Second Life Still Alive and Kicking
Remember Second Life? While the virtual world disappeared from the media spotlight some time ago, it’s alive and well and continues to attract a new member every second.
A few months back you couldn’t escape media coverage of the brave new virtual world of Second Life. Major brands were building virtual HQ’s, holding virtual meetings and developing virtual marketing campaigns. Coca-Cola, IBM and even the NBA was making its second home there.
However, all’s quiet on the Second Life media front nowadays, and many have long been watching what they believe to be the demise of the once-hyped world. But is it really on the virtual scrapheap?
Not according to Linden Lab chief executive Mark Kingdon. "You read those stories; as CEO I have to shake my head," he said. "The reality is that Second Life continues to grow; every second someone joins. Second Life is hopping."
So what are the virtual world’s current stats? According to recent reports:
– There are more than 15,000 merchants selling virtual goods.
– Over US$1.3 million worth of transactions take place each day.
– In January this year, residents spent 41.5 million hours immersed in Second Life compared with 28.3 million in January, 2008.
– The virtual world boasts over 15 million registered users.
– On average, 70,000 people are logged on to Second Life at any one time.
– The number of active users has risen 25% since September, 2008.
Just last week, Second Life’s blog announced plans to clean up the virtual streets by moving adult content and activity onto its own continent. While estimates show that just 2%-4% of activity in Second Life would be construed as too sexy for minors, the move will mean residents can feel more comfortable about their environment, safe in the knowledge they won’t be tripping over avatars shooting-up or engaging in lewd sex acts. According to a report in the Washington Post, the “adult continent” will require age verification before it can be accessed.
Perhaps, despite the lack of hype and media-coverage, there is still life left in the virtual world yet.