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Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Courtesy of Philip Rosedale, Breakroom

Second Life's creator, Philip Rosedale, is returning as an adviser to its parent company, Linden Lab. The move is part of a partnership with Rosedale's current startup, High Fidelity, which is making an investment in Linden Lab and transferring several employees and a number of patents.

Why it matters: While largely seen today as a relic, Second Life — the virtual world that took the mid-aughts by storm — has continued to operate, remaining at roughly the same size as it was years ago.

Rosedale left Linden Lab more than a decade ago when its investors sold the company. High Fidelity has been working on spatial audio, among other areas.

What they're saying: In an interview, Rosedale said he is rejoining Second Life because he still loves the virtual world he created. But also, he said, he is concerned about what others are pushing as the future of the metaverse, especially Facebook.

  • "I think the world is pretty screwed up right now," Rosedale told Axios. "Like all of us, I am beginning to think deeply about how can I use what I know about technology for good."
  • Rosedale shared some of his concerns last year in an interview with Axios Gaming's Stephen Totilo.

Linden Labs Chairman Brad Oberwager said Rosedale brings needed history and experience to the societal conversation around the future of virtual worlds.

  • "The metaverse concept needs Philip Rosedale in it," Oberwager told Axios.

Go deeper

Hope King, author of Closer
33 mins ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

First look: Senators propose bill to ban corporate PACs

Sens. Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly. Photos: Chip Somodevilla (left), Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) will soon propose a bill prohibiting for-profit corporations from establishing and managing political action committees, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The introduction of "The Ban Corporate PACs Act" comes amid heightened scrutiny on Capitol Hill regarding money in politics, including efforts to bar companies from influencing political campaigns and federal elections. It would likely face a court challenge and First Amendment concerns.

2 hours ago - Technology

Exclusive: YouTube shuts down two Oath Keepers channels

Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers. (Photo: Aaron C. Davis/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

YouTube has deactivated two channels linked to the Oath Keepers militia group whose members have been charged in relation to the January 6 Capitol riot, the company told Axios.

The big picture: Social media platforms that were used to plan or promote the Capitol attack have moved with varying degrees of speed to bar the accounts involved.