Longtime reader and virtual world content creator Dartagan Shepherd is unhappy with my promoting the Avatars Against Trump Flickr group and for that matter, Linden Lab joining the tech industry in a statement and amicus brief against Trump's Muslim refugee ban (since rejected twice by US judges as unconstitutional):
Sadly, it's time to cut NWN loose from my regular reading (and virtual worlds in general). The country is pretty much equally divided politically. Over-dramatizing issues like this is exactly what turns many of us off. Taking sides just alienates the other half of your customers, as Linden Lab and other businesses are doing. Business exists to sell product, not to make political statements. Not just leveled at you you, Hamlet, but this is a one-sided soap opera that seems bound and determined to overstate every issue and demonize everyone who doesn't agree. Thanks for all the great articles, insights and fun over the years. May there be many pieces and books in your future.
Sorry to lose a great and supportive reader. There are lots of political blogs to discuss whether opposition to Trump is over-dramatized, though speaking specifically of virtual worlds, Trump's FCC appointee is very much a direct danger to their operations, just as Trump's campaign promises to crack down on Internet porn is a direct threat to the many participants in Second Life's cheerfully libertine virtual sex content. That to one side, it's worth pondering how much Linden Lab's anti-Trump stand as a company is alienating its users:
On the one hand, roughly just half of the Second Life user base is based in the US, and a strong majority of Americans voted against Trump/for Clinton -- so in actuality, only some 22-24% of the SL userbase at most potentially voted for Trump. (And given the poor voter turnout, roughly half of that actually voted.) On the other hand, many people are generally alienated by a company engaging in politics, even without being a particular supporter or opponent of the specific policy. The again, it's more likely that Linden Lab's stand has many more admirers among its userbase, than detractors.