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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

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Siobhan Ginger

apparently on a laptop with no 3D graphics card

You know, I've had this conversation more than once with people who complain about lag etc. If you want to see SL in it's full glory, you're going to need AT LEAST a mid-range gaming machine. For sundry reasons SL is a resource hog, and integrated CPU graphics are just never going to get the job done.

(As for child predation, it's a far larger, indeed mass market horror on Facebook as well.)

and LL acts far more aggressively to combat it when they find it than FECESbook ever has. But the reporters (and I are one IRL) can't seem to look past "icky sex" to the real reason all of us keep coming back. It's the people and relationships we build here.

I am not, to say the least, a democrat, my partner IS. Yet we've been together for a year and a half, and love each other deeply. SL is a place where, for the most part, I can interact with people of differing political perspectives, faiths, ideologies and more ... peacefully, respectfully and having a ton of fun while I do it.

Try that on Fecesbook!

Pulsar

To be fair, I think there is a kernel of truth about Facebook vs Second Life, but part of the cause may be the journalists themselves.

Second Life has been depicted in a distorted and misleading way since the beginning, then some idea stuck. You would think journalists' job is to provide information, but in fact too many of them are essentially selling you a story instead, whether it is to support a party or plain sensationalism. I don't mean the BBC or Forbes specifically (they use to be more accurate than the average, in general).
I remember the 2006-2007 Second Life hype and the media buzz (in positive and negative ways). But eventually journalists switched their attention to Facebook, their new next thing. After the journalists stopped talking about Second Life, the virtual world was quickly forgotten. By 2010 you would already hear: "Oh, Second Life? Does that still exists?".
Journalists were the ones who inflated the balloon and then let it deflate.
Nowadays, articles on Meta recall Second Life... as a race to bash SL again as a negative example (remembering the old scandals and controversies, as the quotes your reported). When I read people commenting Ars Technica, the Verge etc, they also bring up SL to remember it negatively, as a nonsense, even the old jokes about getting a first life instead.

However, back in 2006-2007 Second Life was depicted not as a game like Minecraft (I guess we can also blame Linden Lab for that), but (when the articles were positive) as a "3D Internet", "a place to congregate", to put your office, there were stories of architects, official embassies...
And here we are, with the BBC telling: «the difference here, of course, is that, like Mark Zuckerberg's vision of the metaverse, Second Life is not a game [...] It is just a place to hang out». And Forbes remembering after 2007: «a new popular place to congregate online: Facebook».
Clearly, for that purpose, a website was more efficient and more accessible to the masses than a complex, resource heavy 3D virtual world.

Michely Dos Santos

Second life isn't intuitive for the new avatars, the newbies don't understand that you need a mesh body to use the clothes etc... Linde Lab can be mabe a universal mesh body and of course, the others brands will continue selling cause each body have yours diferences. WE NEED a new Torley's Tutorials and born places as before folowing lenguages.

Pulsar

What if Linden Lab marketed Second Life as an ante-litteram Minecraft instead? Sure, the initial hype made SL better known, it reached more people, but then it didn't maintain the hype premises.
As a creative platform instead...

Sure, SL "prims" are more complex than Minecraft cubes, but also more powerful (moreover, the not polished interface, the SL lag, the load of bugs and the slower computer and network of over a decade ago didn't help). However they were fun. Linden Lab, instead of improving it and making it more accessible, dropped the creative fun to Blender, making it even less accessible to many.
Nowadays, unless you can deal with Blender and similar professional or semi-pro software, the apex of SL creativity on social media is apparently avatar selfies (with a little help of Photoshop or Gimp).

Now, a reason for the low retain rate is newcomers in SL getting bored quickly.
I can see it every time. Aside being promptly ejected by most places the visit, newcomers typically ask "so, what people in SL do?".
Removed even the inworld creation, aside all the lag and bugs that hamper activities otherwise funnier (from combat to simulation, but also standing and doing nothing at the entrance of anything, because it's too "laggy" to move), what's left?

There isn't much else to do, so most people park their avatars in clubs or (hit on someone and) go to adult places. Even roleplay has been mainly Gor for a long time, less lately, but still a bunch of adult ones. Still chat-based paragraph roleplay, with a paragraph sent every 5 or even 10 minutes and an half day to write a scene, is pretty niche and not for everyone.

