Max Romantschuk's weblog – July 2007 archive

On (my) Second Life

Friday 13th of July, 2007 - 12:37 – Permalink

There's actually a reason for the lack of posts during the last month. I've been getting to know the virtual world of Second Life.. Lets start with the basics: Second Life is a 3D digital world imagined, created, and owned by its residents. That's really it. It's not a game, and certainly not an MMORPG, despite being mentioned on the Wikipedia page I just linked.

The interesting thing about Second Life (SL) is the fact that 99% of the world is created by the residents of SL. Anyone can create content in SL, the tools are included in the very application (viewer) used to log into Second Life. Another interesting thing is the virtual economy of SL. You can buy the virtual currency of SL, Linden Dollars (L$) for real money, and you can sell your SL currency for real money. Some people even do this as a living.

I'm giving virtual clothes design a shot to see if I can break even. (While basic SL membership is free, a premium account costs about 10$ a month.) Even if I don't it could be considered money well spent, given that I'll be practicing texturing and 3D modeling.

While the business aspects of Second Life are interesting, the most intriguing thing is the community aspect. SL is, quite literally, a second life. People live out their fantasies, and things like gender are not set like in the real world. While many people ridicule SL and it can indeed be compared to MySpace in some ways, I still see infinite potential in a rich scriptable 3D environment. Having seen what can be done today, I can hardly imagine what can be done ten years from now. This is one revolution I don't plan to miss, even if it turns out to be just another fad...

PS. For now, I'm keeping my real life and my second life separate. Thus, I don't plan to give out my SL name to anyone else than close friends. I don't wish for any activity I may undertake in the weird and wonderful world of Second Life to have an adverse effect on my real life. Not all people are necessarily as open minded as one would like.