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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

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Captain Cook

"The dynamic global map is now two clicks away, not one."


The world map probably needs to be more than two clicks away. It's the old broken map and not the new map that's part of the Snowglobe client.

But if I had my way I'd remove the world map as it's totally useless in a world full on unconnected islands. It's just something Philip liked to use at tea parties when talking about how big of a landmass SL has. Which is silly as it's like trying to sum up all of the Call of Duty 4 servers that are out there. If we map out all of the COD4 servers then do they magically become a world?.

But overall the new viewer is nice. :)

Two Worlds

Here's a question: Can you run the new viewer effectively on a laptop with integrated graphics? Have any measures been made towards making it easier for laptops to run SL?

Jura Shepherd

I was really hoping the events system would be more intuitive for discovery but it actually regressed I think.

So frustrating. To use your "web" analogy: It's like I'm trying to get friends to look at icanhascheezburger.com but I have to explain the whole internet to them first.

HeadBurro Antfarm

Hi Hamlet,

I, like many other yesterday, downloaded Viewer 2 and I, like many others, was pleasantly surprised by how nice it was. Sure there are things I’d change, but that’s true of all the viewers I’ve downloaded and tried out so far.

But the viewer is not the world. It is not the grid. The fundamental structure of SL remains the same, and last night I still could not send snapshots to email or take part in a group chat without asset server issues foiling my attempts.

How can we talk about mass adoption of SL when simple tools like group chat just don’t work? I don’t mean have occasional outages, but simply do not work in a reliable fashion?

I’m not posting this to have a pop at the Lindens or to denigrate the (very nice) Viewer 2, but to ask the simple question – what use is a nice window when the wall itself isn’t stable?

HBA
****

Scree Raymaker

"Winners: The existing and casual userbase of Second Life"

Casual, maybe. Existing, definately not. There's many longtime users (myself included) that have major problems with the 2.0 (check the forums on SL's website). It makes doing a lot of things a far more difficult than they used to be (e.g. building on top of other prims, checking build permissions in a sim, etc.)

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Two Worlds cites a "make or break question" for educators. Students use laptops at my school and many others, period.

It's hard as hell to get them to use a hard-wired connection, too. They want to do their SL assignments while in a niche at the library or with a friend in the coffee shop. They don't want to be hunkered over a gamer's desktop system to do their assignments.

I'll look to reports on the SLED list and try 2.0 myself. While we can always use third-party clients that run on our systems, the help documentation out there will be biased toward the LL client (understandable). That fact limited me in 2007-8 from using Electric Sheep's OnRez client, which ran great on laptops and slower systems.

Latif Khalifa

I fail to see why do you think OpenSim is the loser in this. Do you know what Opensim is? It's already using existing SL viewer, so any improvement for the viewer is improvement for Opensim too.

Nink

I agree Opensim devs will have a lot of work to do in order to take advantage of the new features in SLViewer2. The folks at Naali will also need to consider if they want to adhere to the high watermark linden has set for connecting third party clients into Second Life. Will they catch up and over take ? Sure but it will take time.

Is it a game changer? I believe it is. Not just for second life but for Companies and education who have fought with SL trying to leverage existing 2D content and failed. Getting anything in or out of SL in the past required a degree in computer science and a stack of external servers to provide integration services. That’s why only IT companies really adopted virtual worlds at an enterprise level.

The big change is anyone can load a web page. So now anyone can bring interactive 2D content in world.

Mass adoption: No not just yet but this is a good first step. We still need a lot of other functions and features to converge in world before mass adoption happens.

Openoffice would be a great addition that could speed the adoption. The proliferation of GPU's in netbooks, laptops etc will also help.

We are still 5+ years away from mass adoption where we will begin to move away from legacy 2D desktops to Virtual World Operating Systems in the cloud. Until this happens virtual worlds will always be just another place to visit and not a working environment.

LittleLostLinden


I kinda think this article is quite the spin from what I have been reading in the forums about all the frustrations this new viewer has caused, with many reverting back to older viewers. The profile linking of rl and sl, not that impressive.

