back to article Second Life: the campaign for real life

I received an email yesterday from the IBM analyst relations which read: We are evaluating various forms of communication that would be effective, but also enjoyable and a change of pace. Could you please take a few moments to tell me: are you presently a member of Second Life, the 3D virtual world? if so, do you have an …


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  1. Rob

    Here, here...

    ... yes I agree that virtual world interfaces will grow, but please, please, don't let sado's like the 2nd life contingency lead the way or we're all doomed.

  2. Ian Michael Gumby

    Yes, but you're adding to the "hype".

    The whole thing of "Second Life" is to create a community in an artificial bubble that allows individuals to have a chance to express themselves in ways that they couldn't eitherwise do so.

    While there are benefits to the virtual world, as currently model'd by Linden Labs, its not worth it.

    Maybe if he went opensource and let individuals create their own real estate, their own avatars and figured out a way to protect those designs... But in doing so, where's the money?

    As for IBM wanting to "host" a briefing... Don't read too much in to it. THe author got it right. THey are just trying to be "hip". and are looking for "exciting " new ways to get you to listen to their pitch.

    Don't be a Ludite, just don't buy in to the hype.

  3. Lawrence

    It's not that bad

    Remember when web things such as chat rooms and online dating were embarassing to mention?

    I think there is a lot of unnecessary hype around Second Life, but it is an exciting development. How can it not be exciting when you have a 3D environment where you can built and script pretty much anything you like in a thriving economy?

    Most people are not as immersed as the lady mentioned in the article. Not more than millions of gamers spending hours in front of their consoles.

    To be fair on Linden Labs they are committed to a certain degree of openness. For example, they have made the source code for the Second Life Viewer available to everyone.

    It's right to dismiss the hype and all the bull****, but there a good things about it too that The Register could report on.

  4. Dave Cheetham

    How Bigoted is the REG?

    Why is Second Life always sneared at and referred to as sadville?

    If that is the only reason you are in SL and want to keep your in-world name private, then fine. It is down to people who don't know how to use it for real purpose and get lost in the "sex"& "fantasy" side. SL goes far beyond that, and is an exciting beginning of a new era. How many people thought surfing the web was for geeks.

    The Reg needs to stop joining in the "SL is only Sex and lonely people" hype.

    My business has brought in several other like-minded Companies, and provided a great networking opportunity. I have made good business leads and contacts through being part of SL. Open your eyes and see beyond the crap side. After all, the internet is only for surfing porn isn't it? ;-)

    Look me up in-world and then tell me SL has no use.

    Captain Gemini.

  5. Lawrence

    Project Open Letter

    Whether SL is nonsense or Web 3.0 one thing is certain: users at this moment ain't happy.

    Over 3,000 people have signed it, including some of the big names. They are demanding a product that... works.

    What next? A meta revolution?

  6. Anthony Bathgate

    SL is not original

    I see SL being touted as a new idea all over the place.

    A tinyass little US product (they went through several company names) called ActiveWorlds, which, in fact, still exists, has been around since at least a decade.

    There were a bunch of us at one point (I recall 1000-ish continuous), but a change in per-user pricing structure from $20 a year (a pittance, really) to $20 a month, plus PR and technical difficulties (didn't get 3d acceleration until '01 or so, and it wasn't exactly "good" and this engine hasn't changed since) caused a lot of influential, or at least well-known figures in the community to leave.

    There were public "building" areas, open to paying customers, and if you needed more control than these afforded you, you could pay extra and you'd be sold a server license for a certain amount of real estate and you could do with that what you wished. A very significant amount of that income left with the alienated users.

    In their prime, they also had no difficulty getting companies to do in-world events, including at least 3 (that I'm aware of) movie launches.

    I'm not certain how things are going lately - it's been over a year since I've logged in (there are limited-capability free accounts as well) but the last time I did, the framerates on my ridiculous 8800GT box were the same framerates I had on a GeForce 256 when they first added 3d acceleration, which, coincidentally, were identical to the framerates I had on an SiS integrated chip with no 3d acceleration capability whatsoever - about 5FPS, but no more than 20. The number of concurrent users at about 6PM eastern US was a small fraction of what I remembered. The list of servers had shrunk from an expansive list you could scroll down for several minutes, 90% of which were user-owned, to one screen, most of which I recognized as various servers owned by the company and the empty husks of their corporate relationships.

    Sex and smut were a very big part of the community, of course. After all, it's the friggin' internet. But many of us built lasting bonds with other individuals and built a network of friends and associates that transcended our ultimate departures. The commercial undertakings were ridiculous and never amounted to anything worthwhile - probably not even a single sale or efficiency point. There was a thriving economy as people developed tools, utilities, 3d models, and other things and made sales amongst themselves. It deteriorated as the most prolific artists and developers departed, but it was one of the last things to go.

    Hearing what I do about the technical situation at SL and knowing what I do about previous history of similar products, I can see them starting to venture down the very same road.

    I certainly appreciate the network of friends and contacts that I built in the virtual world, and indeed I wouldn't be where I am now without them, but the amount of time it takes to build these relationships in the virtual environment is detrimental to real world activity - if things hadn't collapsed I wouldn't be here, either.

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