Monday, August 27, 2012

« Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: Get a 20% Discount, Meet Co-Authors Tom Boellstorff and Celia Pearce in SL on 8/30 | Main | Pathfinding Demo for Drone War, FPS Game in Second Life »

Second Life is Not the Metaverse -- But That's Not What It Was First Invented to Be

Fleep Chris Collins Tuque

"Why Anyone Who Cares About the Metaverse Needs to Move Beyond Second Life; Now, Not Later" is an important new post by Chris "Fleep Tuque" Collins, an educator who also ran the Second Life Community Convention, and wrote an equally crucial post about that experience too. In her latest thoughts on Second Life, as the title suggests, she argues that advocates of the metaverse ideal -- where real work and activity is conducted within an immersive virtual world -- should look beyond Second Life, which is not the metaverse, for other options. I agree with her on this larger point, but the analysis is somewhat flawed by a misunderstanding of Linden Lab's history, in regards to the metaverse concept, and where the company is now, under the CEO stewardship of Rod Humble. For instance, she writes:

Back when Philip [Rosedale] ran the Lab, Second Life was not a game. Under Rod [Humble]’s leadership, a game is exactly what he’s trying to turn it into. My advice is: If you want to see the metaverse we imagined, then stop playing the perpetual hoping and waiting game that Second Life is.

It's true that Rod Humble is turning Second Life into a game platform, but here's an equally important thing to understand: Second Life was originally conceived and marketed by Linden Lab as a kind of game platform/play space, and not the metaverse.

Now, it's true that Linden Lab attempted to add metaverse-like aspects to SL many years after its launch, but no matter how much many of us wanted it to be the metaverse (I was among them) it failed in this post-facto goal because, in part, SL was never really conceived to be the metaverse in the first place, not even by its founders.

Consider:

 Second Life homepage 2004
Second Life's homepage from 2004, via Archive.org

And so on. It's important to remember SL's history, to make sense of where it is now. As I said, it's true that Linden Lab later attempted to add metaverse-type features to Second Life -- among them, the efforts to make it interoperate with OpenSim, introducing and promoting corporate, education, and real world advertising sims, and the rolling out of an enterprise-centric grid, which all happened in the 2006-2008 hype era. However, none of this worked, for reasons I'll discuss later. But if you look at the totality of Second Life's evolution, you'll see its beginnings as a game platform which tried to become something else -- largely at the behest of educators like Chris, who wanted it to be something more. "These educators," as a top Linden once told me, frustrated, "are trying to turn Second Life into a teaching platform, but it was never meant to be that, it was meant to be a consumer product!"

Seen from that point of view, Rod Humble's moves to make SL more like a game and a game development platform are actually in line with what Second Life was first meant to be. But here's the thing: If it can succeed as a game platform, it might also have a chance at becoming something like the metaverse. But again, that's a talk for another time.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bf74053ef0177445e7427970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Second Life is Not the Metaverse -- But That's Not What It Was First Invented to Be:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Iggy

MS Office has also been a very effective "consumer product" over the years, though it has served business and educational customers well.

SL might have enjoyed steady growth in its edu community had it not ended the educational discount. But, as Chris notes, it's time to move on. We'll still use it for meetings, such as the one noted in your recent post about the VWER meeting. We may even return to play a game or roleplay.

Increasingly, however, the action for teaching & learning has and will continue to move elsewhere. We educators believe in the Metaverse idea, but we'll have to employ a DIY solution, I reckon :P

Luna Bliss

Well I'm so glad that ONE MORE TIME it's going to be fixed...but I wonder if losing 100 sims a week for the past X number of months could be signaling a problem.

Brookston Holiday

Metaverse may not be what they originally intended, but it was what they were selling when I joined up.

cheops

Something missing here about the history, this was supposed to be a world where the users bring the content, and they did ! For what I know and could see from the day I started in 2006, first users were building war or fighting games, but quickly love themes came and some told me :" this is really great, like in RL, people first fight, after they say : make love, not war!" I'm not sure that LL is for something on that, what do people think about that?

Aeonix Aeon

"I'm not building a game. I'm building a new country."
-- Philip "Linden" Rosedale, interview to Wired, 2004-05-08

In conjunction with the Linden Lab motto of the time "Your world, Your imagination" says otherwise.

