For the Virtual Record: Second Life

Second Life provides an online society within a 3D world, where users can explore, build, socialize and participate in their own economy. -Second Life website

Due to the amount of fan *cough* email I receive from "Second Lifers," I want to state for the virtual record, that I really have no problems with Second Life (SL) for what it is. I do visit it from time to time, have good friends that enjoy it, know those that make a living building content within it, and even know cool people working at Linden Labs.

Linden Labs, creators of Second Life, have done a lot to bring virtual worlds further into the public eye the past few years. Second Life is primarily composed of user created content. News of a virtual world millionaire, big brand interest, educational interest, congressional hearings, and a growing number of headlines show that people do see the utility of multi-user online 3D environments. I was in Second Life back when it had just a small following and not much to it. It was cool for the time, great for showing people what 3D on the web was like, but limited as far as what I ultimately wanted to use 3D on the web for. Now Second Life is a bustling virtual world filled with all kinds of content, applications, and citizens. Many have had great times with SL. Who can forget this griefer incident with Anshe Chung during an in-world CNET interview? (Not for avatars under 18 as this shows 3D genitalia)

The wild west of virtual worlds that even has one wanting to head off into the sunset with their kidnapped virtual met mate. Now most residents are using SL for having fun, social networking, creating cool content, applications, and whatever they can think of to the limitations of the platform, noted. It is a starting point for those that want to experience a 3d user generated society with a variety of content. It has been in the news. It offers more creative freedom than Sims Online and most other virtual worlds. I think SL is a great testing ground for showing what content/applications developers will build for the open 3d web. I never have or will see it or Open Simulator as the foundation for the 3D web let alone Metaverse. A part of it yes, but not the foundation.

This thinking doesn't bring me much love from Second Life residents and the reason for this blog entry. They share with me exactly how they feel for thinking this and more. What gets me are the "Second Lifers" that see the benefit of 3D on the web, and don't upgrade to the technology that will allow them to do what SL can't. Does the KoolAid taste that good? Second Life is just not there technically people, can't catch up or scale, and wasn't designed to go there. It is great for entertainment, a virtual make believe, and good at that. As officially stated by Linden Labs, "an online society within a 3D world, where users can explore, build, socialize and participate in their own economy."

I am a builder of the 3d web, I work with open standards so all people, ideas, and economies can connect online. Keep building a Second Life and enjoy! I am enhancing our first one.


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