Archive for the 'Voice in Second Life' Category

Voice: Making or breaking the experience

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ever wonder how the introduction of voice into a virtual world would affect user immersion? I’m wondering in particular what it would do for dirty talk during 3D avatar sex. Would people still dish out the same meaningless drivel that they seem to often do via text while getting laid in Second Life? Or worse yet, would the stale and canned conveyances grow even more lame, devolving further into two- and three-word phrases uttered during the heat of cyberpassion? Then again, maybe it would actually improve. Who knows?

At any rate, I read an interesting post today at 3pointD.com about how voice is to be integrated into the interface of the massively multiplayer sci-fi game EVE Online. What I thought was particularly interesting was how the company that created Second Life apparently viewed bringing voice into its own virtual space.

“Part of what’s stopped Linden Lab from bringing in voice support, though, according to the Lindens I’ve spoken to, is that it would break the immersion of the world for many residents,” 3pointD.com’s Mark Wallace writes.

This would more than likely be true in a lot of cases. For example, I think it’s safe to say there are many users in Second Life whose real-life voices wouldn’t exactly be a perfect fit for the various personae they take on in their synthetic surroundings. I mean, could you envision a fire-breathing dragon speaking like a 19-year-old girl? Or a voluptuous female avatar conversing in the timbre of Barry White? (more…)

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