Second Life and virtual life
One does not talk often of Second Life now, but the virtual world is still there with no growth (and no better quality), and is competing with other sites like Facebook, which do not offer the same interface, but can nevertheless allow to have a virtual life on the Net.
The site has caused addiction phenomena similar to video games, virtual life sometimes taking precedence over real life. It is also said that the site contains areas of unbridled sexuality and that this is an important part of its business.
It is possible to users to add create behavior for objects or character by programming them with the Linden Scripting Language. These are also the users who develop the universe by creating buildings. Perhaps the site relies a little too on users for these developments?
A stable audience
It was talked a lot about Second Life during its meteoric rise in 2007. The number of registered users had reached the number of 1 050 000. Then users have abandoned the site and the traffic was reduced to fall to 750 000 in December 2007.
Since the site has reacted and gradually progressed. 860 000 users were registered a year later and the time spent on the site rose 33% over the same period.
65% of users live outside USA.
More than one billion dollars is spent on the site (these are real transactions, the virtual currency, the Linden, is converted into dollars or other currency). The purchase of properties on the site costs money and is the source of income to Linden Lab.
A billion hours in total was spent on the site by users since 2003. The space is now 2 billion square meters.
The site retains its users by providing many different services: messaging, collaborative work. This is in addition to advertising available to businesses as (virtuel) real estate.
An overview of the Second Life universe
About to consult a giant screen in the virtual world.
What's new on movies and theaters?
We see that if it is allowed to freely move around inside the virtual world, graphics are limited by the technological level of browsers.
Windlight, is it wind?
A new rendering engine, WindLight, was created by Linden Lab: here an artist view that we can not really find on the site yet.
Compared to a company like Google, which is constantly innovating, the company behind Second Life (Linden Lab), appears remarkably passive in technology. Graphics are still rudimentary and scenery made by users are meaningless aesthetic.
Innovating is totally absent from the front of the 3D, and especially WebGL is not used while it equips mordern browsers in 3D engine, and would allow Second Life to have the same quality as video games. An offline mode like in HTML 5 to store the images locally would be desirable.
This inaction could cost it a lot. Other internet players will certainly offer services in 3D that could supplant Second Life.
See also: Augmented reality. Virtuality in our own world.