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Clara Seller
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Even though she does look kinda like a hot dog, I still respond better to the new avatar than the old one. The old one makes me want to keep a can of Mace handy.
How much time has LL wasted reinventing the wheel like they'd never seen a wheel before? What is this strange new thing and will we be able to use it? Let's hope our creator class can figure it all out for us because we could never do it on our own. Imagine a texture that can appear on an object? It's like the apes staring at the obelisk in 2001:A Space Odyssey. BOM is a great concept with endless possibilities. It's a solution we used to have before we created a problem. I'm anxious to see how complicated mesh body creators will make this. Will we have to put a quarter in a meter every hour before it automatically resets to default just to remind us that the content isn't really ours? I hope it comes with some sort of lock or explosive device to prevent just anyone from getting the keys to the creative kingdom. Oh LL, why can't you just provide us with an updated good moldable piece of clay mannequin, like you used to, and let us chimps figure out our own destiny with a working set of sliders. It's become so tedious and boring having to learn to walk over and over again.
LL has been driving on this road for a long time and, of course, this is where it ends up. SL feels less diverse than Cylons these days. LL is promoting the Six and completely ignoring the Sharons and D'Annas. It's so unfair.
I pretty much agree with JohnC. I think VR could offer could offer something of interest to older people, but it won't. I could pretty much say the same thing about RL in that it could offer more to the people who currently have a more difficult time participating in it, but it won't. As a culture, we've reached a point where we offer pretty much nothing and sell everything to the lowest hanging fruit. We can't honestly say that we are even offering survival to our newborns, but we have a crapload of stuff to sell them along the way. Madness is at the helm and it's incapable of thinking deep enough to imagine what an older person, with a life-long collection of thought and experience, might want to do with their mind. If a person doesn't want to feed money, push buttons, and laugh like a baby as things dance in front of their face, they need more than we are willing to give.
Hmm, something about all of this leaves me uncomfortable. It seems very heavy on the optics and short on the substance. #trigger #convienient. I certainly have my complaints against LL and the tech industry, but I don't expect them to pay me for it. I would agree they are Capitalists, but the implication that they all of the other "ists", is not so easy to see. It looks like two fights and I'm not convinced they are related. We'll see.
Honesty is really an amazing thing. A 20-30 minute escape even sounds appealing. It's reasonable. There's a lot of useful things that could be built around that. It's madness to start the conversation with building a world around that. The hype was so obnoxious and wasteful.
It's pretty exasperating how many examples we have of virtual worlds who are willing to throw away so much investment of time and money and just let it all die before they address their crappy avatars. Is avatar creation like the great pyramids where we can only speculate of possible extraterrestrial intervention in it's original construction? Just like life, virtual worlds are going to have to give users friendly tools to evolve their outer and inner world. An avatar is the users inner world. This kind of talk in the virtual tech world seems about as welcome as Marianne Williamson is to the Democratic Party. In both cases, it seems we've elevated people whose worst nightmare is to be us, and put them in charge of giving us what we want. They take such offense at our petty needs. LL made a smart move in acquiring Strawberry Singh. Then they made the dumb move of putting her in Marketing. It makes sense to use her as a siphon tool, right? No. She's probably the most valuable person you could have in Development right now. Listen to what she dreams of. Make her happy and you'll make yourselves the money you want.
I think that JohnC is making a very convincing argument, but I'm a critical person who doesn't always believe what she's told. I'd be intolerable in the official SL forum. There's a lot of LL positive guidepost voices making videos, hosting talk shows, and smacking your knuckles with a ruler, when you stray from the path of righteousness. Be positive. Consume. Conserve. Pay your dues. Don't question that which you cannot understand. He who serves and believeth will find everlasting life and love in San Francisco. How do you avoid the head-on collisions with yourself when following the path of the newly-appointed angel of consumption leads you to the wrath and scarlet letter of the angel of optimization? What do you tell the angel of productivity when the angel of development is taking your resources? How are we supposed to believe in the "always listening " ears of the angel of concern when her bolt locked doors are guarded by the sound cannons of the angel of compliance? Maybe the true believers are right that everything is fine and it all makes sense in the big picture. I would appreciate for a true believer to make their case for LL in what our SL existence is about anymore. I really don't know. Is the path before us for living or for dying?
Summer has so eloquently laid out a proper plan for how to turn your entertainment into a chore. There's a customer with fifty bucks a month to spend on your business. Call them "foolish", "whine", "cry" insinuate that they're stupid, lazy, and not an actual customer if they don't want to work the system. Not everyone enjoys being a coupon or Groupon shopper. Their money is just as valuable. LL wouldn't need so many apologists if they would just learn how to say "Thank You".
