Second Life can be argued to be the pioneering virtual world! Since its launch in 2003, the game has been enjoyed by millions of people and seen billions of dollars transacted by users in its online economy.
The game is set in a 3D virtual world where players, called residents, can pretend who be whoever or what they desire to be. At a basic level, residents create a visual representation of themselves and interact with surrounding environments with other avatars, places or objects.
Residents can go to social gatherings, live concerts, press conferences and even college classes just as they would in real life! However, the game goes far beyond normal life where avatars can fly or teleport to almost any location. The game allow players to create short programs, called scripts, that give avatars or objects new abilities (e.g. special animations). This creates what only can be describes as user generated content as all interactions are through other online gamers, creating a unique online environment.
In many ways, Second Life is similar to MMORPGs. Like an MMORPG, users represent themselves with a customizable, three-dimensional figure that acts like a computer-generated puppet. Users navigate through an online world, encountering strange landscapes and new people. Unlike MMORPGs, residents in Second Life aren’t in a game, though there are games inside Second Life’s virtual environment.