I just found a GamaSutra article, http://www.gamasutra.com/resource_guide/20030916/rosedale_01.shtml, which talks about Second Life’s technology. It ends with:
“So what’s the result for players? Imagine a world that stretches to the horizon, where trees sway in a virtual breeze that blows across all the simulators. In the far distance you can see an amazing complex city - dozens of flying avatars arc into and out of it. Lights detail the buildings. Your friend drives up to you and gets out of her hover car. You take a snapshot of her and playfully drop it onto the mirror shades of her sunglasses (she can see it the instant you drop it into the world). She asks for some help with the code that drives the car - you click on the fuselage and pop open the script, edit the thrust levels, save, and have her test it. She gives you an earring she is wearing – a jewel lit from within that lights up the detailed tattoo on her cheek. You get on next to her as she heads for an Unsafe area kilometers from the city. You pull out a rifle that you bought, confident that the arms merchant who built it knows her stuff. The roar of the bike’s engine mixes with the wind in your ears as you cruise down into a dark canyon, dodging a bridge that hadn’t been completed the last time you flew this route. This is what you can do today in our game, thanks in large part to the adoption of our server grid.”
So… is this all hype? Or is Second Life really something new & interesting?
And another question altogether: is it a game?