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Thursday, September 02, 2010


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SL is too laggy to do any game but Role Playing. Believe me, I tried. Wanted to get blitzball going and just couldn't get the physics right.

It is too laggy for a train to move on a track! And the prim limit for vehicles also doesn't help.


Ren, games take many forms. I made a little quest for a friend's rezday a while ago, and I'm amazed at how often the clues are accessed by complete strangers (they phone home). Because of its format it's not really affected by lag.

Hamlet Au

I'd be overjoyed if LL just beefed up the roleplaying community! That plus the fashionistas (who aren't too different from much of the Sims fanbase), probably comprises Second Life's largest user group.


My main thrust in my latest projects are about making simple RP more accessible by strangers. The GAME for the user is to experience the most out of whats going on in SL.

Video of the recent RP shootout on the now closed Goony Island.

Adric Antfarm

Seems like a good idea and she knows nothing of Emerald which is a plus.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

I'm sorry, but "game" in the context of "computer" has bad connotations for me. I burned out on game as "Memorize a sequence of RSI-inducting motions just so you can reproduce them at sufficient speed to get all the way through a sequence of levels" back in the days of Pac-Man and Gyruss. If I'm going to wear out my hands, it will be for Debussy, Machaut, or Dowland.

The only game I might want to play in SL is Calvinball. For the rest, I don't want phony goals and levels imposed on me.

I commend to everyone's attention Gwyneth Llewelyn's essay on "self-entertainers" as the target audience of SL.

Little Lost Linden

There is this one game that Hitler plays and its called Robot Unicorn Attack.


Maybe that could be played inside the world of Second Life.

Ann Otoole InSL

Can she fix search or replace the search team with people that can? No? Then what does she bring to the table since the search team is killing SL?


This is certainly an interesting turn of events. Yes. Interesting.

And I dunno what the deal is with search, I seem to find everything I am looking for with it. YMMV.

Lauren Weyland

I'm just happy if we can grow...and I think she can make that happen

Paisley Beebe

Very nice Avatar Representation actually looks like her! very cool

Paisley Beebe

Very nice Avatar Representation actually looks like her! very cool


As always, I have to point out Second Life is not a game. It's a simulator. Apparently even Linden Lab does not know this. I think that is why there is always so much disappointment involved with Second Life. There is no win, no goal and no points. And that suits me just fine.

Nevertheless, a big welcome to Ms Salzer, and a request. Please come inworld and spend as much time as possible before you make any judgements or decisions. If you try to invision Second Life as a game to market, I fear another, Viewer Two/Linden Homes/Unlimited Anonymous Accounts, train wreck.

Vooper Werribee

LL and Hamlet (and others) are both correct. SL is a great development platform FOR games - especially those of the type often termed MMO RPGs. SL handles the rendering, account infrastructure and basics of player interaction/communication and by making the extraordinarily powerful LSL and free content creation available they have made the perfect platform for others to add in the game elements.
The downsides: (1) making MMOs is hard work - even though LL have made a great platform there's still an awful lot of design, coding and testing that needs to be done and (2) SL is still a niche platform and developing a big app for SL is just too risky for many people/companies as the future of SL remains unclear until some indications of mass-adoption emerge. Hopefully the appointment of Kim can go some way to fixing the second point.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Given the absolutely rotten experiences I'm having with road trips on LL's roads, using a variety of vehicles before and after the rollout of server 1.42 , I'd say we have a problem.

Something "game worthy" that Kim could address early on: fixing sim-crossings and vehicle physics.

There's a large market for vehicles in SL and many of them are amazing, but if you cannot drive them, they are just prim-candy for some dream home or RP sim.

Kim, announce an SL Motor-Rally as proof we can "game it up"!

JoJa Dhara

Finally we do not have to explain anymore to people who mention Second Life is a game that it is something different.

We first told people its a Social Virtual World / 3de Internet where business, entertainment, education and community building was happening and most of all innovation Great world to invest in.

But now we finally we can say "Yes!! its a game!! a roleplay Game!!"

Saves a lot of hassle ;-)

Ajax Manatiso

For the first time I have to congratulate LL on a good move. LL has been Dwight Schrute all the way -- as if run by a group of Dwight Schrutes -- and someone who might actually feel that SL users go inworld for (gasp) fun is a welcome change.

