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Clara Seller
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Will Burns is right, today, and I'm sure he was right 3 or 5 years ago. It's too bad that it takes someone with Burns specific credentials to state the obvious. Yet, it will still fall on deaf ears. Let's take a moment to bang our heads on a concrete wall to celebrate 15 years of SL. Burns is being very respectful to Philip and Ebbe. These are two people who once had the power to make a difference, but instead, have showed us how that you can actually make a career out of chasing your tail. It sure beats sitting on a corner with a cup and a guitar. Their spinning may actually break the sound barrier one day and that is pretty exciting when you think about it.
This is really amazing, exciting, uplifting, and relevant to a popular use of SL these days. Niran certainly deserves Patreon support, but I hope his work is justly compensated if it's adapted into the main. I'd say any development that actually works is worth a lot more than what developers were paid for such jewels as non-terraforming terrain.
I just watched a delightful GEEcast interview with Mr. Boellstorff on YouTube. It's nice to get another perspective on virtual worlds beside the "tech" one. It makes me wonder if places like SL wouldn't be better served with upper management that has broader expertise, vision, and sensitivity outside of the tech bubble. A virtual world is more than just the nuts and bolts. Tom Boellstorff comes off as more enthusiastic and enlightened about SL potential and success, than the person who runs it. That's frustrating.
Adeon Wroter has sparked my curiosity. I'm definitely missing something. What new virtual worlds are really hot right now and have an active user base and revenue numbers that is blowing SL out of the water? I wish I had the capability to attract SL customers that nobody in the world wants. I'm still stuck in the old days where dedicated tens of thousands of people spending millions and millions of dollars is something I could work with in business and still not find them so disposable. What is the cut off point that these hot new worlds are using to weed out undesirables? Any one who spends less than $10,000 per year? I agree with Penny Patton. I think LL could turn things around for SL, especially if they engaged their customers.
A few years ago, I always thought that Second Life's end would look like a mass exodus to a new world. Now it feels more like mass extinction. I'm skeptical that there's enough commonality to hold these diversification models together. It seems like they are just extending a big net and hoping there's something out there to catch. When you start to see successful people jumping out of tenth floor windows toward nothing, it's not entirely crazy to think there's fire up there. When SL goes down the drain, it's going to take a huge amount of imaginary money and hope down the drain with it. Whatever worlds exist in that aftermath, are going to have to deal with the "Remember what happened to Second Life" reality. Small businesses go quickly and quietly. Now you see it, now you don't. I'm starting to think that this will be the real foundation challenge that the next generation of virtual worlds will have to contend with. Maybe all of this technology floundering is the easy part.
I still feel attachment to some of the mainland sims that I called home in my early days of SL. Things change, but the terrain and waterways remain the same. SL is full of a lot of good ideas that needed to be cared for and developed. There should have been areas of mainland that met different needs and came with a variety of mild zoning and building restrictions. The whole thing didn't need to be capitalistic chaos. If SL evolved into selfie-snapping dollies playing dress-up in tiny little boxes, it doesn't necessarily mean that's what everyone really wanted their life to be. It's like if boneheads had a chance to build a new Earth and added lots of war, isolation, and poverty in the plans because so many people ended up there the last time. They must like it, right?
I had forgotten about that place. Kinda felt like taking a shower after visiting again. That stuff is like home-cooked meth. You can't ban it. You just have to walk away. I can't help but feel that LL has also done it's part in feeding this trash. It's the grotesque counterbalance of tipping the scales of attention and fame worship. LL could have cultivated other aspects of this world and given a little bit more respect to that which is not so easily exploitable. Throwing your little monsters out on the street isn't going to absolve you of your failures. You had other children, you should have paid attention to them. We all reap what we sow.
Mike Keaton said the ugly truth. If you spend any time inworld, you can smell the stagnation and the colors are getting grayer. I'm afraid it's more than just another bad day. It's probably time to start thinking about Hospice Care. Residents can no longer support the cancer of the SL status quo, the giant blood-sucking elephants in the room, the Kings and Barons of Innovation who are desperately throwing poop against the wall and hoping something will stick. It's beyond absurd. It makes me think about Will Burns recent thoughts on the Metaverse. I found it hopeful and convincing, but no, we can't do that. We need to get in a little box and stay small, so those in control can stay comfortable with their limitations. What's that I hear in the wind? Is it "your world, your imagination"?
