« Mixed Reality Profile: Laurah Oh, Graphic Designer And Metaverse Artist | Main | Who's Second Life Hottest Male Avatar For 2008? Vote Here For The Readers' Choice Award! »

Monday, December 08, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

dandellion Kimban

VW's becoming the next web is a risky statement. Yes, 3D environment offers a lot that 2D web doesn't. But web is very useful as is, and that is not going to change. That is why second life won't replace web. Nor will any other immersive space. those two are complementary, not exclusive.

One other thing is... is LL is really thinking about taking even one part of the web's territory, then they should put much more effort into creating good and useful browsers, both 2D one as a part of SL viewer and one on the prim.


Why should it replace the web? film didn't replace theatre; tv didn't replace film, radio didn't replace newspapers, internet commerce has not replaced shops - different tools/ media are useful for different things.
SL is good for social activities - something that other media are less good at.


Agree with j7Sue, why is the web the considered the ultimate destination of virtual worlds? I don't understand this fixation with shoe-horning 3D virtual worlds into the web experience, makes no sense at all. Of course lack of sense doesn't mean code-heads won't try to do it but it's a blind alley full of red herrings...

Ann Otoole

It is an evolution. Some people will not want to progress. But over time they either die or adapt. A case in point is the bankruptcy of The Tribune Company. Newspapers are dead. Evolve or lose your source of daily information.

50% of all adults play video games and 97% of kids play video games.

Perhaps you can make the jump from that.

Adz Childs

I shiver every time I hear the word "broadly". Any idea why?

Hamlet Au

Yes, most adults and kids play videogames-- and overwhelmingly, they play non-immersive, non-3D games on the web. Same with virtual worlds, most of the very popular ones are 2.5D and on the web. The biggest one is probably Maple Story, which probably has tens of millions of subscribers, most of them very young-- and it's a web-based side-scrolling very 2D MMO. As Philip says in this very video, the most hardcore users of SL are older; i.e., young people aren't graduating into Second Life.

So again, where's the evidence of some huge demand or potential demand for an immersive virtual world?

Ann Otoole

Demand is created. The demand for WoW and other "virtual worlds" are driven by marketing. Right now Secondlife cannot handle any more than is there so it makes no sense to market Secondlife at all. Once the infrastructure can scale up and the user interface supports the casual player as well as serious content creators then it will be a simple matter of the right marketing program to cause a surge in popularity.

Keep in mind this is entertainment, always was entertainment, and always will be entertainment. Our grid creator's stubborn refusal to understand this business is standing in it's way. Secondlife is not a corporate meeting room. Although it can be used as such. Secondlife is not a classroom. Although it can be used as such. Secondlife is entertainment and Linden Lab would do well to accept this glaring fact of life and organize priorities accordingly.


Ann, Blizzard didn't do much major marketing for WoW until it was already really big-- that Mr. T/William Shatner/etc. campaign started when WoW already had 7 million plus subscribers. It was over a million the first few months, and kept growing through word of mouth networking effect. Seems like marketing came *after* demand was proven. But again, it's not a fully immersive world, but a restrictive 3D game environment.

Matthew Perreault

J7Sue's point is the strongest here. Just as movies have not replaced books, neither is it likely that virtual worlds will replace blogs or social networking platforms like Twitter.

What is likely to happen is a further integration of all these forms, plus television, radio, telephone, email, and who knows what all. The 3D immersive environment won't be optimal for every situation, thus why a lot of this integration is taking place on things like handheld devices, which don't lend themselves to 3D immersion.

My usual medium, music, is a prime example. There are those for whom the live performance is the preferred experience. Whereas there are those like me who prefer listening to music in the privacy of our home. The advent of recorded music made the latter experience possible, but it did not destroy the former.

We are a bit like cats. In or out is okay for the moment, but what we really want are options.

Hamlet Au

I tend to agree with that, Matthew-- I can easily see SL becoming *one* of the popular media channels in the next few years, perhaps becoming as big as WoW is now. I just don't see any evidence it'll become *the* most popular, let alone replace the web. I'm amazed Philip is still confident of that, even 1.5 years after active users hit a plateau.

Matthew Perreault

He's too close to it. It's hard to step back and see your product as the world sees it, but it is nonetheless necessary.