When given the tools, the users invariably build what is familiar before moving onto more contexts. In the beginning, the tools were utilized for gaming because that's what people associated the sandbox virtual world with.

Second Life is no more of a game than the Internet is just a gaming platform. However, they simply had to pick a place to begin before expanding that outward, and gaming happened to be the easiest analogy.

Truth be told, they didn't really recognize or understand what they were building until later on - and to wit they still don't fully grasp it.

If their sole purpose was to simply build a game dev platform, then Cory (being an industry vet) would have made Second Life as an SDK just like everyone else and licensed it.

When you're in the infancy and trying to sell the concept of a Metaverse to the people who will invest to let you build that platform, they don't understand what you're talking about in the board room... and probably still don't today. So you make the analogy as a new game development platform (which they do get). It's not an accurate analogy, but it's the closest one you can make.

So the focus on "game development platform" and Second Life as a game dev system was likely more corporate lip service than anything. It's something you put the outward appearance on to appease the people who actually are funding it and don't grasp what a Metaverse is. You do whatever keeps the lights on.

pixeleen mistral

This is a rare case where I agree with Hamlet - SL *is* a game. It is unfortunate that some mistook it for a platform - including you.

Luna Bliss

pixeleen mistral wrote:
"This is a rare case where I agree with Hamlet -SL *is* a game. It is unfortunate that some mistook it for a platform - including you."

Pixeleen you don't get to define other peoples reality - they get to define that for themselves.
Seems a lot of people thought SL was a platform...a community..and one that they had a say in...and they feel pretty much sold down the river.

Arcadia Codesmith

She's right. Second Life exists to make money for Linden Lab stakeholders, period, full stop. There's nothing wrong with that; I have a mercenary streak myself.

But there are so many cases where the profit motive is not appropriate, acceptable or helpful for building a true metaverse. If we want it to happen, and we don't want it to be a complete fluster-cluck like our real life neo-feudal system, we can't spend years hoping that a for-profit company is going to see the light. It won't happen -- it's outside their comprehension and capabilities.

There can be room for a for-profit market within the context of a virtual non-profit society, but the society should always control the market. Tightly.

Alisha

I'm not so sure spreading ourselves out across different platforms is the right way to go, unless those platforms can magically merge at some point. In fact, I'd even argue that all the other grids have helped lower VR below numbers(of enthusiastic interesting people in one place) nessasary to kick off a metaverse.

As Chris points out, the magic of SL, and VR in general, is the shared dream of the metaverse. It's all about the people, not the space. The space just needs to be flexible enough for all of us.

Personally, I don't see the lab adding some game like functionality to SL as a threat to its openendedness at all. I just see more needed flexibility. Nor is adding SL to Steam a bad thing. It may even attract the modder crowd.

Of course I'm not discounting any of the labs poorly viewed decisions, the loss of many valuable employees and customers, etc. etc. But a company is not going to create the metaverse. We are. Careful though, We also have the ability to crush it.

Lani Global

Yes, SL is a GAME!

But the SL Game its not exactly the kind of game that one normally thinks of in the MMOG context.

CASINO GAME:
The SL Game when viewed as the Game that casinos in Las Vegas play:

Venue. (SL Grid)
Playing tables. (SL Sims)
Chips. (L$)
Cash Cage. (RL$ to $L exchange)

Linden Labs is "The House".
Land Barons are "The Dealers".
Residents/Players are "The Marks".

The Marks actually play for RL money, and the odds grossly favor The House. Once in a while The House lets a Mark hit the jackpot, and pays out with funds from other Marks.

CHESS GAME:
Or let's look at The SL Game in another way...
The Game of SL is where Linden Labs is playing against itself on both sides of a chess board. Linden Labs owns the board, and it rents out all the playing pieces and board positions for RL$. LL plays both black and white Kings and Queens. LL lets its biggest fans (Land Barons) rent the Knights, Bishops, and Castles; they get to move around on the board and control some of the positions within limitations allowed by The King. The lower echelon of fans get to rent the Pawns, with even more limited movement.
LL always wins this game.

Hamlet Au

"In conjunction with the Linden Lab motto of the time 'Your world, Your imagination' says otherwise."

