Second Life Celebrates Five Years

Linden Labs is celebrating the five year anniversary of the launch of their virtual world Second Life, and you're all invited, even if most of you won't come! In honor of this milestone, the Lindens will be holding a two-week long Virtual World Fair, complete with parties, roundtable discussions, and exhibits that highlight the genitalia perversion creativity of the world's residents.

Things kick off June 23rd with a keynote speech from Linden Founder and Chairman Philip Rosedale and newly appointed CEO Mark Kingdon, both of whom better have some pretty kick-ass avatars. If they don't have at least jet packs and glowing eyes I'm laughing them off the stage. Cue my character's temporary ban in 3...2...1.

Hit the jump for details on some of the milestones that SL will be celebrating, or visit the official site for a schedule of events.

Linden Lab Celebrates Second Life's 5th Birthday With a Virtual World Fair

Keynote Addresses by New CEO Mark Kingdon, Founder Philip Rosedale and Board Member Mitch Kapor Highlight Two-Week Long Celebration

SAN FRANCISCO—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Linden Lab®, creator of 3D virtual world Second Life® (www.secondlife.com), has announced that it will hold a two-week long Virtual World Fair to celebrate the 5th birthday of the Second Life community. The virtual fairgrounds, created in tandem by Linden Lab and Second Life Residents, will host a series of roundtable discussions, parties and exhibits that showcase the vast creativity of Residents as well as groundbreaking organizational uses of the Second Life platform. The event will be held in various regions in Second Life and will take place from June 23 – July 7, 2008.

Open to Second Life Residents, Linden Lab employees and industry thought leaders, the event will explore such topics as the evolution of Second Life's culture, the role of virtual worlds in business and the opportunities the platform offers for education, art, philanthropy and health care, among others. Founder and former Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale and newly appointed CEO Mark Kingdon will each give an opening address and Linden Lab board member Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation, will offer closing remarks.

Some highlights of the first five years that will be discussed and celebrated include:

2003

June 23, 2003 – The highly anticipated Second Life virtual world comes out of beta and launches to the public

November 14, 2003 – At the State of Play Conference, Founder Philip Rosedale announces that Linden Lab will allow Residents to retain all IP rights to the content they create in-world, a groundbreaking move that while initially questioned by industry leaders, epitomizes Linden Lab's approach and philosophy and has greatly helped establish its leadership position

2004

June 15, 2004 – Linden adds a Custom Animation scripting engine to Second Life, enabling Residents to more fully develop and personalize their avatars by adding distinctive moods and movements

August 15, 2004 – Second Life surpasses 10,000 Residents – to celebrate the milestone Philip takes the entire office to a Giants game; by the time the game ended, residency had jumped to 13,000

2005

April 25, 2005 – Having outgrown its office, Linden Lab moves to a much larger office on Sansome Street in San Francisco. A short time later, Linden would move again to its current location at 945 Battery Street

October 3, 2005 – Linden launches the "LindeX" – its own hosted currency exchange - L$400,000 is traded on the first day of business

2006

January 5, 2006 - Second Life surpasses 100,000 registered Residents

May 1, 2006 – BusinessWeek cover story "Virtual Life, Real Money" further validates Second Life as a revenue-generating vehicle for individual entrepreneurs and businesses

September 15, 2006 – Second Life surpasses 1,000,000 registered Residents

2007

January 8, 2007 - Linden Lab announces that it will release the code to its viewer software – further opening the world and enabling Residents to have more control over their experiences. An audacious and unusual move for a company in a leadership position but indicative of the company's approach and ethos and a key step towards Linden's vision of a pervasive 3D online environment

March 26, 2007 – Second Life surpasses 5,000,000 registered Residents

September, 2007 – In the month of September, Second Life surpasses: a) 10,000,000 registered Residents b) 25,000,000 total monthly usage hours and c) 50,000 concurrent users logged in at one time

2008

April 3, 2008 – Linden Lab announces that IBM will host regions of the Second Life Grid behind IBM's firewall, combining the operational scale and security of IBM's BladeCenter with Second Life's dynamic content creation tools and vibrant user community. Combing these solutions together has the potential to make custom-created, security rich virtual environments a viable option for enterprises

April 22, 2008 – Philip steps down as CEO of Linden Lab, assumes the position of Chairman of the Board and names Organic's Mark Kingdon as his successor; Mark officially began his tenure on May 15, 2008

"It's amazing to look back and reflect on everything that we've accomplished in such a short time. From our initial launch, to the decision to allow Residents to retain their IP, to opening up the Platform to third parties, most of the decisions we've made have gone against the grain of conventional wisdom and that's made all the difference," said Philip Rosedale, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Linden Lab. "While we've come a long way in our first five years and have surmounted significant challenges, there's still plenty of work left as we continue to advance the medium. With Mark's leadership and the passion and creativity of our Residents we are extremely excited about what the future holds and the evolving role that Second Life will play in business, arts, education and communication in general."