I could see the viewer helping newbies out though, but overall, I find this viewer to not really be awe-inspiring in any way.

Next.

Luis Aldrich

Hi Hamlet,

Perhaps it would be useful to remember here that winners are educators and companies too, looking for collaboration tools in SL: with the Shared Media feature never was so easy to share spreadsheets, videos or MP3 files, to collaboratively edit docs with Google docs, or even to share the user's desktop (apps, games or SL itself) with others.

Crap Mariner

"When is it happening?" has become even more difficult in Viewer 2.0. Events are now lower priority than Classified and the Destination Guide, which are shopping or tourist experiences, not event experiences.

Since the interface is about intuitiveness, I've proposed a Jira to make the clock a shortcut to events happening right now.

Quite a few folks have agreed in emails, IMs, ReTweets, and chats... just waiting for them to follow up on that enthusiasm with the Jira votes.

Oh well. Maybe we need Jira 2.0?

-ls/cm

Lalo Telling

I chuckled when I looked at the full-size version of the second screenshot, in which Alicia says, "That needs to be fixed badly."

Viewer 2.0 Beta took what may have been wrong with Viewer 1.x and fixed it badly. Now, the Lab needs to fix it well.

Arcadia Codesmith

"point-and-click avatar movement, an element so crucial to the success of large 3D games, virtual worlds, and MMOs, is not a ready feature in the new viewer."

Not only is point-and-click not crucial to the success of other 3D games and MMOs, the majority don't have it (or bury it in the options menu). It figures into many 2D Flash games because of the limitations of the platform, not because of any strong user preference.

It's especially problematic in a world where any object, including the floor/ground, is potentially interactive and modifiable.

Fine as an option, not as a default. The concept was shot down almost unanimously the last time it was brought up; this is just kicking a dead horse.

Two Worlds

>>Students use laptops at my school and many others, period.

Students are particularly unlikely to adopt huge, expensive gaming machines, just because they're so broke. Take it from me, I know--I used to be a broke student. Now I'm just a broke alumnus. The economy's made it so that cost should be always a factor in things like this--not everyone has money for a really slick cutting-edge rig. Even IN Silicon Valley, let alone OUTSIDE of it.

But I think it's something that should be a consideration before "mass adoption"--can it run on as many machines as possible? A truly universal client should be universal because it can be run almost anywhere (excepting smartphones or netbooks or whatever).

I've got a Dell Latitude from about 3 years ago. I can't run World of Warcraft because I've got an integrated graphics card. Granted, Blizzard never said that you could run WoW on an integrated graphics card, and that's their prerogative...but they never said anything about wanting WoW to be a "universal OS" or whatever.

There are other barriers to "mass adoption" (basically everyone liking SL and wanting to play it, in non-buzzword-speak), most notably cultural perceptions, IMO...but before you dive in you have to be able to get your feet wet first. Graphics problems and lag is a LOT of what I hear from people trying out SL for the first time.

Ann Otoole

HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHHAH!

The big win appears to be the alienation of the entire open source community that has been fixing LL's code for years for free. I'm sure Open Sim will surge ahead. And Reaction grid seems to be where the real money is heading btw but you always forget to mention them. They already have mesh right?

Tell you what Hamlet. Open Sim is modeled more like the internet. LL is walling their garden off and trying to be like Microsoft wanted to be controlling the internet and all access had to go through microsoft servers.

How did that work out?

Remember the closed beta feedback a Linden leaked months ago on the way out the door? None of those concerns were addressed. LL won't change a thing. Like T said with the grin of a used car salesman: LL supports choice. We can use other viewers. Except as of yesterday they are all banned for now. (insert really big sarcastic grin here lmao)

I for one know what that choice comment really means.

