Dear all,

One of my MPhil students is doing a project on Second Life.  I don't use
it myself, but I know that some of you do.  If you do use it, either for
work or pleasure and have a few minutes to spare then please could you
answer the following questions,


Rhona Watson
Quincentenary Librarian
Jesus College
Cambridge CB5 8BL


I am a social anthropology student at Cambridge University and am
conducting a research project on virtual communities in Second Life and
would be very interested to hear from anyone who has had any experience
at all of using Second Life, either as a long-term resident or just as a
curious occasional user. I am specifically researching the role of
freedom, control and ethics in virtual worlds and have included a few
general questions below to give an indication of my area of research: 

Why do you use Second Life? 
Are you part of a community of residents or do you meet up with friends
online and what are your experiences of this?
Do you experience more freedom of expression in a virtual world than in
'real life'? Do you present yourself differently in appearance and
behaviour to your real-world self and if yes/no why is this the case?
Do you believe virtual worlds such as Second Life break away from
real-world inequalities such as poverty and social stratification?
Do you think Second Life is a user-defined world controlled by its
residents or by its creators Linden Lab? 
Have you ever come across unacceptable behaviour from other residents or
taken part in or seen political or social protests in Second Life?
How do you believe rules and norms between residents come to be
understood in Second Life? By who and how are reprimands decided for
breaking the rules?
Any accounts or anecdotes, even of the simplest details, would be
I would be enormously grateful to hear from anyone who has any thoughts
on these areas - please do get in touch with Isobel at [log in to unmask]

With many thanks,
Isobel Owen