Journalism in the virtual world

The virtual world has been growing more and more, and different companies have brought out various tools for users to experience the technology in a more real and closer way.

In 2003, a video game called Second Life, which allows the participation of several people at the same time online, was launched. This video game has grown rapidly and millions of people are currently using it.

However, its creators believe that is not a game like the usual ones since it does not have a narrative, but its objective is to offer users a world where they can actively participate in different activities such as doing business or building communities. Shortly after launching, Second Life got its first newspaper, which was born as a virtual journalism experiment -by Professor Peter Ludlow – through another video game called The Sims Online. Ludlow was ousted for writing a brief against the company that created the Sims, thus discovering that there was very little freedom to speak within the virtual world. In Second Life, however, its newspaper, the Second Life Herald, was successful and was in charge of reporting what people and companies were doing within the game. While in Second Life the economy was growing and different real companies were making life in the videogame (such as BMW or MLB), Reuters decided to open a virtual office with two journalists to research and write about virtual currency and the in-game economy. According to one of the journalists, his work in Second Life was not far from the real world. In addition, other media outlets such as Wired produced a guide for Second Life travelers and CNN asked citizen journalists in the video game to share their experiences on iReport. Although the growth of the video game was great, its use was not so great, because while 5 million users were registered, there were only 30,000 active avatars. Perhaps this is because Second Life was not intended as a substitute for real life, but rather as a a parallel world where users could live more open experiences than in real life. But beyond that, new virtual reality technologies seek to broaden the social and psychological effects of using the virtual world and its intervention in journalism. The world of virtual reality has been increasing, nowadays it is not necessary to own very expensive devices to enjoy this technology. In addition, virtual reality is being used more and more in different fields such as cinema, video games and journalism. Therefore, leading technology companies are investing in virtual and augmented reality. The production of hardware and software compatible with this technology is on the rise and is about to become a mass business.

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The social network Facebook, considered one of the largest, has also bet on going further and its investment in virtual reality has been notorious.

With the entry of experts in the field, Facebook has opened an expectation to see virtual reality grow even more and go beyond simple 360° videos. Just as Facebook and other media have been increasing the possibilities for a better virtual experience, this also opens up possibilities for the way journalism is done. Journalism in Second Life was trying to look like the real world, but different from this, in the new virtual worlds, journalism is expected to develop in a different way with other approaches and skills. Virtual reality has transformed how the journalist views and performs his or her job in a meaningful way. Journalistic representation, presence and skills will undergo a change in their modes as well as the entire virtual universe. Due to these changes, several agencies and companies are betting on the development of technologies that will soon represent important changes. In Tworeality agency you will find the possibility to get the development of any 360° video or 3D material and content of the best quality. The technological universe and virtual reality are beginning to mark significant changes in life and in journalism.