Many Second Life Merchants

Many Second Life Merchants Say the Virtual World Economy Seems Oligopolistic; How Should Linden Lab Intercede?

SL oligopoly 2024 survey

We should explore a key finding from my recent Patreon report, that nearly half the Second Life merchants surveyed believe the virtual world economy is dominated by oligopolies (see above). A solid plurality of merchants believe some SL brands have oligopolistic power over the virtual economy, while 37% are open to that possibility.

Anonymous comments by the surveyed merchants highlight their specific concerns:

There is a lot of gatekeeping in the SL creator’s world, especially when starting from zero. They limit too much the access to certain body devkits like [top brand A] or [top brand B] or to certain events so it is hard to grow as a creator when you are just starting with the brand, even if you have the knowledge or potential, it relies too much on followers rather than quality or original content.

All you have to do is look at the clothes market and how many bodies have come and gone and how much stuff is unusable without the outdated bodies. Folks have to keep up with what the body makers are doing, as well as making things fit multiple bodies, often with intentionally obfuscated devkits, it’s a mess.

Devkit gatekeeping is a huge hurdle to the health of the SL third party content creation ecosystem… you know what i’m talking about.

It’s so dependent on event companies, other creators, and ultimately… whether the audience has money to spend at all let alone log on, not just our work.

I think some of the negative trends occurring in the SL creator economy fall on the shoulders of choices made by other brands. The body brands really seriously impact how our market works, and the amount of brands and bodies and mods on the market has negatively affected the market in as many ways as it has positively. It’s turned customers at odds with creators more than ever.

Faced with growing oligopolies, real world governments tend to impose regulations or taxes on these powerful companies/coalitions, even breaking them up into smaller companies. As Second Life’s effective government, Linden Lab can’t exactly do anything like that.

I do see some potential in offering “carrots” that lessen the feeling of oligopoly power. Here’s three suggestions:

Publicize/highlight highly-optimized mesh body options. We’ve already written at length about how many (most?) of the top mesh bodies are way too triangle heavy. This creates an opportunity for Linden Lab to highlight — perhaps in a Top Optimized Body contest? — mesh bodies which are beautiful and streamlined to cause minimal lag. Good for the economy, good for the overall performance of the virtual world.

Hire a third party company to host shopping events on Linden land. The Linden-hosted events in-world tend to be highly non-profit, which is great; shopping events, however, would bring in a lot of fun traffic to the mainland. They could even be stretched out over many multiple sims to (somewhat) lessen lag. Trouble is, this would be difficult to pull off if it was managed by Linden Lab itself (drama, accusations of favoritism, etc.) So one solution is to hire a third party virtual world event studio — there’s many of these, doing events and marketing projects across many metaverse platforms — to pull it off. This would be a chance to present new brands as curated by people outside the main SL community.

Of course, the main way to lessen oligopoly is grow the economy, i.e. grow the active user base. With Second Life’s active shopping market so small — roughly 300,000 to 400,000 users are active shoppers — it’s inevitable that some brands will take on outsize power. An active user base that grows into the millions, however,  could create new markets and new niche categories.

No bad ideas in a brainstorm, like they say! What would you suggest, NWN reader?


Please support posts like these by buying Making a Metaverse That Matters and joining my Patreon!

Wagner James Au

 Have A Great Week From All Of Us At Zoha Islands/Fruit Islands

New Updates!

New Updates Coming Soon For The Second Life Marketplace 2024/2025

Here are some new updates on what everyone can look forward to in the coming year for the Second Life Marketplace from the Second Life web team. See the whole meeting here which runs for 1 hour and 8 minutes. These new updates are from the monthly Second Life Web User Group meeting on 3rd July 2024.

First release of Second Life Marketplace being mobile responsive…

  • Mobile experience will display better pages like the product page for reviews etc
  • Expected within weeks and this roll out will be going slowly
  • A new confirm button when clearing your shopping cart is coming soon
  • MFA will be added to the Second Life Marketplace and this will be Opt in (the lab strongly recommends this). The plan is to add it on login
  • There will be more updates coming this year as well as the ones listed here

Other things on the Second Life Marketplace roadmap for this year…

  • Additional changes to Search on the Second Life Marketplace while working on MFA.
  • The lab will be working at how it changes transactions and merchant feedback on the feedback portal
  • After Search tweaks and MFA on Marketplace the lab will work on responsive marketplace for Search/Shopping Cart (likely to happen in 2025)

There is more discussion and related questions though the meeting (watch the video above). Below are some big updates that was said by the lab from SL21B…

  • The Marketplace design and UI will be updated real soon which will make it more accessible on smaller screens & in-viewer web browser
  • Marketplace integration roadmap with CasperVend is in the works now
  • Dark Mode on Second Life Marketplace – Not on the roadmap
  • And more!