SLers ( = the little percentage of once newcomers who stayed despite everything, i.e. not the average person who would use a virtual world) or better those SLers who didn't look much outside, believe that Second Life is the most successful and therefore the best model of virtual world, hence clubs and virtual sex must be mandatory elements and nobody creates inworld because, eh, these are the best and most popular activities for a virtual world. Or are them?
In fact it's bias added to survivor bias.
Everyone enjoys SL as they like, that's totally awesome; but those activities are the most popular ones because "what else you would do?" and who was bored by them, unlike you, left. There isn't much else to do that works well enough, in Second Life. There may be also things a few people don't know well, newcomers even less (anecdotally, I've met more than a person who joined SL in 2007 and who still didn't even know about a mayor area like the Blake Sea).

There were many possibilities to make SL more amusing and entertaining, still pleasing everyone and not enforcing game mechanics to anyone.
Roblox doesn't enforce them either. You don't even need game mechanics to get cubes, prims or pieces to be successful, Kerbal Space Program doesn't too: you can unlock the pieces, but you also have a sandbox mode if you prefer that. And despite being a single player game from 2011, people keep creating and even their subreddit is many times more active with all that creativity than the SL one.

If you remember, the "Glytches" catching game was fun and for a while it became somewhat popular. It was all over around the grid, you could play it in the assigned places, or ignore it and continue to do what you always did in SL. However, unlike creative games such as Minecraft, action games become repetitive quickly and Linden Lab didn't expand it well enough to keep it interesting and rewarding for long (not easy).
Something more creative (and still easily accessible) would last longer, then you will have more variety etc (but also a different user-base).

I mean, dancing around a fire and coupling is pretty popular in the human species since forever and surely these things catch some attention; but Minecraft and Roblox didn't resort to that to become... vastly more successful than Second Life.

Anonymous for obvious reasons

The best selling sex bed on second life’s marketplace is one where the woman is punched in the face, she is knocked out and falls to the ground, to be raped while unconscious. Linden Lab happily takes 30% off those sales. Is the media really wrong about how LL makes it’s money?

Mondy

Except the BBC reporter didn't draw conclusions, they were pretty non-judgemental and spoke to users and people from Linden Lab. Put a link to the actual BBC story so we can read what was written instead of cherry picking for your blog.

Mondy

Scratch that , noticed it was hyperlinked. My bad

Sally Crofton

What also needs to be considered is that the UK politicians are currently inspecting their own navels in an attempt to find concrete cases of "online harm" as an excuse to battering social media with a big stick for allowing folks to share opinions different from their own.

The BBC is probably doing the "round" of the likes of SL to find all the sex that's here & the kiddy beaches and so on that they last heard about when they last visited so that it can join in the clamour for online censorship. They also have an agenda that they're currently funded by a licence fee (think of it like paying NetFlix without actually ever watching NetFlix) that's compulsory for anyone in the UK watching "live TV" - they probably think they can score some gold stars with the current government that appears minded to remove the licence fee or at least decriminalise not having one.

The "reporter" has done their bit - revealed to the world what we all know - that SL is rubbish in getting new users started properly in the world (despite their best efforts this last 6-8 months). It will fade on the BBC website ready to be dragged out for the next MP that protests that the internet isn't safe & the british government should regulate it properly.

Please forgive the saltiness of this but not even the BBC saying that SL is crap for new users will change LL's approach. We've all rehearsed the arguments before about how to improve it but let's have 360 degree snapshots - don't worry about the failed TP's, group chat no better than 15 years ago etc etc.

Robert L McNay

I find it funny how the visuals attached to his own article disprove that SL "is akin to the blocky Roblox"

jackson redstar

wonder how long it'll take Meta devs to build "sloot mods" for the meta Avis LOL. The office secratary with a short stork mini skirt and a button busting top along with latex thigh high boots,,,

Johnathan23

The BBC article: "In terms of visuals, it is far from groundbreaking. It is more akin to the blocky and pixelated world of Roblox than a blockbuster game built around gorgeous immersive environments."

What sort of electric typewriter was he accessing SL on???? And now, because of that idiot journalist, the world gets a completely inaccurate idea.

Luther Weymann

People, give the reporters a break. There is no such thing as “journalism”. Media “reporters” from all countries and all publications have proven themselves beyond any doubt to be the most biased, the least interested in fairness, certainly the most technology illiterate, and absolutely less intelligent than their average reader. “Investigative reporting” is non-existent to the extent that truth prevails so any fair review of Second Life by the collective hacks of the media cannot possibly happen. I would expect the media to have several words they will not print but truly believe the “metaverse” to be. Those two words are “childish” and “stupid” so their writing will be biased that way. None of this applies to Hamlet at the NWN blog, he has delivered for all of us SL’ers better than anyone I know of.

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