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Tuesday, April 27, 2010


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soror nishi

no, no, no. This has much more to do with how taxing SL is on the normal (majority) graphix card than it says about immersionist v. augmentalist.

Unless you have a serious card the full screen option is a crash waiting to happen, and the majority of people have not bought a computer specifically for SL.

Aleena Yoshiro

I am an immersionist.

Sometimes it is more convenient to chat with friends through alternative means, rather than through the Second Life client.

Sometimes I have to look up words in Quenya translation dictionaries, my collection of electronic notes or even Wikipedia.

But in the end, full screen mode switching is a pain in the butt. So I run Second Life in windowed mode.

Jeroentje Jansma


Yeah, I think so too.

I play full screen, have a good graphic card, because I play other 3D games too, like battlefield 2 and BF 2142.


I'm a mac user, mac users don't tend to run anything full screen. Also im usually using sumfin at the same time to add to the experience in SL such as, music software and dj software, photoshop to make graphics to upload, twitter to communicate with those not inward, web-browsing to view links that friends have pasted into conversations and web communites like on ning or AU that gave more group function than anything in SL. Also there is the old fear of the past when being fullscreen was more likely to cause a crash that you could not force quite because you was trapped in fullscreen.

To be in Full screen is to be cut off from the rest of the world. Look at it this way. In real world we use the web, mobile devices and such to communicate with friends that we are otherwise unable to meet in person. Second Life is the same due to the way it social communications is set up. Everyone finds it better and easier to use Outworld web browsing, community managing and outworld communicating and therefor will not want to be be cut off by fullscreen SL.

Adeon Writer

I would absolutely run full-screen, if I could get it to work properly! I do many other things to add to the immersion - modified skins that take up the least amount of screen-space as possible, disable float-text, nametags (hovering over to see people's names works fine) and no voice dots for people who aren't talking... That's all pretty extreme by most people's standards, but... yeah, windowed mode for me. At least until they fix it in 2.0!


The whole Immersionist versus Augmentationist argument was always a pile of pretentious, faux-ethnographic bullshit and now you're drawing completely extraneous conclusions on the basis of an insignificant sample of self-selected opinions?

You really don't actually DO very much in SL anymore, huh?



That was an AMAZING comment FTW! LOL XD

Samantha Poindexter

Speaking as an Immersionist who runs in windowed mode, your argument here makes no sense at all. The distinction is about the nature of your Second Life; whether you're multitasking with First Life services is utterly irrelevant.


As a SL resident since 2005, I think the Immersionist vs Augmentationist perspectives are extremely important for us to look at. How are people using Second Life? If you don't know, then you can't make things better.

I personally run at fullscreen, but that's just because I'm silly and I forgot that running it windowed was an option. :P I'm definitely an augmentationist, too.

I think the high percentage of users who run SL Windowed just shows that SL is still terribly taxing peoples' computers.

Alicia Chenaux

I run windowed because I'm a fidgety multitasker. I *need* to be able to do several things at once. It has nothing to do with being an immersionist or whatever.

Impalah Shenzhou

This is the best conclusion inferred from a statistic since the one that said "half of the people are actually the 50%".

Toxic Menges

If your ability to immerse yourself in SL depends on whether you can run it full screen or not, then that implies that the rich content and community experiences in SL aren't worth much.

Needless to say, I think the idea put forward in this post is a bit of a crock. Sorry :)

Peter Stindberg

What kind of conclusion is THAT? The alternate channels I use help me to immerse MORE. In all these alternate channels I am Peter Stindberg and not "that other guy". I use those alternate channels to conduct my business, I use the alternate channels to exchange ideas and experiences of my virtual life.

Using that kind of conclusion I can also cast a headline "70% run SL in windowed mode - this means 30% see it as first person shooter game".

Marianne McCann

I think it's pretty clear I'm an "immersionist." I run in windowed mode. It's easier on my computer.

This is like comparing the number of pirates in the world with increases in global warming. It doesn't "prove" anything, Hamlet.

(And well said, @ Jovin)

Lalo Telling

Kudos to Peter and Jovin!

Bennetsen's conjectures reflect the time when they were written (when SL was half the age it is now, and before an influx of Residents for whom multitasking is second nature), and are founded on a false dichotomy. But beyond that... "immersion" is a state of mind, not a state of the size or number of windows one has up on the screen.

This entry reminds of why I quit reading "Pixels and Policy", and makes me think T Linden was a bit premature before declaring anyone's blog "specious".


Full screen mode is not much more immersive than a maximized window for me. Even when in full screen mode the monitor border is still there, not to mention the real world around the monitor.

I do have a head mounted display with stereoscopic vision, now that is great for immersion. Although it makes me feel sick if I use it for more than an hour and is a pain to configure and get working so I hardly ever use it.

I have been finding that my ability to be immersed seems more dependent on the artistry and content then the viewer settings.

Imnotgoing Sideways

I run my client in a maximized window. I don't know how technically "Fullscreen" that is, but, I find the UI resolutions have always been ruined at fullscreen mode. (>_<)

At the same time, many people I've met in SL also communicate on the side using other apps (Gtalk, Skype, YIM) just in case SL crashes. (^_^)

I don't know what kind of "-ist" that makes me, but, that's how I roll in SL. (^_^)y

Ann Otoole

Here comers Hamlet with some more anti SL resident propaganda from the boss queen.

Truth be told, Hamlet, LL doesn't need you are any of us "consumers" in the "consumer grid" anymore. LL could shut the public grid down tomorrow and have enough government contract money to keep chugging along. I expect LL will do exactly that in the near future so I hope you are pleased when you no longer have a job.

