One of the better things written about SecondLife lately to be honest: “SecondLife didn’t fail“. This is really not what you think:
SecondLife has 1 million active users. That’s almost the exact same number it had at the peak when everyone was going ape-shit about it — when it was on the cover of BusinessWeek as the next big thing, when staid companies like IBM were building out SecondLife presences, when politicians were holding press releases inside of SecondLife, when Duran Duran and Depeche Mode were holding concerts there.
That number never fell. More impressive, there are $700 million a year in virtual goods transacted inside of SecondLife every year. That’s more than enough to make the company very profitable.
It also doesn’t say anything new about what happens inside it (we’re such creatures of habit, cosy in our ways), but it’s the same thing that’s happening with Pinterest if you stop to think about it:
Rosedale said one of the biggest surprises he had building SecondLife was how when given total creative license, most of the houses just looked like ones in Malibu. Most people just covet the things they know, he says.
And in the US, perhaps that life is attainable enough. And for those who can’t attain it, there are already well-trod ways to escape into it, through television, music videos, or RomComs set in Manhattan where everything winds up okay. Perhaps they want the culture that’s already built for them, not the responsibility to build it themselves.