July 28th, 2008 by Benjamin Duranske
The best part? Philip took questions — a whole lot of questions — and was incredibly candid in his responses. Here are a few quickly transcribed excerpts from the nearly 90 minute recording. Questions came from the audience via text chat, and answers came from Philip via voice.
Q: How many employees at Linden Lab?
Q: Is voice chat coming?
A: No. Not any time soon. Because you should be able to customize your voice the same way you customize your body. The techniques for changing the way your voice sounds are primitive and are not ready yet. So I think that we’re going to watch that and wait for that to mature.
Q: What is your wildest dream for Second Life, if you could make anything happen at all?
A: My wildest dream is for second life to touch a lot of people. We have a world of around 10,000 users today, and I would like to see our world be millions of users. Not to make Second Life more interesting, or to make a lot of money, but because Second Life makes people better, faster, smarter, and I’d like to see that touch as many people as possible.
Q: Views on virtual nations and how they’ll interact with real world laws?
A: Virtual nations like Second Life will grow so rapidly that the real world legal will be forced to follow the things that we’re doing. Hearkening back to Barlows’ famous rights of cyberspace, I’d say it’s the world that has to listen more to us.
Q: Content Exporting?
A: Content export is something that is simply hard. I don’t think that we fundamentally object to people being able to take their content with them. I believe that the content people create, even if there are many digital worlds out there for you to be in, the content you create should be your own property. I don’t think there’s a significant business advantage to maintaining propriety there. I think that in the end, the more open systems will win.
Q: Escrow systems?
A: We want to do contracts and escrows in a way that they are bulletproof. We want to be careful about it. Escrowed exchange between users is something that we’ve looked at that is not in Second Life but really should be, but is relatively difficult to do, so we haven’t really taken it on.
Q: Zoning rules?
A: We don’t want to lay out zoning a priori. Zoning rules are going to be something that has to emerge as part of a group charter, or collectively on a piece of land.
If these questions and answers pique your curiosity even a little bit, you’ll definitely want to listen to the whole thing — there are many dozens more questions and responses there.
Credit where credit is due, I found this via the Second Life First Birthday entry at the Second Life Wikia. The link to the MP3 file at the top of this post currently goes to a site called slinked.net, where this has quietly been hosted for years. Cool as that is, the site hasn’t been developed beyond its role as a hosting repository for this file, so just in case, I’ve downloaded the file too. If the link to “slinked” goes down, I will host the file at VB and post an addendum to this article. Either way, I wanted to give credit to the folks who had the foresight to originally archive this great primary-source material.
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