The Second Life Experience (VR Arena)


Florian Berger (AT)
Horst Hörtner (AT)
Christopher Lindinger (AT)
Doris Zachhuber

An art lover goes into a gallery, looks at the pictures and eventually buys one. A totally normal purchase in a totally normal world? No way! The art lover is an avatar in Second Life and his picture only virtually exists!

Second Life, developed in 1993 by Linden Lab in San Francisco, is online 3D infrastructure for virtual worlds that users create themselves. Second Life is currently used by several million “inhabitants” to interact in a virtual world, to communicate, to play games and to do business. For instance, pieces of totally virtual real estate are bought and sold. These so-called inhabitants are customized avatars that can interact with other avatars; most have human form but there are also animals, vampires and mythical creatures. The world even has its own currency, the Linden Dollar, that can be exchanged for real US dollars.

Technology developed by the Ars Electronica Futurelab makes it possible to display Second Life via a high-performance VR system on multiple screens and thus to experience it as a stereoscopic environment.

This real-time stereo version serves as a platform for research and experimentation in the field of human-computer interaction with the emphasis on content creation, telepresence and navigation in complex virtual environments.