“The lack of badges and awards has hurt SL’s growth rate in my opinion. There’s no recognition and incentive for staying in-world other than the social networks you form in there and content creation, which many people can’t do well. You don’t need big invasive leveling systems like WoW, but how about awards for number of sims visited?”
Who else wants a grid-driven achievement system in SL, which in my opinion, is a major contributor to the high retention rates of the largest virtual worlds? In any case, read more here.
Since today is Second Life blogger Friday, here's an open forum thread just for them, to unburden. Topic: What post do you regret writing, or in retrospect, wish you had written in a different way, and why?
I'll start first: a few years ago, I interviewed a Resident who didn't want his name revealed when I quoted him, and I agreed, and made sure to leave his name out of the text. Then hours after I had published the post, a reader pointed out the dude's name was quite visible -- in the post's accompanying screenshot. Blogger fail.
Arwyn Quandry is in a quandary. A member of Teen Second Life (and a smart one), tomorrow she will turn 18 and thus become eligible for the main grid. In real world terms, that's like going from a bucolic small town of a few thousand, to a big teeming city the population of San Francisco. Making a virtual transition is just as challenging. She's posted an "advice wanted" thread on her blog, seeking tips on where to go and what to do. There's already some good pointers there, but I'm sure she could use some more. Whatever the case, if you see Ms. Quandry in SL this weekend, be sure to welcome her.
This should be fun: at 4pm SLT today I'll be talking with fellow Linden veteran Robin Harper in Metaplace, and all you have to do to join us is create a free avatar account (a few minutes' effort) and then log in via the web-embedded Metaplace room below. Apropos to the medium, Robin will interview me about virtual worlds, where they're going, and what must happen, to make them a true mass market phenomenon. Bring your questions, see you there!
Erie Isle was voted SL's favorite place to roleplay in the
“SL Resident's Choice Awards.” The sim offers immersive role play from the frightening to the dramatic with elements of mystery, romance, combat and lust. The residents of Erie Isle frequently have special events of interest beyond the story line of the sim which are open to the public. You can find out about all the events at the Erie Isle calendar here.
On August 1st, at 9am and again at 6pm, you are invited to attend a special Erie Isle live performance of Maurice Sendak's book "Where the Wild Things Are." This classic children's book is about the adventure of a boy named Max and his encounters with mythical creatures. It is widely regarded as a masterpiece and was one of my personal favorites as a child. I am very much looking forward to seeing how the talented Erie Isle roleplayers adapt this wonderful book to the Phantom Theatre Company Stage. Join me there, won't you? In Erie Isle. [SLurl Teleport at this link]
Chestnut Rau’s weekly round-up of upcoming SL events…
Also after the break: Learn to DJ in SL, Listen to The Blues Preacher, View Powerful Sculpture and much much more
As I reported this morning for GigaOM, a leading research firm surveying US consumers has found that 12% of the population bought a virtual item over the last 12 months, such as gifts in a social game on Facebook, virtual currency for an online world, weapon upgrades in PC/console games, etc. As I researched that figure further with the lead analyst, I asked him for a breakdown not just of virtual currency/item purchases, but virtual world usage. That led to a fascinating stat they got from their respondents:
13%, or about 1 in 8 Americans between 12-64, reported being a regular virtual world user.
That's a much larger figure than many might expect, but since it includes everything from World of Warcraft to web-based MMOs like Habbo and Club Penguin, and also Second Life (all frequently cited during surveys, the analyst told me), fairly plausible. Full breakdown of other consumer usage after the break:
In a pleasant courtyard in Clay is a beautiful brunette woman who sometimes paces the square, and if you catch her when she sits down, you can join her in idle conversation. Her name is April Scientist, and she is a bot with AI-powered chat capabilities, and since it'd been a while since I'd talked with Abi, another brunette with similar faculties, I decided to give Ms. Scientist a try. She only responds when you begin each text line with "April", so the following dialog (somewhat edited for clarity) transpired:
Hamlet Au: April hello, how are you?
April Scientist: Hamlet: Yes, a lot of strange people are coming here.