Second Life's homepage from 2004, via Archive.org
"How to Save Second Life in Seven Easy Steps" is my latest editorial on Social Times, and I'm gratified to see it garnering a very interesting conversation there. The most curious reaction, of course, is to my suggestion to add an achievement/leveling system to Second Life, primarily to give new users a structure that will ease them into the SL experience in an encouraging and fun way. Sample objections: "That will just make Second Life like World of Warcraft!", or "I don't want SL to become FarmVille!" At heart to these objections is the assumption that a leveling system is fundamentally incompatible with Second Life, which is such an ahistorical notion, it's worth addressing here.
In point of fact, before World of Warcraft launched and FarmVille existed, Second Life did have a leveling system, and had one from very earliest days.