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Linden Realms, Second Life’s only substantive first-party game, is set to open up to all Second Life users tomorrow, the first of December, according to Linden Lab PR manager, Peter Gray. Linden Realms is a fun little game about collecting crystals, completing quests and dodging hazards. The game is not just moving from a premium-only beta to an unrestricted beta – this is the public launch of Linden Realms, says the Lab.

You’ll be able to find portals (pictured top-right) to the Linden Realms games in their own section of the Second Life Destination Guide. Just walk your avatar into one, and you should be transported into one of the game areas. Linden Lab should be posting additional details tomorrow morning, US Pacific Time.

What you will need to make Linden Realms work is a relatively late-model Second Life viewer. Linden Realms relies on functionality that simply doesn’t exist in older versions of the Second Life viewer code-base. Some users of third-party Second Life viewers may be left out, lacking the required features.

It seems to me that this is what Linden Lab has been gearing up for with its recent stretch of promotion of third-party Second Life games, and interviews with third-party game-creators. Not only does promoting third-party content in Second Life help Second Life as a whole, from a marketing perspective, but the week-long promotion of user-created game-content will probably do a lot to ease the sting of having a first-party game in competition – especially before the new game-creation tools are properly available to game-makers to use.

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