Summer Haas is making a good point about the potential to rig the system, but there's this big dismissal of a customer who is spending $50.00 freakin' dollars a month. This is a horrible perception problem. Fifty dollars is fifty dollars no matter where it gets funneled to in your business. That fifty dollars pays for the sims that hosts events, stores, rental properties, etc. That fifty dollars pays LL contractors and brokers, which is what content creators and land barons are. It's probably not important to most $50 customers that they get a premium badge or that they impress Summer Haas, but it's a crime when LL is not impressed with a $50 dollar customer. LL is content to serve a potential $50 dollar customer an oldy-mouldy avatar with a generic last name in a world that is going to treat them as a free-loading bottom feeder. Gee, I wonder why it's so hard to get new users?
Thanks Hamlet. There's two SL players in my household and things start adding up and go unnoticed. We, as separate players, are nothing special in SL. Right now, we are renting land and doing our own thing. We're actually on a budget and living a pretty modest SL compared to a lot of landowners and renters that I know and observe. Sometimes I think it's very easy to forget that it's the cumulative little people that do help make the world go around. When we buy play money, our RL credit and debit cards are billed to Linden Lab, not some land baron or content creator. We pay a fee to LL to buy play money on top of that. During all of the play money merry-go-round, LL is holding all of the real cash. The cash is being supplied by everyone who has a charge on their credit card and it doesn't matter what type of member or what type of attention they get in the game. Everyone has their place, but it has to be up to LL to not let their customers get "lost", even though they may be completely invisible inworld.
Yep, apparently they pulled back. Group Membership limits for Basic Residents will NOT be reduced. Smart move. Offline IM's will still be capped at -10 to 15. Whatever. Since they still feel the need to take something away from my account, why don't they reduce the Sansar staff by 10? Seriously. We all need to start chipping in and making sacrifices. Times are tough.
I didn't grow up with alcoholic parents, but being a resident of SL for 12 years has made me feel like an adult child of an alcoholic. Up until the last service charge increase for buying Lindens, me and my husband were dropping in excess of $5000.00 per year in SL. That was primarily for land and being paid directly to LL on our bill. That petty service charge inspired us to drop premium accounts, property, and scale back our spending 50%. We're still paying LL $2500.00 a year and we just lost 7 groups each because we're not valued customers. We've never cashed a penny out because earning money in SL isn't our thing. We know we're not special or valued. If LL hasn't been clear about that through their actions, then they have plenty of co-dependents to drive that point home in various blogs, forums, and social media. A $2500 dollar household is to be shamed, spit on, and driven into the mud. How insane and reckless is the management of this business? God knows $2500 a year for a game shouldn't earn us a gold star or a thank-you for 12 years of loyalty, but does it really deserve a smack in the face over 7 petty groups? There are tons of "basic" customers who outspend "premium" customers X 10 or more. LL just hocked a loogie on every one of them.
Very nice interview, Wagner. "Why not take an approach where you build a fun game first" was the million dollar question. As vwfan pointed out, Philip pretty much fumbled that. You, vrfan, and countless others with no investment in a particular pet project are able to see, right off the bat, that platform is everything. I'm going to go ahead and declare Project Lilypad dead. Out of "business, education, and entertainment", entertainment seems the obvious place to introduce the new world. We're humans. We're curious, first, then we learn and apply our skills to something functional. It's much more appealing than dreams of some virtual dystopian chore factory disguised as a playground. The concept of a "Metaverse" is an exciting prospect and we should be very selective in who lays the groundwork for its design. It's architects should be more philosophers than opportunists, it's engineers should be more artists and educators and less Silicon Valley soldiers. It's goal should be to provide us tools and not make us tools. If this interview was anything like a job interview for God of the Metaverse, I'd send off that "best of luck on your future endeavors" email today.
I'm agreeing with everyone's underlying sentiment. Better then Ezra made a comment about Philip visiting a shaman and that's a good idea. Maybe it's time for Philip and LL, for that matter, to absorb their failures. Deal with it. Poor little SL is still chugging along and could really use the creative energy and resources of these entities. This is their legacy and they should stop crying about it in the high school restroom. Maybe they don't own the future of VR but they certainly have a big claim to the present. Be the best you can be right now. Join forces and save the relevance of the only thing you have ever done right. You have a chance to save yourselves. Just do it.
Agree with the sentiment of irihapeti. No hard feelings to Dave Kap's personal account of his success, but when I read this, I walk away with the feeling that the moral to the story is that the cool part of life really begins when you stop being a customer of SL and start being one of the LL gang. Isn't this really illustrating the disconnect that customers have been suffering for a long time? The part that rings a little hollow in this story is "What Second Life Users Misunderstand About Linden Lab". No, I think he confirms that customers have been seeing the problem pretty clearly. Dave isn't a problem, but he isn't the entire solution. I would take a different approach than irihapeti and let the Dave's of LL become the god's they need to be in their creative space. I just think there needs to be a higher vision in leadership who doesn't see themselves as part of the "coolness", but rather a servant to the losers who write the all of these god-making paychecks...customers. Dave probably shouldn't have the feeling that LL is one big happy forever family. If leadership were doing their job right, he should be feeling that SL is one very big forever family that you can't really ever just "stop being a user".
