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Friday, August 21, 2015


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From a person who lived through the last hype too - there is a fascinating set of stories to be written:

1 - who is driving the VR hype this time? VC's, Facebook, 23 yo's at Venture Beat who missed the last few waves, Gartner? Not a single market for this headset tech has yet to be proven, or has it?

2 - silencing the critics. it is shocking to me how experienced, critical voices are just passively ignored or passed off as cynical burn-outs. Remember when occulus ceo said they are going to have a billion people in MMO VW's. I wanted to throw up - what an 'effing naive idiot! Just keep telling Zuckerberg that, I thought. The worst is that LL has bought it too - I mean how many times have we seen LL try to work around the access barrier to entry (high GPU requirements) or other attempts (Cloud Party time) to no affect whatsoever. So now they are going to strap a headset on and up the resolution and Billions of people are going to join? No.

3 - Tech push... something I lament with other VW vets -- how many times have we seen a CEO at LL try to reinvent or put a shine on the technology, with Zero innovation on the community and immersive presence elements that are the whole reason SL exists. Pixel fidelity is not a selling point, sorry never has been. Unfortunately it takes that CEO a few years to realize they just retread the same water as the last CEO.

4 - There is a lot of research out there to show how powerful immersive experiences can be to change real world behavior. How come none of them have entered the mainstream? Has there? Hmmm.

5 - Content creation. It is hysterical that Sansar will require pro modeling tools like Maya to create content. You want Zero adoption? Yet again the hype cycle fails to account for major business levers. No pro creator is going to use SL to show off their content and few amateurs have the time or training it takes to use Maya out of the box. In other news, now we have FB subsidizing VR experiences. Content creation is *the* #1 ROI problem with 3D graphics - and creating higher fidelity viewing tools is just going to make it more expensive.

6 - I think people covering the latest hype cycle should make an effort to disambiguate VR (photos/cameras) with VR (3D graphics and modeling).

7 - Content wins. Experiences are king. Community rules. Fidelity does not.

Levio Serenity

Well about every 10 years people forget how there was a previous failed attempt made at VR and start hailing it as the next big thing. Then a crappy headset comes out, no one buys it, it dies a quiet death. Wait 10 years and a new generation thinks they've discovered some new secret sauce and attempts the same thing all over again. And this time we just had the Google Glass die not even that long ago. A lot of money is being burned through this go around, so it will be interesting to see, but I haven't seen anything that indicates it's going to stick this time either. It's like 3D movies, there will always be a niche that loves it, but don't get your hopes up for a mass adoption by everyone.



LL have repeatedly said that when Sansar is open to us (the general public) that there will be alternatives to Maya, incl. inworld building tools of some kind

that Maya is the tool that the Alpha testers will be using, bc thats the tool that LL have made a publisher for

like LL had to pick a content design tool to actual get content made and uploaded into the alpha test harness. So they picked Maya for this, the Alpha stage of the project


is zero point in making more than one addon publisher exporter/uploader for the Alpha test harness

after the project goes Beta then will be the time to start adding publishers for other tools


6 years ago Gartner stated that "everybody in the planet, with an internet connection, would have an avatar and be in virtual worlds". They of course were supremely wrong about it and they get it thrown in their face whenever they try to claim to have the last word on the "future".

So what do they do? Like most American idiots, they double-down on their claims since they can never ever say, "umm we were wrong".

Nuff said

Orca Flotta

Even if Sansar gets the niftiest yet easiest building tools ... who do you think wil be interested? The builders aren't the mainstream masses VRs want to reach. The masses want to log in and ... brrrr consume. They wanna dance, watch concerts, buy clothes and sex toys, McMansions, jacuzzis and fat ass yachts and race cars. They are not interested in how their goods were made. I bet the good old SL could easily have millions more users as well. LL must just adapt to better business practices. Up to now we always saw huge exoduses and declining user numbers after one or the other brainmelt management decision.



true about what consumers want

but the content still has to be made somehow. So is not surprising that LL are focussing on this at this alpha stage in the project


I will fly right over in my car to Gartner to get this matter straight, as soon as my vacation at Hilton's lunar hotel ends.

Eddi Haskell

This is my comment as a former Gartner Research Director - with a different real life name of course. Something is missing from the chart. It should say "Hype Cycle" on top. This is a chart of a classic Gartner Hype Cycle, not actual technology deployment. Gartner believes that technologies become overhyped prematurely, and reach the first point of the curve- The Peak of Inflated Expectations and become overhyped. This is exactly what happened to Second Life and other virtual worlds in 2006 - 2007 when Business Week with its cover story, other media sources, and Gartner itself (which should have known better) bought the Kool-aid about virtual worlds and issued incredible projections. The Gartner Hype Cycle then continues to predict that technologies fail to deliver on initial promise and then fall rapidly into their nadir -- the low point on the trough of disillusionment and are given up as essentially dead or way too premature. Technologies, even when given up as dead, can continue to enter a plateau of productivity when they, slowly at times, begin to reach potential-- frequently being renamed and repositioned in the process. Once can argue that Virtual Reality Consumer Applications, of which Virtual Worlds are a subset are starting to see this happen right now -- with the Facebook acquisition of Oculus Rift serving as a trigger. All this Hype Cycle is saying visa vi Virtual Reality (which really needs to be tightened as a term -- VR is not monolithic) is that Virtual REality consumer applications were prematurely written off, and will start to slowly see some read adoption over time, even if their initial "hype" is not realized.

Wagner James Au

"Like most American idiots, they double-down on their claims"

Steve Prentice, the chief Gartner analyst who authored the firm's virtual world prediction, is British.

Argo Nurmi

Thank you Eddie for the breath of fresh air. I was seriously thinking of replying myself. As one who is continually warning our customers to be cautious of the latest media hyperventilation about this or that new technology, I find the Gartner reporting invaluable. What I find increasingly disappointing is the declining level of discourse in this blog among the usual repliers. I don't think hamlet had the main proposition for this article quite right but the replies quickly deteriorated to dark comments, conspiracies, snark, truthies from a self-identified american anti-american and more. Another NWN article featured a pissing contest between two of the better known and important supporters of SL. I can't help think that it marked a new low - but perhaps its just a symptom of the final act - the one where the revolutionaries turning on each other.

Amanda Dallin

Conspiracies, snark and "pissing contest" are not all that new to SL or NWN. If anything it's subdued compared to early SL both before and after the 2007 hype wave. The biggest comment wars on NWN now are for non-SL specific issues such as GamerGate.

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