From the time Internet became a widely available tool, people always imagined and used it as an electronic universe for chatting, buying and selling or simply just socializing. Whether we want it or not, the Internet has turned into a secondary, virtual life, for all and with this premise the concept of the metaverse was born. The best source for metaverse news
is an electronic universe that copies, just about, the actual life Universe and one of many clearest approaches to express a metaverse is through what's known today as a MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game. A few of these MMO's create a dream world of their own (take for example World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online or Everquest) whereas some simply give you a real-world alternative universe, as may be the case of Second Life, among the most used such phenomenons on the Internet.
The Second Life metaverse is founded on an Earth-like world, called the Grid. This grid contains land masses and "free" areas and the planet is divided into 256x256 areas of "grid" called Regions. All these regions, powered by their own servers, has a unique name and a content rating (either Mature or PG), some being more stable than others. The land masses in Second Life are controlled by Linden Research (called Linden Labs in the "game") and all the program's users are called Residents.
Residents of Second Life have an avatar that can be of either sex, wear different clothing, or have different physical attributes, simulating the "real life" universe entirely. Residents can communicate in this environment by several means, including local chat, which will be further divided into normal chat (which could be "heard" in a 25m area), yelling (heard in a 96m area) and whispering (18m area) but Second Life also provides a kind of instant messaging for private conversations, whatever the chatting residents' position in the Grid.
Residents can also buy, sell and manage property and items in Second Life for a currency called the "Linden Dollars" (or simply L$). There's an electronic exchange rate in this metaverse, that fluctuates slightly, but a stable rate seems to be revolving round the 270 Linden Dollars to at least one US Dollar ratio. You're probably anticipating what I'm going to say next: you can actually make actual life US Dollars, using Second Life Linden Dollars. Either by selling land or items, you can cash in some nice income, given the truth that you add some dedication into your Second Life avatar and you can see the virtual economy of its world.
So should Second Life be described as a game? Should it be devote the exact same category as other Massively Multiplayer Online worlds as those created by World of Warcraft and the likes? In principle, Second Life doesn't share the exact same premises that these fantasy worlds offer, for example it has no real objectives, no "levels" and no abilities, making many object to the truth that it's a "game" per say. Still, Second Life has the objective of entertaining its Residents through its simulation of actual life, so it's yet unclear whether we must watch it as a casino game or not. What's clear is that this is learning to be a quickly increasing phenomenon that appeals to any or all genders, all ages and all religions, bringing us closer together in an electronic metaverse than we're in our real lives.