In a recent blogpost at Reuters Phillip Rosedale stated:
“The only thing that SL users have in common is that they have a lot of time.” Users in big cities [...] were least likely to spend time in Second Life, not only because they were busy but because they had less need to escape to an alternative, anonymous world, he said. “Bad weather, oppressive regimes, poor economic conditions — that’s what makes an SL user.”
That comment really made me wonder where Phil gets his info from?
There are others out there who had made surveys regarding the demographics, social and economical, of what 'makes an SL user'. Two interesting surveys are that worth reading are the EPN report and The Second Life Survey.
A need to escape?
According to The second Life Survey, 15,5% '... often go to Second Life to forget about my real life problems'. That leaves nearly 85% who don't often use SL as an escape from real life. Which again fits with the results in the EPN report:
"The group that spends a lot of time in Second Life is not only economically but also socially privileged. There is a strong correlation between well-being and success in Second Life and well-being and success in real life."
Yup... I can agree on that one. When its pissing down I'm more likely to log in.
The majority of the users comes from Europe, closely followed by USA. Now I wont go into a discussion here whether the US and EU are oppressive regimes *grins* but apparently Phillip thinks so :p
Poor economis conditions? Not living in big cities?
First: to get on SL at all you need a broadband connection. That is not something you find way out in the country... and it is often not cheap either. A high end PC is needed too. Which is again not cheap. So to get SL up and running you need to be in an pretty decent economic condition. And in, or close to a web-wired city. This is backed up by the EPN report:
"A considerable portion of those surveyed stated that they have a good income level outside of Second Life. They are able to combine their activities in Second Life with their family life and work. The interviews indicated that the activities in Second Life were spread over evening hours, breaks at work and often a portion of the week-ends."
"It is striking that those surveyed who spend considerable time in Second Life frequently belong to the creative or IT professions. These professions offer relatively high incomes and are populated by those who call themselves “producer”, or one who makes things. It appears that a creative vanguard (IT and creative professionals) has ensconced itself in Second Life."
And finally is having a lot of time (as if!) the only thing we SL'ers have in common?
His comment really speak volumes of how he and maybe even all of LL perceives us.