Hamlet Au

"Using that kind of conclusion"

It's not a conclusion, Peter -- that's why I phrased it in the form of a question and stated all the qualifiers, such as "this isn't a fully reliable data point" and "those who chose 'Windowed' may simply be saying that's only their choice by default", and etc. At the same time, I do observe Residents who tend toward Immersionist prefer being in fullscreen mode and resist non-SL interruptions that break them out of that (web link, videos, etc.)

Pappy Enoch

Want to git "immersed"?

Play SL drunk. They ain't a dang thing better'n that. I fell out a window last time I done did that.

Now am that "windowed" mode, or what??


Call me what you want, just don't call me 'late for dinner'.

Ziki Questi

Like Loki, I use Macintoshes, and it would be very unusual—very, very unusual—to run anything on a Mac full screen. And part of the reason, besides, is that I have my web browser open to access Second Life's website, my website, etc., TweetDeck because I tweet about SL ... what does that tell you about Immersionist versus Augmentationist? Nuthin.

Robward Antwerp

I was going to ignore this simplified and false distinction. But, I cannot resist jumping in…

I think there are varying degrees of immersion in any ‘Verse… Meta or otherwise. Clearly it is a continuum. I believe this is true for everyone… yes even the most dedicated dyed in the wool immersionist and augmentalist… does anyone else have a problem with the whole one camp or other … ist … thing?

For example what if I am in full screen mode in a house with other people in it… and they walk by… or in windowed mode in a dark room alone… or in full screen mode with the baseball on to my right… sound is off… am I now more immersed in SL… sound of game is on… am I less immersed in SL? I think you see my point… there are so many factors involved in determining what immersive means.

Not to mention the whole question is rife with elitist hierarchical value assumptions. Am I more ‘into it’ or ‘cooler’ if I am fully immersed or if I am a super multitasking multi application using content creator? At the risk of sounding naïve I see second life as fully complex, all inclusive and partaken of uniquely by each individual… complete with all the injustice and beauty of Life.

Perhaps a better question is… what is it about SL that engages me, what draws my attention, holds me to it? I am guessing it isn’t the size of my window… or so I hope… lol

Tateru Nino

Completely incorrect use of the term immersion.

CyFishy Traveler

No. Just . . . no. Immersionism and Augmentationism is (a) more of a spectrum than a dividing line and (b) a measure of how one relates to one's avatar rather than to the environment. So fullscreen versus windowed doesn't even really enter into that.

Dylan Rickenbacker

I run windowed. I tried fullscreen a couple of times, found that fonts looked weird, the handling was clumsy, and the whole thing was much more unstable than in windowed mode. On the other hand, there didn't seem to be any trade-off advantage that would give me a reason to even WANT to run fullscreen. So why should I bother?

As for immersionist versus augmentationist, I have no idea which I am. Still less do I know what it might have to do with fullscreen versus windowed.


Just to ad to what i said, i dont think the SL experience allows us to be fully immersed in the SL experience. When Avatars United was released i jumped for joy because i thought it would be intergrated within the SL viewer experience, no longer needing to go to external communication softwares to tweet friends, check out group activity, find out kool places to go, watch kool trailers. But then its not intergrated at all. i Guess i can load it up in the built in viewer maybe. im just rambling now... must stop.... :-p

If im to take part in the immers vs augment i'd probably say im a healthy mix of both and it has nothing to to do with screen size, it is to do with the people you engage with inworld and the experience you are having. Say for instance you are stood in a steampunk town watching two others argue about somthing bad thats going to happen, you are more likely to be fully immersed in the experience than say in a club where yu leave your avatar to dance while you concentrate on chatting to friends, replying to IM's, becos lets face it, IM's totally disrupts immersive experience in SL?

Drama is also a good immersive experience. During the Openspace Drama i was fully immersed in the protests with friends with banners.

And Burning life you can be both immersed and augmented. I would let my avatar dance about while i tweeted and chatted to friends outside SL and then when they burnt the man i changed to fully immersed.

Anyways...just some thoughts...

Paisley Beebe

didn't do the survey cause on the new SL viewer I cannot work out where to run it in full screen! and when I did try on old screen took about 10 goes to get it to work at right resolution...without having to reboot entire computer, the detect correct settings never did!

Trinity Dejavu

Nice survey, wrong conclusions.

SL full screen is intermittent at best and for me at least (with a decent gamer laptop) results in a lower frame rate.

Hide the task bar and you loose a whole dozen pixels across the top of your screen and can still use an external web browser etc.

@Ann Otoole Really. Then why don't you cut to the chase and move to another virtual world. I hear Twinity has a nice 2004 feel to it, should feel just like home.


Please, please....Don't call me Shirley.

Arcadia Codesmith

Well, Hamlet, I'd say that the answer to your question was a resounding 'NO'. It's a clever hypothesis, though. Give us cheap consumer-grade immersive VR that doesn't induce migranes, let it to become widely adopted, and then let's repeat the question.

CronoCloud Creeggan

It must also be taken into account that some of SL's hardcore fanbase write about SL and thusly, have a text editor, web brower, image editor, etc open and run in windowed mode And the SL fashionistas are often reading blogs while in SL to check out new stuffage.

Winter Seale

I agree with the others, I don't think it's an indicator one way or the other.

Really, I think it's more a comment on how poorly implemented full screen mode is in SL.

Hamlet Au

That's quite possible. In retrospect I'm not happy with how I phrased the title, and a lot of readers made some good points, so I changed it. I do think the choice of windowed versus fullscreen is *often* a strong indicator for augmentationist vs. immersionist, but technical issues and other factors muddy up that point quite a bit.

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