In a BusinessWeek article, Philip Rosedale, CEO of Linden Labs, the company that makes Second Life, differentiates SL from massively multiplayer online role-playing games like World of Warcraft and Spore, an MMOG which allows players to design their own species.
In contrast, Philip sees SL as a new social networking platform, similar to MySpace.
He takes it one step futher though and sees SL mutating ino a 3D web browser —
…instead of using your mouse to click on links, you would direct your avatar to walk into a 3D Amazon.com shop, browse shelves, buy books, and chat over a virtual cup o’ joe with other people visiting the site.
This will be an interesting development to watch.
In the meantime here are some SL metrics, which tell an interesting growth story:
The SL economy has an annual growth rate of 287% and in 2006 this equated to 12% growth per month. Residents spent $9 million in October on virtual land, products and services.
Active players account for .08% of the population of SL at any given time. The population has grown as follows:-
- Dec 2003 – 1,457
- Dec 2004 – 18,691
- Dec 2005 – 105,306
- Nov 2006 – 1,230,054
Second Lifers hail from all over the world, but the majority (45%) are from the US. The UK accounts for 10% and Australia 3%.
Thanks Steve for pointing to these stats.