Discussing her reasons for minimizing her use of Second Life, reader Savoree LeDesir offered one I often hear from others: Exhaustion with the negative social experience in Second Life. Here's how she describes it:
"Part of the appeal of Second Life was that it promised to fulfill that lifelong dream of many - the ability to 'reinvent oneself,' and, at least for a moment, to escape reality and experience the fulfillment of one's ideal self. After several years of dealing with trying to deal with constant technical difficulties, in-world politics, relentless cyber-bullies (as it turns out, a lot of people reinvented themselves into the kids they hated in high school), and a 'community' of people who are all trying to be something other than who they really are, many have become disillusioned with the whole premise of this type of virtual experience...or perhaps they've simply outgrown it.
"After much trial and error, I think I've found a level of participation that works for me...I rent a small parcel of privately-owned land so that I'll have a 'home' in-world in which to do the things I love to do: explore and create. But I avoid interacting personally with anyone in-world, because I've learned the hard way that it's a huge waste of time and energy.
"I don't imagine I'll ever directly pay Linden Labs for tier again, because they do absolutely nothing for the average user besides provide server space. They do not provide technical help (even for premium users), and they do nothing to monitor or police the activity of the cyber bullies and spammers in a way that makes any sense at all."
Again, a common complaint, though eloquently stated by Ms. LeDesir. Speaking for myself, I'd say there's no scalable way for Linden Lab to monitor and police the activity of 600,000 active users and still remain profitable (and without becoming part of the problem) -- which to me speaks yet again for implementing a carefully architected user-to-user karma system.
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