FlipperPA Peregrine

Hiring from a company as full of fail and security holes as Adobe was always a bad idea. Adobe should have just stuck to their wheelhouse, graphic design; when they attempted things like ColdFusion from Allaire/Macromedia, the level of fail couldn't even be charted.

cube inada

so now therye gonna try to advertise the unlincensed avatar/vampire/ star trek/ star wars/ dune/ stargate/werewolf/ and galactica RPGs for profit inside of SL? LOL

with most of those IPs producing major failed MMOs all in legal messes to this day or current production licenses for casual mmos like galatioca from bigpoint, good luck...;)

of course if thery want to offer rpg games they can hire staffs and pay for them.

im sure mad pea has a proto con tract in the works,,, and if not..well i guess they can sucker rezzable back with green....lol

but the real question is audience numbers.. and a fair/ contractual usage of the platform..

and thats why unity3d and other cheap 3d engines would wipe the floor with this new plan..IF it existed.

I dont even think IS the LL plan... and one hire's background is just not important to LL stragegy( homes and 3dchat fashions sold)..shes just there for her rolodex... where to place moe banner ads with navi vampires...that will by navi huts and sell fangs to each other..

anyhow..let time show reality;)

Arcadia Codesmith

I'm a hardcore gamer. I love games. I buy lifetime subscriptions to MMOs. And I advocate endlessly that the MMOs I love incorporate more "social" aspects to increase player investment and retention, and embrace player-generated content... like Second Life does.

But I'm sorry to say that not only is Second Life not a game, it is a uniquely crappy game design platform -- particularly, but not exclusively, for the MMORPG genre.

Before I would even consider building an MMORPG within Second Life, I'd need to see the following changes:

1)Drastic land tier reduction -- currently, for the cost to rent sufficient space for even a modest-sized MMO, I could build a server stack and lease a nice game engine. The $$$ equation doesn't pan out, especially for zero-capital independents.

2) Zone preloading -- If you see featureless gray polygons and green cloud people in an MMO, either your video card is fried or it's time to stop signing up for Alpha releases.

3) Better scripting tools -- implementing even simple pathfinding routines in LSL is a sad, sick joke. Full-blown melee combat against NPCs? Clunky and unresponsive at best.

Can you make an MMORPG within SL? Yes, and more than a few people have. But it's like getting WoW to run on an Amiga -- an impressive technical achievement that nets you cred for your mad skillz, but is otherwise pointless and useless.

You can market it as The Sims online... but I imagine EA is still blushing furiously over THAT fiasco.

Metacam Oh

I think SL needs a Gaming sim/server software. Regions that are predownloaded or do not have building or updating on the fly (I guess similar to Blue Mars) Just special servers where the lag is under control and physics/game activity can take place. Sure you can play very simple games, games that don't require physics or action, but I hate to say it until they figure out a special gaming server, the "gaming" community will not accept SL.

Little Lost Linden

"Can you make an MMORPG within SL? Yes, and more than a few people have. But it's like getting WoW to run on an Amiga"

Speaking of the Amiga, it is back! In the form of a retro style PC. That's right! You can now have an Amiga replica on your desk with today's modern PC performance under the hood (c64 also if that was your thing):


I used to have an Amiga 2000, great machine for it's time. I'm not into retro that much however.

"As always, I have to point out Second Life is not a game. It's a simulator."

Second Life is a simulator of lag. Thanks to SL, I have a deep understanding of that word. Perhaps some day it can acquire true simulator status. Perhaps with the revamping of V2 that can eventually happen.

Hiro Pendragon

Wait, you're "excited" to have SL move away from "it's not a game"?

Okay, you fundamentally misunderstand the Office episode - Dwight, in fact, treats Second Life *EXACTLY LIKE A GAME* - like the sims - to Dwight, it's an escapist fantasy world. There's nothing non-game about it. The irony is that Dwight is such a lame person that he doesn't even see what he's doing is really a game, because he makes his avatar exactly like himself.

But that has nothing to do with calling Second Life or any other virtual world a non-game platform. Dwight says nothing about business, education, entrepreneurship, etc.

You seriously have your thinking backwards. But I suppose since before Second Life you wrote video game reviews, that's not entirely unexpected.

Hiro Pendragon

Let me be more clear -
The Office was making fun of Linden Lab and developers who *claimed* "it's not a game" but treated it exactly like one.

