2-1 | The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World

Book Review

The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World

Wagner James Au
New York: Collins, 2008. Glossary, index. xxii, 274 pp. $25.95 cloth. ISBN: 9780061353208

Exodus to the Virtual World: How Online Fun is Changing Reality

Edward Castronova
York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Notes, index, xix, 235 pp. $24.95 cloth. ISBN: 9781403984128

The Second Life Herald: The Virtual Tabloid that Witnessed the Dawn of the Metaverse

Peter Ludlow and Mark Wallace
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007. Notes, illustrations, xvi, 295 pp. $29.95 cloth. ISBN: 9780262122948

by Henry Lowood

First Paragraph:

It has become commonplace in histories of computing to separate the uses of computers as calculating engines and thinking machines from their more widespread applications for communication, knowledge work, creativity, and information sharing. An eclectic group of computer-science pioneers working in the 1960s, including J. C. R. Licklider, Douglas Engelbart, Ted Nelson, Ivan Sutherland, and Alan Kay, has received credit for shifting the emphasis from computational power to human use. A persistent aspect of the use of computers since the 1970s— alongside efforts to increase, augment, and extend human productivity—has been entertainment, and more specifically, play.