Adding Voice to Second Life

As many of you probably have heard, Second Life is very soon going to have voice integration. (Which may or may not be of benefit to you — depending on which side of the whole “voice vs. text chat” debate you agree with. There’s a debate that erupts on SLED every time someone suggests that one method of communication is better than the other in an educational setting in-world.  I tend to end up somewhere in the middle, preferring a mixture of both text chat and voice, but that’s just me being wishy-washy.)

Anyway, last week Johnny Ming, podcaster from SecondCast and the Metaverse Sessions (which I hope he’ll bring back this year) posted an audio preview of this voice functionality along with Philip Linden (founder and CEO of Linden Labs), Joe Linden (LL VP, Platform & Technology Dept), and Oz Spade (virtual worlds advocate).  In this clip, you hear what the sound quality is like (which is actually pretty good), and the group discusses some of the features included, such as voice levels depending on avatar proximity, management at the estate and parcel levels of voice functionality, phone bridge capabilities, and the coming ‘lip-synch’ functionality.

It’s incrediby exciting.  As soon as this is up and running, I’m planning on hounding our poor recruiter until she gives in and does an SL Info Session for our school.  Integrating voice into SL makes (imho) communication in-world much more powerful.

Click here to listen to the Second Life audio demo.

Katrina Adams

Howdy folks! I’m an Instructional Designer at UT Dallas. I have a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Angelo State University and a Master’s in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems from the University of North Texas. I’ve been working in edtech for 11 years. Hmm… what else? I’m a *huge* fan of that little Irish band called U2, and I’m a bigtime Firefly/Serenity advocate.

3 thoughts on “Adding Voice to Second Life

  1. Matt Crosslin

    So, what about the debate that adding voice to Second Life takes away part of the “adventure?” For example, someone with a really soft voice wants a dragon avatar. So they make a dragon. Then they walk up to you, and this soft, pip-squeak voice come out of it.

    I’ve heard they are going to work on voice modifiers to fix that (so you can have a booming voice for your dragon), but I agree that this would take SL to another level. I wonder if this would create some competition for voice conferencing tools. One can only hope.

  2. Darren Crone

    I am really looking forward to the voice integration, but it may ‘unlevel’ the playing field for some. For instance, I recently had a great conversation with a nonverbal autistic person in Second Life. This

  3. Katrina Adams

    I honestly don’t think that voice will take over text-chat in SL as the primary means of communicating. Text allows users to keep a certain level of anonymity that many users are not willing to sacrifice. (I remember reading/hearing somewhere that a significant percentage of female avatars are actually male players. And who knows what the godzilla, Yoda, or dragon avatar is that just walked past you.)

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