Loads of improvements will be launching soon and some towards the end of 2024/early 2025. New experiences are coming soon which sounds really exciting.

Have a good week from all of us at Zoha Islands/Fruit Islands.

Second Life Mobile Beta

Now Available for Premium and Premium Plus Members!



We’re excited to announce the next important milestone in the availability of the all-new official Second Life Mobile app. Effective today, we’re now opening up early beta access to all active Premium and Premium Plus members!

The Second Life app brings all the richness and beauty of the virtual world to both mobile phones and tablets. Now you can stay connected and socialize with your friends and communities – anytime, anywhere. Explore a diverse universe of places while on the go and even style your avatar – all from the palm of your hand.

Learn more and download the Beta Viewer at

Celebrate the Mobile Beta Launch with Parties Across the Grid!

To help us celebrate, several Second Life communities are holding beta mobile launch events over the coming weeks. Here’s a list of just a few of the participating communities (with more to come):

Are you an owner or manager of a Second Life community or experience that would like to participate in a future launch event for our new mobile app? Learn more about how you can participate in our Mobile App Promotion Partnership Program.

Have A Great Week From All Of Us At Zoha Islands / Fruit Islands


Launching Mirrors

PBR Terrain and 2k Textures in Second Life!

We are thrilled to officially launch three groundbreaking updates designed to elevate your virtual experience: Mirrors, PBR Terrain, and 2K Textures.


Mirrors: Step into a more immersive world with real-time reflections. Our new mirror functionality uses reflection probes, providing stunning and dynamic reflections. Perfect for adding realism to your virtual environments, whether it’s for a sleek modern home or a bustling city scape. You will find the options to make a reflection probe on the Build window, under Features.

PBR Terrain.jpg

PBR Terrain: Prepare to be amazed by the next level of terrain detail. With Physically Based Rendering (PBR), you can now apply advanced GLTF materials to your landscapes. This means your terrains can have intricate normal maps and metallic-roughness maps, bringing a new depth and realism to the ground beneath your feet.

Featurettes Viewer.jpg

2K Textures: Say hello to high-definition details. We have increased the maximum texture size from 1024×1024 to 2048×2048 pixels, allowing for more detailed and efficient textures. This upgrade is perfect for creators looking to enhance the visual richness of their builds, clothing, and objects.

These updates are designed to help you create more realistic and visually stunning environments in Second Life. Whether you’re a seasoned builder or just starting, these tools offer new possibilities for creativity and innovation.

Dive into these new features today and transform your creations. For more details and to stay updated on all the latest advancements, visit the Second Life Community Blog.

Download Second Life to enjoy these three new features now.

Thanks for your continued creation of beautiful content in Second Life. We can’t wait to see what you create with these exciting new tools.

Have a Great Week!

Inara Pey : Simurg’s mythical beauty in Second Life

Simurg’s mythical beauty in Second Life

Simurg, June 2024

Located within the north-west corner of a Full private region  which has been sub-divided into a series rental parcels, and which leverages the Land Capacity bonus, Simurg occupies a little under 4096 sq metres and is held by Lintu (KorppiLintu). It is offered as public space for visitors and photography, redressing it to suit the season and / or to offer different themes. The iteration I visited at the start of June 2024 carried the sub-title Ancient City, and contained a mix of ancient history wrapped with a touch of fantasy mythology.

Given its small size, the setting is seemingly easy to take in at a single glance, open to the water on two sides and the other two screened from the rest of the region intruding through the considered use of a main structure and two scenic backdrops. However, a simple glance can be deceptive; there is a lot more here than at first appears to be the case.

Simurg, June 2024

Perhaps the easiest way to think of the setting is as an ancient and once massive building – perhaps a temple; a place long since overcome by the passage of time. The landing point sits on the north side of the parcel, backed by great arches of a tall, ruined wall and looking across what was once a flagstone floor, now broken and open to flooding by the surrounding waters.

A good portion of this floor survives, pointing south-east towards stairs leading up to an antechamber apparently overlooking the rooftops of a large town or city suggestive of some where in Italy or southern Europe. Also pointing towards the antechamber  is a high wall mixed with rock formations which seems to form  the western boundary of the setting – although looking through its lower arches will reveal this is not the case.

Simurg, June 2024

Upon this wall, and looking down over the flagstones and water, is a line of statues which carry a Grecian styling about them. Further statues are set just above the waters at the base of this arched wall, although one of these is more Elven in look, thus providing one of the more fantasy elements to the setting. This is increased by the presence of stone-rendered sea beasts in the waters either side of the main flagstone floor. These in turn may have been called forth by the strange mer-like figures trumpeting the arrival of a figure upon a chariot and carrying a trident as he appears to have risen out of the sea behind the landing point.