It wasn't long ago that there was a very strong opinion that residents just needed to swallow the $1.50 Linden purchase service charge and just budget better. No big deal. I'm sure that there is no relationship between wealth extraction and reduced spending from consumers. I haven't researched the status of new land sales from the last land discount offering, but my particular land baron has an ample inventory of available sims and has sent a few nasty notices scolding disappointed customers who were expecting major price drops in tier. This could be my experience only. When the bottom starts into recession, it's time for the top to start investing downward if you want to keep the wheels turning. Draconian cuts and economic austerity probably isn't a good option for a world that comes with an "off switch".
We've given years to Sansar and Hi Fidelity to give us very underwhelming results. I'm very willing give Dual Universe tech time to develop. A cup of it's promise is worth ten truckloads of gas masks, solitary confinement, and "kinda like WordPress for VR". People want to be creative, empowered, pioneers, explorers, and free. I have no faith that these very attainable goals of VR will ever be perused by big tech. There is money and success in giving people what they want, but they don't. "Think Different" was the tech world of the eighties. "Think Sheep" is the co-opted tech world of today.
I really enjoyed this piece and I think Will Burns is seeing the big picture. The Dual Universe concept is inspiring and totally kills that "experience in a cracker box" vision being thrown at us. Thanks to Will for speaking a little truth. It's refreshing. The amount of B.S. being churned from these "next big thing" hype machines has become freakish. There's simply nowhere to go, once you've buried yourself in so many lies.
The old Nirans's viewer was one of the most magical experiences of my SL and Niran will always be appreciated for that. I use Black Dragon strictly for photography now, but put it away when I want to relax or need to do tasks. As when Viewer II was introduced, you can clobber people over the head and call them names and accuse them of simply being lazy change-resistant sloths, but it's a dividing line that made Firestorm the most popular viewer in SL. We learn to walk when we're babies, and if we're lucky, we don't have to do it again. A lot of people don't find physical rehabilitation a fascinating learning experience. Some make it an occupation, but for others, it's a grueling chore that they only do because they have no other choice. Using Viewer II and Black Dragon was like having to learn to walk with somebody else's legs. I find the photography rewards of Black Dragon worth the pain, but it's still pain. Be a good trooper and just accept the change that you don't understand, didn't want, shut up, and it doesn't belong to you. It's interesting the concept of SL as this kind of libertarian society, has settled into a sometimes very authoritarian and monopolistic world. Oops, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say or think that.
Apple's "Think Different" ad campaign did feature all of those people, which makes it ironic. All of those people challenged the status quo. Now Apple is the status quo. That hammer that Apple and the tech industry is using isn't really meant for Alex Jones. He's just an easy target that gets us to clap for it like penguins The real target is the next generation of all of those "Think Different" people who will be compared to Alex Jones and silenced, just as "Right Thinking" people were clapping for the silence of all that list in their day.
This made me think of that famous Apple " think different" commercial. How ironic that the Apple Corp. is now right there leading the charge into 1984. This concentrated paranoia coming from the tech industry is much more concerning than anything that might spill out of Alex Jones mouth. He's just one man and he does come with an off switch. We aren't putting the massive dissemination of information in the hands of Alex Jones. We're putting it in the hands of an industry that seems to be proud of their fear of alternate thinking and their shared Schizophrenic tendency. The tech industry is either showing signs of mental illness, or they're just a bunch of pansies. I never listened to Alex Jones. Thank God I knew I had a choice.
TudorMop had a great post and inspired me to pull up the map and appreciate the love of adventure that was put into the old SL creations. It was pretty great. 80 new regions? If I try to do Labthink, I'd say it's an "experience" that's themed on an anticipated trend that's based on an upcoming movie and it's designed to bring in new revenue and probably has nothing to do with current customer desires. Sorry, but I'm just kinda used to that "it ain't for you" package with a bow on it.
"July 31, 2017 - Sansar™, the world’s leading social VR platform, today opened its creator beta to the public. Sansar is a brand new platform built from the ground up to enable everyone to become a creator. Sansar democratizes social VR," said Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab. "Until now, complexity and cost has limited who could create and publish in this medium, and Sansar dramatically changes that. It's been inspiring to see the thousands of virtual creations that have already published with Sansar during our limited preview, and I'm looking forward to the explosion of creativity we'll see now that we’ve opened the doors in beta.” So a year later, that "explosion of creativity" has become a "hangout" where nobody wants to hang out. It's like WordPress for people who can't read or write. The most ground-breaking creativity of the Sansar project has been the "spin". It's been breath-taking. This virtual hocus-pocus of turning actual resources into nothing has been masterful -- and honestly, it's looking like that's been the goal all along.
