This is beyond huge. I have difficulty explaining exactly what sort of watershed moment on the ‘net this is, frankly. Second Life was the first online environment where there were clear property rights….what you create, in game, is yours, and is treated more or less like physical property. This allowed the residents of Second Life to create a vibrant economy that paralleled the real world, instead of being solely virtual like so many other MMORPG’s (WoW, etc).
This release now allows anyone to set up a Second Life server, giving avatars options as to where to set up camp. It sets up a situation of unlimited emigration/immigration in-world, and the ability to hop from “state” to “state”. I can see a natural evolution now of different Second Life states that appeal to different user groups (instead of the current “areas” in the single state) which will allow for much more customization and play from the residents.
I wish I had more time to play around in SL. I’ve got an avatar that lives there, but just don’t have the time to devote that I’d like to fully explore the SL world. It’s an amazing place, though, and this move could very well make it the defacto next stage towards the metaverse.