a summary: Second Life introduced the “metaverse experience” many years before Facebook became Meta and spent billions trying to bring VR to the masses. The virtual world has never become a revolution, but it’s still hanging on.
Linden Lab recently to publish A brief video on the community forum to announce that Second Life will soon have a mobile counterpart. For the first time in 20 years, the virtual world where “residents” enjoy their low-key online lives expands its reach beyond traditional desktop platforms.
The mobile version of Second Life is supposed to work on Android and iOS devices. Linden Lab chose the Unity engine to create a Second Life “viewer” for mobile phones (likely a custom app) and port their online experience to tablets and phones, which seems easy to maintain across different platforms.
According to the San Francisco-based company, Second Life Mobile will offer a virtual world essentially on par with the one available through desktop systems. The developers had to make some small compromises, but the “complicated behaviors” of rendering users and the “rich” 3D world of Second Life should still be there for them to enjoy.
Second Life was originally released in 2003 and has seen rapid growth and popularity over the years. By 2013, the virtual world had 1 million regular users, but by 2017 the number of active people in the avatar had dropped to between 800,000 and 900,000 users.
To outsiders, Second Life has always felt more like an MMORPG with fewer polygons and opportunities for interaction than World of Warcraft. Linden Lab has always insisted that its creation is not a game, as there are no “artificial conflicts” or specific goals.
For a time, Second Life was so overrated that people began spending huge amounts of (real) money buying virtual “property” with the fictional currency of the Linden Dollar. Large companies like IBM organized virtual meetings, many embassies opened virtual offices, and many were convinced that low-poly avatars were the future of interactive online experiences.
The Linden Lab’s ambitions were eventually curtailed, and the (real) world almost forgot that Second Life was still there even though the avatar-fueled hysteria no longer existed. The mobile version could provide a second chance for the virtual world to become relevant again, but online businesses are fickle and even dead Haven’t succeeded yet In bringing a large portion of its 1 billion users into the new world of Metaverse VR.