How Virtual Worlds Will Take Over Real Life

From a speech by by Philip Rosedale, former Linden Lab CEO – 28 minutes. Philip uses Second Life to show what is happening in virtual worlds and how it will affect society. His thinking is interesting and in some ways a bit scary.

The video is the basis of an NPR show TED Radio: Why Build a Virtual World? Follow the link to see the video. I can’t embed it, only the audio portion, which is 9 minutes. The video and audio have different content. Both are interesting.

NPR/KPBS presented a radio show titled Screen Time. Philip Rosedale was a guest for the show. The audio above is also here: KPBS: Screen Time. The video is where some of the sound track for the show came from. The video is more interesting than the audio. The radio show has more context and less content, the audio is only 9 minutes long. It is worth checking both.  

The video I found was posted Sept 18, 2015. I am not sure of the date it was recorded. But, it sounds recent and old. High Fidelity is not mentioned, which may just because of the context of the meeting. Some of the numbers Philip gives seem out of date. So, I’m not sure. This may well be a NPR recycled 2007 era speech. But the ideas are not time sensitive.

There is lots of interesting information in the video. The interesting things I am pulling from the radio and video follow. Some may be out of date. So, use them with caution. Time marks are for the video.

Second Life is 20,000 CPU’s in 3 facilities, 10 times the size of San Francisco and as densely built. In SL there are 100 million user-built-objects. Tens of millions of the objects think, have code attached.

Philip gives an illustration of the size of Second Life. Consider The World of Warcraft, which comes on 4 DVD’s or about 20 gigabytes of content. Compare that to Second Life which is 25,000 times larger with 100 terabytes of content.

I know that a couple of years ago the Lab was cleaning up the SL assets database and after the cleanup it was reported by operations staff via Andrew Linden to be 192 terabytes. That is twice what Philip is thinking. So, we are 50,000 times larger than WoW?

Remember, the engineers at the Lab that are not operations people have very little idea of the actual size of SL in hard numbers. Andrew was thinking the asset database was 4 terabytes until we pushed him to find out. So, we have to cut these people some slack.

See: The Size of Second Life. The numbers there are from May 2012. Before the db cleanup the database was 1.3 petabytes. I don’t have any good basis for estimating a growth rate. I am certain we are well over 200 terabytes now.

Philip says, “It is almost certainly true that whatever this [virtual worlds] is going to evolve into is going to be bigger in total usage than the web itself.” TM: 08:30

He goes on to justify that statement. He spends about 5 minutes making his case and it is worth hearing. He does a good job of it.

At TM: 23:00 Philip gives us some of the demographics of Second Life. 65% of users are International. 55% of users are in Europe. The average age is 32. As users age from 30 to 60 their use of SL increases by 40%. 45% of the users are women. Women spend 30 to 40% more hours in SL than men do. More women signup and stay than men. 55,000 users are cash flow positive, making money.

The psychographic demographic is very diverse. Not everyone is a geek, designer, game player… creative and business entrepreneur types are more generally common.

This is an interesting video.

5 thoughts on “How Virtual Worlds Will Take Over Real Life

  1. Pingback: How Virtual Worlds Will Take Over Real Life | Nalates’ Things & StuffNalates’ Things & Stuff | Windlight Magazine

  2. These statistics fit with my own experience, having spent about ten years in SL now.

    I see a lot of women being creative in SL and a lot of mature people too. I also come across a significant number of disabled, ill or disadvantaged people using SL – you often don’t realise this until you’ve known them a while.

    I’d make a bet too that people in SL have a higher than average IQ.

    • I would like to this SL’ers have higher IQ’s. But, I’ve debated too many to think that…

  3. Opensim, OSGRId, InWorldz, Kitely, Francogrid also get a lot of virtual content. Its not a plublished number but it would be interesting to obtain one figure. I have only a 9 region grid that I operate and populate alone and my MySQL ibdata file is 13G .

    People dont realise but I believe that the bigest part of SL company value is in the FABULOUS asset database they possess.( read the TOS its not yours its theirs ) Imagine all those Animiation bhv file, Mesh dae, or the pile of textures of all kind they posses. Think of facebook value today , with the immense database they have on people or google with theirs .

    And what is unic in SL is that users are ready to pay SL to virtualy give away their work.


  4. Pingback: Top Ten Virtual Worlds For Girls And Boys - Taskic Videos | Taskic Videos

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