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Now Playing at Reason.tv: Drew Carey Ventures to the Virtual Frontier of Second Life


In the latest offering from reason.tv, Drew Carey takes us on a guided tour of Second Life (SL), a virtual world with more than 500,000 residents.

But SL isn't your typical virtual world. Unlike other popular massively multiplayer online role-playing games, like EverQuest and World of Warcraft, there are no defined roles or objectives in SL. Just like in real life, SL residents determine their own goals and decide for themselves how best to achieve them. Moreover, virtually everything in SL was created by the residents themselves using tools provided by Linden Lab, the company that launched SL in 2003.

SL is based on a simple set of institutional arrangements that would make F.A. Hayek proud. In essence, the people who own the property in SL make the rules. The result is a spontaneously ordered world in which residents are free to fly, teleport, build, trade and interact with others without interference from the state.

Recently, Linden Lab-the SL equivalent of a state-has begun acting more and more like a real life government by restricting activities such as gambling. But open source competitors based on the SL platform are currently in development. so better virtual worlds offering even more freedom are just around the corner.

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  1. All gambling is forbidden (unless a lobbyist has a piece of the action!)

  2. Second Life – the home of people with no actual first life. Film at 11.

  3. I think SL is responding to real world police in cracking down on gambling, etc. This is because there is a real world market for SL currency.

  4. When the virtual environment hits Otherland levels, I might jump on board.

  5. Can a player get a Sarah Palin avatar in SL? If not, what’s the relevance to this blog?

  6. It’s good to see that Drew Carey is appearing again in the Drew Carey Project videos!

  7. LOL Don I am camping (getting free money) in sl right now. What I like about Sl is that I can talk to people from all over the world. I often send them to Reason to help back up my points. Think of it as a blog in real time with avatars and you might find you like it.

  8. I used to play A Tale in the Desert years ago, when it was still free. I found the social interaction there to be much more fulfilling than in Second Life. And it didn’t force me to install Quicktime…

  9. I tried SL a couple years ago. Was bored senseless within an hour. Plus I realized that I don’t *want* to talk to random strangers and vice versa.

  10. Why do people need virtual worlds? Isn’t the real world virtual enough for them?

  11. “I think SL is responding to real world police in cracking down on gambling, etc. This is because there is a real world market for SL currency.”

    Wait till the jack boot avatars start busting in doors and creating mayhem, because it’s for the children.

  12. That video just made the Libertarian Utopia look like a horrific nightmare.

  13. It is indeed the libertarian dream – there are no consequences. The lack of any profit incentive keeps all the bad people away, and without any bad people no need for a big oppressive government. Second Life “citizens” are free to be their furry freakfest self, while the normals have far better things to do in First Life, the real world.

    The libertarian reality looks different.

  14. It is indeed the libertarian dream – there are no consequences.

    Au contraire – the libertarian dream is one where you are, in fact, responsible for the consequences of your actions, good and bad.

  15. I’m still holding out for Perky Pat layouts and Can-D.

  16. Threatening to move to Second Life’s competitors? That’s not libertarian! Anybody who advocates “competition in government” is a closet racist dixiecrat.

  17. Otherland? I’ll settle for Snow Crash levels.

  18. Threatening to move to Second Life’s competitors? That’s not libertarian! Anybody who advocates “competition in government” is a closet racist dixiecrat.

    Christ, you people are boring.


  20. I’ve been a resident of Second Life for well over a year now. Probably one of the most surreal moments is when I was sitting at a table playing cards with people from Germany and the UK. I was the only American at the table, and I also knew I would probably have never “met” these friends if not for a virtual world like SL. SL is what you make of it. I am a blogger, a business owner and part of the educational communities. I have even sang live in SL. Come explore for yourself.

