Ming the Mechanic:
Second Life

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Second Life2005-03-11 12:19
picture by Flemming Funch

Second Life is a massively multiplayer online world. One can build stuff, design one's own avatars (virtual bodies), one can program it. One is the owner of what one creates and there's opportuties for trade and business. Via BoingBoing, here are some notes from a speech by Cory Ondrejka, the VP of Product Development for Linden Labs, the company that makes it.
Second Life allows users to collaborate and teach each other. Learning scripting: it’s easy, you have immediate feedback, and other people are willing to help. People spread knowledge and do FAQs. SL really encourages this. As an example: skydiving classes, ingame. Players sell lessons and parachutes. Skydiving became a huge fad in SL for a while. Abbot’s Skydiving sells equipment and airplanes to go up in. An elevator to 4000 feet. Total freedom to create. A service.

Another example of collaborative business: VERTU is a group in RL. They contacted the EFF and wanted to do a fundraise in SL. They raised 1700 bucks. Next month (for Charity X) they did 1900. Then for Hurricane Relief = 2000 US. People in these spaces recognise the virtual currency has value. Philanthropy, giving .. having an impact back on the RL is a real possibility.

Tringo, the current SL fad. A cross between tetris and bingo. Someone in SL wanted a fun social game to play ingame. He created Tringo. In the 3 months since, he’s generated the equivalent of 4000 US in Tringo. He just licensed the realworld distribution rights to Tringo to a mobile game company. Because SL lets him maintain the rights to his IP, he can distribute said rights in the real world, although apparently part of the deal is that he continues to manage the rights individually ingame.
Gee, I don't have time, but I could really get into that. I was hooked on Alphaworld, oh, almost 10 years ago. My buildings were still there, last I looked. But the environment didn't advance a whole lot since then, and there wasn't all that many people there. And there are so many more cool things one can do with virtual worlds. I've of course noticed that games have gotten much more fancy graphically in the meantime. But I don't have any particular interest in the types of games where you walk around and get killed all the time, by folks who've got bigger guns than you have. But I like building stuff. Second Life looks quite similar to Alphaworld, so it is not that things have advanced enormously. But the increased programability makes the difference. Sounds like Second Life is getting a lot of things right. So, if I just had some quiet weekends with nothing to do.

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