Second Life to roll out voice chatting

Second Life is hitting our news pages for the second time today, this time for its plans to integrate voice chatting into its virtual world.

Linden Lab will first roll the technology out in beta to a select group of users, as sophisticated new features can be a bit buggy to start with and it doesn't want to bring the system down.

According to Cnet News.com, voice chat will be offered in group mode, where anyone in the vicinity of a conversation will be able to hear it; personal voice chat; or group voice chat.

Second Life will allow property owners, who are building the virtual world, to decide to turn chat on or off on their turf.

All users will be able to try out voice chat while it's in beta, but afterwards, only property owners with the highest subscription or maintenance fee will be allowed to turn it on for free.

Many Second Lifers have been requesting voice chat features since the world was first launched, and some have used a workaround like Skype, TeamSpeak, or Ventrilo, according to the News.com story.

"It can actually extend your functional use of Second Life", said Terry Beaubois, director of the Creative Research Lab in the College of Arts and Architecture at Montana State University.

"When I'm in Second Life talking to someone with a headset, I can go longer periods of time before I feel like I have to take a break."


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