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Friday, June 07, 2019


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So Many Prims

Very much agree. Video games have understood the importance of character customisation for immersion and connection and moved in that direction for greater appeal. SL has the immersion and customisation but lacks fluid iteractivity with the 3d space that promotes virtual activities with purpose, fun and exploration. People play card and table games because they work, anything more ambitious can become unpleasant quickly. How many enjoyable, fluid and innovative games would it take to boost SL's user base if the game environment and tools existed?


a starting point where you can begin to reconcile your concept of the metaverse with Philip's concept is that in the real world, which the metaverse simulates, most people don't play games - more people watch others play games than play themselves

while the leaderboard is a deep abiding interest of Warrior #863 and to the other 889 warriors of the Black Sun, to the millions of watchers their leaderboard interest is in who is #1

100s of thousands of players do compete in competition. 100s of millions more watch them compete. Sports being a visible display of this


Wow, you made it to news.ycombinator.com this morning, on the front page! That's quite the accomplishment!


Phill misses a few HUGE things. But I don´t need to bother.

Flashing Merlin

I agree with Philip, in that I would leave out gaming as an important aspect a virtual world needs to succeed. I have no interest in gaming, and might never have become a Second Life resident, had gaming appeared to be a dominant aspect of it. Instead I explored the virtual world to see what I might do with it, and found uses which still involve me a decade after my arrival.

I'm on the Board of Directors of Art and Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI). The last Sunday of every month, I run a discussion group in SL devoted to Art and Science issues. We use text chat, so we have a transcript of every meeting, and you can find selected transcripts posted here: http://www.solidstatelight.com/ASCI/transcripts.htm If this interests you, you are welcome to join our group and attend our meetings.

I also use SL for the sets of the graphic novels I work on, such as http://www.Rabinart.com and http://www.PaleInfinity.com

Never, in my decade in SL, have I gotten involved in SL gaming. So for me, gaming is the least important aspect of a virtual world.


Second Life shouldn't be taken as a model of success: it's somewhat successful for... it's niche.

Having focused less on the gaming side (and later not being available on Android and iOS and lacking on the user friendliness side too), Second Life didn't get 90 million monthly active users as Roblox did (that is almost as old as SL).
Eventually Linden Lab itself introduced some game within SL (Linden Realms, Glytches, etc), but besides the platform age, issues and caveats, SL has been set up in a certain way for too long and ended up attracting and retaining a different kind of user-base.

Although most of the SLers still call it a "game" and they say they "play" SL rather to "use" it, you have mostly people who look for: virtual clubbing, flirting there or at some beach, pixel sex (especially stuff that's not so immediate to try out in real life, like BDSM that is so popular in SL), roleplay (Gor used to be the most popular and it's still popular).
There are even people who actually expect any woman in SL is there for that stuff and they look at you like a Martian if you say: "sorry, I'm not here for anything erotic".

Despite that, SL is used for other activities, that I wish more people were aware of: vehicle simulation (yeah, not as good as dedicated simulators, but you do that with other people withing a whole world), creativity (from just building to arts, and in a way dressing up too), education (including some kind of simulation and the recreation of some ancient building), disability and psychological support, spirituality (many years before VRChat) and so on.
If one just looks for pixel sex or thinks SL is a dating agency, most or all of these may sound boring. Likewise, who isn't there for sex & flirts may feel uncomfortable with being approached anywhere by someone looking for that instead.

There is nothing wrong in being a niche or a niche within that niche (or a niche company), but you should be aware of that. If you are looking for an user base of 10-100 million monthly active users, the nth not so popular social virtual world may not get there again. You should likely change target and look at a different model indeed.

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