Patti LaBelle Pies have taken over the Internet due to the video review of one James Wright Chanel…if you have not seen the video yet, take a look at it here: James Wright Chanel CLOWNS over the Patti LaBelle pie.
His commentary went viral and people flocked to Wal-Mart to buy the pies that sold out across the nation in a few days. I have been in Second Life for nine years now and have wondered why the general public is still unaware of truly what is a virtual world; I have wondered why Second Life has never experienced its viral moment.
A decade ago, Second Life was favored in the tech community and its future was limitless. Now it is a highly niched virtual world that is teetering between relevancy and obscurity. What went wrong? While most people who have eaten Patti LaBelle pies attest to their deliciousness, Second Life enthusiast agree that, the promise of Second Life has never panned out. Many places in Second Life are more like a Wild West town than a virtual metropolis. At times, it is crass, endlessly chaotic, and ugly. In many places, griefers rule the day, as they are determined to mess up other users experiences by behaving in a myriad of very inappropriate ways. Through all of this Second Life remains alive due to the dedication of its paying users.
Economically, Second Life is sound, there is still opportunity for fortunes to be made. There is an evolution that is brewing, since the gambling is controlled, the sex has been segregated, the land managed. Second Life is as strong as it was years ago when it hit 1.1 million monthly users, currently there are 900,000. The Linden dollar capped at $270L per American dollar years ago and today it stands at a healthy $260L per American dollars; these numbers do not reflect a huge decline. In fact, Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Second Life’s Linden Labs say that SL has a GDP of around $500 million per year. Merchant-users cashed out a total in excess of $60 million in 2014. One fashion designer sold approximately 300,000 virtual dresses for roughly $4 each (Bryant, 2015).
So what does the future hold for Second Life? New technology maybe the answer. Oculus Rift may be the “Patti LaBelle Pie Moment” that Second Life needs. It is thought that Oculus Rift will increase the immersion and reality of the virtual world and prove that Second Life is not a game, but a virtual lifestyle option.
Bryant, M. (2015). Think Second life died? It has a higher GDP than some countries. TNW News. Retreived from http://thenextweb.com/insider/2015/11/07/think-second-life-died-it-has-a-higher-gdp-than-some-countries/