When Will Second Life Go Mainstream?

One question that I get asked quite a lot is, “Should I be paying attention to Second Life? Is it just a fad?”

Well I absolutely do not think that virtual immersive environments are a fad. It is possible to make compelling three dimensional simulations which you are going to want to come back to again and again. Virtual worlds are here to stay in some shape or another. I have no idea if Second Life will be the one to make it big.

According to Gartner, they think everyone is going to be hopping on the Second Life bandwagon. They reported that “80 percent of active Internet users will be in non-gaming virtual worlds like Second Life by the end of 2011 .” Wow… thats a lot of people.

But it signals something important. You do have a little bit of time before Second Life or virtual immersive worlds make it big.

I don’t think that every company under the sun needs to run out and purchase a presence in Second Life. I would recommend Second Life as a fertile ground for experimentation and research because as I said before, it will be the future.

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2 thoughts on “When Will Second Life Go Mainstream?”

  1. I tend to agree with the senitment that Second Life won’t go anywhere. It seems like simulation to n-th power doesn’t necessarily go anywhere. Alternatively, I think folks might have said the same thing about SimCity years ago and the marketing folks at Second Life seem to to have hit the sweet spot in terms of their marketing strategy. When you search “SecondLife” and terms like “non-profit,” the Second Life website has info about how non-profits can use Second Life. And, there does seem to be alot of buzz on the web about it.

    The ultimate arbiter of this question is what is the criteria we use to determine success of a product like this? Also, perhaps what the competition for a product like Second Life?
    And finally, what is the next wave of their marketing strategy–how does Second Life go mainstream beyond the tech-geek cutting edge?
    Second Life cartoons? Second Life first-person shooters? Second Life classrooms? Given that we already have government agencies using Second Life, it seems the road to the mainstream may be much shorter for Second Life than would seem at first glance.

  2. @Nathan, I think, just like what happened with the World Wide Web, it just takes time. The Second Life client software user interface needs to evolve to the point where it becomes a lot easier to use.

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