Artificial Life: Does it have a social function?
As I develop steering behaviours and deal with object avoidance, I have been quietly wondering what social applications these developments could have in a world such as Second Life. Would anyone even notice them? Would they be detested and forced to private experiments?
I have been musing of a flock of hypothetical lag-avoiding birds. They would be coded to detect signs of lag and flock to sims with the best performance. They'd also take off in startled flight in the case of a simulator reaching conditions that might cause it to crash.
This hypothetical flock of birds could have a direct impact in giving notice to local avatars about possible sim down-time. It could also lead avatars to lag-averse areas. And it would be a flock of birds -- meta-living creatures other than avatars to fill up the landscape.
However, there have to be other useful applications in online worlds alone for virtual life. There could be games, playing with ideas of genetics, interaction, behaviour learning, etc... so I'm putting it to all interested aLife enthusiasts -- what do you think are some of the potential uses for artificial life in Second Life and other virtual worlds?