Google Life: Who Needs A Second?


Benchmark Capital Partner, Michael Eisenberg, has blogged that Google is (rumored to be) working on turning Google Earth into a virtual world a la Second Life.

Benchmark is an investor in Second Life, so one wonders at Michael’s motivation for raising such a rumor into the blogosphere — godzilla just walked past my 24th floor office window heading north?

Michael notes the language on the Google Earth website – one more step to creating a life-like 3-D model of the whole planet….message to the Googleplex – we’ve already got one earth, so why do we need yet another virtual earth… what we need are better ways to connect, interact, create and share and doing so in 3-D is uber-cool.

Matt Marshall sees such a move by Google as an opportunity for them to act as virtual central bankers. A bit of a stretch, but an interesting one nevertheless.

UPDATE: The GigaOM has more to say on this, pointing to the possibility that Google is working with a company in China to build the avatars.


5 responses to “Google Life: Who Needs A Second?

  1. Great post. MSFT’s Virtual Earth, though, has a more likely platform for this. There would be a lot of work to move the google earth platform to the state that Virtual Earth is already in for emulating a living, breathing 3d “second life that looks like first life” world.

    Of course, Google has the talent and the muscle to make the shift.

    Whether it’s MSFT or Google – the two godzillas in the park – I should think the one with the most users could easily not be so much the “central bank” as the government landholder that sells virtual territory parcels to the highest bidder.

    If I own the Virgin store in San Francisco on the corner of Geary and Union (I think that’s where it it), and if Virtual Earth becomes a very popular way to navigate planet earth without actually going there, then I’m going to want to own that piece of Virtual Earth territory on the corner of virtual Geary and Union…and then pay someone to make me a great looking 3d store there just like my real one.

    If network effects hold, there will be an ultimate winner here, and unlike other kinds of virtual worlds (even SL), there is only so much territory of any value in Virtual Earth.

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