Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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On List of 75+ Great Second Life Sims from 2009, Nearly a Third Now Seem Gone

Lemondrops Forest Second Life

I just stumbled into this great 2009 blog post by an SL fashion designer listing over 75 "Beautiful Places in Second Life", but as I started to browse the listing, I realized a striking thing: a lot of these places are no longer showing up on Second Life's map. Some I definitely know to be gone, but in other cases, this could just mean they've moved to another sim, or that the map interface isn't working properly. (I checked both the web-based map and the in-world version.) In any case, sims like Lemondrops Forest (depicted above), are no longer showing up in search.

On a very rough tally, it looks like nearly a third are no longer in-world:

  • IDIA
  • Embryo
  • Firewinds
  • Umina Beach
  • KOOK
  • Faery Dust
  • Wild Ride
  • ONJUKU
  • Farstar New Earth
  • Barbee
  • Lemondrops Forest
  • The Mother Road
  • Spring Isles
  • Wolfenstein
  • MALANDI
  • XIV
  • ENDLESS
  • Seoul City
  • Atrum Complexo
  • Apri Peri
  • Ionic Dream Seeker
  • JAPAN DREAM KENJIN

All of the above no longer seem to show up on the map, but like I said, it's a very rough tally, and I might have missed some either way; if you notice any miscount, please let me know. In any case, a significant number of great sims (and you should definitely look at this post for screenshots) are no longer in-world. Then again, four years is a long time by Internet standards, and if you look at this loss in a different direction, it's pretty impressive that about two-thirds of the Second Life sims on this list are still there.

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CronoCloud Creeggan

Building an impressive looking artsy showpiece sim is good, but do we expect them to last forever if they're the sorts of places people only visit maybe once or twice and then forget about? Places that don't get any kind of promotion from their owners and don't have a "community" that's "invested and organized" in or around the region? Places only known about by a few oldbies?

I wish that wasn't the case, but No, I don't think so. Sometimes owners have a medical issue, or other expense and have to drop it. Or they spend their time on WoW or other interests instead of SL. Or perhaps they think it looks dated, get rid of it, and don't recreate it. Or decide it's had it's time and do something else with the region.

It's SL, change is rapid and constant.

Argyle

Sounds like an alarmist story to me.

So a list from four years ago shows that some of the listed sims no longer exist. How many of those were artistic sims that have a shelf life? How many new artistic sims have been brought forth in the intervening time between 2009 and now? There are no answers to be found in the article, just hyperbole.

Metacam Oh

Argyle are you suggesting everything is 'fine' in lala land I mean Second Life?

CronoCloud Creeggan

I don't think everything is "fine" but I do think there's a "land glut", too much land not enough people. Newbies complain to LL (and mention to me) about how SL feels so empty. I suspect LL doesn't mind the region number decreases too much, if it increases "population density"

But regions do come and go...sometimes for reasons totally unrelated to cost.

leal choche

It is also interesting that the blog post where that list is from, the latest update on that blog is December 27, 2012 - not too "old" so someone who is still 'active.'

Hamlet Au

As I blogged last month, Second Life private estate ownership is at a four year low:

http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2012/12/second-life-losing-land-revenue.html

Actually, now it's technically at a FIVE year low.

Argo Nurmo

Hamlet, you can add another one to your list.

Seems the Lindens "took care" of the Rail Museum in Calleta today. No reason was give. This museum was a part of Calleta and SL for a very long time.

Can anyone doubt there is a plan to empty SL? I'm sure they have already estimated the tipping point.

Pathfinder

The moving finger writes
and having writ, moves on.

elizabeth (16)

tiers are mightier than the paper it is writ on

Iggy

@elizabeth (16), Tears for tiers, etc.

@Path, and the tier-payers, having paid too much for too little, move on.

Vivienne Daguerre

As someone else pointed out, the sims may be there but be renamed, moved and rebuilt into something else. I have owned two private island estates since 2005. Eight years is a long time. In that time I have renamed them, moved them, and rebuilt them no less than four times. Right now they are currently under construction into something new again.

