Merits and Demerits of Second Life


The current generation calls for a system that will be able to reduce the amount of work and time needed to perform tasks. The economic world calls for a more sophisticated way of handling business transactions that will reduce sneakers and enhance efficient handling of issues. The education sector should have an interactive, social way of teaching unlike receiving lectures from a tutor. Notably, Second Life has come to the rescue. White (2007) indicates that Second Life is a basic multi-user virtual foundation for both the informal and the formal online learning. It facilitates societal learning because knowledge can be acquired from time to time through social interactions.

This paper outlines the limitations and delimitations of Second Life to the education sector.     


Second Life provides room to record chats, video, audio, and managing data for research purposes. The availability of this provision enables students to get information, compare it with the rest of their colleagues hence improving their knowledge. Students can also handle their assignments and research work conveniently compared to the traditional mode of learning. For the case of language biasness, the system has a translation medium to enable translations to the user’s convenience.

Secondly, it stimulates creativity in the students. For instance, White (2007) notes that the students studying Art acquire creative skills during the creation of virtual images and graphics used for communication in the Second Life servers. Science students are also able to conduct research and develop their projects online using the server. Essentially, Second Life enables students to discover knowledge on their own hence sharpening their intelligence. 

Thirdly, many brain and IQ games available on the server enable students to enhance their problem solving techniques and sharpen their wit. White (2007) alludes that the server gives students a simulating and experiential feeling about real life especially when dealing with virtual objects of human beings, animations, and graphics.

Fourthly, Second Life enables interactive distance learning. This is possible given that a person can retrieve information through handsets and laptops. This enhances firsthand interactions that would not require students to visit cyber cafes. This means that students are able to chat and share information online. Thus, there is a likelihood of getting maximum understanding from the constructive interactions.

Lastly, given that the system is highly adaptable, attractive, and free, White (2007) affirms that it initiates high social interaction through dialogue and partnership. It also enhances free expression of oneself due to anonymity. Students from different backgrounds having accounts on the same site can interact and share ideas.


Wankel & Kingsley (2009) affirm that the server requires a quick microprocessor, a good video/graphics adapter, and a high-speed internet connection to be accessed efficiently. It also requires continuous updating of software, which is expensive. This makes it relatively expensive and inflexible especially to the remote places where internet connections are low. It also means that the system will be limited to a smaller number of users; thus, limiting the objective of social interaction.

Secondly, according to White (2007), Second Life does not offer tools to monitor or track students’ activities. In fact, most students tend to keep their identity anonymous; thus, limiting their interactions with tutors. The students will appear to be objectively committed to the site when they are not on any academic mission.

Thirdly, it is not easy to store digital information on the system. White (2007) points out that the system relies entirely on the basic drawings and creation of graphics. Consequently, it is difficult for a person to identify genuinely students’ locations and their perspective. This makes it difficult to keep real life pictures and videos on the website. Wankel & Kingsley (2009)  assert that the system requires headphones in order for one to listen to the videos and audios. Therefore, it strains in using the available media. The use of headphones interrupts a student’s concentration and can harm eardrums.

Fourthly, the site is full of distractors and barriers to learning. White (2007) affirms that the site contains sexual content that will tend to deter learning for many students. In addition, the animations and graphics will drift away students from the education arena to another physical world. Arguably, the site is highly addictive, and students may tend to concentrate much on interactions and watching videos rather than learning.

Lastly, White (2007) indicates that the system requires a lot of time to transfer information from one end to another. This is because of graphics and the videos involved. Technical problems abound such as lagged responses and halt in resizing and moving objects. This increases the time required to operate and communicate using the Second Life Server.

In conclusion, Linden society should transform urgently the Second Life Server to meet the requirements of a student, as the Second Life is not a standard way of conducting online teaching.  

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