It’s been years since I have written about Second Life, the virtual reality platform which captured everyone’s attention back in 2006-2007. Lately Second Life has come up again in conversations with colleagues when we talk about the popularity of the 8-bit version of alternative reality games where you build things such as Minecraft. Second Life was also the topic of a conversation I had recently which mentioned the fate of Michael Donelly, the Coca-Cola CMO who was famously ridiculed for his over-exuberance for Second Life as a marketing platform. How soon we forget our earlier trespass.
You’re about to be reminded of Second Life once again as documentary filmmaker Jason Spingarn-Koff is about to premier a new documentary about Second Life in Brooklyn on May 20th.
As you can see from the trailer, Second Life is just part of the film which explores the larger question of our addiction to alternative realities. We all are experiencing how electronics are both pulling our families apart and together at the same time. With the click of a mouse we can all be talking with relatives on the other side of the world via Skype. But, these same tools pull us apart as each of us excuse ourselves after dinner and wander off in to a corner of the house to settle down for a session with our glass display of choice (iPad, phone, desktop, laptop or TV). These are important societal shifts and I look forward to the debate that such a film will raise. The Village Voice calls Life 2.0,
At once a disturbing vision of escape, a cautious portrait of liberation, and an exploration of authenticity and artificiality
Linden Labs, the company behind Second Life, is alive and well but a very different company. A glance at the recent press about the company shows that it’s focused more on using it’s software for training and their Press Release archive reveals they have a new CEO from Electronic Arts and are coming off two-year restructuring process. We shall see if people come back, after watching Life 2.0, for another look-n-see.