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IBM The Internet Entertainment Games

IBM to Regulate Employee Second Life Behavior 165

Posted by Zonk
from the no-furry-costumes-during-work-hours dept.
mytrip writes "In hopes of avoiding potentially embarrassing incidents, IBM is taking the unusual step of establishing official guidelines for its more than 5,000 employees who inhabit Second Life and other virtual worlds. 'IBM appears to be the first corporation to create rules governing virtual worlds. The move has critics, who say that mandating behavior for the so-called "metaverse" is unlikely to reform impish avatars. They also question why IBM would add a layer of buttoned-down bureaucracy to this relatively rollicking corner of the Internet. IBM executives counter that having a code of conduct is akin to a corporate stamp of approval, encouraging workers to explore more than 100 worlds IBM collectively calls the 3D Internet.'" This regulation may be coming from more than self-interest: IBM sees these environments as management training courses in some ways; working inter-personal skills via chat and human resources via guild activities.
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IBM to Regulate Employee Second Life Behavior

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  • Re:Um... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Friday July 27, 2007 @05:14PM (#20017217)
    I admit up-front that I don't 'get' the whole second-life thing. It only took me about 20 minutes to realise how dull and pointless it is. There's nothing going on, loads of places you can't go, and its totally boring just wandering around. Also even on broadband the crappy world graphics update so slowly its painful. Literally. You can bump into walls even minutes before they get drawn.

    So I wouldn't classify second life as a game as there is no fun or objectives and its very clunky so 'playing' it isn't accurate.
  • Re:Um... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Stalus (646102) on Friday July 27, 2007 @05:24PM (#20017345)
    IBM isn't sanctioning 'playing' Second Life. They're sanctioning business activities in Second Life, hence the guidelines. They're going to have guidelines for anything where employees are doing things on the clock in a public space. Plus, if some guy is burning half his time in some virtual dance club, he's probably not going to look so great when it comes around to evaluations.

    But, yes. IBM is a tech company. They have islands in Second Life, and there are certainly people who have legitimate reasons to be exploring and doing things there on the clock, so why would it be a surprise that they'd sanction this?
  • Is it even legal? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ElGanzoLoco (642888) on Friday July 27, 2007 @05:31PM (#20017413) Homepage
    Honest question here (IANAL): can it even be legal for the employer to issue guidelines/codes of conduct for activities that are presumably not happening at the workplace?

  • Re:Um... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xednieht (1117791) on Friday July 27, 2007 @06:02PM (#20017677) Homepage
    Short-term technical limitation aside it seems that you actually do get it quite well... It is a game only to the extent that life is a game. Therefore you are quite right when you say "'playing' isn't accurate."

    Never-the-less interacting with digital representations of physical objects is a lot more intuitive than 'click this' or 'click that' blah blah blah that you get on current websites. Consider the possibility of an integration of something like SecondLife with something like Google Earth and replace all those web servers on the Internet with 'web servers' that can model the objects and then you would truly have the real Web 2.0.

    I believe IBM has it right and have a big stake in it. If they integrate the Linden technology into Websphere.... wow that would be awesome.

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