Second Life, the new job finder

August 17, 2008

Those who are having difficulties finding a job online might have been browsing the wrong part of the Internet.

An increasing number of firms have chosen virtual worlds to attract the attention of university graduates to test their abilities and maybe even offer them a job in real life.

This practice is not new, but according to the managing director of Ambient Performance, Ron Edwards, it is now “really hot” in Second Life, one of the most popular 3D environments.

Ambient Performance is a UK-based firm specialized in mobile technologies virtual worlds and virtual training programs for companies, governmental institutions, non-profit organisations, security services, emergency services and police.

Virtual training

In a presentation given to MA students from the University of Westminster, Edwards explained why virtual scenarios are useful for the military and emergency services.

“Testing scenarios or drills in 3D environments is less disruptive, easier and cheaper. Those kinds of exercises can run more frequently, so the professionals are better trained”.

For Edwards, the virtual scenarios used go beyond computer simulation, because the virtual participants (avatars) are controlled by real role players that transfer to them their instinctual reactions.

Also, the use of real-world physics and the around 180 physiological characteristics attributed to the avatars make the rehearsed situations all the more real.

Same technology, different aims

As Ron Edwards explained, the military is using 3D environments to train soldiers in the handling of new kinds of explosives as they are discovered in real life, but also to teach them how to speak to translators and help them fill cultural gaps.

The managing director of Ambient Performance also referred to the use of virtual worlds in universities.
He said that e-learning is not a substitute for classrooms, but he pointed out that it´s “an effective delivery mechanism that helps bring people up to the same speed”.

Edwards also stressed the scalability of virtual conferences, where the same speaker “reaches thousands of people at the same time”.

It´s all about business

According to Ron Edwards, virtual environments are becoming increasingly known and used in companies.
Closed environments are used by executives and professionals to collaborate and increase their capacity of making quick decisions and innovating. They are also a tool to improve the results in sectors like sales training.

The creator of Second Life (SL), Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale, said in a corporate podcast that the companies that are now in Second Life are “working to get their remote employees connected better or doing mentor meetings in a safe and more compelling environment”.

Ambient Performance

Ron Edwards

Second Life

Philip Rosedale´s Podcast

Forterra Systems


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