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Monday, May 16, 2011


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Emerald Wynn

I love you madly, Hamlet - seriously, I do - but I wish you wouldn't have grabbed the "odd ducks" quote and printed it somewhat out of context. When I first read that quote here -- even though you did say that Beau ultimately honed in on the greatness of SL -- I got slightly irritated that, once again, someone used a litany of freaks to sum up the place. In fact, I didn't even give a damn about Beau and the rest of his opinion at that point.

Then I caved and hopped over to read the article and got:

"The first and most important thing is to address the most commonly misunderstood thing about Second Life. While it is true that you will find more deviants, odd ducks, weirdos, open-relationship hippies, people dressed as babies, S&M aficionados, virtual sex-toy tinkers, and sex-starved oddballs than in any game or world on the entire face of the Earth, these people do not fully represent nor carry the message of Second Life."

I feel better now - thanks to the first sentence and the paragraph conclusion.

And hell yeah, Tuna Oddfellow and his Oddballs are two of the best things in SL, as far as I'm concerned.

Hamlet Au

I hear ya, Emerald. I just think it's important to highlight the freak quote because I see variations of it so often... in *positive* press!

Arcadia Codesmith

Didn't Massively start life under another title as an SL blog?

I think SL is a great creative platform... but it has specific limitations that render it impractical for serious MMO development and hosting: price, sim concurrency, latency, lack of zone pre-caching, lack of instancing, spotty script handling, regional instability due to spotty script handling, no native data storage, poor avatar collision handling... I could go on, but the full list is depressing.

Depressing because I see incredible potential as a development and deployment platform for independents and hobbyists, and I see many RP groups doing their darndest to realize that potential, but I see little indication that the Lab has any real interest in pursuing this market segment.

And that's a shame. Win over developers, and they'll bring in gamers. And love 'em or hate 'em, there are a LOT of gamers looking for a chance to play in a world tailored to their tastes.

Eddi Haskell

This reappraisal of Second Life has been long overdue by the "mainstream world". However, it is to be expected -- Second Life is poised to enter the "plateau of productivity" -- where its original vision and promise will come true for millions of potential users as they take a second look at what virtual worlds have to offer.

Gartner Group's hypecycle provides a perfect example of what has happened to Second Life about a huge "Peak of Inflated Expectations) reached during the now infamous Business Week cover story on it in 2006. It was a brief and rapid time in the spotlight for Second Life, which could not deliver immediately on the huge expectations set for it back then.

Second Life has been mired in the "trough of disillusionment" since the gambling bust of mid-2007, and really has been hit hard with unfair real world criticism of it as a Web 2.0 platform. However, if past tends hold true, we can now expect a long period of rational and steady growth as realistic appraisals come to the forefront.

Tateru Nino

"In recent years"? Chopped liver, am I? I resigned from the SL beat there less than a year ago.

Allen Kerensky

As one of the freaks, I'd have to agree with both sides - the power of SL is making it *yours* - despite the limitations or the lawyering by the Lab or others.

For every limit posted by Arcadia in comments, there are solutions or workarounds. Like we said in 2005 doing machinima in SL "if it was easy, everyone would be doing it." Search youtube now...

If you want to create a "professional" MMO - be a developer and use an engine like Unreal or Crysis. If you want to just create "fun" of some sort without learning massive amounts of code and other disciplines, a platform like SL works well as long as you can work within its limits, or are willing to try to stretch beyond those limits.

If you just throw in the towel before you start and say "it can't do it because..." then you will always be right and never make any progress.

SL is what we make it - and we mostly have to color in the lines, but occasionally we can scribble just a little outside the preconceived borders. And, you end up with progress in the virtual world... or freaks off on the side making the world their own in their own unique ways.

SL has room and capability plenty for that, for those willing to say "well, just maybe we could..." and ignore some of the more objectionable things that may be going on here or there.

Arcadia Codesmith

Allen, I have nothing but respect for those individuals and groups that have tried to create a viable RPG within the confines of the SL platform. I don't mean to minimize their achievements.

Yes, there are some ingenious and ambitious workarounds. Yes, it's a fine platform for RP (without the MMO or G).

But when you compare the results with those professional-grade standalone engines, I don't think "good enough" is good enough. SL could be sooooo much better with a little attention paid to the needs of developers. And the payoff is nothing but good for all of us.

Hamlet Au

"I resigned from the SL beat there less than a year ago."

Yes, so there wasn't SL coverage for much of 2010, and little or none in 2011. But all respect to your coverage, Tateru, a weekly post is much less than what the Joystiq network once devoted to Second Life.

Nyoko Salome

;0 lol, 'it ain't minecraft'!

and really, too true... i've been playing a lil' mc, and sure it's nice for once to have all the 'prims' already laid out in front of you, to be sculpted and mined/replaced wherever, just for a change... but the options are soooooo sorely limited in comparison to what sl offers. (sure, i love the urge to 'sculpt' once in a while, and MC is def nice for that!)

but in comparison to everything else that sl offers... and the other '2.5-D' shtuff too; they won't make it; not in the long run. they don't 'get it.'

only the other 'true 3d spaces' get it, at least close to it... at least, -eventually,- in the long run. which is what will count! ;0

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Wave that Freak Flag high: "Freak" does not always equal "creep."

"Normal" folks can be downright frightening, and for all I know (well, actually, I don't wanna know) behind closed doors they are in diapers.

Nice to see Massively, post-Tateru, tout what's best about SL: we can create stuff we cannot IRL.

Nyoko Salome

p.s. actually, outside of all other efforts to make sl 'the king' or whatever of whatever genre or domain it actually -is- (other than 'a game', lol), it will -not- be any bouncey or bright-shiney new things from a third-p browser...

... -but the simple and very expected usability- to IM all your online friends (who are already highlighted) via a group IM to message for parties. simple stuff, -all- related to pulling together -immediately- your group of friends...

this is -not- a new feature; nor something that needs 'facebooked' into the GUI or whatever - just - let us IM our friends who are already highlighted online to come to a party, now! ;0 -

if one cannot use their friends list as their 'club list', one cannot really do too much more currently in sl! truly. (maybe they think 'i should use my groups', but my friends -are- my group, -before- my group.)

and simple shtuff like that will always 'pull back' on sl. that, and the current-still problem with official viewer 2 not working 'web browsers' stuff in-viewer properly, unless doing some semi-obscure to impossible (for mac users) IE install trick.

they =gotta= get this 'simple' stuff conquored for any advancement! it doesn't instill any confidence for newbies to continue into a world where such basics do not work -at all- off the bat.

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