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CNET feature: 'Second Life,' the promise and paradox

A recap of what went on at the 'Second Life' convention this weekend in Chicago.

CHICAGO--In Second Life, avatars can fly with the push of a button. Maybe that's why it seems like the virtual world's enthusiasts sometimes have trouble staying grounded.

At this weekend's Second Life Community Convention, Philip Rosedale--founder of Second Life creator Linden Lab--ambitiously declared as he often does that "this is something that everybody on Earth is going to use," that the virtual world will be "bigger than the Web."

But minutes earlier, Rosedale had been jokingly boasting over PowerPoint graphs showing the extent of Second Life's problems with server lag time, maintenance both planned and unplanned, and glitches that occasionally make users' virtual inventories disappear. "Second Life is still very early and very small," he said, hinting at his disapproval of the media buzz that swarmed the virtual world several months ago. "Everyone in the media (jumps ahead) a lot more than the people here," he said, gesturing to the audience of loyal metaverse residents. "Everybody wants to jump ahead and say, 'Oh my God, the future's alive!'...It's the natural myopia of emerging systems like this."

Read the rest of the CNET story here.