The “Metaverse” as envisioned by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook (renamed to Meta) already exists and it’s thriving with millions of registered users. It’s called Second Life and it’s been in existence, and ever growing, since 2003.
I personally joined Second Life in 2007, got bored of how basic and limiting it was back then and quit. Fast forward three years and a moment of nostalgia and curiosity pulled me back in and I created a new account in 2010 that I’ve been using ever since, albeit with some further breaks in-between.
I’ve taken plenty of breaks from Second Life but I always get back into it and every time I do, I see amazing progress. My most recent return after another three year break has left me in awe of the great advancements in realistic 3D graphics, virtual world features, and the ever-active and thriving virtual world community and creator economy.
Second Life is still very much alive and the recent changes, along with the 2022 roadmap, proves that not only is it still the number one virtual world in existence, but it will remain so for the foreseeable future. If Meta wants to create something like Second Life, they have a lot of catching up to do.
The only thing that may put Meta’s Metaverse ahead of Second Life in terms of immersion is their focus on VR. I remember, back in the day when Oculus first launched, there was an Oculus-compatible viewer for Second Life. Then Linden Lab stared working on Sansar and dropped the Second Life VR project. Sansar turned out to be a disappointment in comparison to Second Life so Linden Lab sold it. My hope is that the lab will now try to bring VR to the Second Life virtual world again. But now Meta owns Oculus, and Meta most definitely considers Second Life a competitor, so the chances of Meta and Linden Lab working together to make an Oculus-compatible Second Life Viewer is very slim. I wonder what will happen once the Apple AR/VR headset is launched. Maybe Linden Lab will do something with that. Who knows?
Regardless of the current lack of VR headset compatibility in Second Life, and the lack of cross-platform compatibility, Second Life remains the best, most feature-rich virtual world. It’s a Metaverse of opportunity where nearly everything is user-created and where nearly anything is possible. It’s only a matter of time before VR headset and cross-platform compatibility becomes a thing. In the meantime, anyone with a personal computer running macOS or Windows can delve into this already existing and thriving Metaverse that is the Second Life Virtual World by Linden Lab.
I’m going to be honest with you though; grasping all the ins and outs of Second Life takes time and patience. There’s a steep learning curve in order to go from newbie to seasoned virtual world resident, but it’s worth it. If you’re really interested in entering the Metaverse and living in a realistic 3D virtual world, Second Life is well worth the time and effort required to become a proficient virtual world resident. You will be amazed at the depth, vastness, creative freedom, and community that Second Life has to offer.
Forget about Meta with their basic and cartoony graphics, limited experiences and basic interactions. A better, bigger, thriving Metaverse of unlimited possibilities already exists, it’s called Second Life. Give it a try. If you’ve already given it a try but gave up for whatever reason, like I did some years ago, why not give it another try? A lot has changed. A lot keeps on changing. Things keep getting better and better. Second Life has been around for over a decade and it’s here to stay. The Metaverse already exists, it’s called Second Life, and it’s everything and more than Meta’s lackluster attempt at replicating it.
Not only is the Metaverse already a thing, with millions of registered users and an active, thriving virtual community and economy, but Linden Lab also values user privacy, unlike Meta. We all know that Meta will track and store everything you do in their Metaverse in order to sell your personal data to third-parties and to serve you targeted ads that you didn’t even ask for. Linden Lab doesn’t do any of that. if you value your privacy, forget about Meta; join Second Life.