Finding Japan in SECOND LIFE.

I'm sure a majority who read this title will be immediately turned off by this topic. Most of the time when I mention Second Life to others, they make a rather unpleased face ad turn the other way, but It's not stopping me with sharing some information I have found from using Second Life myself.


Second Life is an online 3D interactive virtual reality program in which everything you see is almost entirely built and influenced by the people who use it. 'In world', you use a highly-customizable avatar to explore the thousands of places to visit, build and interact with the world and other users.

Most places in Second Life are works of the imagination, but there are many places that are built to look like many Real World locations(such as Kyoto Japan, Tokyo and Shakespeare's Globe, London)There which have been created and built in Second Life by enthusiasts are very popular and have grown in detail since SL has been given a graphics update (Windlight) .Live music (by radio and film streaming) is also very popular in SL. You can read more about SL by going to their homepage here SECOND LIFE

I've been a member of the Second Life community since 2007 and I can honestly say that I am enjoying myself. I have had times (when first starting SL) in which I really thought the game was a joke and that I wanted to quit using it, but after meeting some pretty interesting people SL started to grow.

SECOND LIFE can be used for practically EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING. Now I know this can lead to some pretty weird things but if used a way you like, SL can be pretty enjoyable. And guess what? SL is also a Virtual world of opportunities for language students online I use it now for learning purposes in fact. There are even programs dedicated to Japanese learning English and the other way around. One such program can be read about here, called The Pacific Rim ExchangeI like to frequent an island called Japan Resort. Here I have been able to practice my writing with other Japanese as well as use the voice feature to speak with a few. For the most part everyone that I have seen and talked with were very friendly and understood that I wasn't the best at Japanese but wanting to learn. It's great when you can chat with someone else in another timezone in another language.

In the world of SL everything is created by the user, that means ANYONE can make ANY type of virtual setting they want, and I have to say the Japanese have built some pretty amazing 3D worlds in SL. Here are some examples of Japan related worlds in Second Life, all created by the users.

I find one of the most amazing things of SL (Besides the wonderful 3D worlds) is that I can listen to a real life live performance in Japan virtually, even though I am in The States,and can share in a good time with audiences from all over the world. Here's some of the many Japanese bands:

Kichijouji, Tokyo, is home to Plastic Soul Band, one of the most innovative musicians based in the Japanese SL community. You can see a live performance on You Tube but the sound is fixed, while the original stage performance in SL was a live stream.

DJ Oasis is a major Hip Hop musician in Japan and his music features in movies such as “Kyokino Sakura”
(Maddness in Bloom) and “Detroit Metal City” with his RL music partner K-DUB-SHINE. He acts energetically in SL and now he is a member of the SL-based DJ group ABS too.

The whole of Second Life is becoming increasingly cosmopolitan; now more than half of its 7 million inhabitants are from outside the U.S., including 140,000 from Japan.
My goal with this post is not to persuade you to join the online community Second Life, that is your own personal choice. However, it is my goal to inform you of what's out there, that you can find a bit of Japan everywhere, I continue to learn new things everyday when using Second Life, and I've also been able to meet some very interesting people who have been friends to me outside of the virtual world as well. I will continue to use it for another way to see Japan and speak with others from Japan. (Although these days I don't use it so much being busy doing other work related projects)


Anonymous said...

Great photos - do you have slurl for the first picture? looks like a great place!

Jamaipanese said...

i dunno why I can just find the time or be in the mood to try second life, maybe it's becausei know I'll get addicted :D

chib said...

I am just like Jamaipanese.
I admire the photos!!

M-Kat said...

Jamaipanese, yes it is quite addictive if you let it... but so much fun.

chib- Thanks there are many more photos like those online, I will be posting the oes I took from time to time.. I love how people can be so creative with their 3d work in second life

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