Samuel Axon over at Ars Technica has returned to Second Life and published a very good article on the hopes, fears, past and future of Second Life, Sansar and much more.
What makes this article so good is that Samuel has experience of Second Life, knows all about the past hype but in a very refreshing manner he points out that Second Life is still very much around, even if users have some concerns about Linden Lab’s focus on Sansar :
Believe it or not, the platform today enjoys a healthy community. Not only does it still exist, but if you ask Second Life’s creators, the platform may be thriving. Ask its users, on the other hand, and the picture gets a bit hazier.
The article covers an interesting aspect of Second Life, how the area of commerce has in many ways followed physical world patterns, with the online Marketplace thriving in many areas whilst inworld commerce struggles with its virtual bricks and mortar version in other areas.
The article also mentions the growth of virtual pets as a product, with Fennux creator Daemon Blackflag talking about how people breed virtual pets and sell them.
The article features quotes from Second Life merchants, residents and Linden Lab employees, which all adds up to a very good overview of the platform from people who know about the platform, this is a refreshing change from a lot of Second Life articles.
Karsten Rutledge of Greedy Greedy fame talks about how the hype of past years such as 2007 was always a load of nonsense, but we also get a view of how technology developments can hamper the ambitions of platforms, when Second Life was full in its hype cycle Social Media wasn’t the thriving platform it is today.
Peter Gray, Linden Lab’s Senior Director of Communications (AKA Gray of the Lab from San Francisco) touches upon these developments :
Gray even ventured a theory for why the original narrative didn’t pan out. “I think it’s worth bearing in mind that a lot of those experiments were done before people were very familiar with social media,” he said. “In short, if people were to approach creating virtual experiences for those types of things now, whether it be a marketing outreach or that kind of thing, I think they might take a different approach to do it.”
This is worth bearing mind as Linden Lab’s Sansar finds its feet, the development of Virtual Reality and other technologies could completely change the direction Sansar takes, this is true of technological developments throughout history.