I am slightly concerned about the potential adverse social effects that voice in Second Life might create.
Don’t get me wrong: I am all for having the choice to express yourself online in whatever way suits. But there is something more about SL that means the choice of voice might create social divides. I personally would only want voice if I could choose an anonymous one. Or even better still, if I could choose a celebrity soundalike or animal-type voice. Like a cat.
But you can’t yet.
Voice is currently being tested on the beta grid and Kosso has been experimenting. Lots people seem to be having lots of fun falling from the sky saying “ahhhh”. Because the sound varies in decibels according to how near or far you are. Hand that.
But there are lots of people who are dead against it. Some like talking text, others prefer to remain pseudanomymous (or whatever the expression is.) If I was chatting in a group and some of the group were text chatting, while others were “talking”, will the texters “be heard”? If there are mute options for individuals, isn’t that a bit like censorship or only hearing what, or who, you want to? Will there be Text Only land like Mature and PG and if so, will that create new segregations and potential exclusions?
Maybe not. Seems to work in games where it makes it easier to coordinate movements of team on a mission, as in Wow. We’ll see.