Interview: LindenLab founder Philip Rosedale about the state of Second Life

Linden Lab’s Philip Rosedale, the inventor of Second Life, spoke with alarm:clock and gave a little snapshot of what’s the status of Second Life right now. Also, there’s a bit of background on where Rosedale is coming from, which is always nice to see:

Ages ago, maybe 1994, we were making a living at the Red Herring while getting a startup going at the same time in a dingy SOMA, SF tech ghetto. One of our neighbors there was Philip Rosedale whom we recall when we first met him was out of place writing software for used car shops while playing early networked video games much of the time. One day Rosedale excitedly showed us a video on the Internet program that he had written together with a Stanford buddy.

This being pre-Adsense days, Rosedale didn’t know how to make a living off his program so he pioneered the first Net video business model by hiring a couple of exotic dancers to sit in our office basement and he charged lurkers to watch live video and chat with them. The rabble in our complex of ISP nerds, Swedish death metal goths and even a female private eye who went by the name of Rat Dog Dick PI knew we had a pioneer in our midst with Rosedale and his big idea, which he called FreeVue.

But he also comments on the questions of who’s going to pwn the space of virtual worlds, or in other words: Which company is going to define the relevant standards?

At this point in the development of virtual worlds, competition amongst different companies with different strategies is healthy. The big question, I think, is not whether one company will emerge as the industry leader as much as, will one platform or protocol emerge as the defining tool for virtual development? Second Life need not be the official destination of all virtual travelers, though it’d be nice if we were primary drivers towards the adoption of official virtual standards.

(more posts about Second Life)