Tuesday, July 30, 2013

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NWN Survey: Should Educators & Non-Profits Get a Second Life Sim Under the Restored 50% Discount Plan?

Last week's news that Linden Lab had restored its 50% sim discounts for qualified education and non-profit groups provoked a lot of discussion, so I wanted to put the controversy in the form of a survey question. Whether you're in that potential market or not, please choose the answer that's closest to your opinion. Results shared next week!

AM Radio Second Life

And do share the reasoning behind your answer in Comments!

Please share this post with people who have used SL sims for education and non-profit purposes, or know others who do:

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The Tier Is Too Damn High Party

To the extent, possibly, that individual residents help to underwrite the discount through rents, etc., I say "yes, with reservations"

Emperor Norton

I think the real question is how can LL justify current the land prices they are asking to *anyone* much less Educators. Face it, SL is hobby platform now. Gee, who would have thunk that a group on fixed or shrinking budgets couldn't afford to have their tier suddenly a 100% freaking percent. Certainly not the management at the Lab.

unguent

Where I'm from, such organizations already get generous grants and tax exemptions. Just saying...

Iggy

It may be moot. An earlier thread about this included a poster who noted that 70 schools remain, by her tally. It was 300, according to Jokay Wollongong's figures (I do recall) in 2008.

Unless a school that left SL could bring back in content as an OAR to avoid rebuilding, who would this benefit? I'd be glad to see the 70 hold-outs get some relief, since (contrary to the last poster) US higher education is being buffeted hard by budget cuts and high RL costs to maintain buildings, grounds, and staff expenses. Parents and legislators rightly complain about tuition hikes. Thus, SL is rightly a luxury item.

But the LL cut does not solve the biggest issue: SL will continue to shrink unless LL lowers all tier.

Private estates are now under 20K regions and "49.0% of Mainland owned directly by Linden Accounts" (from Grid Survey's last estimate).

I'd not recommend that my school sign another contract with LL, even if we had the money to do so.

Iggy

Possible correction: 150 schools internationally, if this LL wiki listing is still current--which I don't think it is. I know a few schools on this list have left SL.

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Second_Life_Education_Directory

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Shouldn't the question be "Do you recommend non-profits & education groups pay half the price for an SL sim?" Otherwise, at least for a non-native English speaker like me, I don't know what I should answer :)

I'm certainly strongly in favour of giving them a 50% discount, but I'm quite sure it's too late now: pretty much everybody in education & research has moved to OpenSimulator, for many more reasons than merely the discount (hint: free uploading of textures and no land impact limits).

Pussycat Catnap

The real question is going to be why?

What does an EDU, or a non-profit, gain by getting land in a video game?

This isn't like having a website.

Like it or not; socializing and entertainment uses are the bulk of what is left in SL. That, and people who sell to them.

This is NOT a place to come to to get your RL brand out there, to communicate your message out to a wider world.

So what reason would an EDU or non-profit have for being here, even if the land was free? Even if they were paid to come here? Why?

The question to me, makes as much sense as asking why they should ask for a little shack outside the gates of Orgrimmar in World of Warcraft or along a row of buildings in Divinity's Reach in Guild Wars 2.

- Why?

But its worse here...

Why would I want to be here, when my neighbor might be something like a pack of Goreans that could by their nearby presence do serious harm to ability to raise funds and even embroil me in a media controversy. Imagine being a women's shelter charity when the news got wind that you were 'hanging out with people who RP sexually enslaving women.'
- Even if you weren't... do you expect the talk radio circuit to let you off the hook when they could put up a screenshot of Kajira's camped outside your lot of land and a giant 'slave's mall' advert in the adjacent parcel?

xmara lundquist

I wouldn't blame any EDU or non-profit organizations if they thought long and hard about past treatment and if its worth the worry of Linden Labs possibly pulling the rug out from under them again.

Leonel Morgado

No way. LL has simply proven too unreliable. Any hope of seeing LL managing/brokering a metaverse of virtual worlds providing authentication of L$ validation services, links to external services or hosting... have gone up in smoke. Why should an organization pay to be locked-in without any option of backup or control over its resources, or hope of its development in the future? Sure, there's still a huge variety of locations and people, advanced content providers and stability, but no assurance or reliability for the mid-term regarding organizational services, external hosting, etc. OpenSim providers are less stable and have small communities, but organizations can have backups and even the freedom to host content externally or mpve it elsewhere. Why pay a lot more than with OSim providers just for easier start but be locked-in and risking losing it all if funding fails in any given year?
LL had the overall trust of the community regarding its eventual evolution into an open provider/broker of open solutions and platforms. Now it is simply the caretaker of a private garden, with hopes dashed of becoming anything more.

Archangel Mortenwold

Yes, give education institutions and non-profit organizations the 50% discount — and while Linden Lab is at it, they should extend that discount across the board — because looking at the declining revenues from people giving up their regions over the high cost of tier, combined with the Lab's insane decision to shift focus from in-world stores to the marketplace, it's obvious where things are headed without an across-the-board price cut.

Another thing that is slowly killing Second Life is the decision, with the implementation of mesh, to reduce prim allowances. Many large-scale mesh builds actually increase the prim cost, so people who replace entire structures with mesh versions are looking at having to scale back because of limited prim allowances on virtual land. This defeats the purpose of having mesh objects. Path finding has thrown off a lot of scripted vehicles and rezzer-boxes, so that needs to be fixed before it's worth the trouble of using it. Finally, the default viewer needs to return to the V1 interface, because so many newcomers to Second Life find it incomprehensible, getting frustrated and leaving because they can't figure it out. Things like mesh, path finding, and server side baking of textures are all lipstick on an expensive pig, and they're not going to bring people back. Only making Second Life affordable and easy to use stand any chance of reviving the grid.

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