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Japanese version of Second Life imminent? August 10, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in games, Japan.

It looks like Second Life is seriously targetting the Japanese market. Their Japanese page is accepting e-mails to notify users when the Japanese version of the virtual world becomes available.

It’ll be interesting to see how they implement the “Japanese version” (they are also German and Korean versions in the works also, it appears). Will it be a separate world (that would be a shame, at least for people who are comfortable in both Japanese and English and wish to take advantage of what the English language based community has to offer there), a separate island/continent, or will Japanese users be thrown into the existing ecosystem, and be surrounded by English speakers (I suspect the last option is unlikely…).

My (albeit totally uneducated) guess is that the foreign language versions are actually just one major double byte/unicode enabled upgrade to the entire system (the assumption being that the game was developed without thought given to I18N issues, as often is the case with English language development projects), with users of particular languages initially being anchored to certain geographical locations by way of providing an environment where a particular language population will naturally cluster.

It transpires that an ex-colleague now works at Linden Labs, I’m going to meet him soon and try to torture some additional info from him…..


1. Mary King - November 11, 2006

Fascinating. Look, I’m a British woman living in Japan, and I presently have an avatar in the English-speaking SL. However, I would like to go over to the Japanese-language SL too. I have visited the Japanese SL within the English one and I cannot type in Japanese there. It seems I need a special font, even though I have a computer that has a Japanese User Interface and everything (and offers English as an afterthought). This particularly font seems like a pain to download, so I’d be really interested to know if and when there will be a full on Japanese SL. I’d love to know when.~Mary

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