CNN put up an excellent story yesterday: Second Life, It’s not a game. It is a very well written analysis of Second Life, their history, trends and possible future of the SL platform. The article details some of the larger companies and executives that are placing bets on the success of SL as the next evolution in Internet interactivity.
This quote from the article gives a few of the backer’s names:
“The company’s backers include some of the world’s smartest, richest, and most successful tech entrepreneurs. The chairman and first big outside investor is Mitch Kapor, creator of Lotus 1-2-3, the spreadsheet application that helped begin the PC software revolution. Other investors include eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Amazon (Charts) CEO Jeff Bezos, and Microsoft chief technology architect (and inventor of Lotus Notes) Ray Ozzie – each credited with a seminal networked product of our age.”
Towards the end of the article there are some very telling quotes from Philip Rosedale, founder and CEO of Linden Lab, about where they want all of this to go:
“CEO Rosedale hopes that other companies’ virtual worlds will interoperate with Second Life. That could benefit Linden so long as it remains the biggest operator.
“Say IBM uses our code to build its own intranet version that’s somewhat different from Second Life,” he says. “A user may say ‘Wow, this virtual thing IBM has built is pretty cool. Now I want to go to the mainland.’ And we have another customer.” In effect, Linden hopes to control the standards for virtual worlds so that they become the equivalent of the HTTP and HTML standards that define the web.”
The one word to focus on in that quote is “mainland”. In the not too distant future the main grid of SL will become the linking point for all of the distributed grids that will emerge once the open source server is made available. I suspect that some will stay on the main grid, but many others will leave to get their own private grids. This mainland will transform into a series of virtual portals to different lands.
All of the pieces are falling into place to make this happen, and quite frankly, they are happening a lot quicker than I would have ever thought they could have. Once Linden Lab gets out of the business of providing standard racked servers, I expect that independent grids will really ratchet up the processing power and we will really start to see some amazing things.
The virttual future is looking brighter every day.
Get a First Life, SL Parody
There was a very funny parody site of SL that was posted over the weekend. The site is called Get a First Life. This is a perfect parody of the SL website. Even the picture (a bunch of kids wearing pirate outfits) perfectly conveys the message. Having played MMO’s and a variety of computer based games going back to the early 80’s, I’ve heard variations on the “get a life” comment many times.
I debated posting a link to this page on the SLED (Second Life Educators) Listserv, then decided not to. My main reason to not post was because this parody was also promoting a Cafe Press T-Shirt with the First Life logo. The SLED group is sometimes a little touchy on anything commercial being posted to the listserv. However, a few days after this site came up, the blogger who created it got a Proceed and Permitted letter from Linden Lab. It’s nice to see that Linden Lab can appreciate a good parody with a parody of a legal document.