CyFishy Traveler

I think what Philip suffers from is a common delusion that members of any subculture can suffer from--the delusion that This Is The Most Important Thing In The World. When you spend a large portion of your time thinking and talking about one particular thing it dominates your headspace in such a way that the idea that there are people on this earth for whom this thing simply does not matter is hard to grasp. The mind rationalizes this with notions that if these poor, ignorant people just knew what you knew, they'd see it the same way. And if they're outright hostile to the notion, there must be something wrong with them and not with the notion itself.

I see this in everything from fandom to religion. And while Philip is clearly more interested in converting than condemning (there's none of the 'freak the mundanes' attitude that some subcultures use to resolve this dilemma) he does seem a little too deep into things to take a step out and realize that this simply isn't for everyone.


Cultural adoption is a slow of process. The actual platform is not the point, but the attitude towards the way of communicating.
Do people want to communicate with one another, for business or pleasure across long distances?
Yes they do, I would suggest.
Are all the ways we do it at the moment the best, most rewarding and ideal for every person on the planet. Nope not yet.
How do we get from where we are to a richer human engagement?
Cave Painting, spoken word, Written Word, telephone, Film, TV, mobile,Web, Online Video games, Web 2.0, mobile internet. The list is not finished yet.
Virtual Worlds.... a natural step? Not for everyone on day one(its a long day!), but the steps need to be taken or we stay at cave painting.
In the end there is choice, we dont have to be forever in the matrix, we dont have to strip the human out in order to squeeze ourselves into email conversations either.

Hamlet Au

I agree with all that, Epredator, but where's the evidence this is translating into a desire for immersive 3D worlds? Instead I see more people (especially the very young) jumping into 2D/2.5D virtual worlds.

Or to put it another way: when IBM decided that the web was going virtual 3D, and put considerable investment behind that, what evidence did you guys gather, to back up that assumption?

Kate Amdahl

My answer was kind of long, but I make what I think is a pretty good case that virtual worlds will be much more than just a niche technology: http://kateamdahl.livejournal.com/52686.html

^^^\ Kate /^^^

Arwyn Quandry

I don't think that virtual worlds are going to conquer the 2D web. That just wouldn't work, especially with many people having slow connection and low graphics abilities. But at the same time, they're not just going to die out and go away, or stay totally separate. We've already seen attempts to bring Web 2D into SL through rezable screens to view it on, technology which is getting better and better.
Instead of conquest, let's focus on integration and merging of the two, blurring the lines between them. We've already seen some ways of doing this fail, such as Lively and its in-page chatrooms, but we can take their mistakes and turn them into our success. What about a way to create a website in SL, in an immersive 3D form, that can work seamlessly with the 2D version of it? A Wikipedia Library in SL? We have to be political and form an alliance, not a conquest.

Ciaran Laval

Philip is very inspiring, far more so than any other Linden, along with Robin they are the two I have the most faith in. However I can't help thinking that Philip's role in all this is going to be akin to Gary Kildall rather than Bill Gates.

People aren't in any hurry to embrace virtual worlds because there's no need to. Video didn't kill the radio star, floppy drives and VHS were around long past their sell by dates.

There are so many things that can't be done within Second Life that it simply won't be able to replace the web. Something new might come along that wows everyone and can deliver, but Second Life is pioneering, it's nowhere near close to delivery and the time when such a virtual world will be delivered is some way in the future and will almost certainly involve real video, something which can be done now with webcams.

Connie Sec

Not many get a kick out of SL or spend as much time in it as I do. However, while I can admire his "belief" in the value of SL and immersive 3d worlds, hyperbole like he is peddling is neither logical or helpful. How often have we heard of the "death" of the newspaper, and how everyone will be reading the news on the web, for example.
While any 'new" technology will force others to adapt to its presence, there is seldom evidence of any one thing replacing another.
Better to concentrate on its strengths ( eg, user created content and the commercialization of such content)and sell that, than to go round like some wild eyed evangelist predicting the second coming..ohh..next week, Tuesday. All you will get are little sniggers at the back of the room and eventual disgruntlement and snorts of derision when your more hyperbolic predictions do not come true.

