Long before Apple developed Vison Pro, long before Meta’s Horizon Worlds shone in Mark Zuckerberg’s MetaQuest headset, and long before the world heard of sandboxes and Decentraland, Second Life there was. The original social metaverse.
Metanews is celebrating its 20th anniversary and we’re revisiting the virtual world to see what lessons can be learned from the first big wave of Metaverse hype.
remember second life
Launched on June 23, 2003, Second Life made an ambitious promise to offer its users a wonderful new digital world and a better life. For a split second it seemed that it might actually succeed. Second Life quickly became a cultural phenomenon, garnering a lot of coverage from major media outlets such as: BBC and CNN.
Second Life has also caught the attention of major companies that have established a presence in the virtual world. Big corporate brands like Sony, Reebok, BMG Music, and Reuters all have shops in Second Life.
At or around the height of its popularity in November 2006, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano addressed 5,000 IBM employees in Second Life.As bloomberg “I have my own avatar,” Palmisano told attendees at the time.
To ensure that the audience understood the significance of the moment when Palmisano said the word again.
“I have my own avatar.”
second life is big deal.
Founder Philip Rosedale went on to hail Second Life as the beginning of “something very big,” but while the first signs seemed all positive for Rosedale and his creations, immersion The type social network failed to maintain its upward trajectory. Second Life peaked in his late 1990s with around 1 million monthly users – For comparison, Fortnite has around 80 million MAUs – Before the population dwindles and the virtual world eventually slips out of people’s consciousness.
But Second Life didn’t just die. In fact, Second Life continues to wrestle almost entirely out of the limelight.
Return to Second Life
One of the first things that strikes you about Second Life is how easy it is to sign up for an account compared to other virtual worlds. Second Life only asks for some personal information, such as your name and date of birth, before prompting you to choose from a large number of pre-selected avatars.
This is very different (and a welcome salvation) from personal documents. survival check Required by some modern metaverses.
Of course, it’s not all good news. Second Life will prompt you to download the client the moment you complete the signup process. This is a relatively small download of 136 MB, but it continues to be frustrating because most metaverse companies don’t disclose their download requirements before starting the signup process.
When you enter Second Life, you find yourself on a tropical beach. Explore the island grounds, guided by green arrows. Exploring the system will teach you various skills along the way. I learn to walk, run, sit, lie down and even fly. It’s one of the most intuitive metaverse experiences I’ve ever had, and I quickly realized that many tasks were easy to accomplish.
Of course, no Metaverse experience would be complete without something truly bizarre happening. In Second Life, this happens pretty early on when you encounter a giant bat trying to jump on your back and fly around. Not surprisingly, exploring a tropical island from the Batwing is a lot of fun.
When you eventually land, your bat friend will disappear, never to see you again. Then, upon further exploration, I realized that I could not find any bats.
Other locations are also available
As we explore the island further, we begin to wonder why so many Metaverse experiences so strongly characterize secluded, tropical, sun-drenched locations. Is it because this environment fulfills a common, ambitious dream that many of us have? Or is Second Life simply setting the island paradise trend that other metaverses have emulated? mosquito?
If Second Life and other metaverses represent the ideal lifestyle we all aspire to, why do so many of us choose to spend our real lives in small, dirty cities?
However, Second Life is more than just a tropical island simulator, there are other locations available. Within the simulator I explore forests and cities, dark fantasy worlds, and sci-fi worlds inspired by Star Trek and Blade Runner. This is pure geek fodder.
Each world is different not only visually, but also acoustically. That goes for both sound effects and music. In one place I’m listening to ’90s rock and in another I’m in a trance.
One of the most important early stages for visitors to Second Life is the introduction and portal areas. There we found portals to different environments that promised everything from games and recreation to LGBT friendly and even adult. There are signs to remind you not to “solicit” or “idle”. I do neither.
friendly and furry
No review of the Metaverse would be complete without mentioning the community itself. In Second Life, everyone I meet is friendly and helpful.
The question for some might be: how are they friendly? Nudge nudge, wink wink. From my travels so far in virtual worlds, I’ve learned a few things. thirsty people onlineand many find their way into the Metaverse in search of a way to satisfy themselves.
We can also deduce from Second Life’s marketing that there is a strong furry community within its virtual perimeter. (On the Marketplace, he has 18,000 items listed under the category “furs.”)
That said, in my hours of exploration in Second Life, I have had nothing but polite and positive conversations with the people I met. As far as I know, Second Life is a community of people, interests, and hobbies.
There is little doubt that if you want adult conversations and experiences you can find them, but they are not forced upon you. In the spirit of mutual peace and cooperation, I have decided not to enter the adult areas of Second Life.
“If they’re not bothering me, why should I bother them?”
Additionally, I resolve never to click on the “All Clothes” option in the “Undress” section of the “My Avatar” menu. It may be just avatars and mouse clicks. It makes me chuckle, but in the end it just doesn’t feel right.
Did Second Life succeed or fail?
Finally, there comes a point in my Second Life journey where I have to wrap up.
Let’s start by looking back at the past. A search of my old email account revealed that I signed up for a Second Life account in 2009. I remember looking around a bit in 2009, exploring a bit and then leaving. I didn’t have a bad time, but I didn’t feel the need to go back either.
My experience in 2023 is of much the same nature. Second Life was a good experience at best, and a bit bland at worst, but it didn’t meet my real needs. The biggest problem with Second Life is that it looks a lot like real life. You only get what you put into it. And what I want most is to have more time to live my first life.
last weekin an interview with GuardianSecond Life CEO Philip Rosedale, who has arguably spent more time thinking about these issues than anyone else, sums up the challenge perfectly.
“The difficulty of maintaining a second identity is considerable, and the number of people willing to do it is lower than I thought in 2006,” Rosedale said.
That said, Second Life wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did without the people who put their time into it and got the fulfillment out of it. For those of you, I’m glad the social metaverse has continued to thrive.
Second Life is definitely the Rocky Balboa of the social metaverse. It was hanging there. For that, I can admire it.