Press Releases


"Second Life™" Opens Public Beta

2003-04-28 00:00:00 UTC

"Second Life™" Opens Public Beta

Emerging online society welcomes participants to a 3D shared reality of their own creation

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (April 28, 2003) - Linden LabTM announced today that its private beta test of Second Life is now open to the general public. Second Life is a burgeoning new online society, shaped entirely by its residents. Participants can explore a constantly-changing 3D world, create anything they can imagine, connect with friends and acquaintances, and compete for fame and fortune. The public beta follows a successful limited beta test that has been in progress since November 2002. Beginning today, anyone who wants to become part of this exciting, emerging world can begin their "Second Life" by registering at

"To date, thousands of people have been early pioneers in Second Life, building the foundations of a vibrant online society that has the complexity and texture of the real world," said Philip Rosedale, CEO and founder of Linden Lab. "The rapid expansion of the world continues to astound us. Our residents have built thousands of unique structures to explore - museums, nightclubs, even entire cities. Over 3,000 people have attended in-world parties, contests, events, and classes. And the in-world economy is booming - residents have bought and sold everything from designer fashions to sophisticated weapons in over 30,000 transactions. We are eager to see how the world will evolve and flourish as we open Second Life to an even broader audience."

Second Life Features
New residents will discover a world of limitless possibilities for exploration, socializing, creativity, self expression, and fun. They can:

  • Create their unique look from scratch. Second Life.s infinite avatar customization allows residents to change their appearance to look like anything they can imagine.
  • Explore an evolving 3D world. Residents can fly through a 3D living landscape full of houses, stores, clubs, sports arenas, and cities . all created by other residents.
  • Meet and socialize with other residents. Residents can make friends at a wide variety of fun social events, such as dance parties, treasure hunts, private get-togethers, and fashion shows.
  • Express their creativity. Through simple but sophisticated 3D creation tools, residents build houses and communities, design furniture, create clothing and art, and invent weapons and other objects.
  • Compete in contests and games. Second Life offers many ways to play and win. Residents can test their skills in sword and gun-fights, enter trivia, dance, or comedy contests, play in sports events, or compete in games of their own invention. Or, they can try to outsmart the economy or build their reputation to become the wealthiest or most popular resident.


Beta Participation
Beta applicants can become official Second Life residents by registering for an account at Once registered, a simple 10MB download of the Second Life viewer is all they need to get started.

The minimum requirements are:

  • Computer: Pentium III 800MHZ or higher, with 256 RAM or more
  • Operating System: Windows 2000, NT or XP
  • Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 2 (32MB RAM) or higher, or ATI Radeon 8500 (32MB RAM) or higher
  • Internet Connection: DSL, cable modem, or LAN connection to the Internet (256Kbps downstream or higher)


During the beta period, Second Life is available at no cost. As early founders of an emerging society, beta testers will create content and community that will remain in the world after Second Life.s commercial launch. A consumer version will be available in Summer 2003. The pricing structure is yet to be announced.

Second Life Technology
Second Life is powered by proprietary new technologies that allow residents to experience a realistic, immersive 3D online world.

  • Convenient, cost-effective thin client. One 10Mb download delivers persistent desktop access to Second Life. All content resides on the Second Life server grid, so that all users need on their computer is a small, easily updateable viewer.
  • Endlessly expandable landscape. Second Life exists on a scalable server grid running Linux . capable of supporting thousands of simultaneous Second Life residents and allowing the world to grow infinitely in any direction simply by adding more Linux boxes.
  • Real-time 3D streaming. All content is streamed to the user.s desktop in real time at DSL/cable modem bandwidths using an advanced, intelligent compression system.
  • Contiguous, persistent world. Residents can go anywhere in Second Life.s expansive, persistent landscape.
  • Built-in creation capabilities. Residents can easily modify and create objects and add special effects in-world, without separate tools or applications. Second Life.s persistent, streamed environment allows any number of residents to collaborate on building projects in real time.
  • Realistic environment. Dynamic lighting and shadowing, a complete weather system, rigid-body physics simulation, and uploadable textures and audio all add to residents. visceral experience of the world.


About Linden Lab
Linden Lab was founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale to create a revolutionary new form of shared 3D entertainment. The former CTO of RealNetworks, Rosedale pioneered the development of many of today.s streaming media technologies, including RealVideo.

Based in San Francisco, Linden Lab employs a senior development team bringing together deep expertise in physics, 3D graphics and networking. Team members have previously worked for market leading companies such as Electronic Arts, Maxis, Disney, THQ, Acclaim, Hasbro, Mattel and RealNetworks.

Note to editors: Second Life. and Linden Lab. are trademarks or registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc.