Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Significance of Music in Second Life

Sunday, August 05, 2007
The Significance of Music in Second Life

Thank you to the author of this article
John von/Johnvon Watanabe
( )

Music has always been a social art form, created and enjoyed by people in groups. Some argue that music was one of the primary means by which early groups of humans communicated and maintained the social bonds that held their communities together.

Since the invention of music recording however, about a century ago, technological developments have made the experience of music a more and more private activity. Once music could be purchased for listening at home, the possibility of enjoying music in private by yourself became a more and more popular alternative to attending performances. This has led to our current iPod era, where the most iconic image of a music listener is of a solitary individual dancing with mp3 player and earphones attached, rather than the more social concert or club audiences of earlier periods.

More recently, networking and new online media technologies have reversed this trend to some extent, giving us new ways to form communities around music. Napster showed us all how badly we want to share our music, and in spite of the dogged resistance of the 'mainstream' music industry, technologies for sharing music and other media online continue to grow in sophistication.

Most recently, virtual world environments such as Second Life have introduced a significant new development, creating a virtual 3d space in which groups of fans can listen to and experience music together in real-time. Of course virtual reality tech like this has been around since the early 90s, but the last couple years mark the first time that they have been easily accessible by a large simultaneous user base.

We anticipate that virtual world technologies are likely to have a major impact on the world of music in the near future. We will focus on Second Life here as it currently has the most sophisticated in-world music scene.

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