Wednesday, 27 May 2009

These Are NOT The Best...

Have you checked out Second Life? By now, you either have, or perhaps aren't at all interested.  Whatever.  I had a few months of enjoying SL, then operated a sim for another few months, but finally, Linden Labs' creeping greed and unwillingness to fix useability issues in favour of adding ever more and more buggy features led me to give it up as a bad joke.

And not just me - many long term sim owners are just abandoning their holdings and walking away.  So it's surprising to hear LL talking about the "stable economy" in SL.  Because, of course, the place is driven by a constant flow of Real Life money, going from residents to sim owners to LL.  And we all know about the famous "cratering" RL economy don't we?  Many sim owners abandoned SL because of this reason.  Many more will do so before this year is over, I'll bet.  So the talk of a stable economy in SL is bullshit, sorry.

I also have some news for Linden Labs - if they halved their prices it would still not be worth it in the foreseeable future.  With lovely clustering and multiprocessing systems such as Hadoop running on Ubuntu linux it surely can't be long before someone realises that a "sim" is a useful unit of virtual real estate but the limitations on it are purely artificial, and by running several server clouds each performing some specific part of the VR process they could have a faster and more reliable system than LL does, for 1/10th the price.

Such virtual sites will become more common, and will outpace Linden Labs' efforts, inevitably.  They will become as common as websites were ten years ago, and many enterprises (as mentioned in some other articles of mine recently) will be run using such sites as their core.  As is already proven in SL, many will actually perform services in that virtual environment, some will sell RL items and services using the virtual environment much as we use a website today to sell everything from books to handcrafts, coffee cups to cars.

Having positioned themselves, LL will end up like AOL, large, top-heavy, and a dinosaur in under five years, extinct in, what was it, eight?  They should have taken a leaf from Obama and Rudd, and put incentives in place, both fiscal and technical.  Then a few more people might believe that SL is at least as good as Australia and China at insulating the effects of the financial crisis...

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Wolfie! said...

While it's true that LL has big problems, I can't see myself moving to another virtual world where I have to be a human, and in many other worlds this is the case. I go to Secondlife so I can be a furry, and have whatever attachments I may wish to add (It's my body after all).

I will never translate to another virtual space which is all human, with a set type of body shapes, sorry, not going to work.


teddlesruss dat who! said...

I don't think most VR worlds and sites are against other body types - I get the feeling that no-one has developed alternate avvies for those places because no-one's created them yet. But just as you can get a Gravatar nowadays to use on multiple websites, it will be possible to have your VR avatar across all the worlds. It's mostly a problem of where to store the shapes and textures so that you can use them anywhere...

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