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Thursday, November 15, 2018


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Willliam Burns

"... we already have enough struggle in the Matrix we're all stuck in, so why log-in for even more overwhelming struggle in our free time?"

Let me put it like this:

I spend many more hours playing Minecraft than I do logged into Second Life. There are plenty of obstacles to overcome *if I choose to*. The old saying holds true - it doesn't feel like work if you're having fun at your job.

On the server that I play on (and am staff) - Vexius.org, We have plugins for an economy and shops. We can sell stuff to each other. We have teleportation too, but somehow that doesn't seem to kill the exploration portion of the game like you see in SL. This is mostly down to the contiguous world aspect and there actually being something to explore for (back to that need and hero's journey story cycle).

We also see these "limits" in Second Life as well, under the guise of Life2 HUD... so the ability is there, but probably should be integrated natively to SL along with fleshing out their already existing materials and resources collection to go with that.

Why I point to Dual Universe as a Canary in the Coal Mine is simple:

They were funded through a public kickstarter. Initially, 8,166 backers pledged €565,983 to start that. Then there is the current count of 33,199 and a total backing raised of €9,980,110.

Guy Kawasaki once said that investors look to see whether there are already customers at the trough. In this case, there most definitely *is* before they've officially launched. They have the option for people to *pay them* to get in early and the product is compelling enough even this early that 30,000+ have gladly paid €100+ to get an account.

That's the difference... how you know you might have a mainstream product on your hand. When you see High Fidelity say "We're building a true Metaverse", the appropriate answer is - You don't seem to have the public interest in what you're doing, and to the point where just to convince people to stress test your system you have to offer gift cards for showing up. You're hosting festivals and raffling off a VR Headset. In effect, you gotta pay/bribe people to use your product... that's not encouraging in the least.

The same can be said about SANSAR, Sinewave, etc. We're all big fish in a small pond. We all get to talk about the future to a niche audience that wants to hear what we have to say in order to reinforce our own biases. We have SANSAR betting on VR Headsets (which I originally said was a bad idea, and of course got lambasted for saying it during the height of the VR headset hype). They didn't do well in the niche audience, got valid feedback about its shortcomings and why, and still have decided to send it to STEAM.

The general public won't be so nice about telling Linden Lab what sucks about SANSAR and will mock them mercilessly. They'll get eaten by a shark. Even if they somehow managed to succeed... you're a product that has a minority niche audience that is shrinking already. This isn't how you go mainstream.

Sinewave - which I absolutely think is a wonderful product - is also not a mainstream product. That's kinda the point about it all. That we have to be willing to disassociate ourselves from the emotional bias of our own products and constructively criticize them. To accept what they are and what they are not. To understand what they will be and what they won't be.

Most importantly, we must be willing to understand *why*.

But many cannot do that because of "lock-in". They chose their path and they can't pivot now... they have to smile and sell whatever it is they have as if its the next big thing, even when it's quite obvious that it isn't.

If we want a "True" Metaverse, we need to stop bullshitting ourselves and each other and just look at the whole thing from the ground up. Instead of trying to fit pre-existing systems into that model or setting the bar lower and slapping the label on it for hype...

If anyone actually made the Metaverse, and it was as amazing as OASIS (the pop culture notion of the Metaverse as seen by hundreds of millions of people around the world)... you wouldn't need to tell anyone it's a Metaverse while your user counts are laughable. You'd be too busy overwhelmed by the traffic and userbase flooding your gates.

It would be self-evident.

Therein is the canary in the coal mines for you, for Sinewave, Linden Lab, High Fidelity... all of them. Dual Universe checks those boxes where everyone else is falling woefully short. Minecraft has 93 million players and 19+ million are over the age of 30. That model *is* clearly what the market wants. The numbers don't lie...

It's about time we started figuring out why and how to check those boxes off.

Ilsa Hesse

I have had a paid account since mid 2006, which means my stipend is largish compared to new accounts.
I rarely go out to movies and use that money instead to buy L$ in SL...
I DJ once in awhile and make nice tips...
mostly I lead the life then idle rich... I go to beaches, I go to clubs, I meet people and discuss politics and other issues in polite company. I visit places of learning...
I do not wish to struggle in SL, I struggle enough in RL... now, if SL was a strict replacement for RL... and I was rich in RL... I may be doing crazy things that you see rich people do... join the Foreign Legion (Danish, French and Monaco princes..), fall out a window while escaping one of the husbands of one of my many mistresses (a French general did that)... die in bed with 5 "actresses" (another French general)

Todd Adams

I have always believed that if Second Life would have done a couple of things early on, they would be wildly successful today.

1. Been less stingy on land and prims. As technology got less expensive and more powerful the benefits should have been trickled down to the users.

2. Used the Marketplace only as an advertising venue for in-world shopping. I believe the world began to dry up once avatars no longer had to "go" places to buy things. I dearly loved shopping for textures. It all changed with the market place.

3. Drop-in mesh should have never been developed. Instead, more effort should have been given to creating a new primitive building tool that could have created the equivalent of mesh in-world. Some of my fondest memories were of building parties where multiple contributed to a single project. Those days are gone.

4. More attention to what worked in earlier platforms. There.com was a platform (it still exists) that had a lot going for it. It was simplistic and cartoony, but the animations when people dropped in for a group chat were amazing. The animations and the abilities for pets to learn your behaviours were uncanny. The world was one large contiguous world. I had friends that literally walked all the way around the world and came back after a couple of week to exactly where they started. True. There was no real "water" but those things could easily be fixed. Because of the universal and contiguous nature of the world, they had some amazing physics as well which made parties where people jumped off cliffs en-mass or came to drive in with their latest buggies a very special event. Yes, SL has these things, but they have never been polished the way they could have been. They have never evolved.


probably need to factor in that the Matrix is a game play - portraying the struggle between good and evil as its game play story line

the difference I think between a virtual world and a game play, is that in a virtual world all things are possible, the limit of all things determined by the available toolset. In a game play what is possible is determined by the story line with the toolset tailored accordingly

Flashing Merlin

Building and furnishing my homes in SL has always been enough of a challenge to keep me interested.

As mentioned above by others, I already have enough struggle in real life, so I'm happy to avoid struggle in SL.

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