I’ve been a long time gamer; I always feel the need to yell out “MEDIC!!!!” really loudly when I get sick or ill. This happened this past week, quite often and the medic came in small little pills called Zircam, Tylenol Cold and Sinus and different variations of tea (with or without Honey). For the past week I’ve either been laid in bed or handling deadlines for work, or a multitude of other projects, and have seen a flurry of excite activity, announcements, projects and interesting news concerning Second Life. Virtual Worlds 2007 Fall happened, OnRez (i.e. The Electric Sheep Company) is releasing their own version of the Second Life client and partners with CSI to solve a mystery; HiPiHi, SceneCaster and Omnicom get involved with Millions of Us; Burning Life is remembered (by video); and IBM talks standardization with Second Life and Kaneva jumps in (Note: yes most of the links are from the Virtual Worlds News site â€“ seemed appropriate as most of these things were announced at the Virtual Worlds Fall Conference.) It looks as if things are going to get very interesting in the virtual world sector of things. There’s a lot of activity, big and small names involved, oh yeah and much needed platform improvements coming down the pipeline.
For many it is hard to say if Second Life has crossed that critical mass point to become a viable platform (in my opinion it has crossed that point some time ago) but I think now, right this moment, Second Life, Kaneva, and even World of Warcraft need to be looked at very differently. If the dot com boom happened four years after the commercialization of the Internet, at this point virtual worlds (primarily Second Life) stands at the very edge of a “dot avatar” boom (would be a cool domain name to have by the way nexeusfatale.avatar). It is quite obvious by a few of the recent announcements and partnerships that have been made in the past months with Linden Lab themselves: the introduction of EBay and its technology for land sales, voice over ip service provided by Vivox, IBM’s recent involvement with aiding development to the platform (and not just being a big company in Second Life), and the separation of Grid and Service all points to a change in thought about the way Second Life will be handled, but also a new trend that will begin to develop over the next five to ten years. This is the moment of the world wide avatar (channeling Al Gore here) but more importantly things will begin to change dramatically from this point forward. Yes, there will be more commercialization, more “big names” entering Second Life, new platforms and things that will be developed, but most importantly right now is where a lot of great innovation, creativity and advancement of the “avatarverse” (if metaverse is the culmination of different online worlds, then avatarverse is the culmination of different avatars in one space) will happen. For those who are afraid of commercialization in Second Life (which I find very silly to begin with), sorry guys it has happened well before IBM, Scion, or even American Apparel entered Second Life, it’s going to happen and it is going to be a good thing (for some of you who are complaining it is how you are currently paying your bills or will in the future.)
Welcome to interesting times your avatar-nauts (Now let us see how many new words can be created by using the word avatar.)