That motto existed even when SL had definite game mechanics -- see the screenshot above. It existed even before the IP rights policy. A lot of MMOs use similar marketing lingo to emphasize that their game is also a world in some sense. Second Life is not exclusive in this regard.

"Philip said 'I'm not building a game. I'm building a new country.'"

Philip said that in relation to the IP rights, L$-US$ exchange, and land ownership policies, but again, even at that point, we (Lindens) were marketing SL as a game/game platform. In fact, around the same time he was saying that, the main example Philip cited to demonstrate the effectiveness of those policies was the success of Tringo... a game in SL.

To be even more specific, there was a company-wide discussion in 2005 about whether SL should be called a game at all. Because at the time, Lindens themselves were still calling it a game, among each other and to their customers.

Lani Global

On the wonderful issue of The Greater Metaverse.

Right now, many are content to see "the metaverse" only as the sum of all the 3d internet gaming and interacting systems out there... such as MMOGs, virtual world simulators, grids, and playful building worlds.

This finite myopic vision of the Metaverse simply as a hodgepodge of un-connected "worlds", is a similar viewpoint to the old days of BBS (Bulletin Board Systems) in the days of dial-up single server systems... before everything was interconnected with ISPs, Internet and Web... but we thought of it then as an "online community" even though we had to hang up the modem's telephone line and dial it again to get into the other BBS server where another circle of friends or colleagues "lived".

The Greater Metaverse is really much more than just a bunch of unconnected worlds!

The Greater Metaverse is an INTEROPERABLE INTERCONNECTED 3d virtual universe, greater than the sum of its parts.

Connectivity, Interoperability, Teleport, Virtual-Borders, are the Big Issues facing the Greater Metaverse's future.

The technical issues of Interoperability can be solved with an "Open Source Virtual World 3d Browser" or some type of "mainframe" equivalent.

Teleport or movement across Virtual Borders (issues of territorial nature) will be solved eventually, through some kind of Virtual Passport; replete with Virtual Immigration and Virtual Customs/Taxation/Duty, etc.

Although many of these issues can be solved technologically via software, there needs to be a path toward a Virtual World Diplomacy. The best example of such would be Open Source Standards.

Fundamentally, unifying The Greater Metaverse is not going to be as simple as just solving the technical issues of digital interoperability between virtual worlds.

Let face it, there are issues in Metaverse Unification that affect the business plans and success/failure of corporations, and livelihood of real people.

Eventually, entrepreneurs with greater vision will see the potential for huge profits that come from the interconnectivity of a Greater Metaverse. That's when we will probably see some change in the metaverse landscape. It may start with a simple pathway between a couple of commercial walled garden 3d worlds... eventually bud into an alliance... other commercial entities will see the benefits of it, and build their own bridges... perhaps a 2 camps or bridging systems with competing mini-metaverses will emerge. Perhaps a war like Mac vs PC.

This may eventually blossom into a huge Greater Metaverse.

Dave Bell

I've heard SL described as the stadium, not the game.

Whatever sporting level you look at. the existence of the stadium depends on the games, but they're used for far more things, and get features that are less important for the game, but enhance the other activities.

Masami Kuramoto

@ Hamlet
"Second Life was originally conceived and marketed by Linden Lab as a kind of game platform/play space, and not the metaverse."

Following is a quote from a talk that Philip Rosedale gave for the Long Now Foundation six years ago. You can still watch the video on the FORA.tv website: http://fora.tv/2006/11/30/Philip_Rosedale

Philip Rosedale:
"And so Second Life in a way asks the really big question, "Well do we have enough computing power to just go all the way rather than, you know, starting with these little things like media, and just digitize everything, digitize the whole world?" And so starting about 7 years ago that's what we Linden Lab started trying to do, we started writing a lot of software to try and digitize the whole world.
[...]
And so from the very get-go we believed that the economy, the objects, the, literally the physical terrain of Second Life had to be one world that everybody could be a part of. So that was something very important as well. So let's see... So that's kind of the world. So that's the-- and frankly my background is Physics and Computer programming. The piece that we sort of started with, as I said the Yin, environment of Second Life was this world simulation, we were trying to build a world simulator."

