Monday, January 15, 2007


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No, really, I love sushi, and I've eaten a lot of it. But I wouldn't know that I loved it if I hadn't gotten over my initial aversion. In retrospect, I made an informed judgment after experiencing sushi — a number of times.

*furrows brow*

I'm not surprised, but I'll say this: great writeup, and empiricism is underrated.

We need more global views, for "hype" is an alien concept to some cultures. Let's diversify our idea portfolio and see what those Japanese social experts think of this!

I generalize audaciously, but I'd like to see a nation(s) take to Second Life like South Korea's mastered Starcraft, or Brazillians and Orkut.

Seraph Bedlam

To go a step further, sushi != raw fish. I spent plenty of time as a vegetarian enjoying lots of kappa maki, etc.

My point is that to, for example, condemn SL as hype because it's filled with sex shops is to miss the point that there are lots of people who want that and lots of people who do other things like (me) teach poetry or (not me) research AI.

Look at the Internet. A majority of it as measured by number of sites is probably porn and splogs (I couldn't find the Wired article citing this). Hype? No. Despite all this, anyone that has found something like Wikipedia amongst all the noise clearly knows that it's not.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I've never been to an SL sex shop. I don't even own genitalia. But it's worth considering that plenty of people probably don't think of cybersex--even the kind with no discussion of the Singularity--as hype ;-)

Cyn Vandeverre

Seraph, you might find this analysis "How much of all Internet traffic is pornography?" by Cecil Adams of the Straight Dope, to be useful.


Net answer: "The principal destinations on the Web are music, travel, sex, games, and eBay" in that order.

I would expect SL to be much the same.

Mr. Au, thank you for a very useful blog.

Jesper W.

My two cents and change: - The issue, as most, is more complex than the two sides, hype: yes or no.
I think there is a great deal of hype and buzz going on, however that does not justify writing off all the stuff in SL that is done from some serious interest in the realm and what it can do.
Nor is it very wise to (indirectly) pigeonhole people who like SL as hype slaves - even if a great deal of the interest could be called superficial, the many serious users are the ones who can (and, in my opinion, will) develop this thing further - and those users are not all flat-on-the-belly, we are able to maintain a critical view as well.

Another note: Mr. Au, you state that the primary concern for Linden Labs-slash-the open source projecs should be the viewer and interface - while I agree that this obstacle can keep people away or at least annoyed (I have helped a few people in an watched them struggle with it), it's even more important that the grid, servers etc. can support the rapidly growing number of simultaneous users.
Only a few months ago the peaks hovered around 11-12.000 users, now they're more like 23-24.000 - since the primary cause of lag in the system is the number of users (and their attachments), this climb can be felt when inside.
Lag and crashes are even worse problems for the future of SL, especially since there's a rise in the mix of in-world-out-world business - a RL company with people on the clock cannot accept crashes or lag, even less so than purely in-world businesses, and will probably have even less understanding for it, too.

Oh, and maybe SL could also do with some more (even a lot more) search functions - like the internet, finding the right stuff is hard, and we need many different tools to help us.
- or more people will have the same experience in SL as many of the critics, that it's little more than random walking around.
Which quickly gets boring.

Keep up the good work, NWN is a great source of information about all the non-xxx things going on in SL :)

Jesper W. aka Jesper Serapis

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Wagner James Au
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