What Japanese want to do with their Second Life


Do you know 'Second Life'? graph of japanese statisticsSecond Life from Linden Labs, a virtual world that is gaining a lot of support from major companies in Japan but is still to actually officially launch in the country has been getting a lot of press coverage recently. To find out how it was affecting the average consumer, MyVoice performed a survey about using Second Life.


Over the first five days of August 2007 12,386 members of the MyVoice online community successfully completed an online survey. 54% of the sample was female, 2% in their teens, 18% in their twenties, 38% in their thirties, 28% in their forties, and 14% in their fifties.

I’m not sure what the correct verb to use for being in Second Life is. “Play” seems too trivial and “be” sounds pompous, so I’ll just stick with the neutral but dull “use”, which is actually the direct translation of the Japanese verb used by MyVoice.

I’m sure one could draw conclusions from Q2, where the image of being unable to communicate with foreigners was stronger than that of being able to communicate with them!

Research results

Q1: Do you know “Second Life”? (Sample size=12,386)

Regularly use it 0.4%
Have used it 1.3%
Haven’t used it, but know the details (to SQ1) 31.6%
Just heard the name (to SQ1 (I think)) 25.4%
Never heard of it (to SQ1 (I think)) 41.2%

I believe at this point those not familiar with Second Life had the basics explained to them.

Q1SQ1: Would you like to try “Second Life”? (Sample size=non-users)

Want to use it soon (to SQ2) 1.4%
If I get the chance I want to use it (to SQ2) 19.8%
If circumstances change I’d want to use it (to SQ2) 14.6%
Don’t really want to use it 51.1%
Don’t want to use it at all 13.1%

To illustrate what the circumstances might be preventing people using Second Life, some reasons given were if it were easier and cheaper to use, there were worries about security and costs, people were waiting for a buzz from friends, and if trusted media talked about it more some might try.

Q1SQ2: What might you want to do in “Second Life”? (Sample size=non-users who want to try, multiple answer)

Want to make a virtual me (avatar) 29.4%
Want to buy land 28.5%
Want to build my own town 27.7%
Want to fly like a bird over the world 27.3%
Want to design my own house, vehicles, clothes 27.0%
Want to sell stuff online to make real money 27.0%
Want to make friends, meet people 24.1%
Want to do stuff to make virtual Linden Dollars 18.5%
Want to see publicity for new goods and services from real-world companies 15.2%
Want to interact with overseas players 14.5%
Want to enjoy games offered online 13.1%
Want to enjoy communicating with the chat features 12.8%
Want to buy exclusive avatars 4.0%
Other 2.8%
Nothing in particular I want to do 9.7%
No answer 4.4%

Q2: Select from the following list all those that match your image of “Second Life”. (Sample size=12,386, multiple answer)

Seems difficult to understand 37.6%
Registration process seems difficult 22.0%
Worried due to lack of information about Linden Labs 21.7%
Cannot communicate with foreign players 19.4%
Can connect with the world 17.0%
Lots of problems between users 14.6%
Lots of grief players 13.0%
Don’t see the business possibilites 12.0%
For young people 9.2%
Cannot select the location (not sure what this means) 8.8%
Insufficient official support 8.4%
Realistic 3D models 7.6%
Can simulate real-world economics 6.5%
Could make money for myself 5.3%
Lots of server troubles 5.2%
Lots of adult content 3.9%
None of the above 5.2%
Don’t know 20.7%
No answer 0.7%

Q3: Which of the following activities do you do on the internet? (Sample size=12,386, multiple answer)

Often buy goods online 66.3%
Have an account with an internet bank 61.4%
Book holidays online 60.5%
Search train timetables, etc 60.3%
Often use online settlement of bills 44.6%
Often participate in net auctions 35.9%
Investigate new products, then buy offline 35.0%
Obtain concert, event, etc tickets online 27.0%
Write a blog, participate in communities 26.1%
Do share dealing online 16.9%
Download music online 15.3%
Play online games 14.5%
Chat with people I don’t know 8.0%
Upload self-made videos to sharing services 4.4%
I regularly listen to episodes of a podcast 2.9%
Use paid contents from provider 2.7%
Use a paid movie download service 2.4%
Other 10.8%
No answer 0.3%
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