Now what LL really needs to do is add in the LL forum email subscriptions as message feeds. And allow us to add avatars united, facebook, myspace, linkedin, twitter, plurk, and other RSS feed as group messages. Then let us arrange how all the messages are positioned on the screen. And then give the option to just turn off the 3D graphics part. And you will have SLV3. :D

Daniel Smith


There are two wonderful pieces of the puzzle here that have not been mentioned:

* The fact that SnowGlobe 2 will use the Viewer 2 code base -- the third party viewers are going to be able to access the new features (Media On A Prim comes to mind)

* The other piece of the puzzle is being able to use the new features with OpenSim. I tried logging into Reaction Grid with the new viewer, and got as far as seeing myself hovering there before it hung. I think there will definitely be sufficient interest to iron this out!

Two Worlds

>>* The other piece of the puzzle is being able to use the new features with OpenSim. I tried logging into Reaction Grid with the new viewer, and got as far as seeing myself hovering there before it hung. I think there will definitely be sufficient interest to iron this out!

So...it crashes in OpenSim...but at least it doesn't crash for a few seconds...and that's a GOOD thing?

Aces.

paypabak writer

I get what you're driving at with the achievement system ... anyone with nirvana rating in plurk will have to nod, yes, it works. But I always thought that the hunts were a great way to immerse new users. The rewards of new stuff is obvious and they go to places that are guaranteed to have other avatars there. They certainly practice how to cam, move, and teleport. Yet hunts have not necessarily worked in getting new users to stay.

So maybe an approval system linked with premium membership, how could that work? Upgrades for your new Linden Home? Increased stipends for having more friends? Gag me! I am just not picturing how this would play or really make a difference.

Metacam Oh

The new viewer is nice, and media on a prim is long overdue, but I still got in world and lagged and appeared as a cloud or all the other same problems. Mass Market integration will happen maybe after Second Life Server 2.0

mh

You have a right to your opinion. But in my opinion most of the praise is targeted at the hype.

In my own granted quick overview with no access to explanatory documents, as a professional engineer I am underwhelmed in the result of supposedly 2+ years of work.

The new viewer has enough confusing quirks that someone coming new into SL still has a pretty significant hurdle to figure it out.

Apparently the programmers and programming management at LL have little to no consumer or enterprise application development experiences.

This is displayed for example in the viewers dramatic lack of user control over layout configuration, no ability to work in full screen mode free of widget clutter for builders, etc.

These kinds of customer driven usability enhancements for both newbiew and oldtimers in over 2-4 years of development work is not too much to ask from professional developers and product management.

The web on a prim is a fun toy. Its cool to throw up a box with a web prim and stream old seinfeld episodes from the web while building.

Kind of like working on the living room floor in front of the tv. No media player or necessarily any permissions from the property owner needed.

But the feature does bring up interesting IP questions. Can't wait to see the fallout from clandestine pirate "blockbuster first release" parties in sl.

All of the resource load for this feature is on the client. I tested on a 2ghz/4gb/win7 laptop. Based on results from having just 2 you tube streams running simultaneously I think many users are going to have some unpleasant experiences when this feature is widely used.

Enable media and enter a sim where every av is wearing web enabled clothing streaming the av's current 'personal statement'.

Your machine is now a brick. You have to scroll through a listing of every media source in the sim turning off all that you are not interested in seeing.

And you have to repeat the activity for each new AV that arrives at the location. Bummer!

Before the sex-griefers simply walked by with their inflated-pixel-egos hanging out.

Now simply make an oversize shirt and stream porn on yourself.

Granted no one who has media turned off will be bothered. But if most keep media turned off then it makes the new functionality pretty much irrelevant?

Sidney Smalls

There's really no tool LL could give us that somebody couldn't use to find fault and portent doom. If all the users were like certain commenters here, I wonder if they'd even bother to try.

Robert Bloomfield/Beyers Sellers

I am still waiting to be convinced. mh's comments seem pretty on-point to me--but mh, what does it mean to say "Your machine is now a brick"?

Sioban McMahon

Regarding laptops, I've been using SL on a laptop for three years. For the first year, I was on an iBook, then moved to a MacBook Pro. It works fine AND I have a wireless system through which I access the internet.

zam


The leveling up system was called money. And developers want that, not pictures of badges.

This Viewer hurts all businesses inside and developed in SL.

Free users paying nothing, buying nothing, chatting like sheep only benefits Lindens and your job with them.

