Museums in the Metaverse

Late last week Richard Urban of Musematic announced the inaugural meeting of the “Museums in Second Life” group. In case you haven’t heard of Second Life, it is 3-D virtual online world maintained and governed by a company called Linden Research, but built and owned entirely by users. More than 300,000 people currently “inhabit” Second Life, making friends, doing work, buying and selling property, building homes, and doing most of the other things they’d do in “first life” (and some things that they wouldn’t). Lest you think it’s all a game, however, Linden reports millions of dollars worth of “in-world” business transactions among Second Life “residents” every month.

Now it seems some Second Life residents have created museums in this parallel universe. Presumably some of them are history museums, though I’m not sure what that looks like in a virtual world. I have to admit I’ve never visited Second Life, but this meeting may just push me over the edge. Found History is dedicated to unintentional, unconventional, and amateur history. What could be more unconventional than history in another world?

Correction: Thanks to Nate for pointing out that Second Life is operated by “Linden Lab” not “Linden Research.” A second look at the website suggests that Second Life is actually owned by “Linden Research, Inc.” but operated under the trademark “Linden Lab.” In any case, the technorati (to which Nate certainly belongs) know the joint as “Linden Lab” and that’s what we should go with.

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