What Did You Learn in SL That Helped You in RL?

Reddit Second Life RL learning

Interesting /SecondLife thread, "What have you learned from Second Life (that has helped you in real life?)" with a lot of unexpected answers. This one, from Lewis Luminos, jumped out at me:

I have learned to appreciate stylish clothes (and how to find them on a budget, even in RL).

... because come to think of it, I think I've expanded my own range of actual clothing styles a bit based on all those SL fashion blogs/Flickr streams over the years. Other answers run deeper, such as:

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Open Forum: Share Info & Updates on Events, Memorials & Other Tributes to the Victims of Paris' Terror Attacks

Second Life terror attacks memorial

It's always a bit surreal to run a virtual world/VR blog when so much of our attention is focused on atrocities that are all too real. With Second Life's recreation of Paris still being swamped by well-wishers, here's an open forum to discuss other events, memorials, and tributes to the Paris attacks going on throughout SL. Please share in Comments.

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Mid-Week Open Forum: Say Anything About VR, AR or SL

And yes, that can also mean saying something about the metaverse etc. that's self-promotional.

What SL Blogs & Flickr Streams Should NWN Blog?

Something new, something spectacular, something thought provoking. Please post links and a little description in Comments. And yes, self-promotion is fine.

Update, 10/30: Open forum bumped up for more suggestions!

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If You're Live Streaming SL on YouTube Gaming, I Want to Feature You on New World Notes (Maybe)

Second Life Kinect motion capture Streaming

I was serious when I wrote that YouTube Gaming's live streaming service is just about the coolest way to feature SL content right now. And I want to showcase as many live streams as I can on this blog, so we can all watch together. So if you're planning to stream soon, please post your channel link in Comments below, plus the day, time, and the subject you plan to stream. Live building is an obvious contender for cool content, as is live music/events. I'm also biased towards "Let's Play"-type run-throughs of various SL games, but I'm open to all manner of inventive wacky fun.

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Friday Open Forum: Tell Me About a Great Blog, Flickr, or YouTube Channel I Haven't Blogged Before

SL-focused or otherwise related thematically, be it about High Fidelity, VR in general, immersive/sandbox gaming, or anything else you think would fit here. Go!

How Has Male Privilege Hurt Second Life's Development?

Second Life male privilege sexism

Cajsa Lilliehook, from her blog

When Linden Lab first started developing Second Life, only about 20-25% of its staff were women -- and as I recall, only one of those women was on the development team. When I left Linden Lab in 2006, the gender split was a bit better (but not by much), say 30%. But again (with some notable exceptions), few women were (or are) directly involved in SL's design or development. I was thinking about all this last week, after writing about the woman who was harassed in Second Life and then into the real world, and how it made me re-think encouraging more linkage between Second Life avatars with real life identify. And as SL blogger Cajsa Lilliehook bluntly me put it to me:

"I have often thought you were too glib about it because you are a man. You have the privilege of not having to think about personal safety in the same way that women must in our society. I am sad this woman has been harassed and it is a horrible thing, but I appreciate that you have at least begun rethinking your opinion."

She has very valid points. In the wake of Gamergate especially, I've belatedly become much more aware how rampant and frankly terrifying this reality is for women. But back in 2010-2011 when I first wrote about the value of Facebook integration with SL -- which Linden Lab also did, calling Facebook "The Best Place" to find Second Life content -- I was much less aware. Back then, I even talked about Facebook integration with some Linden Lab staff -- all male -- and we were all perplexed why a feature that had so much value was being resisted so vehemently by so many SLers. We men were wrong to look beyond the safety of our own perspective.

Which is why I wanted to expand this point to a larger, open forum question:

How has male privilege and bias hurt Second Life's development?

Because it's not a question of If, but How. It does make a difference that the vast majority of Second Life developers were (and are) male. Here's an example from 2004, how a male perspective influenced even how female avatars sit:

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Where in Second Life Should You Go on SL Go's Last Day?

SL Go Second Life closing

SL Go is going away today, and while another Second Life streaming service is starting to come online, chances are it'll be many months before we're able to enjoy similar high resolution across many devices that everyone loved about SL Go.

With some 12 hours left to enjoy SL Go, where should you go? Here's five places to get you started:

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Top 6 Virtual Reality & Virtual World Predictions for 2015 from New World Notes

VR Second Life predictions

I better post our VR/VW predictions for 2015 before we get any deeper into this year, or for that matter, incoming news (like this) makes them already seem outdated. Here's my favorite from our open forum:

  • The Oculus Rift will not be made available for general consumer use this year. Instead, they'll expand their beta developer program throughout 2015. (Hamlet Au)
  • "Second Life 2" and High Fidelity will both be out in Beta this year (RoblemVR)
  • When it comes to virtual world software, both Linden Lab and High Fidelity will be medium to small players. (Anonymous)
  • A large chunk of SL users will abandon Second Life for SL2, leading to a loss of 5000 to 7000 regions in the first year of SL 2. (OU812)
  • "I don't expect to see anything dramatic in terms of virtual worlds this year, it's much too soon." (Ciaran Laval)
  • Virtual land in SL 2 will be substantially larger (4096x4096 meters) and substantially cheaper "while the Lab will take 30% cut from content sales". (Cube Republic)

Some of these are mutually exclusive and/or subject to interpretation -- but that just means a fun debate in late December!

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Open Forum: What Are Your 2015 Predictions for SL, SL2, High Fidelity, and VR in General?

VR Second Life predictions

Let's start this New Year, as we often do, with a New World Notes open forum for 2015 predictions on the future of Second Life, Second Life 2, High Fidelity, Oculus Rift, and virtual reality in general -- the more concrete the better, so we can definitively confirm whether they happened or not at the end of 2015.

To get the virtual ball rolling, I'll start. I think there's going to a Trough of Disillusionment around VR this year, that's going to lead to this specific thing happening:

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