IMVU is all for themselves. No community. And the functions removed from this viewer are all only going to help one group. Linden Labs.

Developers? They just left , didnt they?

Face it, less LL or your pal Susan, youre not much of a writer or analyst.

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Mass-market game changer? No.

Competition-killer? Very likely. Remember, this is a beta version. You'd be surprised the insane amount of bugs that were allegedly fixed in just 2 weeks — and this had been under development for a long, long time, and will continue to be so, until LL magically decides it's not a "beta" version any longer. I mean, it's not even a release candidate yet :)

So judging SL 2.0 by minor HTML quirks like the placement of ads or the Events list is a bit unfair. This doesn't even need a client change, but merely a web page redesign — that's the beauty of SL 2.0, where many parts of it are not hard-coded but simple web pages (just like in the future all HUDs will be!). Aye, of course, some silly Web designer at LL did some pretty stupid thinking on the layout for the Search results. So what? It's just a matter of changing a few HTML lines, and very likely, you don't even need to recompile the viewer (unless the box showing the results require redimensioning)...

The other issue is about "SL becoming mainstream", which is possible... to a degree. We have to consider what the target audience of SL actually is, and not what we expect it to be. Do we seriously believe that someone who never logged in to an Internet-connected computer and just played a few console games on a PSP will manage to become an expert in SL in a few minutes? I think that LL — and many of us — have long been working under that deluded assumption. If so, well, you're right — SL 2.0 won't do much for those types of users. Nor will SL 3.0, 4.0, or possibly 11.0. Let's use an analogy: is Photoshop a "mainstream" product? One might be tempted to say, "yes", in the sense that millions use it. But not billions. It takes a lot of time to figure out the user interface of Photoshop, but far longer to become proficient with it. Nevertheless, it is the reference product...

That's what SL might become: the reference product of what a virtual world is supposed to be. But it will be as hard to use as Photoshop. It's just because it's rather impossible to "dumbify" SL (the experience, not the viewer) so that all 2 billion Internet users are able to fully understand and use it.

Similarly, 160 million users play computer games every day. Many are insanely complex and intricate and take weeks if not months to master. However, none come close to FarmVille's success of having 70+ million users. Why? Because FarmVille has a user interface of the 1980s and is so "dumbified" that pretty much everyone who never saw a computer game before is almost immediately able to use it. Is FarmVille a huge success? It most certainly is! Then again, why doesn't it have 2 billion users?

We throw the word "mainstream" around far too easily. We ought to take a look at what "mainstream" means — in the context of virtual worlds, which is what SL happens to be. And in my mind (and I'm getting more stubborn with age!) SL 2.0 is positively running circles around any and every competitor out there, past, present or future, just because, in spite of all its thousands of flaws, it rather addresses the only fundamental issue: it works under a successful business model that is not tied to "burning venture capital" like all others. But it won't compete with FarmVille — ever. Once we convince ourselves of that, we will adjust our expectations according to realistic goals, not wishful thinking. I also blame myself for having been overoptimistic in the past :) but... I've learned my lesson.

Last but not least, it would be pretty much impossible to make everybody happy with the new UI :) Blaming LL for our inability to cope with change is unfair. Nevertheless, we try to grasp onto things and wish them to be permanent. But they are not. The only lesson of business worth learning is coping with change, because change is all we're going to get. It doesn't matter if the change is for better or worse: the longer we stick to a past that doesn't exist any longer, or the more we wish for a future that will never come, the more we will suffer in the present. Cutting our ties with a past that doesn't exist and reducing our anxiety over the expectations of an imaginary future that will never happen is the key to enjoying the present — which is, at this moment, a quite exciting time to be in :)

Mitch Wagner

Go, Gwyneth!

Leondra

LMAO, Jura! Perfect! (purr effect!)

Hitomi Tiponi

Excellent post Gwyneth.

We have to adapt with Secondlife to move forward - nothing on the net stays static and survives, it is a hard business fact. Some may like Secondlife to stay a niche product but then without more users and money flowing in the changes that they do want cannot be made by LL.

