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 it0.4%
Have used it1.3%
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 it51.1%
Don’t want to use it at all13.1%

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 land28.5%
Want to build my own town27.7%
Want to fly like a bird over the world27.3%
Want to design my own house, vehicles, clothes27.0%
Want to sell stuff online to make real money27.0%
Want to make friends, meet people24.1%
Want to do stuff to make virtual Linden Dollars18.5%
Want to see publicity for new goods and services from real-world companies15.2%
Want to interact with overseas players14.5%
Want to enjoy games offered online13.1%
Want to enjoy communicating with the chat features12.8%
Want to buy exclusive avatars4.0%
Nothing in particular I want to do9.7%
No answer4.4%

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

Seems difficult to understand37.6%
Registration process seems difficult22.0%
Worried due to lack of information about Linden Labs21.7%
Cannot communicate with foreign players19.4%
Can connect with the world17.0%
Lots of problems between users14.6%
Lots of grief players13.0%
Don’t see the business possibilites12.0%
For young people9.2%
Cannot select the location (not sure what this means)8.8%
Insufficient official support8.4%
Realistic 3D models7.6%
Can simulate real-world economics6.5%
Could make money for myself5.3%
Lots of server troubles5.2%
Lots of adult content3.9%
None of the above5.2%
Don’t know20.7%
No answer0.7%

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

Often buy goods online66.3%
Have an account with an internet bank61.4%
Book holidays online60.5%
Search train timetables, etc60.3%
Often use online settlement of bills44.6%
Often participate in net auctions35.9%
Investigate new products, then buy offline35.0%
Obtain concert, event, etc tickets online27.0%
Write a blog, participate in communities26.1%
Do share dealing online16.9%
Download music online15.3%
Play online games14.5%
Chat with people I don’t know8.0%
Upload self-made videos to sharing services4.4%
I regularly listen to episodes of a podcast2.9%
Use paid contents from provider2.7%
Use a paid movie download service2.4%
No answer0.3%
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