Chapter 16. Virtual Worlds—Real Impact

What's in It for You?

Any time you can become part of a "trusted network with a million-plus people in it," don't you want to be part of that—especially if you have similar interests?

In an interview, the CEO of Linden Labs, Mark Kingdon, said that Second Life—the 3-D virtual world created by Linden Research Inc.—experiences more than 1.2 million log-ins every 30 days, with more than two billion user-created items stored on the Linden servers. That sounds like the ultimate in trusted network and user-generated content. Second Life is only one of many three-dimensional gamelike virtual worlds or environments, but it is the largest virtual world without a gaming foundation. And according to Mark, when Google and its many resources create Lively, their own virtual environment—they are "validating the virtual world market." When these types of huge companies are inventing in this type of a social environment, there must be a reason.

In addition to being a fun, entertaining way to pass the time, virtual worlds give you the opportunity to browse new and unexplored domains, visualize and participate in imaginary communities, and do business in a virtual marketplace with real customers and colleagues. With companies like IBM, Coldwell Banker, Dell, Armani, Ben & Jerry's, BMW, CISCO, Coca-Cola, and Domino's Pizza doing business in Second Life, there is most likely good reason for you to be there as well.

Back to the Beginning

Virtual worlds began with simulators, ...

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