MMO makers regularly run out of funds - we want Secondlife to be with us into the future,and I feel this is a good (but of course not flawless) foundation for that.

mh

Robert,

"A brick" is slang used by some developers in the mobile app realm. It describes the remaining usefulness of a phone (device) that is unresponsive.

Though to be fair to LL it typically refers to a specific kind of crash where the unit cannot be restored without major surgery.

In LL's case the solution seems to be to go to a dropdown list of all media sources in the sim and to turn off all that you are not interested in seeing.

But I'm not sure how effective that would be in practice if upon landing all cpu cycles are eaten. And who wants to have to consider this upon landing or turning on media anyway.

There has to be a better way to deal with this then what appears on first glance.

brinda Allen

@MH...
"The new viewer has enough confusing quirks that someone coming new into SL still has a pretty significant hurdle to figure it out."
No kidding!

I absolutely hate most of the new viewer....
Since I'm a member of *Independent Mentors*, I'm going to be forced to learn it in order to try and instruct the new residents.

I'm sorry, I see nothing "intuitive" about it...
at least with the old viewer one could just tell new residents to look for a specific word on either the bottom toolbar or the top.

I see that those that create all this likely never spend anytime actually working with new people.
After actively working with over 1000 new people over the last two years I will bet that this viewer isn't going to be any easier to navigate than the old one.
All the lab has done is to require a learning curve for those that want to help one on one.

Ann Otoole

@Gwynth: We are not who LL wants and is targeting. LL wants what they call "general consumers". T says we can make our choices. Sirikata is pleased to see LL walling itself off from the future 3D internet. Reaction is said to be considering dropping support for SL. Others appear to be committing to advancing Open Sim faster.

So it might be a "game changer". Just not the one LL thinks it is. And it is clear LL does not need existing resident feedback on their general consumer viewer. And that makes sense in a way. Especially since I bet they paid a ton of money for it and it will take a year of general consumer use and general consumer feedback before it tweaks into what general consumers want.

SL isn't about us content creators anymore. We are history. SL is a glob of web pages now and chat chiclets flying out from opposite corners vying for eye attention before they vanish. It is no longer immersive 3D. Kingdon took SL and LL out of the 3D internet gene pool. Not everyone will miss them.

Faerie

What does this do that the new Emerald viewer does not do?

There still seems to be a lot that Emerald does that I haven't seen mentioned yet - so is there any reason to use this over Emerald, other than 'this is an officially sanctioned product'?

Two Worlds

A lot of what I'm reading here seems to be all about how the great unwashed riff-raff are getting into Second Life now, and it's ruining things if we open it up to just ANYONE. We don't want THOSE PEOPLE in our land!

Daniel Luchador

Uses most of my CPU and I don't see an increase in performance. The old SL only used 25% of my CPU.

Haven't had a chance to check out web on a prim because I am crashing frequently in this new viewer.

I will wait a few months and see if it improves enough to use. Until then, Emerald suits me well.

Joan Kremer

Thank you, Gwyneth, for your rational comment here! We all get extra-excited about changes to things that are important to us, but in the end, we can either accept the latest version of the mousetrap or create a better one. Since I don't have the resources to create the perfect virtual world (if there even is one), what I can do is work with what is available to me -- or leave and let them know they've lost a customer (which is far from likely at this point). I appreciate your practical, realistic observations.

Lord Sullivan

I figured with the closed poll about viewer 2.0 by Amanda Linden, wonder if LL knew the results beforehand so cancelled the poll ;), perhaps an open poll where everyone can actually vote would be useful.

Here is the Poll:

http://questionpro.com/t/ADrcJZHEJO

Here are the results

http://www.questionpro.com/akira/ShowResults?id=1604314&mode=data

June Stormcrow

I wrote a blog post about how SL needs to run on older machines in order to get the new users this viewer seems to be targeting. A+ on the interface being easier to use, after a few minutes of disorientation I got the hang of where everything was rather easily, although I will say that I picked up Viewer 1.23 pretty easy as well. The fact that the sidebar squishes the view instead of overlaying it is crashing my graphics card no matter what I do, however. I believe the minimum requirements for a system to use this viewer are higher than the previous distributions. This is not the way LL needs to go if they wish the grid to become populated again.

