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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