In 2003, Linden Research Inc launched the virtual world Second Life with a small community of residents. In the past year, Second Life reached a tipping point; almost nine million residents are registered in the Metaverse, and there are numerous daily media accounts about life in the virtual world.
The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of Second Life, and examine the appeal of an interactive three dimensional interface that has encouraged new leisure and social activities, business and marketing ventures, educational opportunities, political platforms, arts and entertainment and much more. Second Life also features its own media hub, which includes magazines, news sites and agencies, weblogs and television stations, covering new fashions for avatars, music concerts by popular artists, community affairs, and economic reports.
However, virtual worlds are not inherently utopian; with new environments come old social problems from the ‘real’ world. This presentation will also address some of the debates that have surfaced about social norms and behaviours in Second Life, what the future of virtual worlds might entail, and whether Second Life hype is a passing fad or a the development of Web 3.0/3D.