Second Life turns 18 years old this week, counting 70M lifetime accounts


I’m gonna say the M word in this post, and I’m sorry, but metaverse metaverse metaverse. That’s because Second Life is back in the news this week, but for happy reasons, as it’s turning 18 years old tomorrow. Linden Lab says it will “be marking the milestone with activities ranging from community-created SL18B exhibitions, Meet the Lindens town hall events, Shop & Hop creator sales, and a three-day music festival.”

“Since the longest continually-running metaverse first launched on June 23rd, 2003, Second Life has amassed more than 70 million registered accounts and over 200,000 daily active users across more than 200 countries worldwide. The platform boasts a vibrant community of users and creators that have produced more than two billion user-generated virtual goods, and a GDP of over $600,000,000. Linden Lab has continued to innovate, introducing Tilia Pay, the only fully-licensed money services and money transmitter, built over several years to enable Second Life users to sell digital assets and provide services to earn real money in compliance with all US regulations. There are currently 345 million transactions each year within Second Life, with more than $80,000,000 million paid out annually to creators.”

Existing and returning metaversers should check out the schedule of events, as some of them are already underway. Happy birthday, Second Life!

Source: Official site, press release

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I used to help run a professional English as a second language school in Second Life. We had our own private campus, a town to do lessons in, and it turns out learning while your avatar is doing the thing (like ordering coffee, or giving directions, or whatever) makes it stick harder.

It came with additional problems – few schools have the issues of the lobby being filled with flying peni when we fucked up permissions for a minute. It’s gone now – they pivoted to corporate training on their own engine – but it was a really nice proof of SL as an actual platform.


Congrats to all the lovers of second life… and keep on rolling.

Ardra Diva

I absolutely love this game. It’s the most free, unsupervised, you-can-do-almost-anything, you-can-make-almost-anything, weirdest, wildest, craziest, most open virtual world that ever was – maybe that will ever be.

It amazes me how great avatars can be in SL and how crappy they can be in games with budgets of tens of millions of dollars. There’s a dozen avatar designers that they could license from in SL and have amazing skins and looks. The basic ones already smoke most games, the new mesh ones are spectacular.

I used to hear, “but it’s not a game.” Spoken by those who have a very narrow viewpoint. My friend once told me, “who would say such a thing? chatting people up is the game for me and I love it.”

For others it’s making, scripting, building. Or boating. Or flying. Or shopping. Or clubbing. Or anything. I have a pirate vessel that uses real wind and sail power. The game has wind, so that’s possible. I have a few motorcycles that blat smoke, peel out leaving a black mark on the road, etc. Scripts make objects do what they’re supposed to do.

The deeper you dive into Second Life the more it will astonish you.