SL was indeed fairly successful as a "play space" for a while, but that's not what its founder and an entire army of content creators had in mind when they built it. The reason why SL failed as a metaverse is because it remained a walled garden with a central planning government. It's actually quite ironic that Prokofy keeps bashing the distributed and libertarian world of OpenSim for being "telecommunist" while accepting SL with its totalitarian government, iron curtain borders, planned economy and fake property.

Second Life is a department store where you can buy everything but not own anything. Yes, you can buy that dress, but you can only wear it inside the store. You can buy that land, but it remains property of Linden Lab. When SL shuts down, all the things you "own" will disappear. Your entire virtual property is an illusion.

In OpenSim worlds you can own your land and your inventory. You can take backups and move them from one physical piece of hardware to another. That's as close to real property as it gets. You can also choose your government and your country. You don't like the OSGrid terms of service? Move your sims to another grid, or create your own. It's your metaverse.

Moni Duettmann

SL is NOT a game! There are no rules (except for the ususal netiquette you have everywhere in the internet) and there are no goals. There are no treasures or points to win or weapons to reload. However, you CAN use SL to develop games of your own. You CAN use the platform and create spaces with rules and goals. That's fine and there's no problem with it. BUT: if Linden Lab focuses their attention solely on providing new gamer's tools and neglect to continue to work on the Metaverse-tools, the whole concept will go into the wrong direction. For instance: direct avatar animations by Wii-like hardware-tools! Viewer-based building tools for meshs and other! Viewer-based voice and sound mod tools!

Iggy

SL is a "sandbox game" but we need a little better metaphor: it's a game in the sense that playing with Legos is a game.

And I mean old-school "build anything" Lego kits.

The newer Legos, such as "build the Millennium Falcon!" and "build the Empire State Building!" resemble Linden Lab's various attempts to channel residents' experiences into a particular direction.

I don't know what kids do with today's Lego sets, but I hope they do what SL residents have so often done: ignore the suggestions and use the building blocks to make something utterly original.

Howdy, Pix! Fancy seeing you over here.

Account Deleted

Philip Rosedale himself vehemently denied it once: “I’m not a gamer, and SL isn’t a game. From the start, we/LL […] focused on making SL very exciting and visceral and inspirational, but not on making it a game.” (Rosedale, 2006a)

I agree with Iggy that we, SL residents, have so often done: ignore the suggestions and use the building blocks to make something utterly original. Today's kids ignore the "build the Millennium Falcon!" suggestions and use Mindstorms blocks and motors to build Lego Prosthethic Arms. I think almost every new SL big thing LL releases 'for gamers' can be used by a creative educator. We are Gamifying Education after all, aren't we?

As a Physics researcher and lecturer, I love to be "there in a kind of Lego block sort of way to rebuild the laws of physics” (Rosedale, 2007a), in a virtual fairy world that “offers a set of capabilities, which are in many different ways superior to the real world” (Rosedale, 2007b). As I have shown elsewhere (dos Santos, 2009), "SL Physics is neither the Galilean/Newtonian “idealized” Physics nor a real world Physics virtualization. Rather, it is hyper-real and nevertheless provides resources for building surreal Physics microworlds where physical laws are different or changeable by the student – a ‘surreal’ microworld, rescuing Papert’s (1980) never-implemented proposal."

With reference to Metaverse, it is interesting to remember that parcels of land have an area of 256 m x 256 m and that 256 km was the distance between Express Ports, the stations of the monorail that ran the entire length of Stephenson’s Metaverse Street (Stephenson, 1992), and that SL do still have Telehubs today even after allowing free "direct teleport" from one point to another in 2005 (“History of Second Life,” 2011). SL creators were clearly trying to sell it as the realization of Stephenson’s vision, as per (Ondrejka, 2004a) words: “Second Life […] is taking the first steps on the path to the Metaverse.”

dos Santos, R. P. (2009). Second Life Physics: Virtual, real or surreal? Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, 2(1), 1-21. Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin.

History of Second Life. (2011). In Second Life
Wiki. Linden Research, Inc. Retrieved from http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/History_of_Second_Life

Ondrejka, C. R. (2004a). Escaping the Gilded Cage: User Created Content and Building the Metaverse. New York Law School Law Review, 49(1), 81-101.

