|Developer:||Linden Research, Inc|
|Engine:||Proprietary, free, and open source software|
Physics: Havok 7 and 10 (beta)
|Released:||June 23, 2003|
|Version:||188.8.131.52182 (Release)184.108.40.206306 (Beta)|
|Languages:||English (US), Portuguese (Brazil), French and others |
|Input:||Keyboard, Mouse, Gamepad but minimum movement, 3Dconnexion Space Navigator.|
Second Life is an online virtual world developed by Linden Lab. It was launched on June 23, 2003. A number of free client programs, or Viewers,  enable Second Life users, called Residents, to interact with each other through avatars. Residents can explore the world (known as the grid), meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another. Second Life is intended for people aged 16 and over, and as of 2011 has about one million active users.
Built into the software is a three-dimensional modeling tool based on simple geometric shapes that allows residents to build virtual objects. There is also a procedural scripting language, Linden Scripting Language, which can be used to add interactivity to objects. Sculpted prims (sculpties), mesh, textures for clothing or other objects, and animations and gestures can be created using external software and imported. The Second Life Terms of Service provide that users retain copyright for any content they create, and the server and client provide simple digital rights management functions.
In 1999, Philip Rosedale formed Linden Lab. He made Second Life, developing computer hardware allowing people to immerse in a virtual world. In its earliest form, the company struggled to produce a commercial version of the hardware, known as "The Rig", which was realized in prototype form as a clunky steel contraption with computer monitors worn on shoulders. That vision changed into the software application Linden World, in which people participated in task-based games and socializing in a three-dimensional online environment. That effort would eventually transform into the better known, user-centered Second Life. Although he was familiar with the metaverse of Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash, Rosedale has said that his vision of virtual worlds predates that book, and that he conducted early virtual world experiments during college years at the University of California San Diego, where he studied physics.