Second Life is a three dimensional virtual world developed by Linden Lab that launched in 2003. The service is accessible via the Internet by means of a free client application called the Viewer. This viewer enables Second Life’s users, known as “residents”, to interact with each other through avatars. Residents can explore, meet other residents, socialise, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual goods, services and land with one another.
Residents can travel around the virtual world (which residents refer to as “the grid”), visiting retail outlets, entertainment venues, themed role play areas and other attractions. There are around 1 million active users of Second Life with normally around 42,000 residents online at a time, depending on the time of day. Second Life has a virtual economy, worth around $567m US Dollars (2009).