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Monday, April 22, 2019


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Philip Rosedale

Wagner - thanks for this. I so much agree about the magical appeal of the 'living, breathing world' - but why is it so appealing? I think about this a lot, and although I feel it in the most passionate way, I still wonder where the feeling comes from.

David Watson

Philip, a pleasure to see you still active in your passionate pursuit. We met a couple of times, years ago at SL conventions. I share the dream of an immersive virtual "living, breathing world".

The feeling you have wondered about, speaking for myself, comes from my intuitive, built-in, almost instant nostalgia for places -- including locations in SL well enough designed to create a "sense of place", as I call it. It's the way I always build out my own sims. I believe everyone shares the ability to sense this feeling; indeed, RL architects make a good part of their livings from that feeling for places I'm referring to -- which SL has shown me can be at least as strong in a virtual world as in RL.

I honor you immensely for your pioneering work on SL, and I look forward to participating in High Fidelity soon.

All my best to both you and to Wagner James Au.

-David (from AIKON ;-)

pixels sideways

The appeal - for me - is the unreality that is magical and malleable and infinite in creative, entertaining, educational, social and wondrous possibility but unfortunately is restricted by tech limitations to only those who can afford top end gear and solid, reliable and substantial net access to experience the full effect and fx of VR worlds for the best experience.

On the social side, the appeal is there for many reasons, still, that can be hampered by wonky tech issues on the provider side and tech limitations or totes deprecation/loss of access on the user side.

Mac users can't access Sansar and my Macbook Air can't access HF as it doesn't meet the minimum requirements. So both are inaccessible for me and undoubtedly many others. This is the digital divide and for far too many people, shelling out $$ for equipment to access VR worlds isn't a priority.

It's too bad this digital divide exists because VR worlds do a great job of connecting people from all over the world.

Some of my most rewarding moments in my life have been the creative collaborations I have been involved with in SL and the friendships I've made that have crossed over into my "real" life.

So thank you for creating SL, Philip.


"I so much agree about the magical appeal of the 'living, breathing world' - but why is it so appealing? I think about this a lot, and although I feel it in the most passionate way, I still wonder where the feeling comes from." -- Philip Rosedale

Philip -- It may be because we, in our 'real', breathing lives, live in a vast ecology. We live on the ground (even if our feet are in an apartment 20 stories high). We exist in a network, invisible to us though it may be. We are solidly of our earth (and will return to it!). We are alive within an unimaginable connection which we evolved through and grew up in, through countless generations and millennia. That may be why a series of discrete "interconnected 3D chat rooms", as Wagner puts it, feels unnatural. The 'imagined reality' of these rooms technically and practically ends at their borders, unlike physical reality (in the physical reality of our world, you cannot get to the end of reality; you can't reach out and find that it has ceased. There is always something beyond your reach, be it air, space, vacuum, the rest of the universe. You cannot get to a point of 'nothing'). A teleport between rooms isn't quite the same as a physical tunnel. Discrete 3D chat rooms push against an internal fundamental knowledge that the world is still 'of a piece' even though it has become many pieces, many places, many communities. I would imagine that this feeling (analogous to the uncanny valley) will fade over time as we get used to non-geographically-designed digital landscapes: people can, have, and will adapt to situations which seem uncomfortable or unsuitable at the start. We are, after all, discursive and negotiable creatures. These are still teething times for the digital human.

Clara Seller

I have to hand it to Philip, he certainly can inspire the imagination like nobody else. This interview reminded me that I still miss him in SL.

I loved when Melinda Byerley introduced the concept of "theater" into the discussion. I wish LL would meditate on that idea until it gives them a better appreciation for the full spectrum of what their SL product really is. I feel that LL focuses so much on production and sales, that they treat their product as an empty stage with an audience. They fail to see that it's all a stage and every audience member is an actor headlining their own big show. Just because we come together and let the spotlight shine on a particular blogger, prop person, or designer, it doesn't mean that they are the key to your success. They are popular support to our show. Don't minimize the importance of all of your actors. Yes, it may be an impossibly tough job to herd all of these cats, but who ever promised that your success was going to come easily?


Clara, Melinda/Pink here. Super smart take from the theater analogy on "treat their product as an empty stage with an audience." I'd add that I think that model could work if the audience were there--sort of the way eBay aggregated so many buyers and then the sellers came. It's such a classic marketplace cold start problem in a way, amplified by the challenge of the blank page problem-most people are NOT creators out of whole cloth. At least as of today, most user-generated content is done by only a small fraction of those who consume it.

I find myself drawn back to the phenomenon Philip described- that we as humans almost always base our creative efforts on what we have already experienced. We almost don't know as a species what to do with an infinite level of creative tools. Only children, as I said on the show, seem so unfettered creatively. which explains Minecraft and Fortnite. I don't know what the answer is, but I can now see why Philip has spent his whole life on this problem: because it's incredibly complex and has its roots in things that don't change quickly like human minds, educational systems, and hardware technology.

As I said in the intro, it's my sincere belief Philip is way ahead of his time, and we're lucky to have him now to push us to think in these ways.


good interview

Melinda and Philip totally nailed it about users wanting flattened/simplified experiences online, because real world information overload


He is like a guy on a dating site who one day met the perfect girl, who if he had realized it and given her all the love she deserved, would have loved him forever and returned his love a thousand fold. But instead he abandoned her to a bunch of guys who saw her as a whore they could use to fund endless ideas that they thought they could replace her with. So all he does now is speak about her as if he really cared. But when you truly love someone you stick with them no matter what. All he does from now on will pale in significance to the love that might have been. His dream is yesterday. All he has are memories of what might have been.

Beth Ritter-Guth

Meeting Philip was a tremendous part of my journey as an educator. His support of the higher education community was tremendous, and when he left LL, we all felt the weight of his departure. LL lost a huge part of its soul when he left. I will always appreciate his support of the building of Dante's Inferno and the other 70+ literature builds inworld. Thank you, James, for posting this interview. Thanks for all you did, Philip (SL: Desideria Stockton/Literature Alive!)

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