All the attention being paid to the Facebook Metaverse has sparked interest in past attempts at creating virtual realms. While some of these were a precedent, no metaverse has been created.
The reason is that they were either intended to be games or failed to maintain a following.
Second Life, a 2003-launched virtual world, is one of the most notable. Talk about the metaverse has renewed interest in the project. Second Life is a virtual world that was built for social interaction.
Here are some facts about the platform, and how it has changed over time.
What is Second Life?
Second Life is a 3D-generated virtual environment and platform that allows people to interact in real-time. It also has a vibrant in-world economy. Although the platform was officially launched by Linden Lab on June 23, 2003, its development dates back at least to the late 1990s.
Second Life users, or residents, don’t have a goal and there aren’t any rules or gameplay mechanics. Second Life focuses on user-generated content and social interaction. The virtual world is more closely linked to social media than the videogame industry.
Second Life is often referred to as a game because it was created before many of the major social media platforms. Its residents are free to roam the globe and interact with one another, but it is also a fully-functioning, in-world economy and user-generated material that really makes it stand out.
Second Life residents can represent themselves by creating avatars, much like an MMO or CRPG. You can be anything you want, from a blue-eyed smurf to an enormous six-foot ogre.
The best thing about Second Life is the fact that anyone can do anything in it. Residents can watch movies, listen to music, play games, go to parties, buy or sell stuff and create new content for the world. Residents create most of the content, landmarks, animations, and other worldwide content.
You can also participate in economic activity beyond just selling and buying items. You can also sell or buy real estate. Many Second Life residents purchase plots of land or houses to live in.
Phillip Rosedale, the former CEO of Linden Lab, was the founder of Second Life. According to the game’s Wiki, Rosedale had a vision for a “large green, continuous landscape, distributed over multiple servers”. It was a popular game in the 2000s, and it is still considered to be a pioneering attempt at creating a virtual universe.
Second Life can be described as the foundation that we use when we think about the metaverse
A Short History of Second Life
Phillip Rosedale founded Linden Lab in 1999. This company was responsible for Second Life’s creation. Phillip Linden, Second Life’s first CEO, was his name. Linden Lab began as a hardware business that was involved in the development and application of haptic technology.
A software program was needed to test the haptic technology hardware. LindenWorld was established to accomplish this task in 2001. It was not available to the public. It would serve as an alpha for Second Life.
The simulation allowed users to interact with each other, socialize and participate in game-based goals. However, the simulation was still gun-focused and played in a similar way to a first-person shooter.
Soon, the company’s focus would shift from developing the testing platform to creating its virtual world. Second Life was launched in beta in 2002. It was launched to the public in June 2003. As its population grew and its land increased, the open beta began in 2002.
The world map or grid consisted of 16 regions at this stage in the virtual world. It was still without currency and residents couldn’t even use teleportation. The virtual world has largely moved away from its original origins and now focuses on user-generated content and social interaction.
The Linden Dollar was introduced at the end of 2003. The in-world economy was growing rapidly by 2006, with Anshe Chung, a resident, becoming the first millionaire through her Second Life businesses.
Teen Second Life
Second Life’s world-building approach and the often-inappropriate content of the virtual world meant that residents 18 years or older could only access the virtual world. Linden Lab began testing a new Teen Second Life service in February 2005. It would be officially launched in January 2006.
Teen Second Life was an independent grid that Second Life used. It was only open to 13-17-year-olds, teachers, and educational institutions. In 2009, there were 300 teens living in Teen Second Life. Teen Second Life was shut down in 2011 and merged into the main grid.
Second Life Today
Second Life had one million inhabitants in 2006. Its estimated GDP was $500 million by 2015, which is higher than other countries. Residents clocked out as high as $60 million from the virtual world in that year.
You can still open a Second Life account to become a resident of Second Life today.
A Linden Lab spokesperson stated that 750,000 users were using the platform monthly in 2021.
The Metaverse Predecessor Still Holds
There have been many attempts to create a virtual world. However, none of them have been as successful as Second Life.
A renewed interest in the platform could result in an increase in users as well as a role in the future of metaverse.