Papert, S. A. (1980). Microworlds: Incubators for Knowledge. In S. A. Papert (Ed.), Mindstorms - Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas (pp. 120-134). New York: Basic Books.

Rosedale, P. [Philip Linden]. (2006a). Second Life Forums Archive, April 7, 2006. Second Life Forums Archive. Retrieved February 20, 2012, from http://secondlife.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline.

Rosedale, P. (2007a, January 18). “A virtual me? I’ll second that” An Interview with Philip Rosedale. CNN.com. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/01/18/global.office.secondlife

Rosedale, P. (2007b, January). Interview. .net magazine, (158). Retrieved from http://www.netmagazine.com/interviews/philip-rosedale

Stephenson, N. (1992). Snow Crash. London: Penguin.

Pienaar

The comments seem to show that the human act of commemoration is always an act of reconstruction.

And it's remarkable that verious and antithetic statements each seem to reflect a viable fragment of the "truth" about the LL intentions what SL could / should / would be.

Pathfinder

Folks should read Cory's 2004 paper "Escaping the Gilded Cage: User Created Content and Building the Metaverse."

It can be downloaded here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=538362

That's the paper that inspired me to change careers and work for LL.

shockwave yareach

It IS a game.
It is also a virtual world.
It is also a community.
It is also a training system.
It is also a education venue, live music area, art show, performance art activity, floorwax, and a dessert topping!

People, trying to stick a single label on SL is like trying to categorize a platypus. The platypus doesn't care one way or the other. So just relax and enjoy SL for what it is and try to make it better for what we all want it to become; regardless of what you use it for.

Iggy

@Pienaar, is ours an act of commemoration or veneration?

This ongoing exegesis of various Linden (mostly former Linden) pronouncements reminds this former Catholic of an early Medieval Church Council. Those men tried to wrestle with variant and possibly heretical books of the Bible, in search of a "Canon" of approved messages, purportedly from God...

They ended up with "inspired by God but compiled and edited by mortals. Put into service to keep the flock on-task and orderly."

No wonder I became a Unitarian-Universalist....rather like leaving SL's "flock" for OpenSim :P

@Otaner and Path, thanks for the references!

Ajax Manatiso

Whatever it was intended to be, it certainly wasn't meant to be a virtually shopping site, but more and more it's becoming ****MallWorld*** -- because with the high tier prices the only way to justify the fees is by trying to make it up in sales.

Dizzy Banjo

This is an interesting discussion, but yet again I find it amusing that the discussion looks backwards and focuses on defining past intentions, or if SL is a game or not. All of which are fine to discuss, but I'm not sure if they really get us anywhere..

I think what Fleep says is true. Linden aren't really trying to or going to create a metaverse. Although some would say they already have.. I think they aren't doing it because there currently isn't a big enough demand for a separate virtual world version of the metaverse where you sit down, detach from physical reality and experience it in a fully immersive way.

Neil Stephenson and William Gibson had great sci fi concepts - but that is what they were. I think there is a risk in attempting to implement literal incarnations of sci fi concepts. The reality of the way the future unfolds is almost always slightly different..

I look forward to the concepts of the Metaverse evolving and becoming intertwined in many other areas of how we use technology. Then it will become something else.

I think this is happening already. So I agree, don't wait for Linden to create a 1990s sci fi concept - re-examine some aspects of those ideas in the light of 2012 and look for other technologists exploring those ideas. :)

Adeon Writer

I'm terrible with labels. I honestly can't say what Second Life is. So you say it's not the metaverse? I'll take your word on it.

All that matters to me is that Second Life, whatever it may be, is exactly what I want.

Cindy Bolero

PLEASE someone design a viewer that is easy for new users! EVERY GRID should be focusing on an interface that is not difficult and frustrating!

"Quick & Easy" should be the new user experience, not an overwhelming maze of menus and tabs. With an "EZ Viewer" navigating a grid can be simple and fun, and you would get more new users to stay. What a concept!

Then if they stay and want to dive deeper, then the new user can be introduced to viewers with more complexity and they could spend the rest of their life learning all those features.

