How many of you out there have played Second Life? I will assume that given that you are all still following me and my constant babble, that a good chunk of you share my love for this incredibly VR-based game, although game is a word which I don’t completely agree with. The reason I don’t enjoy using the word game is that Second Life is so much more than that, way more in fact. Second Life is a marketplace of concepts and ideas, it is a land which is open to all comers and one which certainly mimics reality more than many would care to admit.
Naturally this was first created as a game, but the truth is that it is way more than that, and most people don’t even seem to be able to put a definition on exactly what it is. Business Week put it best for me when they said the following:
‘some unholy offspring of the movie The Matrix, the social networking site MySpace.com, and the online marketplace eBay. And it was growing like crazy, from 20,000 people a year ago to 170,000 today.’
This is about the finest way that I have seen a description for this game put, and there is still more to it than that, in fact there is am opportunity here.
We’ve spoken a lot on here about co-creative businesses, those which involve the user who then provides additional value and to be honest this game is the perfect example of that, in truth Second Life resembles the internet on the whole more than it does a game. Think of buildings like server, islands like server cities and all the inhabitants like users and websites. There is so many similarities between the way in which we use the internet and the way in which we play the game.
In second life we build and add things to that world for the betterment of the game and the experience of others who play the game, just like we do when we upload content to a social media site or launch a new online business, we are constantly contributing towards this world.
The key difference here comes from the fact that Second Life is of course owned by a certain company whereas the internet is not but I can assure you that it will not be long before the makers of Second Life will look to cash in on what they have created. I can absolutely see the day when we start seeing billboards in the game for real life companies, we may even be able to make purchases through the game for those companies which could open up an entire world of opportunities.
Art has long mimicked real life and when it comes to this completely immersive game, the same thing can be said about it.