All of this statutory add to the idea that this is a place steeped in history and legend (that charioted figure, for example, might well appear to be raiding up out of the sea, but he appears to in fact be Achilles, rather than any deity of the deep rising from the sea). However, little touches are add to the mix which bring together so much – as with the elven figures mentioned above, together with one of the statues within the antechamber also mentioned earlier. Rather than being something from ancient times, it is in fact a reproduction of a statue on the Honour Grave of Johannes Benk (1844-1914), located within the Vienna Central Cemetery, thus giving a further little twist to the setting’s narrative.

Simurg, June 2024

This great, semi-flooded hall is only a part of the setting. Sitting atop the high wall running on the west side, and above the statues thereon, sits a large table of rock forming a north-pointing promontory. Here, within a garden-like setting is evidence that however ancient the ruins below and around it might be, this is a place still very much in use. To one end stands the remnants of a modern brick-built structure with the bric-a-brac of modern life in and around it, presenting cosy place to sit and pass the time. facing it from the far end of the promontory is  wrought iron gazebo with table and chairs under its open top, offering another place to sit, whilst between them, the garden is split by water tumbling from above and then down a gaping hole it has tunnelled through the rock so it might fall onwards to join the waters below.

A glance down through the hole created by the waterfall reveals a little campsite tucked out-of-sight from the main ruins and sitting on a rocky outcrop. But how is it, and this elevated garden to be reached? There is no means by which to climb the ruins / rocks to reach it, and the waters surrounding and campsite on its outcrop appear too deep to wade through. The answer is to follow the trail skirting the waters flood a part of the ground level area and running north, away from the steps up to the antechamber.

Simurg, June 2024

Lit by electric or gas street lamps, this path leads the way to a teleport portal sitting within a door-like ring of stones. Obey the instruction of Click to Teleport, and you’ll be carried up to the garden. A second teleport tucked behind the brick ruins will then carry you down to the foot of the waterfalls. From here it is possible to take stepping stones back through an arch to the main part of the setting, or – despite the depth of the water between shore and campsite – walk to the little campsite without getting dunked, courtesy of an invisiprim.

Making excellent use of the available parcel space and vertical elevation, this iteration of Simurg has a welcoming mystical air to it. For me, this was increased by the parcel’s name: “Simurg” is one of the alternate spellings for the benevolent bird of Persian mythology, the simurgh. This is perhaps more happenstance than intentional – as noted, the parcel’s design seems to change over time (at least going by Lintu’s profile picks), rather than intentional – but it’s still a nice convergence between name and theme.

Simurg, June 2024

Certainly, the atmosphere within the setting is enhanced by the local environment settings (which I admittedly tweaked very slightly for the purposes of the images here), and brings together a mix of influences in a pleasing cocktail of sights and opportunities for photography. It might perhaps benefit for a slightly more immersive soundscape, but this is a very minor niggle and in no way detracts for the overall  beauty and appeal of Simurg.

SLurl Details

Simurg Ancient City (Myra rated Moderate)

Have A Great Week From All Of Us At Zoha Islands/Fruit Islands                                                                                                                                                            

Coming to an Agni region near you, an update on changes to Voice!

We shared back in March our exciting news about our plans to support WebRTC Voice in Second Life.

We’ve made some great progress in the two months since we shared that news, namely:

  • Second Life WebRTC Voice Project Viewer is now available: Download
  • Second Life WebRTC Voice support deployed to Agni channel “Pop Rocks”

To experience spatial audio on this WebRTC Voice Beta region, you will need a WebRTC Voice-enabled Viewer. The WebRTC Voice-enabled viewer can also use voice on non-WebRTC voice-enabled regions. It is our goal that WebRTC-Voice-enabled Viewers can still communicate with all other viewers via P2P, conference and group calls.

You should immediately notice the higher quality audio for voice as well as the following benefits:

  • Improved security
  • Removes external dependency on third-party provider for voice
  • Simple setup from behind firewalls and private networks
  • Enables greater control of voice operation in the viewer
  • WebRTC features including audio device selection, stereo audio, noise reduction, automatic gain control, and echo cancellation

There are some known issues:

  • Conference/Group/P2P in WebRTC is not yet available on the WebRTC Voice regions.
  • An occasional popup regarding voice server incompatibility can appear. Restart voice if you see this.
  • The viewer may crash if you connect/disconnect headphones or enable/disable voice.
  • Voice morphing is not available in this WebRTC-Voice enabled region.

We plan to keep working on the WebRTC Voice Project Viewer and promote it to Release Candidate status in early June. Please share your feedback and any issues found in our feedback portal. We’ll continue to deploy updates to the WebRTC Voice region during this time.

For Third Party Viewer developers, please check out this branch: 

Consult the documentation for more information.

We look forward to WebRTC Voice being available grid-wide and supported in our default Viewer and TPVs!

Have a good day from all of us at Zoha Islands And Fruit Islands