Grids need as many if not more new users, than the amount of older users leaving. Currently Secondlife is experiencing the worst downturn I've seen. Virtual goods sales are down to 20% than recent years. And land? Linden Lab has got to be feeling the ouch as more and more regions go offline every day.

Stop torturing new users with Viewer 2 and make it easier and more appealing for them to stay!

Was it really worth it to design a viewer to integrate with Marketplace, so Linden Lab could make 5L commission on a pair of shoes or designer dress, versus nurturing a estate owners who are providing places to go and things to do, and paying most of their salaries and R&D?

As long as there is a Viewer 2, or similar complex interfaces, it will run Secondlife and other grids into the ground.

Hamlet Au

"Following is a quote from a talk that Philip Rosedale gave for the Long Now Foundation six years ago."

Yes, but before that, 8-9 years ago, like I said, Philip was talking about SL in ways that were more like Minecraft and other games. In fact, one early Linden idea was to hook up SL in arcades and run King Kong-style fighting game on it. Seriously, read my book. :)

shockwave yareach

Cindy - we are up to viewer 3 now, not 2. And I like V3 actually. Yes, it's a different layout from v1 but newbs won't know what V1 is. Most of the layout I prefer over V1; the overreliance on the gear icon to represent "More Stuff here" is a drawback though.

If I was the guy in charge, I'd immediately set to make everyone selling in Marketplace have to put out magic boxes on their land again. And you are limited to how many items you can have in your marketplace by taking the land size the cube sits on and dividing by 10, then adding 10 to it. If you have no land, you can sell 10 things for free. If you have an 8K parcel, you can sell 81+10 items in the marketplace.

Both inworld and marketplace are necessary. But right now, having land is a sucker's bet -- you don't need a store inworld to sell and you can walk away with more money if you don't have that expense hanging over you. And nobody but LL can fix the problem of the marketplace destroying land sales. Once they start putting limits on the marketplace based on land sizes, stores will stop vanishing like they are today.

Luna Bliss

Apparently, Hamlet, some better ideas came to the forefront after the King Kong fighting game was proposed.
But I'm glad you seem to be so delighted that finally SL is moving toward a game where we can shoot, kill, and explode things.

Joker

when all is said and done..
it WAS just a desert topping.

And a few got very fat. The rest got the stale cake.

Hamlet Au

Actually, Second Life *was* launched with a shoot/kill/explosion game area that was quite popular -- it was called the Outlands:

http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2003/07/war_of_the_jess.html

So like I said, putting SL on Steam will move it back more toward what it first was.

Luna Bliss

Please Hamlet, this 'he started it' mentality is wearing thin.
Weren't you always the one who advocated change for SL, labeling the residents as whackadoodles holding everything back?
And now you want to go back to the beginning?
I'm confused.

Arcadia Codesmith

Windows ships with Solitaire. That must be what it was intended for.

Hamlet Au

"Weren't you always the one who advocated change for SL, labeling the residents as whackadoodles holding everything back?"

I never said the latter statement. But I've been saying Second Life should have more game-like features for years, including achievements and leveling systems, which would return SL to how it was before it went down the wayward metaverse path. Then again, lots of other Lindens past and present have been pushing for game systems, and Steam will help push that direction even further.

shockwave yareach

And for all who say it has never had game stuff before -- I direct your attention to the Life meter at the top of your viewers...

Having new game features will not make our existing virtual world any less important to us. And it may attract new citizens and new game creators. Your screaming that SL is not a game is no different than the past 5 years of incompetent CEOs being so embarrassed about being in charge of LL that they deliberately tried to wreck anything entertaining about SL, lest the other CEOs laugh at them.

Adding more abilities won't take away from our current applications.

Claus Uriza

Oh no not again..
Look at Minecraft or Skyrim especially regarding community and user created content.
Want to expand the metaverse gaming is a forceful accelerator.

