InventionsFounder/CEO of Second Life has returned for another shot...

Founder/CEO of Second Life has returned for another shot at the metaverse

-

- Advertisment -

The metaverse isn’t a new concept. Not only did Neal Stephenson coin the idea in 1992, but some of us were literally living in virtual spaces with virtual currency and virtual storefronts nearly 20 years ago. 

The virtual place many people went back then was Second Life. Philip Rosedale, Second Life’s founder, has decided to task a core team to work on evolving Second Life now that the metaverse has become a buzzword yet again. His hopes are that developing community-focused worlds like Second Life will solve some metaverse problems that aren’t necessarily being solved in VR headsets… yet.

Get the CNET Windows Report newsletter

Get smarter with the latest Microsoft news, reviews and advice on Windows PCs. Delivered Wednesdays.

After Second Life, Rosedale became focused on VR technology in 2013, co-founding a company called High Fidelity that promised high-end, low-latency VR. But High Fidelity started to pivot from VR to other technologies over the last few years, focusing on spatial audio most recently. In 2019, Rosedale published a goodbye of sorts to VR, stating that VR hadn’t reached a form that was good enough for most people to want to use. Talking with him over Google Meet in 2022, he still feels that way, calling VR headsets a blindfold to the real world that only some people feel comfortable enough to use. 

Rosedale thinks VR headsets could hit an iPhone moment, but maybe not for another few years. In the meantime, he’s shifting focus to a metaverse platform that doesn’t require headsets: namely, Second Life. He isn’t the only person to feel this way: Even VR/AR software companies like Spatial have recently pivoted away from VR headsets as a way to reach more people. In many ways, that’s already the cross-platform pitch underlying recent metaverse moves from Microsoft and Meta.

sl-pride

Linden Labs
- Advertisement -

Rosedale is going to be a “strategic adviser” for Second Life, while his company High Fidelity looks to infuse Second Life with some new ideas, simultaneously working on other ideas for future tech, including – at some point – VR again. “We’re announcing that we’ve shifted a group of seven people, some patents, some money. We’re investing in Second Life, to keep working on Second Life,” Rosedale told me. “Two of those patents are moderation in a decentralized environment patents, which is really cool.”

The reason for the shift is that Second Life still makes money and still has a considerably larger community than most VR platforms: It’s had over 73 million accounts created since it launched, and estimates of active users hover around 900,000. Rosedale sees the shift as solving problems while VR hardware still gets thought out. 

Despite the seeming success of the Oculus Quest 2, he still doesn’t think it’s enough. “The headset is so broken that it’s going to actually take, I think, five years to get to something that’s good,” he says, “and we as a startup would neither survive, nor would it make sense for us to sit around for five years.” He sees building up Second Life as a better platform that will be VR-optional until that magically perfect hardware arrives. 

“I think it’s going to grow from the baseline of something that looks vaguely like Second Life, solves these scaling governance problems and then people are going to say, ‘Oh, my God, you know, for even more, you can put the headset on,'” Rosedale says. 

He acknowledges that even the best virtual community spaces are still pretty limited now, including Second Life. “You can get about 100 people in a place at the same time at Second Life. That isn’t enough, but it’s more than all the other guys in terms of just people standing around.” Rosedale wants Second Life to be even more decentralized, but says it’s a delicate balance to get right.

- Advertisement -

What does this mean for Second Life? Hard to tell. Spatial audio could be in the mix, but also more advanced avatar animations using facial tracking with cameras: “Using the webcam to animate an avatar, that’s a really interesting in-between,” he says. “Not enough people are looking at that space, that’s one that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about.” Rosedale is also considering how Second Life could eventually work on phones, perhaps.

As far as Second Life embracing new-metaverse ideas like NFTs and some sort of interoperable content, Rosedale remains skeptical. “Do you want to take a Ferrari from Grand Theft Auto and drive it into Fortnite or Among Us?” he asks, referencing how randomly dropping content into other experiences break the fourth wall of immersive experiences in a bad way. “In the near term, amongst games, the idea of content interoperability is one of these things that only a brand could love.” Second Life already has its own currency, which Rosedale considers stable, as well as its own economy.