I find to keep interest in Second Life, including my own, I have to keep renewing and changing things up. I don't think I am the only private island estate owner to discover this.

A place might not be totally gone. It may be renamed, reimagined and reinvented. We long termers (April 2004 rez date for me) love to create, and our regions are our canvas.

Ajax Manatiso

I am always having to weed down my LMs -- they drop like flies and are NOT replaced. When I first joined SL in 2007 I had a long list of romantic gardens to go with my partner. Now that list is very, very short (like 5) and getting shorter. If you connect the dots, eventually SL will be nothing but stores (the only land that pays for itself - sometimes at least)-- go buy your stuff but then have nowhere to wear it.

Iggy

@Ajax, Marketplace is taking care of the stores :(

If a club or a "romantic garden" provides a good enough experience, why not charge a nominal monthly fee instead of putting out a tip jar?

Has anyone tried that?

300 visitors @300 Lindens each for a really good experience? Tier paid even at the Lindens' high(way robbery) rates.

I've long loved the idea of "Free Culture" but it has its limits.

As I make arguments to academics about free MOOCs I make a similar argument: you get what you pay for. A Stanford free class might change your world, but it won't get you a job. A degree you paid for will.

Bouncer Criss

My favorite places of 2009 might be gone, but my list of 2012/13 places is bigger. Times change, people leave SL, live in today and not 2009.

Pussycat Catnap

I'm not so concerned that a third are gone.

Change happens, especially online.

But I am concerned that they are not fully replaced by something new.

Pussycat Catnap

If a club or a "romantic garden" provides a good enough experience, why not charge a nominal monthly fee instead of putting out a tip jar?

Has anyone tried that?
************

Yes. Looking at 'nudist sims' - one that was nearly always full went away in the span of about 2 weeks at around end of year after setting up a weekly fee of I think 100L for access membership.

I'm guessing that they assumed that with regular off-peak traffic of rarely less than 20 people on sim, they could retain enough to pay after charging. Have not seen a single person move past the entry point since they went to that new setting.

(While I live a mostly PG SL, I used to be very interesting in that scene, and still give it a 'glance' now and then. Happened to be looking when they announced this, and went back after.)

Pay for access - something folks are not willing to try. Runs counter to the norm for MMOs.

MMOs are running to a free to play, pay for microtransactions model. The very model SL used for years.

But SL has in the last year, divorced the microtransactions from supporting the world... It may have gained more of them as a result, but they now feed off of the world rather than into it.

SL's current MP model is only viable if tier drops to 0. Any value above 0, and unless merchants are forced back onto land, land will dry up. The amount by which tier exceeds zero will set the pace of that dry up, but no value can prevent it. Only merchants feeding back into the economy can do that.

T.D.

It's very sad to see. Surely there should be a "museum" status for certain sims that allows them to remain for free - it'd give people an incentive to build amazing things and buy land, knowing that if they impress Residents and the Lindens there would be a chance their sim will be permanently (or at least until new advancements make it less beautiful) on the grid at no cost.

And yes, it's not just beautiful visitor attractions biting the dust, many wonderful shops are too. As the co-owner of a mid-sized SL shop that celebrates its 5th anniversary in a few months and has its own sim we're struggling more than ever before despite regular new releases that utilise the latest trends (like mesh).

I do worry for our virtual world. :(

val kendal

so I don't get it. Yeah, I didn't get to that really great art exhibit at the RL museum before it closed, and now it's gone. Do we really expect all the beautifully built sims by talented people to last four years?

Isn't another non-alarmist way to look at this to say
'2/3rds of the list is *still* there'

and for that matter
'After the worst RL economy since the great Depression, SL still has roughly the same number of private estates as it did in the spring of 2009"

or
"LL lost 11% of private sims in a year when video game sales are down 22%"

Pussycat's last point is the one that worries me more, as an explorer of fine content

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