Second Life is not a game - it is a social, interactive, 3D version of the Internet. It has so far been developed and hosted by Linden Lab, but the vision for the future of Second Life requires more resources to realize than any one company can provide. In this talk from the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, Phillip Rosedale, CEO and Founder of Linden Lab, describes how their plans to open source their code will help the Second Life experience, and strengthen Linden Lab's business position.
Virtual worlds, like many other internet businesses, rely on network effects for competitive advantage - the more users a service has, the more valuable it is. Because the service with the most users wins, the best competitive practice is to make your application and code free and open. Linden Lab is following this strategy; they have already released their client code and are preparing to release their server code as well. They hope to gain improved hosting options for portions of the virtual world, new kinds of clients, and more resources for bug fixing. Despite not having a robust system to handle community contributions, they have had a positive experience and have already received code fixes and patches.
Philip Rosedale is the founder and CEO of Linden Lab, producer of the acclaimed 3D digital world Second Life. Rosedale has an extensive background in the development and pioneering of streaming technology, having built his first computer in 4th grade, and started his first computer software company while still in high school. In 1995 he developed FreeVue, a low-bitrate video conferencing system for Internet-connected PCs, resulting in the acquisition of his company in early 1996 by RealNetworks. For three and a half years, Rosedale served as Vice President and CTO at RealNetworks, where he was responsible for the development and launch of RealVideo, RealSystem 5.0, and RealSystem G2. In 1999, Rosedale returned to San Francisco, joined Accel Partners as an entrepreneur-in-residence, and began the basic research that would become the technology behind Linden Lab. Rosedale holds a B.S. degree in Physics from the University of California at San Diego.
This free podcast is from our Open Source Conference series.