I was looking for vintage swimwear and found Second Life: what the heck is it?

Christine S July 12, 2013

So I was looking online for vintage 40s/50s swimwear for vacation and I was directed to Second Life.

Call me crazy but they were asking £50 for virtual swimwear – not real! What is Second Life? Something about the site seems strange. Maybe it is a game?

Curious as ever,


  1. Oron J
    July 12, 2013 at 8:31 am

    That must have been a real surprise! It's a simulation game, and as you rightly observe, a pretty mad one. It may seem odd that people will pay £50 for virtual swimwear, but then again, have a look in eBay and you'll find that people are willing to pay any amount for all sorts of strange and fairly useless things!

  2. Dalsan M
    July 12, 2013 at 4:56 am

    More interesting articles about Second Life including how a virtual club sold for $635,000 USD can be found here: http://www.popsci.com/category/tags/second-life?cmpid=mobify

  3. Dalsan M
    July 12, 2013 at 4:53 am

    Yes, it is a simulator game like The Sims, but as a very large social networking/chatting form. I have never used it, but heard horror stories of people hacking as well as preying upon newbies to scare them off. It isn't quite as popular, but was a huge it when it came out. I never trust any game like Second Life (there are several social games like it), but yes, you can purchase virtual clothing with real money to "spruce up" your avatar.

    More info can be found here: http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2006-09/your-second-life-ready?cmpid=mobify and even a major magazine company decided to get into the act: http://www.popsci.com/life/article/2006-11/brave-new-world

  4. Tim Brookes
    July 12, 2013 at 2:16 am

    First thank you for submitting one of the more entertaining questions I've had the liberty of editing. I can only imagine the expression of someone shopping online for holiday clothing to stumble across virtual items for fifty quid a pop :)

    Second Life was very big a while ago, and the clue's in the name - yeah it's a game, but one that people take rather seriously. To the point where it becomes quite literally a Second Life - a virtual world, full of real people.

    It's a massively multiplayer game, and that's basically the draw - you and thousands of other people populate a virtual world, with virtual buildings, items, friendships, pets, even weddings (believe it or not). The popularity of Second Life (it has always had a free to play element) is apparently encountering somewhat of a resurgence according to GigaOm, anyway: http://gigaom.com/2013/06/23/second-life-turns-10-what-it-did-wrong-and-why-it-will-have-its-own-second-life/

    That article explains much about what made the game so big in the first place, as well as what went wrong.

    So to answer your question: a virtual world, where you can meet real people and spend real-world currency on virtual items, like 1950s swimwear.