If you look around in the news, people are trying very hard to "prove", without a shadow of doubt, that Second Life is basically dead. The economy has stagnated; nobody wants to buy land; companies are moving out; other social networks are catching up; every tiny company that has one programmer and a designer are launching their own virtual world, and they all will be "faster, better, cheaper" than Second Life. Linden Lab is also getting more tyrannical and shutting down everything attractive in SL.
I remember the first time I loaded up , my first massively multiplayer online game. It was one of the turning points in my gaming career, and to this date I can still see the shadowed, two-dimensional character-creation screen, empty and waiting for my input.
Philip K. Dick explained once how he became a passionate writer of a genre perceived as “not serious”: “I became interested in writing stf [scientifiction] when I saw it emerge from the ray gun stage into studies of man in various types and complexities of society” , Introducing the Author (1953).