I wonder if anyone knows what Sansar is yet, especially Sansar? The revenue for it's existence is being siphoned and now it seems like they are desperately trying to siphon it's purpose.
I kinda get the feeling that the conclusions have been written before all of the evidence has been examined. Are we indeed in a better world now? Has the greater good been served? Are we really being honest? When I first came to SL, I personally had the impression that it was a little bit of a male-dominated environment. My feeling has changed today. Oddly enough, when I first came to SL, it felt much more culturally diverse. It felt more welcoming and free. Has "girl power" been good for SL? Do the numbers support this? Are these shorter avatars really better? When you go to events, have you really looked at the disfigured female form that has reached epidemic proportions? Are we really in a better place? I don't know. Some of those "bad" extinct avatars housed some treasured friends and acquaintances from places I would never dream of meeting people. Sometimes what was on the inside made the outside more appealing or unimportant. I fear by the time we're all finished being squeezed and empowered through this cookie press of correct absolutes, we're going to be about as interesting as a box of vanilla wafers.
Sometimes the "fragile male ego" world is an oasis and in need of such simple solutions when one is weary from the bottomless pit of dissatisfaction and the scorched-earth solutions that women can impose on those around them. Just stop, already. If you succeed in prosecuting those accused of the crime of being too tall, you aren't going to have much of a world left. I am a shining beacon for diversity, as long as you look, act, and think just like me. We're on a road trip to Crazy Town.
I just don't see how anyone can plant a flag on any side of this quagmire and claim immunity from hypocrisy. This horrible situation has come from so much willful blindness, disregard for consequence, and a complete blurring of any legal line that might have once existed. It's a stew of contradiction.
In real life, we have plenty of restrictions (like genetics and authoritarian governments) to stop most of us from being everything we desire to be. The author can breath a sigh of relief that identity categorization is doing just fine. It feels a little unhinged when you see a desire to start controlling people's imaginations and their imaginary height and appearance, especially when they are working within the parameters of legality and with the common tools they have a right to use and are paying to use.
Instead of clubbing people on the head, if this is really a problem for the lab, why don't they offer some incentive? A better proportioned base avatar might go a long way in stopping people from going to such extremes to look correct. It's all really built on a bad foundation. It's not always "our problem" to make them money.
What's done is done. Unfortunately, I don't feel like anything has been learned from this experience if we really think that " data mining by a hostile foreign power" spending a few thousand dollars to influence our button pushing every 4 years is a real threat. Nope, I personally think it's that "protective" pink blanket of lies that we are wrapped in from cradle to grave that's doing the real damage. We can't see who we are, what we're really doing, where we came from, or where we're going. That smokescreen was laid down by friendly fire. We all know that another trap is already waiting for us down the road and it wasn't placed there by some boogeyman. We'll sashay right into it with our most trusted handlers greeting us at the door.
Chic Aeon- there's a practical rationality to your point of view. You're a SL merchant and you come at this world and leave it with that perspective. I'm a merchant in RL and consumerism is my SL escape hatch. Like you, I am an artist who makes my product and sells it at a premium. Where we differ, is I don't have the luxury of doing business in a "content creators are king" fantasy. In my world, customers have multiple homes, platinum credit cards, Ivy League credentials, and passports to the world. Even the ones who don't, get treated as if they do. Try slapping a buck-fifty processing fee on a millionaire's credit card and see what kind of reaction you get. Tell them to simply "budget better, if you don't like it" and see how long you stay in business. From my perspective, this SL fantasy of making customers the "low class" is destroying it. Sansar can't fly because it was designed on this insane premise. Just my two cents. $1.52 with fees.
I also say it's too early to tell. My observation from my particular land baron is available new sims have popped up at reduced "special" pricing. In order to get that discount, you have to move and start over. If you stay put then you're gonna be paying the same price that the big giant has set long ago. In doing some quick price comparisons, I'm seeing some smaller barons offering mild reductions and the big giant holding firm. I think all of this is probably a cost of living pacifier for the barons and a parachute, that was carefully designed not to open, for the residents who are falling into the fee increases.