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Health Information in Second Life

Second Life is a 3 dimensional virtual world, offering users free software and a basic online account that allows them to create digital versions of themselves, called ‘avatars’. The communication abilities and interactive features of Second Life, coupled with the anonymity of the Internet make it an innovative platform for communicating health information. Companies and health care institutions all over the world are using Second Life to deliver health information to consumers, provide support and awareness about health topics, and even to train medical students and health care professionals in a simulated, virtual environment.

Understanding how people access health information online, and why they access it within Second Life are interesting questions to ask to understand the best way to educate people about health issues within this environment.

The CICC, along with Dr. Kumanan Wilson, Canada Research Chair in Public Health Policy, and Dr. Jennifer Keelan at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, are exploring the potential and implications of using Second Life as a platform for communicating health information.

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