Business Insider recently posted an article titled, “This company was 13 years early to virtual reality – and it’s getting ready to try again.” Second Life made quite the splash when it was first introduced in the early 2000’s. People were excited about virtual tycoons who were making millions off of virtual property.
While Second Life might have fallen out of the spotlight in the past decade, they have not been resting. Second Life was ahead of the curve in its creation, and by the sound it, that’s where they would like to stay. The economy of Second Life generates $500 million in GDP every year and as virtual reality (VR) becomes more accessible to the average consumer, Second Life could take a leap and become the first interactive VR world.
Thousands of people already spend their entire day dedicated to their life within Second Life, they hold jobs and make serious, real-world money. If the creators of Second Life can come out with a graphics overhaul of the game to allow for play within a virtual reality headset, those life-long gamers could receive an even more immersive experience, the likes of which has never been realized before.
Interesting Real-World Application Ideas
If the producers of Second Life can actually create an immersive virtual-reality world, with graphics strong enough to support VR-headsets, suddenly a wide spectrum of applications become accessible.
- Virtual Conferences: Professional conferences are expensive and flights aren’t getting any cheaper; the concept of large numbers of professionals simply slipping on VR-headsets and being ported into a virtual conference center is certainly a cost-effective alternative.
- Virtual Concerts: Although this has been attempted before, technical limitations prevented all but 50 users from attending. Large scale music festivals could suddenly be attended by hundreds of thousands of people from around the world, all from the comfort of their own homes.
- Virtual Interviews: Skype interviews are becoming more popular these days, but perhaps the next step in the digitilization of the job application process is to switch to virtual reality interviews in Second Life as a preliminary screening of candidates.
- Virtual College: As online education becomes more popular, the next logical step would be a fully virtual college. A simple retina scan allows for the prevention of cheating, and college is opened to people who may otherwise not be able to attend.
Moving forward, Second Life and virtual reality may begin to take the place of travel in many circumstances. The ease and comfort of virtual reality may be too appealing for many people.