A longtime Second Life user and professional developer I'll call "Shin Ra" just shared with me his (or her) experiences in Sansar, which they've been using over the last few months during the closed Creator Preview. Without going into specifics that might violate Linden Lab's NDA, Shin Ra compares Sansar to Second Life this way:
SL and Sansar are different animals. Neither is better than the other at everything. There are things that I wouldn't dare to do in SL that might fit in an Experience or set of experiences in Sansar (especially ideas that in SL would require severe tier upkeep because of land requirements), and there are things I could do in SL that I probably will never be able to in Sansar if they opt for a conservative toolbox of functions.
It's like the difference between Disneyland and your hometown.
The reasons for that are many, Shin Ra went on:
Sansar is Disneyland. Great attractions, shiny things all over, modern technology seeping out of every Experience in the hands of competent Creators... Potential for a vast range of sized Experiences ranging from intimate comedy club settings all the way to potentially a small stadium, without the restrictions of altitude or sim width/breadth of SL. If Linden Lab keeps putting their nose to the grind and makes reasonable decisions, the worst that can be said technically of it is that it was a competently executed system for supporting creativity.
But living there might be tricky: Experiences currently seem very locked down, with interactions with physically enabled objects in an Experience the only way to leave any sign you were there. Unless you publish an experience, you're basically stuck as a tourist. Whether you're okay with being absolved of all creative power outside of a reserved sandbox that nobody else can interact in by your side at the moment is really a personal decision (I honestly hope that some work is done to allow for collaborational Experience design by the time Sansar goes gold - it would allow for teams and larger-scale experience builds, and might take a little of that issue away.)
Second Life is your hometown. The posters on the wall that are still there are kind of tacky, your fellow residents are occasionally problematic, perhaps to the point of blocking and booting. Every step and gaze will always feel clunky with what few tools you have to move yourself and the camera. The rent (if you have land or adverts in-world) is potentially insane if you have more than a quarter sim. And occasionally you will look out the window of your diner and be greeted by disembodied dongs flying past en mass chanting offensive memes.
But every sandbox is a potential explosion of creativity when the right residents are standing it it, even if they only use canned sculpties or parametric prims for building, and unlike Sansar right now, it's a lot easier to find a community to belong to in-world at most times of the day.
So it's a simple question, albeit one with an answer that varies wildly from time to time and even person to person: Do you want to go to Disneyland? Or go back home? Unlike in the real would, your answer is not going to be locked in - the only limitations would be your hardware, your tolerance for utter rubbish vis-a-vis discovering new things, your friends list and your willingness to have a clear delineation between being a creator and experiencing things.
Well, that and leaving your SL inventory behind on excursions into Sansar.
All in all, I'm not sure whether to envy or pity the current-era Second Life Resident, especially when they have everything they need to go into both worlds.
Which is the million Linden Dollar question. Again, I believe nothing Shin Ra says really reveals anything that Linden Lab staff have not already said (or hinted at) about Sansar in public, especially in comparison to SL. Still, it's interesting to get that perspective from someone who's been deeply immersed and personally invested in both worlds. (Which frankly, cannot be said of most Linden Lab staff.)
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