In the context of Second Life, the term Resident is applied to "people who have a stake in the world":[1]

It was pretty early in the development of Second Life. One of my jobs was to come up with the different words we wanted to use, including the name! The naming discussions were usually between me, Philip, Hunter and Peter (both of whom aren't here any more) with feedback from everyone else.

When it came to what to call the people in the world, we knew we didn't want to call them 'users', although that would be the most typical thing for software. However, the word 'users' doesn't do a very good job of describing the two-way nature of Second Life, where the people involved are providing content and contributing to the experience.

We also thought about 'members' (boring!), 'citizens' (too political!), and 'players' (too game-y).

'Residents', however, seems most descriptive of people who have a stake in the world and how it grows.|

Robin Harper (in world Robin Linden)

The term is not generally applied under the following conditions:

  • People who have only created an account, but never logged in
  • People who have had accounts created on their behalf for promotional events
  • People who have created an account, and logged in a few times then stopped using the account

A slight exception to the application of the term would be when referring to a person who holds multiple accounts. In this case, their primary account is referred to normally with the others interchangeably referred to as Resident or Alt. No exceptions are made for those with Basic or Premium accounts, however Residents who have held active accounts since the beta or periods and have purchased Lifetime subscriptions for US$225 are referred to as Charter Members.

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