June 21st, 2011

broken egg

The Sim Deathwatch and How It Can Be Stopped

I was just reading through the "sim deathwatch" tag on New World Notes (you can see it for yourself, here), and thinking how sad that all this beautiful content is leaving Second Life and, in most cases not setting up house anywhere else.

While all of us are proud of our little chunks of real estate (I own close to a quarter sim of mainland), the "driving force" in SL has always been the big sims, the art installations, the romance spots that have been there for years and most of which are a part of SL's Destination Guide.

In virtually all cases, two things are cited: Weariness at trying to garner donations that keep dwindling, and SL's own tier structure. As one person put it, you can lease an expensive luxury car for the same price you'd pay for a Second Life sim. Quite frankly, my friends, that is entirely ridiculous.

Rod, wake up and smell the coffee. The economic boom ended in 2006 and it's not likely to be seen again for a decade or more, the way things are going. If you expect to keep places like AM Radio's installations, the Lost Gardens of Apollo, etc., then you truly have to re-think your tier structure.

That's why I love my 4 sims on Inworldz. Each one has 45,000 prims apiece and cost me $75/month. The new Phlox script engine makes programming a breeze and has reduced lag tenfold. I can set up a "Lost Gardens" that could rival what was made in SL on several sims, on one sim, because it has 3X as many prims and no restriction on prim size or linking.

All consumers and no builders equals a very dismal Second Life. If there aren't builders, what is there to consume? I think you've gone quite far enough marketing to consumers, Linden Lab. Now how about making things easier and more affordable for your builders?

We see it every performance at our club on SL. I am surprised and pleased at the occasional person who donates something significant to the DJ, host, or house tip jars. Most of the time, people show up to enjoy the music but fail to remember that the entire operation depends on how many tips everyone gets. It's either they fail to remember, or they can't afford anything except to BE there to enjoy the music. Either way, the tip jars go unsatisfied.

However I will say that if I see someone show up in the latest designer outfit, with a top-of-the-line skin, hair, et cetera - and they don't donate at least a pittance to the DJ, host, and house - then I'd go so far as to say they are being extremely selfish and forgetting that venues like ours wouldn't be there if someone didn't pay for them.

I just heard of another club closing because they can't afford to keep on going, even with a decent amount of talent there to entertain people. Now a club closing may seem run-of-the-mill to you, but for every one that closes, that means one less place you can go to enjoy music and mingle with like-minded people.

Don't get me started on the talented merchants who have left SL because they couldn't continue to sustain themselves...

It's TIME to lower tier. NOW.

UPDATE: And Yet Another Art Installation Bites The Dust

This begs the question...

I was speaking with some folks on Twitter this morning about the demise of so many "treasured areas" on SL. What started the debate was when they asked me why I felt it was Linden Lab's fault. My reply to that was "because those areas draw people to their service, but they don't seem to care about those builds or the people who build them."

Then it was suggested that "someone" (undefined as of right now) should suggest to Linden Lab that there should be some sort of a "historical preservation of beautiful areas" based on resident vote.

I suggested they petition Linden Lab themselves, but instead of taking the lead, they made some vague statements about people "higher". I was then referred to this page, and after a little bit of investigating in that blog I managed to get a definition for "FIC" - "Feted Inner Core".

The person really backed off when I asked how one determines who is "higher" or "lower", the "class" of users on Second Life. This still leaves me with the basic question: How does one determine who deserves to be in FIC and who does not?

I guess Linden Lab does and of course us "commoners" are not privy to their rhyme nor reason.

Is it based on popularity of the sim(s) they own? Is it based on the income they generate, not only for themselves, but in turn, the Lab? Just what DOES get one into the "Feted Inner Core" that so many allude to?

Do we know anyone who is in the FIC who would feel magnanimous enough to petition Linden Lab for this "historical preservation" idea? Or are they now resting on their laurels, having gotten what THEY wanted from the Lab?

Earlier today I was reading a post about racism occurring in virtual worlds, which, of course, led to mentions of sexism and other such prejudices. There are as many prejudices as there are people to think them up. The sad part is when we dive into virtual worlds, we don't leave such "baggage" behind. And why? Simply because prejudice begins in the mind, usually taught and or a "learned fear". We bring our minds into virtual worlds, so all the baggage comes with them.

I like to be an idealist and say that such things don't belong in virtual worlds, but at the same time, we're all human here (as far as I know; there may be some aliens or somesuch hiding out). Being human means having failings. Many times, the failings we have hurt only ourselves, but just as often, a person's failings (which include prejudices) can and do affect others.

It certainly doesn't help that Linden Lab is fully supporting a "classist" attitude - the "haves" and "have nots". Mirrors concrete life a little too closely, I'd say.

So how does one end up Feted? Do you need a specific Linden to take a liking to you? Do you need to be one of the rare millionaires who made their million via SL? Just what does it take to "get there"?

Or do you simply have to end up on one of the lists on this blog?

Either way, I'm actually relieved to see I'm not on any of the lists. I don't like participating in class warfare, whether willingly, or not.

I also think it's pretty sad when a fellow SLer I admire highly doesn't consider themselves somehow "high" enough to make the suggestion at the beginning of this post.