The Second Life Environment
The environment in Second Life will be familiar to anyone who has played The Sims, Grand Theft Auto, visited Disney World or read Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. But make no mistake. This isn't a game. It is potentially a whole new Net. Reuters has opened a news bureau in Second Life and interviewed such luminaries as Arianna Huffington there. Sundance held a screening of the movie Strange Culture simultaneously in the real world and in Second Life. The British Broadcasting Corporation broadcast a pop concert within Second Life. IBM CEO Sam Palmisano and 300 of his executives hold global virtual reality business meetings there - "I'll have my avatar call your avatar" - and serious political candidates like California congressman George Miller and Virginia Governor Mark Warner have established Second Life identities to hold political rallies and campaign for office.The list of corporations doing business in-world as the residents call it, include Microsoft, Warner Brothers, Nike, Major League Baseball, Dell, Adidas, General Motors and Circuit City, all drawn by a new way to move product. Second Life was created in 2003 by Philip Rosedale, the former top tech at RealNetworks. It's operated by his Linden Labs, a San Francisco boutique corporation that has a Who's Who of web havies beating down the door to invest. Mitch Kapor, creator of Lotus, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Microsoft's technology architect Ray Ozzie all got in on the ground floor. You may encounter any or all of them in Second Life. Rosedale's avatar is easily recognizable by his leather chaps over pizza explosion briefs and the huge lips on his black tee-shirt. About $900,000 worth of business is transacted a day among the more than 3 million residents. Most is done by major corporations but some 17,000 Second Life residents are reported to be making at least $1000 a month. Some have carved out full time jobs in Second Life as traders...
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