How To Characterize Second Life

The mainstream press has struggled with how to characterize Second Life. The term “3-D online virtual world” doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as the term “game.” And it’s a whole lot harder to get in a headline. But what is it, really?

If Second Life isn’t a game, what is it?

I look at Second Life as an emerging augmented reality, something that perhaps can be best summarized as the electronic convergence of people, places things and events. Many people use the term metaverse from Neal Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash, but I have proposed that “meshverse” is a more accurate and useful term as it encompasses all of the things people do and may do with worlds like Second Life.

No matter what term one chooses to use, as Dan Shafer has observed, this paradigm is very intriguing and is likely to produce a huge economic windfall.

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