Thursday, June 16, 2005

Simply Amazing

Every once in a while, I come across a link or story that really, really interests me. I’ve just been completely blown away. I feel like Alice. Or Neo. There really are virtual worlds. Maybe everyone but me knew this, but I am still in awe. One of these alternate realities is called Second Life. It is a virtual world created by Linden Labs. People pay a fee, create a virtual person, and basically live in this virtual world.

People are given a virtual allowance each week. Here’s the really bizarre part. Some people in Second Life are converting their virtual dollars into real US currency and conducting business in a virtual world. The current conversion is somewhere around 230 Linden dollars to 1 US dollar. They are starting businesses, manufacturing goods, and conducting real estate transactions of virtual land. According to the CEO of Linden Labs, some people are making into the thousands of dollars.

What’s even more amazing is that people seem to be creating forms of emergent life. One woman has created a school of fish that appears to act in accordance with Darwin’s Theories. Holy Crap.

Here’s a quote from the website that made my jaw drop:

“Imbue all objects with Havok™-powered physics so they respond to gravity, inertia, propulsion, and wind from the in-world weather system. Objects cast shadows and are illuminated by the sun”

In-world weather system?

For every original being, thing, idea, etc. that is created in Second Life, Linden Labs grants IP rights to the creator. How bout that Esther? You could be the first virtual lawyer.

Check out the video interview.

This is absolutely, without a doubt, the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen on the Internet.