Metaverse is the latest buzzword to take over the tech space. While Mark Zuckerberg surely made Metaverse popular, it is not the first time this concept has been thought of. In 1992, fictional writer Neal Stephenson coined the term “Metaverse" and the first Metaverse was actually founded about 20 years ago. A virtual place named “Second Life" was invented by Philip Rosedale, who has now decided to bring back an evolved version of Second Life, now that metaverse is more popular than ever. Rosedale, according to a report in Cnet, has tasked a core team to work on evolving Second Life.
Rosedale hopes that developing a community-focussed world will solve some metaverse issues that aren’t necessarily being solved with VR headsets yet. Rosedale co-founded a VR company in 2013 called High Fidelity that promised a high-end, low latency VR experience. However, the company moved on from VR to other technologies like Spatial Audio. In 2019, he said that VR hadn’t reached a form that was good enough for most people to want to use. The Cnet report quotes Rosedale as saying that VR headsets still aren’t good enough as they are a “blindfold to the real world that only some people feel comfortable enough to use."
While he believes there is still time for VR headsets to reach an iPhone-level popularity, Rosedale is focusing on a metaverse platform that does not require headsets. This is where his earlier Second Life venture steps in. Rosedale told Cnet that he is going to be a strategic advisor to Second Life (in its second life) with some new ideas while working on other ideas at the same time.
The report mentions that Second Life, which was launched in 2003 still makes money and has a considerably larger community than most VR platforms. Second Life has had over 73 million accounts created since it launched and estimates of about 900,000 active users. Rosedale also sees Second Life’s sellable content as NFTs in a way. He also acknowledges the competition for virtual places like Roblox and Minecraft, which he considers the most successful competing examples, along with others.