I heard about this thing called Second Life, an online Role Playing sort of thing, but without winners or losers (apparently). The things you could do on this virtual world included walking around, making friends with total strangers, squish rats, buy and sell virtual land, and even fly (naked if you wanted to), and generally "have fun".
Well, it didn't grab my attention, as I have never felt these games to be of any worth whatsoever. However, I read somewhere else that one could watch online Wimbledon, and that grabbed my attention. Of course there are other places where one can watch Wimbledon, but on a sudden whim I went and signed up. It asked me to download and install a 30 MB file, which I did, configure my avatar, which too I did, and something of this and something of that, accepted the terms and conditions without giving it a second glance, and clicked on "Yes", "OK", "I Accept", and anything that sounded positive and uplifting, and hey presto, I was standing on the orientation island.
They had all super-boring tutorials such as how to walk, run, click, strip, and heaven knows what. I went into one of the tutorial areas at random and was walking around, when suddenly a girl appeared out of nowhere and asked me how to fly, and I spent a happy few minutes putting the proverbial groundnut. She became my friend and later disappeared. After similarly chatting with another person, I became bored and logged off.
I only remembered later that night that my original motivation for joining up was to try and watch Wimbledon. So, next day I found a link to Wimbledon's live streaming second life link, and clicked on it (IBM has sponsored this). It teleported me to the place. Unfortunately, they needed a 786 kbps connection for that, and had to disable the feature. So, I ended watching a live simulation of some Anna Kournikova match from the centre of the court, hanging on to the nets, and watched the virtual ball whizz past my virtual ears with no relish at all.
Today I also saw a reference being made to Second Life as part of a BBC program that talked about the happiness quotient of people. The host set up the usual argument of whether the internet would bring people together on a happy foundation, or would lead people apart from any form of social relations and left it at that, as usual.
So, if you want to play, then play. But I assure you, its downright boring, and horribly slow (256 kbps being the minimum internet configuration needed to play second life), and not worth the effort. But who knows, maybe the mature sections might be better, have yet to try that out.
Wikipedia says this about Second Life. People have also parodied the whole thing at www.getafirstlife.com.