February 7th, 2022
My journey into the Second Life Metaverse.
Through dabbling with NFT’s, web3 and Decentraland it occurred to me that there was a Metaverse that had been around already for years, since 2003 to be specific: Second life.
I was first introduced to it over 10 years ago through the radio station I am a resident dj at: dogglounge.com. At that time I did not think much of it, I have never been big on playing video games beyond Game Boy Mini Comboy and arcade games at pop ups, so I did not give it much airtime, not to mention 10 years ago, running a virtual world on a laptop was challenging to say the least.
With all the current hype around the Metaverse I decided to give it a second chance and research it some more.
I quickly learned that the original founder of Secondlife Philip Rosedale (Philip Linden) returned to Second life as an investor and advisor, this sent flickering glow sticks off in my brain, it must be a good sign of where all of this Metaverse hype could be going. Further down the rabbit hole I went..
I learned that Phillip Rosedale (Linden) also ran a company called High Fidelity which works on creating new systems for VR goggles, but through research they concluded The VR headsets are neither accessible or inclusive nor widely enough used yet to be able to create this type of experience in a Metaverse so they gave up on the headsets and they are looking into using spatial audio which is a good way of doing 3D audio. They have already licensed the technology to companies like Club House and decided spatial audio is the best route for a Metaverse, so back they went to SL with a team to test their new technology.
Another motivation for Phillip Linden’s return to Second Life, is he feels Second Life is a Metaverse that is not causing harm. Second Life has a successful business model where residents can buy land, items, clothes, and there is established community support. They are not targeting ads from outside parties, and most importantly not collecting users data.
Mr. Linden raises caution about the direction of “Meta” Facebook’s Metaverse, there is a real risk of harm through misusing communication and “social media type things” such as: maximizing people’s attention and training people’s habits through “surveillance capitalism.” He goes on to explain “A business whose core design is to target advertising and are successful at doing it, when building a virtual world based on that, it has huge potential for human harm.” “The more we go into the worlds, there are people running and surveilling the data of individual’ avatars and taking advantage of that data”.
You can listen to the full interview on YouTube
The more I listened to him speak, I could start to formulate the bigger picture of the Metaverses and the direction it could go in, It’s both grim yet exciting to me. I decided best to stick with exploring Secondlife for now and to my surprise and delight Brian Nicholas aka Odogg opened Dogglounge back up in Second Life, so now I am committed since I have a residency at the club with so much to learn and explore.