Second Life joins the metaverse discussion with founder’s return – and some key patents

Over months of metaverse hype, with all the new names and virtual real estate speculation, I can’t count how many times I’ve thought: Second Life are you doing that already?” Apparently, the people behind Second Life agree and try to draw our attention back to their virtual world that exists (quite usefully) in a place you can visit on your existing computer.

An enhanced “commitment to cultivating an innovative, inclusive and diverse metaverse” includes: Second Life founder Philip Rosedale rejoined the project as a strategic advisor. After starting Second Life, he has been involved in a number of other endeavors, including a virtual marketplace where people can sell their skills and a neuroscience collaboration,

His VR project High Fidelity, a telepresence-focused experiment that stepped back from developing its technology for head-mounted displays, will invest in Second Life owner Linden Research with cash and “distributed computer patents.” Speak with CNET, Rosedale said High Fidelity is moving seven people to work on Second Life. The deal also includes patents, such as two related to community moderation in decentralized environments. As we’ve seen with companies like TiVo and Nokia, an early presence in a space can mean ownership of technology that becomes much more valuable later on.

Linden Research launched Sansar, a VR successor to Second Life, a few years ago, but sold the project in 2020 to focus on the main title.

A Linden executive told the… Wall Street Journal that upgrades for Second Life would focus on modifying the social and economic aspects of the game to try and drive user growth. However, they also noted that Second Life already allows funds to be withdrawn from in-game sales to their real-world accounts and thinks it could convince younger users with better avatars and a lack of the kind of ad-tracking platform we associate with. with Meta / Facebook .

Second Life launched in 2003, and Rosedale admitted its technological limitations, such as the inability to have more than 100 people in one room, but tells CNET that the current state could be an advantage over what VR-first “metaverse” projects are trying to build. In addition to skepticism about NFTs and pie-in-the-sky ideas about interoperable platforms, he suggests that making Second Life usable over the phone or by using your webcam to animate your avatar’s facial animation would help it grow, more than anything that requires users to wear a virtual reality headset.

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