Matthew Perreault

It's also possible that we will have to wait for a generational shift in attitudes towards virtual personas. Many of my fellow GenXers still find the idea of an online representation of oneself to be akin to a Dungeons & Dragons character, i.e. Instant Dorkdom. The utility of the application doesn't matter, it's a social perception. Sadly, to many people, SL resident means fat guy in his mom's basement with a bag of Cheetos.

The upcoming generation, raised virtual, can help push that aside, but it will take time. We're still in a world with people who have to be convinced that they need to check their email more than once a month, if they have it at all.

Matthew Perreault

And then there's this:


Isadora Fiddlesticks

Very interesting points by everyone, but it will take many years for this to happen. As Matthew said, firstly a shift in perception must happen. As Arwyn said, alliances must be formed, and from there, we can say that 3D has replaced 2d web because it blurred the lines and conquered it. Repurpose 2D in a way that it serves to 3D web's purpose.

Then there's SL and inter-grid teleports. That will be one of the most important things that would need to happen in order for 3D web to flourish some more. As it is, it's not convenient for one VW explorer to have multiple avatars to access multiple VWs coming out. So far that is one thing I can think of, I'm sure some more knowledgeable than me can fill in more.

In my opinion, I welcome PS3's virtual world. It's like baby steps into SL, where one can do so much more than just shop and chat and appreciate/use builds created by companies. Once, they say to themselves, "Oh I want to be able to MAKE THINGS here" or "There's got to be more than this" they leave that world and go to SL.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Making a Metaverse That Matters Wagner James Au ad
Please buy my book!
Thumb Wagner James Au Metaverse book
Wagner James "Hamlet" Au
Dutchie Evergreen Slideshow 2024
Bad-Unicorn Funny Second Life items
Juicybomb_EEP ad
My book on Goodreads!
Wagner James Au AAE Speakers Metaverse
Request me as a speaker!
Making of Second Life 20th anniversary Wagner James Au Thumb
my site ... ... ...
PC for SL
Recommended PC for SL
Macbook Second Life
Recommended Mac for SL

Classic New World Notes stories:

Woman With Parkinson's Reports Significant Physical Recovery After Using Second Life - Academics Researching (2013)

We're Not Ready For An Era Where People Prefer Virtual Experiences To Real Ones -- But That Era Seems To Be Here (2012)

Sander's Villa: The Man Who Gave His Father A Second Life (2011)

What Rebecca Learned By Being A Second Life Man (2010)

Charles Bristol's Metaverse Blues: 87 Year Old Bluesman Becomes Avatar-Based Musician In Second Life (2009)

Linden Limit Libertarianism: Metaverse community management illustrates the problems with laissez faire governance (2008)

The Husband That Eshi Made: Metaverse artist, grieving for her dead husband, recreates him as an avatar (2008)

Labor Union Protesters Converge On IBM's Metaverse Campus: Leaders Claim Success, 1850 Total Attendees (Including Giant Banana & Talking Triangle) (2007)

All About My Avatar: The story behind amazing strange avatars (2007)

Fighting the Front: When fascists open an HQ in Second Life, chaos and exploding pigs ensue (2007)

Copying a Controversy: Copyright concerns come to the Metaverse via... the CopyBot! (2006)

The Penguin & the Zookeeper: Just another unlikely friendship formed in The Metaverse (2006)

"—And He Rezzed a Crooked House—": Mathematician makes a tesseract in the Metaverse — watch the videos! (2006)

Guarding Darfur: Virtual super heroes rally to protect a real world activist site (2006)

The Skin You're In: How virtual world avatar options expose real world racism (2006)

Making Love: When virtual sex gets real (2005)

Watching the Detectives: How to honeytrap a cheater in the Metaverse (2005)

The Freeform Identity of Eboni Khan: First-hand account of the Black user experience in virtual worlds (2005)

Man on Man and Woman on Woman: Just another gender-bending avatar love story, with a twist (2005)

The Nine Souls of Wilde Cunningham: A collective of severely disabled people share the same avatar (2004)

Falling for Eddie: Two shy artists divided by an ocean literally create a new life for each other (2004)

War of the Jessie Wall: Battle over virtual borders -- and real war in Iraq (2003)

Home for the Homeless: Creating a virtual mansion despite the most challenging circumstances (2003)

Newstex_Author_Badge-Color 240px
JuicyBomb_NWN5 SL blog
Ava Delaney SL Blog