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Friday, October 09, 2020

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0xc0ffea

SL users and, more importantly, it's developers need to play more games.

There is a shocking disconnect when switching between SL and modern games (even 7 year old games like GTA5). By comparism, SL barely runs, fundamentally fails to operate as a social platform the moment you get a few people in the same location (or try to converse in group IM), lags to hell and back, and it's users have been conditioned to blame each other for the overall poor experience.

A little gaming makes it very apparent that SL's technical woes are not caused by that one person who dared to wear those shoes with that hair, happened to have a scripted attachment, or had the audacity to load slowly.

"SL is not a game" has been a handy excuse to gloss over it being architecturally stuck in the days of single core processors.

While it's very true that the dynamic nature of the beast makes many game optimizations impossible, it doesn't block everything accomplished in 15 years of technical progress (or negative the need for innovation).

If SL were seen as a game, at least by it's creators, then perhaps we would have seen more time and money devoted to advancing and developing the platform. Perhaps skipping the whole Sansar debacle (it's not a game either!)

It's no accident that SL's early explosive growth was during the time LL were pushing the boundaries of the sandbox formula, and likewise no accident it's been in slow decline for a decade as the focus switched to reinforcing the boundaries.

At the start, the argument could be made that SL wasn't a game, it was the metaverse, a whole new internet. Today .. it's absolutely a game, whose users routinely slam into the sandbox's walls.

Joey1058

Welp, by following the links, I kind of figured out why IBM decided to pull out of SL. They were ahead of their time, considering this decade's covid lockdowns.
As for the meme? Cute. But there is a thinning line that Tim Sweeney is making happen with every concert in Fortnite. "Games" by strict definition, just aren't, anymore. Platforms in the metaverse that you can game in, is the future.

0xc0ffea

@Joey1058 Tim Sweeny has been very vocal about his metaverse dreams, I would just rather it didn't happen in Fortnite .. which is looking more and more like a social platform and cash shop with a game tacked on the side.

Alicia

People want to enjoy themselves, and Fortnite does that in excess. You see people of all ages playing the game and enjoying themselves. You see E-Sports happening in the game which could top anything League of Legends and Rocket League have ever put out... hell, it may already have. If there's any game(s) that benefited the most from COVID-19, then games like Fortnite or MMOs in general came out the definitive winners in this. It's no secret folks, people want fun, and Fortnite, any E-Sport game or MMO delivers that fun.

What does Second Life bring to the table?

Hmmm?

Does it bring fun to thousands (well over 22k - 46k people active mark, and possibly millions? No. In fact, most can bring up the validated argument that SL brings out the absolute worst in people.

Does it deeply immerse the person into an incredible storyline? No. Simply put... SL is literally an absolute drama-fest. Don't bother to deny this fact as it's absolutely true.

Does it create real-life friendships/potential relationships? Yes, and you know what else does this? Every game out there that people can go online with. Hell, you can even say that this started long before SL was even in existence. (HINT: AOhelL/Yahoo/MSN chatrooms, Meridian 59, Ultima Online, EQ, Asheron's Call... need I go on, or do you get the point?)

The reason(s) this didn't happen in Second Life is/are obvious. Second Life is an easily tiring, and boring game that's outlived itself. The clubs are a complete lagfest for starters, and easily get tiresome after a few months of club hopping. The vast majority of people still in SL, with their alt/bot accounts... and I'll get to this soon enough, are doing nothing but grabbing photos of themselves and sitting in their homes. If I wanted to do that, then I'd do it with DAZ stuff. Hell, you could probably declare SL as a mini version of The Sims 4 at this point. People on IMVU get out more and mingle despite its 8-10 room capacity limit, and higher overall population. Honestly, and in my opinion, SL did not grow. In fact, the population just keeps making alt/bot accounts and for what... huh? Solo sex? Ban evasion? Griefing/Trolling purposes? Copybotting. Or, hiding because they got outed on SL Virtual Secrets? Pick, or even add one, folks. Hell, I'll add one. Second Life is nothing more than photographic pornography. Granted, people are still in SL, but how much longer can SL last before someone comes out with that second generation MMOC that the community has been wanting since Linden Lab failed with Sansar?

Folks, time is certainly not on the side of Linden Lab, nor is it on the side of Second Life, and it always catches up in the end. Perhaps, that time is coming and has done so while hiding under the radar once more. Remember, it's only a matter of time before the next, big MMOC successor arrives.

