For the last several days, speculation has been circulating on whether the name SANSAR might be the name of the Lab’s new next generation platform for virtual experiences.
Speculation first came via a post made to the SL Universe forums, and has since appeared on both the Profile feeds and forums, relating to trademarks filed by the Lab on April 10th, 2015, namely:
- US Serial no 86593254 – for “Project SANSAR”
- US serial no 86593259 – for “SANSAR”
In addition, in October 2014, Ascio Technologies, Inc., filed a domain name registration for projectsansar.com listing Linden Research as the Domain Administrator.
As has already been indicated in some of the responses to the forum posts referring to the trademarks, Sansara was one of the early names considered for Second life (being derived from Samsāra, which occurs in both Buddhism and Hinduism, and, perhaps more particularly where SL is concerned, was used by Hermann Hesse in his 1922 novel Siddhartha as a reference to the “world of illusion”), and currently lives on as the name of SL ‘s oldest and largest mainland continent. Whether “SANSAR” is a play on this is unclear – it might just as easily be an acronym.
The description of both trademarks is identical, and for those preferring to read it in a single pass rather than via the filings with the US Trademark office, it can be found on the Legal Force website, from which I’m quoting below:
Entertainment software, namely, software that is used for providing multi-player access to an on-line game environment; computer game software; virtual reality game software; computer graphics software; software that is used for providing multi-user access to an online 3D virtual environment; computer 3D virtual environment software, namely, software for use in creating, manipulating and participating in 3D virtual environments.
Advertising and marketing services, namely, developing and distributing electronic marketing materials.
Online financial services, namely, offering a fictional-dollar-denominated credit card to charge online purchases.
Communication services in the nature of text messaging and electronic mail services used in playing on-line computer games; communication services in the nature of text messaging and electronic mail services used in an online virtual environment.
Entertainment services, namely, providing an on-line computer game by means of communications networks; entertainment services in the nature of providing an on-line multi-player electronic computer game; entertainment services, namely, providing an on-line computer game that may be accessed by means of communications networks.
Computer services, namely, hosting an on-line 3D virtual environment featuring a wide variety of user-defined subject matter and hosting an on-line 3D virtual environment featuring a wide variety of user-defined subject matter that may be accessed by means of communications networks; design and development of multimedia and three dimensional virtual environment software.
Most of this reads pretty much as description for Second Life – so the applicability for a new virtual experiences platform is fairly obvious, and hence the speculation that is circulating.
However, what really does pique interest in this description – beyond whether or not it pertains to the Lab’s new platform – is not the description of the environment, but the description of “online financial services”. The Lab has already indicated that Linden Dollars would be supported on the new platform, however, the description of a fictional-dollar-denominated credit card to charge online purchases suggests a new mechanism by which good and services within the new platform can be purchased, and by which the Lab might generate revenue.
Whether the name reflects the actual name for the Lab’s new virtual experiences platform or purely an interim project name (or even both, as may be the case given the two trademarks), is unclear. Sansar itself is a popular name for organisations related to the Asian continent (including SANSAR, the South Asian Network Supporting Awareness and Research based in Canada), so brand recognition, if this is to be the name, might be interesting in some quarters.
I approached Linden Lab for a comment on the matter, but have yet to receive a reply. Should one be forthcoming, I’ll update this article.
With thanks also to Ziki Questi