“Content interoperability has to be there for the whole thing to take off at all. As a way of further connecting games to each other, it’s a total fail. The near-term idea is dumb. The long-term idea is totally correct. And it’s validated by things like Roblox and Second Life, where there’s a bazillion pieces of content that people have moved around from place to place.” 

Rosedale sees Second Life’s own sellable content as being, in a way, like NFTs. But he also acknowledges lots of competition for virtual places: Roblox and VRChat, which he considers the most successful competing examples, and obviously plenty of others.

“There are 375 million things a year sold in Second Life at about two bucks apiece. So it’s about $650 million a year in transactions. Those are all NFTs — basically, the core idea of allowing digital assets to be marked and allowing them to be tradable and shareable. That’s going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. But first, we have to answer the question, why would I be there? Why am I using that space? We’ve got to get to that.”

- Advertisement -

NOW WITH OVER +8500 USERS. people can Join Knowasiak for free. Sign up on Knowasiak.com
Read More

- Advertisement -
Ava avatar
Avahttps://facebook.com/avamax
I'm a researcher at Utokyo :) and a big fan of Ava Max

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

We used C++20 to eliminate a class of runtime bugs

Cameron C++20 is here and has been supported in MSVC since 16.11, but today’s post is not about how you can use it, but rather how we used it to effectively eliminate an entire class of runtime bugs by hoisting a check into compile-time. Let’s get right into it! Humble beginnings In compiler design one…

JPEG: Image Compression Algorithm (2017)

Alex Townsend, March 2017ContentsWhat is JPEG?JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, which was a group of image processing experts that devised a standard for compressing images (ISO).So, JPEG (or JPG) is not really a file format but rather an image compression standard. The JPEG standard is complicated with many different options and color space…

Why ‘staking’ is becoming an important part of crypto investing

Toronto police investigating alleged mortgage fraud worth $5M U.S. Consumer Spending Buffeted by Fastest Inflation in Decades Billionaire Len Blavatnik Takes Control of Troubled NYC Condo Project NYC-Area Beach Town Reaches Tentative Deal on $140 Million Judgment U.S. New-Home Sales Jump in November to a Seven-Month High Luxury Real Estate Trends From New York’s Best Sales Year Ever…

MDN Open Design: New Logo

MDN Open Design: New LogoWe are working on a new logo for MDN and would love your input! Take...
- Advertisement -

Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen Master, Dies at 95

Thich Nhat Hanh at the Plum Village monastery in southern France | Courtesy Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh—a world-renowned spiritual leader, author, poet, and peace activist—died on January 22, 2022 at midnight (ICT) at his root temple, Tu Hien Temple, in Hue, Vietnam. He was 95. “Our beloved…

Before wave of train thefts, Union Pacific laid off some of its police force

News organizations both locally and nationally have been covering the rise of cargo theft in L.A.’s northeast train tracks in the past few days. Anchors on morning news have been quick to point out that there have been over 100 arrests, and even Forbes have been quick to point out the staggering $5 million worth…

Must read

MikroTik RouterOS v7 genuine launched

Release 6.49rc2 2021-09-29 What's new in 6.49rc2 (2021-Sep-28 10:17): Changes in this release: *) bridge - improved controller bridge stability when adding RouterOS v7 port extender; *) bridge - improved port extender stability when creating bond interfaces on excluded ports; *) crs3xx - fixed bridge controller and extender packet forwarding for CRS312, CRS326-24S+2Q+ and CRS354…

Show HN: Like Twitter, but Immutable, Verifiable and Decentralized

Truly decentralized, immutable and uncensorable microblogging Zooko is a working-example, proof-of-concept proving that you can have a decentralized, immutable, and uncensorable microblog platform (like "twitter") in a truly decentralized manner without needing any 3rd party APIs and simply relying on cryptography. What is Zooko? Zooko uses the Handshake blockchain which allows you to fully own…
- Advertisement -