Joe Max

Second Life *is* a game, a certian kind of game. In Games Theory, it's clled an "Infinite Game". A Finite Game has rules that must be followed, is played for a limited time, and in the end there are winners and losers. The object of a Finite Game is to win the game.

An Infinite Game has no fixed rules (though there may be limitations), has no fixed time limit, and there are no winners or losers. The object of the game is to KEEP PLAYING THE GAME.

Second Life is an infinite game.

Sun Seale

SL was told about this way way back in 2010. I have had an account since 2006. Of course we love SL and have fun, be anything, stuff you can't do in most other games. However, strained servers, mesh loads, etc have contributed to the problem. First people have to get over this idea that a computer game needs to be completely realistic to the point of being reality. I have a real life frienship with a person I met on SL, but you have to put the work in also to build those relationships. There is great creative content but the crashing and lag has to end. Right along with the sim lines. SL can be amazing, very immersive, fun, crazy, and a death defying adventure. I remember the height of Grendels Children, the mind blowing holidays and people making tours and rides. Now a days I can't go anywhere in SL without crashing. Something must change and it's time to do something about it or we wull lose SL. I feel like I have to buy a new computer just to play it anymore. Yet my laptop handles most others games we play just fine. It's time to start over LL. Do away with sim lines for starters.

CronoCloud Creeggan

Oh no, not this again, Hamlet. This hypothesis doesn't make any sense. It's coming to a conclusion without any evidence to back it up.

I'm a gamer, I was gaming LONG before SL. I was doing Online gaming years before I became a Second Life Resident. I NEVER refer to SL as a game, because it isn't a game in and of itself, it is a virtual world platform.

Let me use an analogy. You can eat dinner on a table, or play a tabletop game on a table, but you don't call the actual table, "dinner" or "game". That's because it's a tool, a platform for doing those things on, but not the things themselves.

It's the same thing for SL.

Second Life is not a game. It is a multi-user virtual environment. It's a tool for doing things in a virtual world. Which may be games, but SL isn't a game itself. It's kind of like IRC in that way (which SL reminds me of), people have played games over IRC for decades, but IRC isn't a game.

Shin

Lol qq sl is a game end of story....its a higher resolution minecraft sims sand box. You can put feelinga into a game and it still be a game get over yourselves.

DoomRater

I have had some serious fun modding Minecraft 1.12.2 java edition into something that can act serviceably like Second Life in that you can do what you want to look exactly the way you want and interact with the world in the way you want. This meant LittleTiles and Chisels & Bits had to both be used in order to achieve the effect. Along with Armourer's Workshop and WebDisplays, and a small accompaniment of other mods, I think I managed to strike a good mix. Until I can get more specialized scripting in, not just command blocks, and vehicles that can be custom made, it's no competitor, but it lets me do everything I do in Second Life really.

Oh the meme. I dunno that guy calling it a game is pretty sus

Clara Seller

There was a time when I never would have called SL a game. After all of these years, it quacks like a duck.

I think the question that us Americans should be asking is if our real life is a game? After 2020, it kinda feels like it.

CisopSixpence

I refer to it as a ๐™‘๐™ž๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™–๐™ก 3๐˜ฟ ๐™Ž๐™ค๐™˜๐™ž๐™–๐™ก ๐™ˆ๐™š๐™™๐™ž๐™– ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™๐™š๐™–๐™ก ๐™๐™ž๐™ข๐™š. That is how I use it, I am socializing with people online in a virtual 3D simulation. While I may play the Second Life version of popular games (e.g. Scrabble, Uno, Cards Against Humanity) with those avatars online, from my point of view Second Life is not a game. I embrace the old slogan of "๐˜ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ž๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ". It may be a game to some, to me it is socializing, maybe the best form of Social Distancing. ใƒ„

Wagner James Au

โ€œIt is a multi-user virtual environment. It's a tool for doing things in a virtual world.โ€

What specific activities do most SL users engage in thatโ€™s *not* comparable to what players do on games like The Sims, Minecraft, and ROBLOX?

Iggy 1.0

It's a platform for DIY games, for one. Maybe not a great one, but it does offer the best opportunity I've seem for UGC by ordinary mortals who cannot code or master something like Blender.

But beyond that, everything is ludic. Lighten up, folks. Even our awful RL situation seems gamelike, at times.

