- A way of communication
I think connecting people is the most important things of Second life. The 3d environment that makes things highly custom able does make the experience much more intense. As for experience, it realy leaves behind E-mail, forums, and even instant messaging. However there is a quite steep learning curve, and the computer and internet connection requirements are quite high, especially in comparison of other ways of communicating.
Feeding people positive emotions. This is only reason and right of existence for Second Life. These positive emotions can be anything form consuming (buying stuff) listening to music, make and maintain friends, find love, and to for fill more basic primeval needs like sex (e.g. cybersex) .
- Business Opportunity
Although only a handful of people will ever be able to make a living out of buying and selling stuff in Second life, Second life gives the opportunity to live the “American Dream” Anshe Chung being the living embodiment of it, as the first person who ever achieved a Millionaire status from trading in Second Life
- Platform for Creativity
For many artists Second Life can be a platform for artists: Musicians, Photographers, Painters, and even sculptors can recreate their work in second life. It also gives the possibility for rapid prototyping, especially where design is concerned.
- Learning aid
Although I don’t see Second life as a replacement for real classes, there are certainly ways in witch Second Life can improve learning. One of the best examples yet is the Virtual Hallucinations Project about schizophrenia.
- A game
I don’t realy like the idea of people thinking about this, but for some, Second Life is just a game. The problem with this is that it sounds like being disrespectfully for other peoples emotions, Like it really does not matter if i blast to people intimately talking, to hell with a weapon, because it is ‘only’ a game.
There is a lot to be said about advantages and disadvantages of second life, The problems it creates with regulating between freedom of people and the internet, The laws of other countries, and the terms and wishes of big investors. This metaverse, while not unique anymore, is still groundbreaking on many fronts.