Unless you've been hiding under a rock for several weeks, you've certainly heard the news that Linden Lab is engaged in the development of a new virtual world, building on the spirit of Second Life. Whatever it turns out to be — for example, consider a world that's not a virtual superhighway held together with proverbial rubber bands, but maybe one where sims can be odd sizes (or huge), where a thousand avatars can pack lag-free into a sim, where you could swim down miles into an ocean, where someone could share their screen with you to give you a peek at what they're seeing, or where clothing is intuitive ("I mean, just coming in and getting dressed is a major undertaking, and it shouldn't have to be," said Ebbe Altberg recently. "There's a lot of stuff that is geekier than it need to be; what the hell does it mean to 'detach' something from your avatar and stuff like that?") — we still have Second Life for the foreseeable future, and maybe for a long time to come.
So what is the future of this vibrant virtual world we embrace? Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 2, at 7 am slt, the Firestorm viewer team will host a special question and answer session with Oz Linden, Technical Director of Second Life, and possibly Pete Linden, Director of Communications — teleport here to reach the auditorium. The conversation will focus on the current platform, not the "new" platform, but should be a lively discussion. Seating is limited at the Firestorm Support Region, but the session will be taped, and fellow blogger Inara Pey will no doubt post a detailed summary and transcription. Have questions you'd like to raise? Then head over to the Firestorm blog, here, and post questions that Jessica Lyon, Firestorm Project Manager and Founder, can pose to Linden guests. And these photos? Well, down on the ground, the Firestorm team has created a great entry-level orientation tour of Second Life (much like the orientation centers of distant history), and, if you spot new residents in need of help, you can send them for a visit — teleport here for a link.