Philip Linden, CEO and founder of Linden Labs which created Second Life, gave an in-world address to Second Life residents at the first Town Hall meeting that featured audio interaction. Philip joked that this was mostly due to his poor typing skills.
Philip addressed a number of important issues in Second Life, including the state of the economy and upgrades to the SL software. Philip noted that while the Linden Dollar (the main currency of SL) has been devalued lately in relation to the US dollar, the economy was still going quite strong. He discussed some of what Linden Labs was working on for the new version of Second Life, including how to improve frame rates, decrease crashes, and enhance the user experience. He highlighted the strong interest in voice chat, particularly for educational purposes.
Philip noted that they were working to transition the code of Second Life over to open source. This would greatly increase the ability of a potentially huge pool of programmer talent interested in 3D interactive environments to contribute to the development of SL. Second Life is already an impressively open development platform, allowing game designers, 3D modelers, animators, artists and machinima filmmakers free rein to create and sell their works within SL. Going open source will only accelerate that.
What was remarkable to me was that the CEO of a multi-million dollar tech company would even bother to meet with the “players” of the platform they developed. Does Bill Gates plan on meeting with players of X-Box Live? Is Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment, going to hang out with the elves and orcs in World of Warcraft to get their views? Unlikely. And yet here is Philip in his jeans and black tee-shirt chatting with the furries, robots and dominatrixes that populate the world he created. Neat.
Yet another reason why Second Life has such a loyal and growing following of 210,000 residents.
You download the MP3 audio file of the Town Hall meeting on the SL website.