Hamlet Au

That's a very curious way of looking at it, Hiro, especially asserted with such brusque certainty. I didn't see the episode that way. Like I said in that original essay, the key to me is that Jim calls Dwight a loser for saying "Second Life is not a game", and then we see that Jim plays Second Life like a game, creating a fun rockstar avatar.


"and then we see that Jim plays Second Life like a game, creating a rockstar avatar."

you mean just like you H ?;)

whos playing whom?

anyhow. shaka his eyes open.

Vooper Werribee

"Can you make an MMORPG within SL? Yes, and more than a few people have. But it's like getting WoW to run on an Amiga"

I agree that you can't make an MMO like WoW in SL - but why would you want to? WoW is already very successful. But for a tiny, tiny fraction of the cost of WoW you can make a Persitant Multiplayer full-3D RPG (and er, yeah let's drop the 'Massively' if you're going to define that in terms of land mass - SL tier pricing makes that a non-starter). The trick is to focus on SL's stregths such as the ease with which players can add social content. What other commercial RPG out there can you customise your avatar and home as much as in SL? SL has its strengths in the RPG genre as well as weaknesses.


Games are fun. Second Life is fun.

Having someone who knows how to market "fun" is the key takeaway of this for me.


What other commercial RPG out there can you customise your avatar and home as much as in SL?

My kids play Roblox and Zwinky and love it. For their age, it is a very fun and cheap version of the prim building and fashionista aspects of second life. I gotta admit my daughter's room on zwinky loks better than my latest SL house (cause i've been tied up w/o time to fuss w/ it).

SL is way too expensive. What other online platform makes you pay 300/month to enrich THEIR site ?


Welcome Kim and thanks for having a pleasant avatar and a friendly, simple name like Kim Linden - "M Linden" was so impersonal, famously used a noob avatar, and didn't seem to fit in.

I don't think she will be "leading the community" anywhere though - that is not the job of a VP of Marketing. Her job is to raise awareness, gain new users, and improve the perception of Second Life in the world OUT THERE.

Addison Greymyst

From this one user's perspective, I don't see the excitement about SL and gaming. I don't do games. I find them boring. I love second life though. I enjoy meeting people, creating things, discovering and appreciating what others create. I don't have a need for points, levels, winning/losing, or trophies. My friends (who are mostly creative types) when I show them Second Life are excited by the possibilities of creating their own content - not memorizing the keyboard sequence or whatever you need that will allow them to find some stupid object or kill something. I hope a gaming emphasis does not promote a structure that limits our abilities to be creative.


"Linden Lab Hires Activision & EA Vet as Marketing VP, Hinting at Game-Centric Promotion Strategy of Second Life"

Good for her as long as she understands she won't be employed for years after putting Linden on a resume when she's let go in the near future.

Fantastic news. May she be able to market what no one else could. Not sure what there is to market there, but it looks like Linden believes they have something worth marketing.

"Your world, your imagination" and "Own your own virtual land" are gone. And of course utter crap. So let's see what they have to offer now with nothing more than witnessed since 2003.

Amazing to have no real product and need a Marketing VP.

Ciaran Laval

The physics, the lag, the financial realites all make games difficult within Second Life.

Carolyn Saarinen

So, having fired all their developers, LL have hired a marketeer. What, exactly, do they have for her to market?
Mind you, I can understand an attractive woman wanting to work for anyone but Bobby Kotick.


Hamlet Au

"Good for her as long as she understands she won't be employed for years after putting Linden on a resume when she's let go in the near future."

I don't agree with that at all, Ted, most of the Lindens I know have gone on to great gigs at YouTube, Wikia (the for-profit arm of Wikipedia), AKQA (a big ad agency), etc. Two Lindens just had their new start-up covered by the New York Times. Whatever Second Life's recent troubles, the tech world still respects Linden as an important innovator.

Arcadia Codesmith

I would agree that the "quests on rails" track that has dominated the MMORPG world since EverQuest and reached its epitome with World of Warcraft stifles player creativity.

There is another branch of MMO game design, pioneered by Ultima Online, that seeks to provide tools to players to create their own communities, adventures and other content. It's commonly referred to as "sandbox" design.

I think sandbox design is convergent and compatable with non-game virtual worlds, and that such a convergence would be a great step in combating the evil Facebook juggernaut.

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Wagner James Au
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