Voice vs Typing in Second Life

If you haven’t yet experienced the virtual world Second Life, you owe it to yourself to invest some time in experiencing it. It’s free, fun and worlds like this will, at some point in the not-too-distant future, become one way we meet and interact online.

One frustrating aspect in-world has been the sloooow communication with others. Typing out every single thing is annoying, and like email misinterpretations, it’s more difficult to convey meaning and emotion in the written word.

A new, free, Skype-centric service has debuted called SecondTalk, allowing Second Lifers to put on a headset, go in-world and talk!

Second Talk brings free, easy to use voice chat to Second Life. Wear a Second Talk headset, and you’ll instantly know when other Second Talk users are nearby. Choose one or more to talk to, and Second Talk connects you via Skype.

This is a breakthrough on lots of levels. It will have its biggest impact, I predict, in venues like what you see above. In-world meetings, lectures, collaborations or group get-togethers will be much more enjoyable, faster and meaningful when someone can talk vs. typing everything out.

If this catches on, it may be harder for you to have your 18 year old female avatar be believable if you’re a 40 year old guy! In some ways, it may also take away from some of the quiet, immersive, and experiential qualities that sometimes feel like you’re moving through air seamlessly and weightless. A cacophony of talk might be too distracting…but only time will tell.

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2 Comments

  1. Patrick on February 5, 2007 at 6:13 am

    Doesn’t this type of technology ruin a lot of the appeal of Second Life as a recreation of another “self?” Communication without auditory, visual, or verbal cues is much different than with those factors. Do you think this will alter some of the draw?



  2. Jarek Dejavu on February 28, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    Well… In real, there is a better solution in Second Life, which is solving almost all disadvantages of this one. Its called SECOND LIFE SPEECH TOOLS and it assigns to people good quality voices and they can write as usualy and SAPI engine will convert the chat to speech and you hear people talk. You can use speech recognition as well so it converts what you will tell to text. This solution is much more blending in the current SL world and is more usable for people who dont want to use their own voice or just don’t want to use headset etc. And when used only at client side, there is no lag caused etc. You will understand much better what people are talking, you can assing voices on your taste etc. It can be used with this new Second Life feature very well, so people will not need to speak to microphone. They will just install Speech Tools, they will select some voice and they will be talking aloud when writing as they are used too. This will help in a big way and people will still have chance to hide their identity and to be writing as they are used to. So no worries.



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