Fantasy Sports and Second Life

These guys also play Second Life.

Last Wednesday, for a sports and society course I’m taking this semester, some classmates and I traveled out to Nationals Park, where we spoke for a little bit to owner Mark Lerner. As we listened in awed silence to him describe the joys of building a baseball team almost from the ground up, visions of our own fantasy baseball (and football) experiences popped up in our mind.

That’s when it hit me … this must be what Second Life fanatics love about their game.

In both worlds — fantasy sports and Second Life — we get the chance to be something we’re not. In fantasy baseball, it’s a general manager with complete control over the direction of his or her made-up squad. In Second Life, it might be a Victoria Model-lookalike with a passion for dancing.

There are also avenues for diehards to take their fandom to a whole new level. In fantasy baseball, you can pay for premium packages that afford you more information and better decision-making tools. In Second Life, you can pay for new clothes, jewelery and whatever else your heart desires.

But the most obvious similarity is probably the one least talked about: It has a powerful social component. There are communication tools in both. There are advantages to socializing in both. And in both, it’s more fun when you actually know the people around you.

So does this mean I’ll start playing Second Life with as much zeal as I do fantasy football? No. But it is pretty interesting to note just why they’ve been so successful for so many years.

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One Response to Fantasy Sports and Second Life

  1. You make a great point with the similarities between fantasy sports and second life, but I have to disagree. While they both have social networking aspects to them, one major difference that I notice is purpose. While playing fantasy sports, you manage a team to try to beat your opponent for that week. Second life has no purpose and the creators of the game even admit it. These people on second life want to live in a fantasy world because they do not want to live in reality. Fantasy sports is more of a competitive game.

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