Throughout 2007, reputed publications like Wired, Forbes, and the LA Times pronounced Second Life over-hyped, while negative press over Ponzi schemes, porn, etc. suggested imminent disaster. While all this negativity continued almost unabated, however, the world’s user base tripled (both in terms of monthly active and maximum concurrent users), and continues attracting about a half million new sign-ups a month. How can this possibly be happening? The author of The Making of Second Life (HarperCollins), a writer who has been covering Second Life for five years, explains, describing the essential elements which bloggers and the mainstream press usually miss, while suggesting what its continued success means for the Internet’s future.
I’m the author of The Making of Second Life (HarperCollins), online games editor at GigaOM.com, and write about Second Life on my own blog, New World Notes (nwn.blogs.com).