or employees. 

Second Life is a free 3D virtual world program where users can socialize and connect with other users in an online environment. Second Life users create an avatar and engage in individual and group activities online. Some of the features include using free voice and text chat.

I have never been interested in online gaming. However, seeing as Second Life is one of the most popular 3D virtual worlds on the web, I decided to create an avatar and give this gaming program a try.

I believe the strengths of Second Life to be: communicating and interacting in an online environment, promoting risk-taking, anonymity, making friends, ability to create online “groups” and it is free.

I believe the weaknesses of Second Life to be: age limited to 16 years old, definitely not user friendly, can lead to an addiction of online gaming, limited and / or very little educational value, program needs to be downloaded from the internet in order to access, confusing to use.

I appreciated the extra Second Life support sessions that were provided by CSU staff throughout INF506. However, I still experienced a great deal of difficulty using this program and could not see it as “an ideal space for learning”(Helmer & Learning Light, 2007, p. 5). I do see Second Life as “a chance to engage a younger generation of learners” into the online world of gaming, that is, having fun online and not necessarily being a tool for educational purposes.

In my opinion there are many other social media tools that exhibit much greater educational value and a higher level of engagement and interaction for users that Second Life. I believe the following tools are more successful at providing engagement and educational attributes in a Web 2.0 world: Edmodo, blogs, facebook, twitter, flickr, Google apps, Goodreads, wikis, wordclouds… and the list goes on.


Helmer, J., & Learning Light (2007). Second Life and virtual worlds Available from


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