Second Life 2.0 To Face Off With Outback Online?

There’s been plenty of talk over the past few days about Linden Lab’s “Contingency Plan” (Link) and some of the information that’s come out of Linden Lab as a result. I’ve been reading the posts over on 3pointD (3pDLink 1, 3pDLink 2) and Clickable Culture (CCLink 1, CCLink 2), but generally I’m not overly surprised at this development, as signs of strain on the SL grid have been increasingly apparent.

The “re-architecture” talk by Linden Lab has, however, reminded me of what I said some time back: Linden Lab might be working on an upgrade to Second Life; a Second Life 2.0, if you will. Turns out they’ve been working on a new architecture for some time, so I may have been right on that count. As stated before (reLink), my assumption was that such an upgrade would become part of their “open source strategy” where they could release the current system into the wild and use it as a connective medium, plug into it with their own newer, more capable, more stable grid and from there continue to grow the platform.

So far, so good. Now for the wrinkle: there may be a new virtual world player in the game. Robert Scoble writes about “Outback Online” (Link), an Australian virtual world project currently underway, which sounds very much like Croquet with a persistent and constantly updated “seed”. In other words, they’re taking the old argument over virtual worlds – centralized versus distributed – and done what I believe to be the logical thing and created a hybrid; note that Linden Lab’s virtual world is centralized. This hybrid model probably has its own quirks, and I’m dreaming those up already, but I’ve been wondering when someone would take this route and, if someone already had, why it wasn’t getting any attention (I’m certainly unaware of any such system). There must be some catch I’ve not yet considered. Anyway, needless to say I’m interested in this news and will be watching this project develop.

via 3pointD

6 thoughts on “Second Life 2.0 To Face Off With Outback Online?

  1. It’s all very nice and these are all issues that SL needs to address and I signed up for the beta and so on, but, well, it’s still just a tad vapourous… where are the videos, the screenshots, the write-ups if Scoble has found it very impressive in alpha?

    (What _has_ happened to Raph Koster’s project by the way?)

  2. Agree. And that’s why I both put a question mark on the title and say “there may be a new virtual world player in the game”. My understanding is that it’s in alpha and that there isn’t much there, but so what? If they have a “world” of some sort that can show object creation and some of the UI I’d be happy. So yes, right now it feels a bit vaporous.

    Meanwhile, I was just over on Raph’s site wondering the same thing. No entry for today and no news on his new venture. Slackin’.

  3. Pingback: Raph’s Website » Going big?

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  5. It’s worth labeling the progression of SL as a 2.0, as you have. Of course, this progression has been a slow one that has involved a lot of smaller steps. Things like occlusion culling improvements and streamlining of sim-crossings and standardizing the message template were all steps toward a “2.0”. I think what’s interesting is that Linden Lab is forced to have a gradual evolution in order to keep the virtual world persisting in a continuous fashion, rather than hitting a restart button. It’s novel to see, in the core sense of the word – Linden Lab is doing something other MMOs haven’t been able to do.

  6. Haven’t been able to do, and also something MMO’s aren’t expected to do: become a new kind of browser.

    As an aside, one of the things I’m thinking is that a “SL 2.0” might itself incorporate P2P. The centralized vs distributed issue has doubtlessly spawned some interesting solutions – especially since the arrival of BitTorrent – and LL is probably very aware of most of them.

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