Imagine you had the opportunity to live the life you’ve always wanted in the body and with the face you’ve always wanted. You get to experience day-to-day life, but in a much more controlled way, almost as if it’s a game, but not quite.
Well, there’s a way to do that. You might’ve already experienced it in fact, through a virtual reality platform called “Second Life,” that really reached its peak in the early to mid-2000s.
Second Life has often been described as either a virtual world, or a multiplayer role-playing game. Or both. Yet is it really a game? Afterall, Second Life doesn’t have any predetermined objectives that users can unlock level by level by showing their mastery of the game. Second Life seems as real as “real life” in the sense that there is no way to “win,” just things that you want to do and places to see as your avatar.
Yet even in that genre, it’s lost its monopoly to inroads made by competitors such as “The Sims.” While in 2013, Second Life reported more than a million monthly active users, in 2018, that number dropped to about half a million.
How and why did it become such a cultural force and why has it flatlined with both players and the businesses who became part of Second Life’s ecosystem?
Why did second life fail? What will happen to the future of Second Life? Let’s take a look back in time to find out.