  21. I find it interesting that folks criticize SL residents as not having a first life, yet they know nothing of what it’s like to be a resident of SL to begin with, much less be part of any number of cultures & communities in SL. That makes them ignorant. Some folks, like those who’re handicapped or suffer from autism have thrived in the SL communities. Universities have proven quite successful, teaching courses in SL. SL has provided it’s residents the means to communicate on a global platform and exercise their individual creativity, have IP rights to their creations, and if they endeavor so, even make an actual income. No other current virtual environment offers that rich of an experience. The business I have makes me an extra US$3k/month…and that’s for just creating goods other residents purchase from me…like in my first life where I run my own business, doing import/export. There are residents making millions of US dollars in business in SL. It’s a shame the ignorant among you are missing the opportunity to share, collaborate & be creative with such a rich, diverse community that servicing not just the technofiles, but education, medical, financial & entertainment industries on a global level. Mind you, this is all created primarily by the residents. Now that LL has become a “global company”, there are consequences “doing business” in other countries in Europe & Asia where gambling is a serious crime, so I’m not surprised that gambling has become illegal in SL. Who knows, that may eventually change as other countries get technically knowledgeable about virtual environments.

  22. Home of people with no second first life???? Lol

  23. Second Life:
    2 million merchants, 2 thousand consumers.

  24. Thanks Drew. It was great meeting you and such a great overview of some of what SL has to offer.

    So, what did everyone think of the music?
    DJ Doubledown Tandino

  25. I can never get over how incredibly critical, and harsh, people can be, when they leave comments, ANONYMOUSLY, on pieces such as this.

    Did it ever occur to those of you who think that Second Life is for “Losers”
    that you may, some day, grow old, become disabled, become paralyzed or have some other problem come into your life that prevents you from interacting with people in the “REAL world?”
    Obviously not. If you had, you would see that Secondlife can bring people who are, say housebound because of an illness, the ability to interact with others in a way that isn’t possible in the wonderful so-called “REAL” world.
    Open your eyes and realize that your existence in this world, is NOT the only experience for everyone on it. Some people haven’t left their houses in years. Some because they are ill, like myself. I hardly consider myself a “loser.”
    If anything, I have been able to learn a lot of things in Secondlife. For example, I never understood geometry when in high school. But when I began building in SL, it all suddenly became clear to me.
    I have been able to put my artwork in SL, through photographs, and sell it to people all over the world! I go into “voice” and am able to talk to people in Australia, Europe and all over the world!
    Come on, don’t be so negative. Try to realize that SL is just another way for people to connect and to make the world a little bit smaller and a little bit (hopefully) more tolerant of each other.

  26. Fantastic. It’s great to see SL get some positive feedback. You cannot be anything other then open minded to fully embrace something as progressive as a virtaul world. SL has launched human beings in to a new frontier that can only evolve now on a global scale. What ever anyone’s reason for being involved in SL….it cannot be denied that the implications of connecting the peoples of the world like this are endless and fantastic.
    For myself…..SL is sort of a big digital canvas that I use to create images with. It’s something I enjoy, and I am constantly amazed and delighted with what other people’s imaginations inspire them to biuld. In SL, I’m an explorer with a camera over my shoulder. It’s a trip, I love it. (and oh yeah, I thoroughly love my real life too…for all you who think it’s for shut-ins and losers….how little you truly understand)

  27. Our foundation does market research in Second Life through our First Opinions Panel of 11,000 SL residents.

    We are now conducting the largest survey in the history of Second Life. Results will be available free-of-charge at our website starting October 10, 2008:

  28. Great video and intro into SL

  29. First of all I have to say that i do totally enjoy SL and have met some interesting people all over the world.
    When I first discovered the sight i was totally unaware of the direction the world goes in and because of that i found it quite isolating, once i got voice it was 100 percent better.
    But i do feel that some people find in second life what they cant discover in Real Life and that it can cross the boarderlines of both lifes negitivly. The thing that im not sure everyone enters sL with is the fact that these avatars are actuall real people on the other side. As we go through the avatars virtua life experienceing its path i.e jobs property friendship and the gaol of a relationship im not sure we realy realise how having virtual feelings for someone can not interfer with realife relationhips and inturn damage them but on the other hand i suppose they can develop them too.
    having said all this i have to positivley promote the world as its highly aditive and you always have to come back for more1

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