I realize the code base for SL is Byzantine, one giant kluge according to those who know more about coding than I do (which is not saying a lot). Yet The Lab could spend some time optimizing what they have. I'd love a smoother engine for sword fighting!

Jenelva

Itโ€™s not a game, but thereโ€™s no need to lose your shit when someone calls it a game. It also probably would be a good thing if it did gamey type things better. Have you ever bowled in SL? It sucks, same thing as other games you can play in SL.

Pulsar

The reason folks keep debating and arguing about it, it is because it's neither black or white.

In fact it's a platform. You can create any recreational content you want. However, since you can create anything, you can also build or assemble content with a serious purpose in mind (well, educational games exists too).

Most people call it a game, but what are you playing in Virtual Ability?
To be fair, supportive and educational games also exist in Roblox. Also that was created in 2008, when the hype was just starting to end. Embassies, universities, and companies eventually left SL. Little is left. You can still find some museum, but usually visitors are rare, except perhaps with special events.

Vice-versa someone takes SL in all seriousness and feels entitled to judge anyone else met in random places, while they are surrounded with recreational content and they themselves have fantasy avatars (and in fact, often, they are mostly looking for pixel banging). And yes, friendship and romantic relationship happen in any MMOG that allows some socialization, as well as in SL. If you are looking for online dating, it's plenty of apps and websites, however. And honestly I have met more people offline from MMO games than SL, probably because of the amount of sexual content in SL and people exploring their erotic fantasies (even some guy who seems nice at first, shortly after he wants you try BDSM), delusional maniacs and so on, which makes SL better (or more safely) used for anonymous encounters.

Now someone may argue that there is no goal, objectives, points, story etc. Sure you could add those elements to spice up a simulation or sandbox game, but a pure simulation game doesn't need those.
In a flight simulation, your source of enjoyment is the simulated experience.
In a pure sandbox game, you enjoy what you can create with it.
And you create your own goals.

Pulsar

Indeed SL sucks for gaming.

But SL also sucks for socializing.
The chat is still like those '90s IMs.
The group chat barely runs and LL wanted to cut the groups you can join, at one point, in order to relive the servers. That makes you think of what a mess of architecture that has.
My.secondlife is so basic and it has been unreliable so often, that most people just use Flickr instead for their screenshots and there are SL merchants that rather use Facebook to connect with their costumers in SL.
Also in the heydays some company believed they could have virtual meetings in SL and you know what? That also sucked.
A region can only hold so many avatars.

Shopping, rather than doing it inside always-full inworld regions, often it is easier to search and purchase items directly in the web marketplace... on a external browser (so you have multiple tabs).

Clubbing is poor too, then you have a crowd of unoptimized avatars that make it even worse. They would be terrible even for a modern engine, let alone this almost 20 years old ancient thing. If you know the limits of your system, platform or rendering engine, however old it is, you could still make content for it, without killing it; but if you create content with no regard, eh... even in modern ones like VRChat they pose limits for good reasons.

So, in clubs, several people derender everyone around them now. Therefore they basically see themselves dancing alone, except maybe a couple of friends.
And that's one of the most popular things in SL.

And what newcomers see? They often complain that despite those 30-50k online, when they don't just meet bots and people that are AFK, they often see people just standing and doing nothing at the entrance of whatever place, who don't even move away unless there is sweeping system (think of how ridiculous that is).

Pulsar

But, yeah, let's also talk about how SL sucks as a game.

Even at its best as a shooter as a zombie hunting game, SL just kind of works, but it's laughable compared to any modern game.

SL is a rather poor flying simulator: you have to fly in slow motion because of those 256x256m regions (copters may feel better than planes in that sense), moreover, eventually you crash when crossing them.
Driving cars is even worse, although at least the region crossing speed has been improved recently.
It's ok as a sailing simulator, with a well scripted boat, but SL still lacks of an actual volumetric water, so your boats have to float unnaturally above the waterline.
Also if you stand on a boat on movement (not accelerating), you avatar won't follow the movement and will just fall down (there are workarounds based on animations and repositioning the sit position, but it's not part of SL physic).

As a sandbox creative game, the cubes in SL used to be fun, but they have been devalued enough that you have to "play" it in Blender now.

