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Who Needs the Metaverse? Meet the People Still Living on Second Life

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Who Needs the Metaverse? Meet the People Still Living on Second Life

Second Life – and its more modest vision of an Internet World – persists. This month it celebrates its 20th anniversary. Its developer, Linden Lab, estimates the virtual world’s GDP to be $650m. According to the company, around 185m items are sold each year in the Second Life marketplace and 1.6 million transactions occur every day. Second Life has endured as a profitable and, crucially, populated Metaverse.

And while the world’s largest tech companies continue to seek ways to more intrusively monitor and monetize our online lives, the Metaverse idea is unlikely ever to disappear.

While other projects have shrunk and closed, Metaverse author, Wagner James Au believes Second Life has endured because of its capacity to facilitate human creativity.

Second Life’s creator, Philip Rosedale believes a ubiquitous Metaverse, has the chance to be a kinder, less invasive online environment. But he fears that most of the companies working on such a project have missed one essential component of lasting success: the fact that people are as much creators as they are consumers. “There isn’t as yet any evidence that people want to have a purely consumptive entertainment experience in social virtual worlds,” he says. “I don’t think there’s any evidence in human history that you can get a billion people to just kind of sit there and veg out, watch stuff. You can’t get to the kind of usage levels that Metaverse brands want to get to with a consumer non-participatory experience.”

Want to learn more about why Second Life has endured in the marketplace?

Read this article


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