Written by Sean C. Stacey and Brooke Thompson
Philip Rosedale, Founder of Linden Labs, presented his take on the empowerment offered by Second Life of the average citizen to not only create but monetize their own content and design. Second Life is a virtual world accessible over the Internet via software installed on your home computer, that has grown over the last few years into a vibrant creative community as well as a formidable virtual economy. The environment provided has its own internal monetary system which, as with many MMORPGs, can be translated into real world cash.
The central point of Mr. Rosedale’s speech was that “more is different.” He described how an enabling framework such as Second Life demonstrates the creation of emergent elements that could not have been anticipated from the beginning, once the participating audience community reaches a certain critical mass. This concept should not be foreign to those familiar with Alternate Reality Gaming, as it has been reiterated on many occasions that the larger the community, the greater the community’s ability to accomplish tasks and solve problems.