Browse Definitions:
Definition

Second Life

Second Life is a massive multi-player universe (MMU) set in a 3D virtual world created by San Francisco-based software maker Linden Labs.

Second Life was founded by the former CTO of RealNetworks, Philip Rosedale. Rosedale intended the virtual world to closely mirror the "metaverse," a 3D version of the Internet set in the near-future as described in the cyberpunk novel "Snow Crash" written by Neal Stephenson. Residents can design and build residences on land that they own or rent from either Linden Labs or other residents. There is a high level of entrepreneurial activity in Second Life. As of late 2006, hundreds of thousands of dollars were changing hands daily as residents created and sold a wide variety of virtual commodities. Linden Labs provides the software tools for 3D design for free, but many residents prefer to purchase what more knowledgeable programmers have created than try to build things themselves.

Major tech corporations have used Second Life to market products or services to a niche tech-savvy audience. IBM for instance, has purchased 12 islands within Second Life for virtual training and simulations of key businesses processes. Musicians, podcasters and news organizations, including NPR's "The Infinite Mind," the BBC, CNet and the Reuters news agency, have all established a presence within Second Life.

Second Life uses a decentralized server architecture to meet the demands of thousands of users who may be online simultaneously. Rosedale designed the architecture of Second Life to mirror that of the Internet, spreading the virtual environment over thousands of servers in what he describes as a "tiled network." Those who wish to enter Second Life must first download a freely available client program from Linden Labs. Each user, described as a "resident" creates an avatar to represent themselves. Residents can travel through the virtual world by walking, flying or teleporting. Residents can link to specific locations within Second Life from Web pages outside of the environment by using specially formatted hyperlinks called SLURLs.

Second Life recorded its one millionth resident in late 2006. The year also saw its first real-world millionaire, " Anshe Chung," who parlayed an initial investment of $9.95 USD into over one million dollars over the course of two and a half years. She built her fortune primarily by buying, selling and renting virtual real estate.

Second Life faced a significant challenge to potential viability of its virtual economy when a resident released CopyBot, software that allowed the unpaid copying of objects within the MMU. While Second Life took steps to neutralize the issue, the threat of unlimited copies of the intellectual property residents create has been likened to the unlicensed distribution of online content that musicians and filmmakers face.

This was last updated in June 2010

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • Web application firewall (WAF)

    A Web application firewall (WAF) is a firewall that monitors, filters or blocks traffic to and from a Web application. WAFs are ...

  • MD5

    The MD5 hashing algorithm is a one-way cryptographic function that accepts a message of any length as input and returns as output...

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is used to protect inactive data written from a primary storage array to a nonvolatile tier of disk, flash or ...

  • VRAM (video ram)

    VRAM (video RAM) is a reference to any type of random access memory (RAM) used to store image data for a computer display.

  • ZFS

    ZFS is a local file system and logical volume manager created by Sun Microsystems to control the placement, storage and retrieval...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close