When Second Life first got started it was lauded as the next step of the Internet – the bridge between 2D browser based networking and the glorious future which was going to be tactile smell-o-rama. With an economy that encouraged in-game innovation and entrepreneurial residents lots of stuff happened. Real money was invested.
In 2006 Warren Ellis got a gig writing Second Life Sketches for Reuters, which were interesting to follow since he’s rather clever and used to fringe culture well enough not to get phased by the bizarre. I wonder if Reuters got what they expected; The articles are no longer available on their server, nor can I find an easy Google cache.
I haven’t logged in for a year but just updated the client because of the video below, found on Boingboing Gadgets. It’s Kool Aid man in Second Life created by Jon Rafman and he’s offering tours of the virtual landscape. It reminds me of a world where a plague has killed off everybody and left only hedonistic crazies, or perhaps Earth after the rapture, with ungodly sinners fucking anything that is interestingly animated.
Look at the landscapes and architecture in the video. Millions of hours worth of user created content exists or has existed in SL, and although the graphics are poor compared to current generation of games, and much of what’s happening is mimicry of “real life,” there’s still something awe-inspiring about the scale and evident passion.