Lot's of talk about Second Life on the web, and as an escape, like Sudoku, it's great. But beyond that, I am not that jazzed about it. It looks and feels like a version of dungeons and dragons, with perhaps a more visual appeal. Still, beyond its game-like attributes, it doesn't do much for me. I feel like screaming, the Emporer isn't wearing any clothes.
Unlike other websites that offer social network interaction, My Space, Facebook, et al, Second Life lets you interact with an avatar, an on-screen character, representing you on the web, to meet, to gossip, and to lay down roots. In this NY Times article, people are spending hours fixing up their virtual homes in exotic locations. They even create kitchens and bathrooms, although these avatars neither eat or poop! I marvel at all the free time spent in Second Life; with that same amount of time, they should be fixing up their real homes.
I prefer sites that start virtual to build social interaction, like meet-up.com, that take people from the virtual world to real flesh and blood interactions. At some point, you have to get up from your chair and actually talk to people face to face!