Second Life is an online virtual world developed by Linden Lab which was launched on June 23, 2003. A number of free client programs called Viewers enable Second Life users, called Residents, to interact with each other through avatars. Residents can explore the world (known as the grid), meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another. Second Life is intended for people aged 13 and over, and as of 2011 has more than 20 million registered user accounts.


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OpenSimulator is an open source multi-platform, multi-user 3D application server. It can be used to create a virtual environment (or world) which can be accessed through a variety of clients, on multiple protocols.

OpenSimulator allows virtual world developers to customize their worlds using the technologies they feel work best. OpenSimulator is written in C#, running both on Windows over the .NET framework and on *ix machines over the Mono framework. The source code is released under a BSD License, a commercially friendly license to embed OpenSimulator in products.

Out of the box, OpenSimulator can be used to simulate virtual environments similar to Second Lifeā„¢, given that it supports the core of SL's messaging protocol. As such, these virtual worlds can be accessed with the regular SL viewers.

ReactionGrid Inc. hosts and develops virtual worlds with a focus on business, art and education. It is a For-Profit Class C Corporation with offices in Orlando FL and Boston MA.

ReactionGrid delivers systems virtualized on a platform called Harmony. By using virtualized systems, it was able to lower price points and allow users of ReactionGrid's Mars & Magellan Mission plans to have root access to their own Windows 2008 Server. This gives users total security and ownership of their system, even allowing them to install web and desktop applications to work with their world.

Other benefit include the ability to deliver templated virtual worlds for specific industry, and to use cases in ReactionGrid's hosted and firewalled servers.

The Phoenix Viewer Project Inc. is a non-profit incorporated organization. Phoenix viewer is a Third Party Viewer for use with Second Life and other virtual worlds. It's based on Linden Lab's Viewer Version 1.23.5 and Snowglobe 1.5, with features added to improve performance, increase usability, and generally enhance the user's overall experience.

Phoenix supports Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. The source code is also available.

Imprudence is an open source metaverse viewer project based on the Second Life Viewer source.

The goal of Imprudence is to greatly improve the usability of the Viewer through community involvement, thoughtful design, modern development methods, and a pro-change atmosphere.

Imprudence has many features and improvements over the regular Second Life viewer, including countless user interface improvements and numerous OpenSim-specific features and fixes.