P.S. To the guy who runs perfect on a wireless laptop, a.) I wanna see proof, and b.) You are not the majority.

MarK Thompson

"It's why I believe an achievement system, or even an leveling ladder with experience points for exploring the world, creating content, and so on, is necessary."

In relation to the above quote, sim owners can already construct that kind of game system in a Hud if they want. Why do you want to impose that on everyone? I am one of the 7 sim owners in a region which has a hud similar to what you are advocating, and guess what? I don't have the hud and have never played the game.

Wagner, the more I read your blogs, the more I realize that we share fundamentally different views of SL and where it should go. I really hope that the Lindens don't take your advice.

In fact, I think that I will start a SL blog to advocate against most of the suggestions that you are advocating.

Please I beg you, why don't you team up with some likeminded people find some investors and start your own virtual world that is more in keeping with your desires. You can call it the Real Life Game (RLG). Please leave SL alone.

Hamlet Au

Mark, the problem with opt-in HUDs is that very few people opt-in, especially new users. So that doesn't solve the retention problem, the lack of structure or purpose that drives 95% of new users away. Better to make it an opt-out system. Don't like achievements or leveling? You should be able to remove those metrics from your profile with a single click.

Mark Thompson

According to Professor Robin Hanson (Economics),“…innovation and growth is just as feasible for elite products as for mass products.”

In otherwords, SL does not need to be a mass market product to grow and be successful. You can look at any example of luxury products to see this in practice.

I think SL is, should be and can be, a luxury product. Why? Because the quality will be better.


Mike

OpenSim is not in competition with SecondLife. Rather, it's what will allow SecondLife to survive in the long term.

If OpenSim doesn't carry SecondLife forward (and becomes mass-market capable), some other standard will take over from SecondLife altogether.

I don't know what SL's plans are, but open sourcing the 2.0 viewer quickly, as well as strongly supporting OpenSim should be part of it

Rhiannon Chatnoir

Well said Gwyneth. I agree we have to look at these changes in the broader perspective. Then again...I am a long time Photoshop user too ;)

Hamlet Au

"You can look at any example of luxury products to see this in practice."

Mark, Second Life has proven to be a valuable resource for wounded veterans, for physically and mentally disabled people, for the elderly, etc. etc. So far, however, it's only been valuable to the small percent of people able to get past its high learning curve and other barriers to entry. If Second Life were much easier to use and much more accessible, many more would benefit from it. Why would we want to keep it a "luxury" platform exclusive only to the few?

Mark Thompson

I live in a democratic country. In this country, people who go to the hospital for treatment have to wait long hours, even if they are seriously ill. In fact many people die needlessly at these public hospitals.

There is a special hospital where you don't have to wait and you get served breakfast in bed. People get the best treatment at this people. If we are all human beings deserving of life, why don't we make this service available to everyone. Many lives would be saved.

Let me answer the question for you? If it were made available to everyone, the quality would decline to where the other hospitals are at because the money is not there for everyone to live. Some people die because they are poor.

What does this have to do with SL? The mass of the population do not have the resources to finance a truly immersive 3D environment, which I hope will approximate the Matrix one day. For SL to be mainstreamed it has to become more like a 2D web game, which have intimated in your post. This would be step back for the technology. For the technology to improve and for more innovation to be created, SL needs a customer base with a higher income level than the general population. The mass market does not have the money to spend on SL. The only point in bein in SL in the long run is to own land which is expensive. It is only when you own land that you can build. That is the main purpose and the primary purpose of SL, a creative tool. If you want social networking, you do not need to create innovative technology for an immersive 3D environment.

