Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

"Second Life" Blurs the Line Between Life and Gaming

Multi-player online video games have become big business. They offer players fantasy and escape from their real lives. "Second Life" is a new game that offers both of those things in a landscape tha

"Second Life" Blurs the Line Between Life and Gaming

Guest Host Alan Ray: If you've flown Southwest Airlines this month, you may have seen the in-flight magazine. The cover-girl isn't a human, but an avatar from the online world called Second Life .

The story inside is about a magazine writer who takes a commission to go inside, to live in Second Life ,.creating an avatar, a cross between a cartoon character and the person you would have been -- if you could have been. Better looking, younger, slimmer, sexier, and eventually, maybe richer. 


Unlike pong and the older computer games, there are intersections between Second Life and your real life -- or there can be, if you choose. The world of Second Life has an economy, based on Linden dollars -- Linden Labs being the San Francisco company that created Second Life . You can actually link your real life bank account to your Second Life account.


  • Xeni Jardin, co-editor of the Web site and technology contributor for NPR and Day to Day .
  • Peter Ludlow , professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan. He runs a newspaper in Second Life called The Second Life Herald .