Is Second Life Dead Or Is It Still A Thing?

Lions Ground is investigating whether the digital virtual world Second Life is dying or is still doing well. What does the facts say?

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Is Second Life dead or is the online virtual world where people live their second life still a thing? An investigation was conducted on the once-popular virtual world. Delved into the world of possibilities with an old Second Life account, started a business, and talked to people.

Second Life has been launched on June 23, 2003, by the San Francisco-based firm Linden Lab. The virtual world game received in 2005 so much media attention, it became extremely popular.

Even companies ventured an attempt to reflect their business in this virtual world. Companies such as the Dutch bank ABN Amro, television network BNN, and employment company Randstad.

But little attention was paid. There was hardly any staff to be found and it received little or no visitors. The companies closed their doors very quickly in Second Life. Here is a full overview of real companies who joined Second Life.

What is Second Life

You sign up at Secondlife.com, pick an avatar, install the viewer and you can enter the online virtual world. Everything you find in the first life can also be found in Second Life. Find a job, become a designer, open a bar or a club, buy and sell land, find relationship, and even sex.

Linden Dollars is the payment method in Second Life. $USD 1 is equal to L$ 252, to give you an idea of how much the currency is worth. You can calculate this from the Linden Exchange page. The Linden Dollars can be paid out in real cash through PayPal.

Every Second Life veteran have heard of the name or know miss Chung. She is one of the thousands SL users who had a lot of success.

Anshe Chung

One of the most successful entrepreneurs in Second Life, with the Rockefeller status, is Anshe Chung, who joined on March 22, 2004.

On May 1, 2006, a big story appeared on BusinessWeek with the avatar Anshe Chung covering the business aspect of Second Life. Who is behind Anshe Chung? Ailin Graef, the first digital millionaire.

During a 2006 interview with CNET, she became a victim of griefing. She was bombarded by flying animated penises. The interview had to be relocated. Watch the moment of the attack in the video below.

The attack was applied by copycats during the chess world champion and Russian presidential candidate Garry Kasparov.

Investigation

I am one of the Second Life veterans. I joined this virtual world on July 30, 2009 as Heathcliff Harbrough.

In one year, I transformed my newbee avatar into a business owner. I had 4 sims, a large square ground, and had recreated Dubai with buildings such as Burj al Arab. I made about USD$ 750,00 per month by renting private and commercial land and places.

It attracted a lot of traffic and interest. Next to the real estate business, I also owned an employment agency where clients can place their available jobs and interact directly with job seekers.

Luke Slingshot still has his gambling business Studio 777. He is one of my first friends in Second Life.

What struck me is that the SL forum where the residents communicate with each other outside the viewer is no longer active as it always has been. Long gaps until a new forum post indicates lack of activities.

Snapshot: Job Directory Snapshot: Job Directory

For my research I have re-launched the employment agency ‘Job Directory‘. If a business owner has a job, this person can rent a board for a sum of L$ 15,- per week and deposit the job.

When a job seeker clicks a board, the person receives items in his inventory such as landmark and a notecard. The notecard is the job descriptions and explains how to apply. The landmark is an inventory item that teleports the person to a destination the creator wants this person to land.

The role of Job Directory varies:

  • Find candidates
  • Mediation between job-seeker and employer
  • Assist job-seekers and employers

After two months I can draw my conclusion that Second Life is dead. Normally I have filled 50% of all boards with jobs in one week. In two months I only have one client that did not extend after 7 days.

The ‘Inworld Employment‘ forum section shows no activities from days to a week. That used to be different, then we talk about 20 to 50 job postings per day.

When the employment market is calm it indicates the economy is bad, just like in the first world.

Is Second Life dead?

Is Second Life dead or alive? Let’s answer this question factually. According to the total http requests the total continuously online users are between 30,000 and 35,000 users per day(inworld_updated_slt).

Under ‘Resident Signups to date‘ there are 55.8 million sign ups in total. The ratio total users – total online users indicates again Second Life is dead.

Is Second Life dead? Yes, Second Life is dead.

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