Val Kendal

/me cringes at entering the 'is SL a game?' fray yet again.. in short , I agree with shockwave

if SL is a game, it is the worst game ever - I've played lots of other games since I joined SL in 2006 and they have all come and gone, but SL remains - LL may have thought they were making a game (and I tend to believe hamlet, he was there), but they also happened to create an expandable world with user generated content and businesses and art and music, and the community took off from there

and no, I don't feel sold down the river by LL's actions. maybe a little (a lot) abandoned, but nothing else

/me wanders off, proudly skipping down the wayward metaverse path

foneco zuzu

As some said the future of Metaverse is a unknown guaranty!
I doubt, We, the users, be gamers or whatever, but the ones who are in world for a fact, will leave!
If we become a niche, is that as important?
Does any stop composing Opera just because only a few enjoy or listen to it?
Is being a minority a evil thing, does a Ferrari owner feels less Human then a Toyota 1?
Does even need to be rich to enjoy the metaverse?
The question is, will Second Life still be on the map, after other grids replace it as the place of our dreams and our imagination?
Does it matter if it will?

Corcosman Voom

Fleep tweeted this on August 26:

"It's ok if we don't all agree, I'm not even sure about everything I said - the dangers of thinking out loud. :)"

Karma

If SL was indeed created as a game platform, they certainly did a very poor job of it. If Lindens truly were sitting around calling it a game, then that explains a lot more the forward thinking ability of the Lindens than it does about what was actually created. By putting the ability to build create, market, communicate, interact however they so chose to do so into the hands of the platform user. You made a platform that was defined by the users, who obviously had something different in mind.
While SL certainly may not live up to some bizarre, utopian idea of what a Metaverse is supposed to be, it has succeeded at that more than it has succeeded at a game platform. In fact, if it actually is supposed to be a game platform, it may very well be the worst game platform ever. So, Linden Labs was wither marginally successful at creating something unique, or they created the worst game platform ever.

Masami Kuramoto

@ Hamlet
>> "Philip was talking about SL in ways that were more like Minecraft and other games."

And you think that's a contradiction?

What is the purpose of a virtual world, if not entertainment? Why else would we want one? Even when used for education, they are supposed to make education more entertaining.

Of course SL was designed to be able to host games (although it did a crappy job at that), and Philip never got tired of pointing that out ("the worlds largest LEGO kit" etc.), but it was never marketed as a game, and the games that Linden Lab implemented on it always looked more like proof-of-concept demos or test environments for the physics engine.

The irony here is that you featured Minecraft on your blog, calling it a virtual world in spite of its hardcoded game logic (which SL is deliberately lacking), but suddenly you tell us that SL is failing as a virtual world because it was never supposed to be one. Oh yeah, they are failing ON PURPOSE! It's all part of the plan, read my book! lol

Connie Arida

Life..and Second Life is what you think it is.

Max March

This is revisionary. The basis of SL was Cory's white paper "Escaping the Guilded Cage" which drew a direct connection between Neil Stephenson's vision of The Metaverse and the phenomenon of UGC (User-Generated Content).

The only reference to video games was that technology created to make video games would be a great way to get started on the Metaverse ideal earlier on using already then-existing technology.

That idea resonated with a LOT of us. Unfortunately, SL never lived up to the white paper by making very bad technological and business decisions early on. They have mostly been their own enemy in realizing the vision of the Metaverse but there are many of us who still KNOW that train is coming and are building what we're building on that cornerstone idea.

By saying Cory and Phil never intended to do that, you're taking away what little credit they are still absolutely due. They SAW the Metaverse future and planted their flags on building essentially a proof-of-concept. That much I will never take away from either of them. The rest, as we all know, is pretty much history. Fleep's original assertion is correct and OpenSim while highly flawed in many many ways is still more in-alignment with the vision of a big open multi-grid Metaverse than SL is.

Hamlet Au

"The basis of SL was Cory's white paper"

Not really, because Cory wrote that several years after coming to SL. When he first joined Linden, SL was "very much not the metaverse", as he told me for my book, and again, the Linden World demo he helped develop was very much a game world.

Adromaw

Metaverse just feels like a two-way description of the Internet. What's done in it doesn't really have much to do with a 'verse. Existing is really the only qualifier. We could all be snuffed out tomorrow and the Universe with its planets still going about their business.

No one single application or company will ever be "The Metaverse" just a player in the metaverse.

If people are looking for the metaverse, like it isn't already here (both as SL and other forms) surely they are looking too hard.

Post a comment

This weblog only allows comments from registered users. To comment, please Sign In.