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Kingdon feels the fear

Tateru Nino

Linden Lab's newly-minted CEO, Mark Kingdon, has posted another communique to Second Life users, and it isn't hard to see a certain fear in the phrasing and timing.

'The possibilities of Virtual Worlds have attracted a slew of entrepreneurs and even some Internet giants,' writes Kingdon in his second paragraph, 'Some are offering a simple, visually appealing chat solution. Others are more ambitious. Second Life offers something no ones else does - an astoundingly rich array of user-created content and a large, diverse and ever-expanding virtual economy.'

And it isn't hard to see which Internet giant and what visually appealing chat solution he might be referring to, especially considering the timing of the statement.

That's not fear of Lively as a competitor, though -- that looks more like fear of the media circus that says it that Lively is one. The whole post would have been a good one, last week. Or even yesterday.

Today, though, it gives us the impression that Kingdon's worried that Second Life won't be the first name that comes to mind in virtual worlds, rather than any concerns about Google's Lively cutting into the Second Life market.

It's the same worry that Playstation Home instills. That people will look at Lively or at Playstation Home as virtual world products and think, 'So this is it? This is what all the fuss is about?'

And, you know, Kingdon's probably right to be concerned about it. It's just the transparent reactivity of it that makes us curious. At least he didn't go so far to mention someone by name (like EA did over Activision-Blizzard), because that would have just been poor taste.

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