SL People: Philip Rosedal

Talks Philip Rosedale: Second Life, where anything is possible
Interview with Second Life CEO, Philip Rosedale by Urizenus Sklar (The Second Life Herald)
The king of alter egos is surprisingly humble guy:Creator of Second Life's goal? Just to reach people by By Kevin Maney (USA Today)

Rosedale was born in San Diego in 1968, the first of four kids. "Mom was an English teacher until she started having babies," he says. "She gave me a lifelong love of reading great and hard books and was my biggest supporter in my various wacky childhood projects. Dad was a navy carrier pilot. He flew S-3's and then retired and became an architect."

Rosedale was a left-handed, creative kid who wanted to know how things worked.He'd take on electronics projects, like building a music synthesizer. In middle school, his parents bought him an Apple IIe, and he was euphoric.

"I made trees growing on screen," Rosedale says. "That's when I realized you could simulate nature."

He started a database business in high school, went to the University of California, San Diego, for physics, then moved to San Francisco and started a tiny company called FreeVue, which made early video conferencing software for the Web. RealNetworks bought FreeVue in 1996, and Rosedale joined Real, eventually becoming its chief technology officer.

Around the same time, Neal Stephenson's science-fiction classic Snow Crash swept through the tech community. The novel takes place across two worlds: the real world, and the global, highly realistic online space called the Metaverse. Rosedale's wife bought him the book, and he was inspired....