The creator of one of the earliest and most lastingly iconic virtual worlds has returned to his roots. Philip Rosedale, the founder of Second Life, will rejoin the company founded in 1999 as a strategic advisor. High fidelityRosedale, a spatial audio company co-founded in 2013, has invested in Linden Lab, the developer of Second Life. This transaction includes unspecified cash investments, related patents, and some members of its development team.
“No one is approaching building a virtual world like Second Life,” Rosedale said in a press release. “Big Tech’s offering of VR headsets and building the Metaverse on an ad-driven behavior modification platform doesn’t create a single magical digital utopia for everyone. Second Life is for residents. We’ve built a positive, rich experience, more room for millions of participants, and a thriving, subscription-based business at the same time. The virtual world doesn’t have to be a digital world. “
Rosedale came from an ad-based social network while companies like Meta set out their own vision for the Metaverse. Bitcoin mining operation..
Few Roblox users are old enough to be familiar with Second Life, but Rosedale’s virtual social platform has only recently pioneered many of the hyped concepts under the Metaverse umbrella. Second Life explored the concepts of digital identity, virtual real estate, the digital economy, and the online multiplayer ecosystem in the early 2000s, when Facebook existed solely to connect elite college students.
According to the company, Rosedale is already in regular contact with Linden Lab Bloodoverwager’s executive chairman, but will be significantly more involved in the platform’s product planning in the role of a new advisory. And High Fidelity’s current work is very relevant to Second Life’s Second Life. Recently, many social platforms have added spatial audio to create a more immersive experience. Some, such as Clubhouse, have licensed the High Fidelity code to do just that.
“Since Philip launched Second Life in 1999, his visionary approach has not only endured the challenges of time, but has positioned it for the future,” said Oberwager. “He and the high fidelity team have unparalleled experience and can’t wait to take advantage of the enormous opportunities in front of us.”
As Rosedale returns to Fold, Linden Lab seems interested in harnessing the magic of its early movers. But Second Life has a long way to go back to relevance. Fortnite makers Epic, Roblox, Meta, and countless other major companies are making big bets in the near future (or perhaps now, depending on who you ask) in the virtual world where digital IDs exist. Rosedale’s own point of view is unlikely to mimic a glimpse of the metaverse currently offered by some platforms, so someone who has been thinking about these issues for 20 years suddenly becomes very enthusiastic about the company. It will be interesting to see how you imagine your virtual world. All of us move to.
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