Culture

'Second Life' hits second million in eight weeks

It took the virtual world Second Life more than three years to finally .

But on the basis of a flurry of recent media attention around the world, and the arrival of a steady flow of Fortune 500 companies, Second Life made it to 2 million accounts just eight weeks later.

On Thursday, the virtual world's home page showed that the total number of registered accounts peaked at 2 million for the first time and is currently at 2,001,551.

Of course, the 2 million figure does not correspond to actual numbers of users. And since it's free to join Second Life--users pay for premium accounts if they want to own "land"--many people have signed up in recent weeks and months to try it out but not continued to play.

No one knows how many Second Life users there are. Estimates range from 200,000 to 600,000, and Linden Lab, the virtual world's publisher, posts regular updates about how many users have logged in within the last 60 days. As of Thursday, that number was 809,960.

And while the 2 million mark is certainly notable, especially given the speed with which Second Life got there from 1 million, the numbers pale in comparison to the more than 7 million people who pay $15 a month to play World of Warcraft.

Nevertheless, Second Life has doubled in less than two months, and that is most likely only going to attract new companies and more curious users.