I think it's time for Philip Rosedale to go work FOR someone on the east coast and get a different perspective on what he would actually have to provide to make his latest harebrained idea viable. I hate to break it to him, but there's a lot of the business world out there that is "serious" and not "playground" driven. This recycle is less valid than the last go around. All of this has to start with being believable, practical, and profitable. Our handlers have no interest in anything else when humans are involved. We are actually living in a world where providing on-site ambulances has been assessed to be more practical than providing functional working conditions. This has to start with a portable technology that can scan, enhance, and present the animated elite narcissists flawlessly. Image is everything. It's use will trickle-down in business after they have control of it. Philip needs to start there. It's a long way from jerky animated cartoons and California Dreaming.
Battlestar Galactica was right. "All Of This Has Happened Before And Will Happen Again".
What John said. It's pretty mind-blowing how much abuse SL users have endured, over the years, while still coughing up a functioning multi-million dollar existence. SL has people who can and do create equally interesting and graphically impressive "experiences" within a much broader and diverse experience. SL is the promised land of virtual reality, but the money god never guaranteed that you wouldn't have to till the soil every season and your day will end at 5 pm. You can't chop up life, serve it on a toothpick, and call it a world. Raw "tech" isn't the whole solution. It's boring after the first few bites. Success is going to require an ecosphere. Maybe a bit more sociology and psychology should be written into the code. "Experience" in 2019 is a repackaged "Happening" from the 60's. The techies are really groovin', diggin' gramp's tired old scene. Make a virtual world where people can build their own revolution instead of an amusement park. That gets my attention.
The Linden Homes are a good start. I've noticed, in my little corner of the world, that they seem to be pulling away from small private land parcel sales. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. The biggest problem is tearing down the firewall that makes it nearly impossible for new users to be a part of the game. They have got to take back their avatar in an even better spirit than they put into the Linden Homes. It just keeps evolving into a less unified experience. I doubt LL could even write a usable instruction on how a new user could become a status quo avatar. It's like trying to provide healthcare if the human race suddenly started branching off into random different species in a matter of a couple of years. I know many people think that reaching out to new users is a waste of energy, but we've reached a point of imminent extinction. Sansar won't support life and there is no time to explore. We need to have babies and take care of them. It's a pretty exciting challenge that SL needs. It's a reason to exist. LL needs an inspiring leader to rally troops to a cause larger than snapping selfies and tinkering with empty decorated chat rooms. Time's up.
Orca and Pulsar have really good comments. There was a reason that SL was successful and the reasons why it started to fail have been rehashed over and over again. There was so much boo-hooing and disappointment when the world couldn't seem to make a place for corporations and institutions. I think in a way, they are still trying to serve their needs when they design these worlds. They sure do love to put people in boxes and control them. We are humans, born of the Earth, and circling through the universe. Our imaginations and our dreams are in the places beyond our reach. It's who we are and will always be. The very notion that we will adapt to a cage is pretty sociopathic. Gee, I can't imagine why you keep failing over and over again with these series of "experiences" concept. It's exactly what a zoo is.
I agree with Hamlet. Incrementalism is the way to go when things are thriving, not dying. Since the real world seems incapable of making bold changes, it would be refreshing to see SL actually try to save itself. I think LL actually did something good, recently. with the new Linden Homes. It captures some of the spirit of long ago. I don't think that everybody that has left SL is a lost cause. Maybe some bold changes would be enough to pull a chunk of those people back. It would be a start. If it were easier to bring some of the people we know in RL into SL, I think many of us would like to do that. It's just too big of a burden to do that right now. Like with mesh, people will follow if it's good. Part of life is, shedding skins, throwing things away, and accepting loss.
How do you turn a Strawberry from sweet to sour in two quick steps? Make her last name Linden and have her start promoting favorites on official Lab channels. Strawberry Singh was a beloved fashion goddess.Strawberry Linden is a SL bureaucrat. The last thing she or LL needs to do is ignite a firestorm in that viciously competitive little mine field of body enhancement/fashion. Any gains LL could possibly hope to make will be offset ten times in blood. Ratings? Gross Sales? Optimization? Help the up-and-coming creators? We're talking fashion. There's nothing rational or sensible about it.
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?
I watched the entire interview without fast-forwarding. The highlight, for me, was the background architecture. I found the setting very beautiful and Zen. You know all of us who have contributed a lot of money to SL, over the years, have helped make that magical place possible. It's something to feel good about. It's ironic that I walked away feeling the world that Ebbe is living in is more full of imagination and fantasy than Second Life. In Second Life, you have to be blind to not see blatant decline and hope leaking out of the cracks. In Ebbe Life, you get more choices in what you feel like looking at.