Gewgaw has a good post. I've tried SecondLife as well. I'd still be playing it, if I had a home internet connection. (Actually, I'm glad I don't. It gives me so much time to get stuff done.)
She has an excellent point: SecondLife is a game on the edge of playability. Some people - like me - like that sort of thing. We don't like limits. We never really accepted games as they were. We like games about pattern synthesis. Most players, though, like games of pattern recognition. The difference is extreme, and most players will feel overwhelmed by SecondLife, even if its learning curve wasn't stupid-high.
But that's players today.
Take a look at this guy. Today, he would be a super-big geek. He would be a gamer, no doubt. Probably one of the adrenaline junkies that plays FPS games continuously.
But if we were to get the man in that picture to sit down with even the most basic of our games today - say, just Tetris - he would be overwhelmed.
Today, it isn't stretching it to say that 90% of people in North America between the ages of eight and twenty-eight could take a pretty good stab at Tetris. They'd understand the concept, and even if they were bad at it, they could pretty rapidly learn to be better at it. That's not 90% of intelligent people, or 90% of gamer people. That's 90% of ALL PEOPLE in that age range. I am, of course, leaving out those people who can't actually play Tetris due to various disabilities.
A hundred years from now, what will the future be like? Will we be on Mars? Will we still be stuck on Earth?
I don't know, but assuming we don't die our way back into the industrial age, we'll be playing games which, if they were available today, would DESTROY us. I'm not talking about learning a new game, or a new genre. I'm talking about a whole new level of technology, an interface we've never even seen. Our minds aren't built for the future.
But your kids' minds will be.
And they'll be playing Will Wright's games. And they'll be playing pattern synthesis, because that's the next step in games.
Your children will be playing SecondLife's children.