Hamlet Au

I'm not sure I follow your health care analogy, Mark, but respectfully, I don't agree with your conclusions. You can currently access Second Life with a $400 laptop (I'm doing that now), and the price is going down even further every year. Millions of people in developing nations already *are* involved in 3D worlds/MMOs. People play World of Warcraft and other 3D MMOs in poor villages in China and Bralizian slums; total immersive 3D MMO usage worldwide is somewhere in the range of 30-40 million. (Considerably less than 2D worlds, but still a decent number.) In any case, I don't think it requires Second Life going 2D, but some kind of access option that's web-based, constrained 3D is possible, and it wouldn't kill immersion. I'm definitely not sure Second Life will ever get as large as FarmVille, but getting somewhere in the range of World of Warcraft is definitely feasible. Then, instead of hundreds of people making a RL living from their SL content, you're talking tens of thousands. Instead of thousands of disabled people benefiting from SL, you're talking hundreds of thousands. Instead of an obscure system people have barely heard of outside media hype, one in which everyone knows at least one person who's in Second Life. Which also means a system that starts to have regular and pervasive influence on the larger culture and even the political realm.

Mark Thompson

I don't want to prolong this discussion, so this will be my last post on this topic.

You are advocating a different technological direction for SL so that it can become mass market.

This would be a step back from the current direction of the technology and a loss for society.

You have repeatedly said that it is cheap for you, but let's look at the logics of it.

To approximate the real world requires an exponentially increasing level of computer power in order to handle the mass of information. It is like trying to manage all the atoms that make up the universe. This is the current direction of the technology. SL currently approximates RL at a very primitive level. Nevertheless, since i have been a member, I have had to increase my internet speed to a higher and more expensive level and buy the most memory that my computer can handle. This is why SL is now stable for me. It is slow for many people because they do not have the right equipment and speed. The internet charges for me are expensive. And of course, there is the cost of land and buying virtual goods which adds up to a lot. This is really different from most other virtual worlds. I spend US$1,200 per year on land cost. How many people would be willing to spend that in SL? SL is a creative tool that allows people to create different types of environments. But creating these environments and maintaining them cost money. Money that could be better spent on other things. The cost for a web site is much lower and you could get more advertising revenue from it because people can easily access it with a web browser.
In contrast, you have to download a viewer to access SL and learn how to use it properly. Most people don't want to do this.

You keep mentioning all these millions of people who are playing games. But SL is not a game. It is not structured. This another change you advocate which would also be a step back not forward for SL. The unstructured nature has resulted in the diverse creations and uses for SL.

What you are calling for is a game technology that can be easily accessible on the web, or at least, a step back from an increasingly oomplex 3D environment. Because such an environment requires increasingly powerful computers that most people do not have.

You actually have a very narrow view about this, because you're main concern is about increasing numbers. I am more interested in the technology. I think an increasingly complex 3D virtual environment could offer many benefits for society in the long run, such as increasing accurate simulations for physical events that are very expensive to undertake in RL.

This will allow SL to have a bigger impact in the long run. Even now it provides a good environment for the development of artificial intelligent agents.

To follow the path that you advocate would make SL into a nice game, rather than the revolutionary technology it has the potential to be, when things such as mind uploading become possible. I see technologies like SL as part of the process for the achievment of Singularity, not a mass market game.

I believe that SL be successfuly developed and marketed as a luxury product. This would maintain the high revenue streams needed to gain and maintain investor interest.

However, the stigma with SL will always be there and will probably get worse the more immersive it becomes, because people fear the loss of their RL self. I view the ability to to lose one's RL identity in a virutal world as a good thing, that will make society better in the long run.

The possibilities are endless but not if the technology goes the direction that you advocate. This would be a terrible loss for society in the long run.

Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

"For the 800K or so active Second Life users, 2.0 is a giant win, sure to re-energize and extend their in-world activity, while drawing in light users who log-in only occasionally."

ROFLMAO

Don't write like that! You just made me spit coffee all over my monitor, LOL

Seriously, Wagner, how much does LL pay you to write this garbage? This is ridiculous. Do you think anybody is going to take this blog seriously after this? I guess it doesn't really matter, since SL is going down in flames anyway and your reader base is going to go with it. (and we all know the 2.0 viewer has a lot to do with why it's going down)

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Wagner James Au VR MMO blog New World Notes
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