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Clara Seller
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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.
Personally, I'm willing to give up my rotary phone, 8-track tapes, Instamatic Camera, and lucky Smith Corona typewriter. It's not like we haven't had to do this before.
I, for one, am terribly excited about angelwh M's creator police state idea. Is there a way we could empower certified content creators to deliver capital punishment to suspected violators?
All of this makes my head spin. I'm virtuous, I don't ever do sexual things. Nobody wants you? No, I have lots of sex. I'm just offended by it. I just bought a really big ass and huge boobs and I photograph myself constantly, but I think all of this adult stuff needs to be controlled. I want sexual attention, I'm just repulsed by it. Yes, we've made a lot of money off of sex, but we condemn it. Let's build a world without sex, I won't personally have any interest in it, but it will be an ideal place to put everybody else for their own good. I'm an extremely together person and a healthy role model for my children. Look don't touch. Touch, don't look.
It feels like we are purposefully blinding ourselves to some of the basic old hurdles of SL: computing power, learning curve, monitoring, and cash. I'm kinda with Orca, this seems pointless. There's nothing about LL that's child-friendly. They burn resources like a 69 Pontiac and absolutely have no interest in customers. I don't see teens giving up their phones and I don't see LL managing playdates to assure the "professional pearl clutchers" that there are no penises at the party.
I was on board with Emily Orr's convincing argument, at first, but others brought up some good points. It's very difficult to limit your whole experience to the PG realm and not start to feel imprisoned. It's not just how you look, but how you talk. There's also not universal agreement on what is considered adult. Some people feel that simply being gay or any gender-related issue is qualifying for "inappropriate". When you start nit-picking, then you get into what is appropriate dress and what about some questionable body part sizes? As Summer Haas pointed out, the product makes allowance for adult content and modification and people are going to use it. SL doesn't have the convenient boundaries that RL has. It's a hard sell to charge adult prices and require people to live in a Disney experience, but I would love to see some of Gingir Ghoststar's ideas about building codes and visual organization happen.
CronoCloud Creeggan- I understand your point of view and there is logic in playing to SL's strengths. Your vision, however, makes me want to cry for SL. I want LL and new blood to challenge the platform and bring new expectations that I wouldn't think of. I think men are capable of more than shooting and being an accessory to an event shopping trip. It's not just male influence I want, maybe it's international influence I'd like to see too. I feel SL has socially settled into a "one note". When I started seeing "backdrops and scenes" being a popular sales item, it felt grievous. It's a freakin' world of living possibilities, not a dead snapshot of things that will never happen. I think it's more likely that LL will follow your advice and take the path of least resistance. In that way, I think you're right.
I think Hamlet is definitely correct. They need someone who is going to use the tools to spark some badly needed inspiration. Sorry, but I think it would be really beneficial to try to especially focus on pulling in some male activities audience. I think we've already got the shopping, dress-up, selfie thing down.
I'd probably ask for a lot of money because this is going to be a short-term gig and it's going to be "failure to achieve goals" for your resume. You may think you're responsible for hiring comedy acts, but you're really getting set up to be the comedy act. It's kind of like WordPress in a clown suit.
Boy, I'm struggling with this process and it's definitely affecting my willingness to connect with these images. I suppose I"m old school or purist. I'm still having trouble with signed Giclée prints as fine art. Letting a machine drive the concept just freaks me out. I realize not everyone views art, music, or literature as sacred. Just my thing. I would be much more receptive to letting AI Algorithms into religion. Can we go there, first?
Interesting subject. Look forward to see how this progresses. Well done!
It's hard to tell what Martin Luther King Jr. would think about all of this. I believe his message was about freedom and that's probably why he was shut up. This tribute, focusing on skin color, falls within the acceptable boundaries of what he and us are permitted to talk about. We all know that we need to nod our heads and applaud in approval and walk a very narrow path through these landmines. When King started broadening his vision and saying that the real problem might be "class", that's when he had to go. You know, there was a brief hopeful period in the seventies when all of this "color" problem began a healing process. Organically, things were starting to repair. Unfortunately, it didn't survive the class restructuring of the 80's and 90's that was hammered down by both political parties. I fear that King's message has also been conveniently restructured into something divisive and celebrated by a holiday for elite institutions a little more bustle for the retail working class. Really?
We, as little people, really need to start wanting to own our futures for ourselves and our families. If not, we're going to get some kind of horror-show existence. One place we might start, is listening to and valuing the opinion of people who have a history of being right.
I'm reading this with a little bit of sadness because there was a time when I would have found this news incredibly exciting. I saw this post come up yesterday and I was interested to see what others had to say about it. It was almost exactly eleven years ago that I was introduced to Second Life. It all seemed so big and exciting and hopeful. That concept of VR felt whole and I felt important to it in my own naive and inexperienced little way. Maybe I was just really stupid. Now, in 2019, it all feels broken and separate. The future is in the hands of board members and experts and the next big thing may happen in a world that I don't even belong to. I'm not even sure what I want any more, but I want more than this. I want more than just to wait with my credit card until somebody tantalizes with a gadget or an experience to buy. Maybe this is just my problem, but from the looks of things, the status quo isn't really bringing in the crowds.