Philip Rosedale (avatar "Philip Linden") is founder of Second Life, an online 3D virtual world inhabited by millions. He's chair of Linden Labs, the company behind the digital society.

Why you should listen

A tinkerer since childhood and an entrepreneur since he was a teenager, Philip Rosedale was always captivated with the idea of simulated reality and imaginary environments. He worked as CTO of RealNetworks until computing technology caught up with his fancies. Then he founded Linden Labs and built a virtual civilization called Second Life. That environment now boasts milions of citizens and a buzzing economy (currency: Linden dollars) that represents over $10 million in real value.

Second Life may be artificial but it's hardly trivial, Rosedale says. Its appeal to human creativity is obvious, but beyond the thriving in-world industries and bustling social spaces, real-life businesses (and even some religious organizations) are using Second Life as a platform for meetings, services and collaboration.

"You can imagine New York City being kind of like a museum," Rosedale says. "Still an incredibly cool place to go, but with no one working in those towers. You are going to [work] in a virtual world."

What others say

“Philip Rosedale didn't create Second Life to be a game or a toy. He thinks he is remaking the Internet -- taking it on a giant leap forward ...” — USA Today

Philip Rosedale’s TED talks

Philip Rosedale on the TED Blog

Second Life, where anything is possible: Philip Rosedale on TED.com

December 3, 2008

Why build a virtual world? At this year’s Serious Play conference, Philip Rosedale talks about the virtual society he founded, Second Life, and its underpinnings in human creativity. It’s a place so different that anything could happen. (Recorded May 2008 in Pasadena, California. Duration: 28:31.) Watch Philip Rosedale’s talk from Serious Play on TED.com, where […]

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