Second life is a 3-D virtual world created by residents with an average of 60,000 + users per day. Users create their own avatars and interact with others in the world created in Second Life. Recent ethical issues have come up because of Second Life. We discussed the issues of pornography and underage usage within Second Life, but do the same laws apply in this virtual world as in the real world.
Its a hard question to think about. This is a virtual world, similar to the Sims game so similar laws apply here? Does what go on in Second Life have any effect on real life. In one scenario, a woman who kill her virtual husband in Second Life ended up in real jail. She faces a max o f5 years in prison for hacking onto her “online husbands” account and killing off his avatar. She also has a $5,000 bail. There seems to be a fine line between the virtual world and the real world. When do we know when we have crossed that line?
I think that there are benefits to virtual worlds and online mediums, but when there is a disconnect between what is real and what is not, there is a problem. I don’t think anything can completely replace reality. When soldiers are controlling a plane through a computer to fight in war, how do we make it real enough for soldiers to realize that they are killing humans and they are in a war zone? These soldiers get to go home at the end of the day and their lives aren’t at risk, but that risk is what makes people realize how serious war zones are. I am afraid that not being in the actual war zone will make these experiences seem more like a video game rather than reality.