It’s been a while since I’ve posted about Second Life, but this article at Venture Beat sparked some thoughts:

The media narrative about Second Life and virtual worlds is starting to get past the hype stage, past the bashing stage, and is beginning to resemble reality. VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi has covered this shift in a thorough Q&A with parent company Linden Lab’s CEO Mark Kingdon.

Public misperception of Second Life and the virtual world landscape is beginning to change as we see what it means for the evolution a new global culture and economy. (Venture Beat)

Given that we do seem to be moving past the hype stage in SL media coverage and the environment seems to be growing slightly again, I’m curious as to what use cases will be persistent and what sort of communities will solidify in SL.

I still see it as platform for collaboration and expect that we will see additional tools for sharing data and creating 3D reference libraries. When I first posted about SL 3 years ago, I noted that using SL felt like using the first versions of the web. A bit clunky but with lots of potential. I’d still like to see better capabilities in rendering web objects in SL, but my guess is we will see lots of development in that area in the next 18 months.

The music community is also thriving in SL. I’ll admit that the few times I’ve logged on in the past months were simply to stream a live DJ or music performance. There are some really talented people in SL and it is a great platform for discovering new artists.

There still seems to be an active gaming community in SL as well. Games are not my thing, but some of the most active communities revolve around gaming.

Of course, the dark side of SL will also continue to thrive. I look forward to Linden Labs implementing some controls that will allow for searches against places and events to not always littered with promotions for the second life adult community.

Overall,I still think there is a strong role for 3D immersive worlds like Second Life in technological future. I’ve downloaded but not installed Suns new virtual world platform and have watched with interest some of the Windows client only environments. What use cases, if any, do you see for 3D virtual worlds?