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Wednesday, December 09, 2015


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Every platform has a predominant use, but that doesn't mean there's any reason or advantage to describe a platform as just its predominant use. For example, what would be the point of calling the iPad a game console just because gaming might be the top app usage? (or a video player or whatever it's top usage is)

Your insistence that Second Life is a game comes off as weird as insisting the iPad is a game console or Facebook is a games portal. It's weirdly small minded and seemingly serves zero purpose at all.

I guess there's times where you want to portray yourself as a games journalist, so it'd be convenient if Second Life was a game given you have a blog dedicated to it, but that's self-serving and no reason the masses or Linden Lab would describe Second Life as merely one kind of thing that can be built on the platform.

It's more accurate to describe Second Life as a platform that roleplay sims (which a lot don't use game mechanics by the way, a bunch if not most are freeform), music venues, social areas, etc. represented in that survey can be built on.

So...sure, keep hollerin' that Second Life is a game, you're right in a very off-base and incomplete way. Just don't take offense to others that like describing Second Life as a platform that supports the creation of much more than games.


It's a sandbox game. I gave up a long time ago saying "it's a world!" because it really is not these days.

Perhaps for a shimmering, quickly fading moment in 2007 it seemed that. Gone now.

When I am in-world these days, it's more for piratical RP than edu. And more fun! Avast, ye corky-armed jackanapes! Stand and deliver!

Amanda Dallin

7% is a lot of educators. 1 in every 14 in SL is an educator. That's a pretty good classroom ratio, much better than the University where I graduated. Even for the graduate classes.

At times I fit 9 or 10 items on that chart and usually several at once. That's because SL is a platform that can be used for many things. The game mechanics you often harp on would be of use to only a very small number of people because the uses of SL are so varied. None of the gaming I participate in could use any of the things I've seen you suggest.

Now I'm off to defend the seas of SL from the pirate scourge like I do every Wednesday night.

Graham Mills

Agree with Ezra, it's a platform and, as a small-scale survey presented at this year's ASCILITE conference showed, one that's not easy for educators to master. Those that do clearly find it useful according to Becky's survey. The environment also potentially provides a lot of peer support through meetups such as VWER. However, there is still a fair degree of general negativity around investing time, money and reputation in this approach. At the same time thought-leaders bemoan the shortcomings of MOOCs and the lack of innovation in edtech.

That said, many of the 270+ avatars registered for last week's excellent OpenSim Community Convention were educators. Similarly many of the presentations were education-related. There are OpenSim educators not only making their regions accessible to other classes but also making them available as region OAR files. Also evidence of innovative use of NPCs and technical developments such as porting to Google Cardboard and using teaching sims on the low-cost Raspberry Pi2.

Incidentally the free conference ran pretty much flawlessly with 100+ inworld over a long day -- apart from the occasional hitch with Skype (used for voice)!

Vivienne Schell

I guess the gap between the real Second Life and what Linden Lab wants Second Life to be never really has closed over the years. Linden Lab certainly "learned" that "companies need to evolve their product based on what it’s actually used for", but never ever really accepted the consequences - and still does not.

My guess is that the board and management only let it run for the profits - not out of interest/care for their customers and users and whatever else, lately since the M. K, debacle. Almost everything Linden Lab did and did not since M. Linden bite the pixel dust seems to prove that.

Clara Seller

I don't see anything surprising in these statistics. The numbers get smaller as the categories get more specific.

It's interesting that the top three categories are just plain old regular consumers of whatever who aren't selling anything. You would think after running a business for over a decade, you might learn to embrace your meat and potatoes customers. You don't want them asking "What have you done for me lately?".

Have you updated your avatar for the role-players? How's your communications and performance for the socializing? Have you updated your land textures for the explorers? Have you even promised these people a future with your business?

Now would be a good time for Joan Crawford to come in and address the Board of Directors.

zz bottom

Glad to know about the open sim:) Every day, the gap between the so called Sl advantages over the free hyper grid enabled open sim grids seems to become smaller or not even exist anymore.
Still, about what matters for Sl, not who does who or what or why they are in world, more important is that most are ready to try and help newbies to find out and enjoy it.

Issa Heckroth

I would love to see a game come out where you are "the chosen one" like in 99% of all games ever released but you cant win. No matter what you do, you screw it up in the climactic final moments and evil wins. The world Ends. F*%k you. That would be truly refreshing :)

Issa Heckroth

oops, wrong article :) lmao.

Ajax Manatiso

36% is more than 36% ????? Also does not take into account margin of error. There is no actual proof here that any one of the top categories is unequivocally more popular than another. Statistically, the top 4 are in a virtual tie.

Canary Beck

@Ajax, the slight difference in numbers for the top two categories are a result of the rounding, and yes the difference is not significant.

Roleplayers 36.4%
Socialisers 35.9%

That is within the margin for error for this sample, which is ±2.3%.

Rei Nori

"So why do so many SLers insist Second Life isn't a game?"

Why do so many people insist life isn't a game? (I will not try to paraphrase the argument here, but it is solid.)

SL is an extension of my RL. SL is a platform where I play and create and socialize. It's technological limitations have fallen behind other extensions in my life so I put less of myself into SL.

I am looking forward to seeing what Sansar and Hi-Fidelity become as pure platforms... But the more gamefied offerings are intriguing too. Honestly, I am looking forward more to Star Citizen than any of them....

Sylvie Jeanjacquot

Uhm, Becky and others were discussing on her blog that

"many who identified with that role might have been thinking about sexual roleplay"

and that Socialisers

"might have been thinking about romantic/sexual encounters with others in SL".

Hamlet, to interpret the figures in the direction that most SLers are MMOish Gamers is rather biased than based on a solid & profound outcome in specific statistical terms.

Additional empirical research will be necessary to more clearly articulate the connection between "Roleplay", "Socialising", "Exploring" and MMO(G) if SL should be seen as a bold subcategory for "Game".

What would have a Mid-West woman in her 50ies chosen - out of the given categories - voting GOP but "playing" a Stripper and/or Escort in SL? The members of any BDSM-Community, visitors of adult-rated islands/beaches etc. etc.?



is a few sims in SL where you can play that kinda game. With lots of other players as well

like start a club or rp or something and all the players chip in to pay the tiers. Then they staying playing and do lots of evil to each, and then everybody gets killed off until is only 1 person left standing

then the person goes: woohooo! I am the evilest baddest of them all. I am the winner !!!

and then the game goes: that be $295 tiers please, winner

and the winner goes: nuuuu !!!

and the game goes: pay up or die. hehe (:

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