An interesting article written last year by Paul Mason, "Searching for the Soul of Cyberspace," compared the experience of genealogists researching their ancestors and times past to those fascinated with virtual reality. Both experiences, although "virtual" as opposed to "actual," evoke similar emotions and personal investment. Well, it appears, those two worlds are now combined. In an article released yesterday, "Live Roots on Second Life," announced Live Roots, a new site launched by GenWeekly publisher Genealogy Today, has come to Second Life (SL), perhaps the premier virtual reality world.
Exactly what is Second Life? Second Life is an Internet-based 3-D virtual world created by is Residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by millions of Residents from around the globe. Now genealogists are flocking to SL for an alternate way to research their family history.
Live Roots on Second Life is a new area created to assist SL researchers, much in the way the RL versions does. In the Live Roots on Second Life area, you can easily locate all of the available SL genealogy (related) areas, and get information about a variety of database companies in the upcoming exhibitor area.
Popular RL blogger/chat host/author/speaker, DearMYRTLE, has coordinated some of the genealogy efforts at Second Life, and helps maintain a calendar of the voice chats. She also recently launched a new blog called Teach Genealogy, where she chronicles the progress of the Union of Genealogy Groups (UGG) genealogy voice chats in Second Life, which she considers R&D to see what folks are learning about on and offline research. For details on joining the Second Life service, be sure to read her post, "Get a SECOND LIFE, genealogists".
Future enhancements to the Live Roots on Second Life area will include being able to preview available results for a specific surname (or full name) you are researching on a variety of database sites.
To learn more about Second Life, visit. http://secondlife.com/whatis. To see the Sytem Requirements, go to http://secondlife.com/support/sysreqs.php.
Already a Second Life member? Jump to the Live Roots on Second Life area.