Is it OK as a doll dressing game, maybe? I can be fun, except some(most?) newcomer complains about the learning curve and the poor user friendliness.
In a dressing game or games that allow such customization, you have a preview of the clothing and you just click on it. In SL instead you have a windows 95-like file-exoplorer without previews (I think it's cool, but I won't choose that for a dressing game).
Then you have to know about HUDs, alpha cuts, relays, appliers (the latter should be easier now, with BOM, as long as you use a BOM-ready body like SLink or Ruth2).
At least now it isn't as cumbersome as the pre-mesh gowns or kimonos. Remember? When you had to add several components and to reposition them to make it fit, but... hey, at that time you could adjust a male jacket on a female body, as long as the cuffs etc were modifiable.
On the other hand, now, newcomers are confused by the multiple standards, they have to know which body fits what, because clothing doesn't just adapt to your avatar. This is also a pain for creators who eventually have to choose a few bodies to support, and in turn choosing only few of them encourages lock-ins and monopolies. Let alone clothing made without any care, not even the attachment position, so our poor newcomers feel puzzled when they wear a pair of shoes and suddenly they are naked.

Personally I adopted the new things as soon as they have been introduced, and I still have fun shopping and being creative with my avatar look, but it's pretty obvious that a dressing game designed like this would see someone being fired and it would likely get plenty of 1 star reviews.

It may work as a roleplay game? Sure, although in most part it is text-based. That gives a load of freedom - you can imagine anything - but you can do that in any MMORPG too that has a chat. Also, until few years ago, if you searched for "roleplay" the results with the highest traffic used to be Gor places.

It may work for playing tabletops games, "Greedy-Greedy" or chess, but you can find better dedicated games outside SL.

If SL was a single player game, I won't touch it even with a stick.
An yet, it's enjoyable.
And what makes it enjoyable, despite it all (at least for people like me), is the people you meet around all over the virtual world, the interaction you can have with them in the 3D environment, unlike 2D chats, doing things and having fun together, even traveling along the mainland, feeling it like a world.

I really wish someone will create a better virtual world, eventually, with a modern rendering engine, with content rules that encourages to keep the experience optimal or at least decent, that can be as creatively fun as Minecraft or Kerbal Space Program, a virtual world that makes you to enjoy the virtual experiences as Flight Simulator and at the same time with other people around you that are doing any kind of other activities, something that feels like a world, rather than a bunch or rooms or a platform for minigames (as Roblox). All this sharing the experience with your friends, people that aren't just those creeps who idle at any place just to send private messages to any woman in range.

Juliette Jones

A video game is a software program in which a person, or player, controls an object or character in real-time to fulfill objectives or do tasks for enjoyment. By technicality, Second Life fits this description as a social life video game where the objectives, akin to a game like Breath of the Wild, are to do whatever you'd like. Frankly put, whether people agree on soft cover or hard cover being better or if pamphlets even count... a book is a book.

Defining something genre defying is difficult and often ludicrous... But I control SL with the WASD keys. I have a virtual avatar I can customize. I can play actual games within SL. If Playstation Home is a game, so is Second Life, Worlds.com, and other similar games like Myst or VR Chat. There's nothing wrong with enjoying a video game no matter how seriously you take it - after all, real people earn actual livings playing video games. Both entertainers on Twitch/YouTube and eSports athletes.

sirhc desantis

Argument is as rehashed and tired as the meme. 'nuff said.

Get a new one.

Summer Haas

I never really considered dress up dolls and play pretend to be games, they are more of an activity.

Cody Rauh

Meant to actually post this on this topic... accidentally posted on another very nearly identical.

In 2006 SL was my career I had multiple avatars:

Perefim Cao, owner of [OMFG] (steampunk builds)
Failed Inventor, owner of F.E. Energy Sculpt kits
Creator (resident), owner of Life (sculpt kits) & #RETRO

I contracted with multiple universities and companies from that time till 2015. I witnessed the change from primitives, to sculpts to mesh, and the build kits to the flooding of the market, all of these things, even the mass exodus of content creators.

Back then Second Life was my income, now Second Life is merely pointless, littered with clubs, sex clubs, sex dungeons, furry porn, and empty art sims.

I will be forever grateful for the opportunities it brought me, however, it also brought me a lot of heartaches. As a former SL content creator, and a current game developer I think the assessment I would make is that SL is primarily poorly aging history.

I miss all the people I use to know, most however seem to be scattered to the wind, I haven't seen many of them in 5-10 years. Occasionally I bump into another person that knew me and my work while playing a game, otherwise, SL is no more than a dream from a lifetime ago.

Best wishes to all

Cody, https://codyrauh.com/ former SL Content Creator

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Wagner James Au
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