[iDC] Second Life as educational tool

Chris Byrne chris at crowriver.net
Thu Feb 22 17:51:36 EST 2007

Looks as though your post and/or Nicholas Carr's original blog entry  
caused a ripple in the blogosphere and the Lift 07 conference a few  
days later, courtesy Julian Bleecker.


Lift presentation slides here:


I'm intrigued by Bleecker's suggestion that Nintendo's Wii provides a  
way to reconnect with the materiality of our '1st Life' as he puts  
it. He admits this is just a start.

Where can an interface like Wii lead if applied to, say, mobile  
networks? Will it reduce or increase the carbon footprint of an  
avatar or increase it?


On 2 Feb 2007, at 16:22, Eric Goldhagen wrote:

> At 8:09 PM -0500 2/1/07, Skawennati Tricia Fragnito wrote:
>> This Mohawk/Italian chick, who considers herself fortunate indeed  
>> to have a university education, is now going to her Second Life  
>> where she meets up with other artists, nerds, Indians, and Others  
>> to chat, have fun, make art and (dare i day it???) change the world.
> have you thought about the real world impact of your Avatar? What  
> is the energy requirement to keep second life alive? Is the payoff  
> worth all that carbon and soot?
> I've not checked the math on this, but the following post suggests  
> that your avatar uses as much power as you do. That's a pretty  
> large footprint for limited gain, in my opinion.
> --Eric
> from http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2006/12/avatars_consume.php
> He quotes Philip Rosedale, the head of Linden Lab, the company  
> behind the virtual world: "We're running at full power all the  
> time, so we consume an enormous amount of electrical power in co- 
> location facilities [where they house their 4,000 server  
> computers] ... We're running out of power for the square feet of  
> rack space that we've got machines in. We can't for example use  
> [blade] servers right now because they would simply require more  
> electricity than you could get for the floor space they occupy."
> ...
> If there are on average between 10,000 and 15,000 avatars "living"  
> in Second Life at any point, that means the world has a population  
> of about 12,500. Supporting those 12,500 avatars requires 4,000  
> servers as well as the 12,500 PCs the avatars' physical alter egos  
> are using. Conservatively, a PC consumes 120 watts and a server  
> consumes 200 watts. Throw in another 50 watts per server for data- 
> center air conditioning. So, on a daily basis, overall Second Life  
> power consumption equals:
> (4,000 x 250 x 24) + (12,500 x 120 x 24) = 60,000,000 watt-hours or  
> 60,000 kilowatt-hours
> Per capita, that's:
> 60,000 / 12,500 = 4.8 kWh
> Which, annualized, gives us 1,752 kWh. So an avatar consumes 1,752  
> kWh per year. By comparison, the average human, on a worldwide  
> basis, consumes 2,436 kWh per year. So there you have it: an avatar  
> consumes a bit less energy than a real person, though they're in  
> the same ballpark.
> -- 
> -------------------------------------------
> Openflows Community Technology Lab, Inc.
> New York | Toronto | Montreal | Vienna
> http://openflows.com
> People are intelligent. Machines are tools.

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