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2 April 2008 @ 9pm


IBM Still Lives in 2006 and Opens a Private Island in Second Life

image Remember Second Life? Faintly? Spend five minutes checking it out because of all the hype and then left never to return? You’re not alone.

The virtual world that had all the hype and no real use has found a steady partner in IBM. I though there was a problem with Techmeme indexing old stories when I saw this, but I checked the date and it really seems to be from today.

IBM bought it’s own secure, private island in Second Life and here is what IBM is planning to do with it according to VentureBeat:

With the added security, businesses can enable employees to login into Second Life for corporate training purposes. (Yeah, they’re not going to use their avatars to have virtual sex or pretend to be a member of the opposite sex).  Spohrer said that businesses can rent areas known as “islands” in Second Life and run dress rehearsals for everything from a fire drill to a hospital emergency.

What better way to prepare for a disaster than by having your employees train for it in Second Life, where half of them are probably barely able to move their avatars around. How about just ringing the fire alarm in your building and making sure everybody just walks outside?

And why have meetings in Second Life if IBM itself sells fancy electronic whiteboards and enterprise web conferencing software solutions? How about picking up the phone and just calling somebody?

And let me leave you with a moment of Zen, courtesy of the’s Tech Chronicles:

When in the IBM-built area, employees will be able to engage in various communication modes using their virtual avatars. You could see far-flung employees coming together in Second Life to collaborate and jointly develop projects or products.

In case you can’t get enough of this, check out this video about avatars getting effective healthcare courtesy of IBM (I kid you not!) – if the fire drills in SL are as realistic as this, I fear for the people working in those virtual buildings: