Metareality Podcast

If you have not listened to one of Metarealities podcasts, check one out. The podcasts are a panel discussion among three regular members and various guests. Charlar Linden and Karl Stiefavater have been recent guests. The topics covered are current Second Life and virtual world events. They can range from whether Phillip Rosedale, SL founder, really diss’d Second Life and means to exploit third world labor or not to Ashton Kutcher’s explosive gaff tweet.

Metareality Podcasts

The host Gianna is a bubbly person with an empathic nature and a seemingly tolerant world view and willingness to look for broader context and understanding. Draxtor and Reed seem more locked into their meta worlds views with clear opinions and less questioning of their personal opinions and perceptions. The combination makes for interesting discussions.

The recent podcast (11/18) titled, The Perception of Failure and Success, came to my attention because they linked to one of my blog articles, Where is Torley Linden? I had to know what they said about it… OK, me. Nothing. But, they did link and that is good.

Following is an index to the 01h:11m:00s audio podcast. I’ve written a summary and opinion sort of thing on the subjects in the cast. As usual I get into what interests me and say less about what doesn’t. The index more my opinion than a summary of what they said.


01:00 – Will Wright, Linden Lab board member, has created Hive Mind, a new game. Little is known but what is tells the idea is to harvest personal information and shape the game play to one’s personal situation. This type of play is labeled Personal Gaming. It is expected young people will gladly give up their personal information in return for some fun.

This is not just the basic name, address, contact info, and gender. Supposedly this game will dig for life style information, your personal preferences, and life scenario. In other words this is an effort to get marketing data typically not available from most online data gathering companies. And do it with a free to play game… crafty.

See: Inside Will Wright’s next big game: HiveMind (exclusive).

The Metareality panel discusses the privacy aspects of the game, a serious consideration. One thing they did not mention is the game going against the trend of Internet choice. For marketing types it has been an almost impossible task to accept that the audience is in control of the marketing channel. We get to choose what we want to watch, listen, or play. Our choices are a click away. Wright’s game will give you what they think you want based on what they can learn about you. If they can figure that out, they will keep you playing and get the desired information.

Most young people, I guess 20’s and under, have little concept of real human nature and the realities of the world. I suppose that is leading to the increasing rates of identity thief as those lessons are learned.

04:50 Google Lab – I’m not sure if there was a point, other than it exists and Linden Lab should be like them…

05:45 Linden Lab Failed – Gene Yoon = Ginsu Linden’s article, why second life failed responds to the idea presented in Slate’s article Why Second Life Failed. Ginsu sees that article as a simple attempt to market a book. Ginsu joined SL in 2005. Ginsu says four years later the company had 7 times more employees, hundreds of thousands more users, and revenue that increased a hundred foal. It felt like success to Ginsu.

But Ginsu was disappointed that with all the talent they had, they could not get to the next level. They did not reach their ambitious goals. In that context Second Life did fail. It is not over. Second Life is alive and continuing. So, the Lab may yet figure out how to move to the next level and reach the size of a Facebook.

11:00 The Metareality panel expresses their viewpoints of SL and its success and the magic of Second Life. One of the points they pick up on is Ginsu considered himself a visitor not a resident, which is something many residents feel is a short coming of many Lindens, which segues into what Torley Linden is doing.

13:15 Where is Torley? – He is educating Lindens on Second Life culture and the tools and features of SL.

16:00 The Metareality panel gets into Slate’s missing the idea of Second Life. Slate thinks SL must have a purpose. He fails to understand Second Life has so many purposes people stumble because they fail to recognize they need to decide on their purpose for SL. A guess this generation is just used to being given everything.

18:15 Karl makes good point that Second Life is a platform that enables other purposes. It is however missing its killer app. Like the Internet’s killer app is email or the WII’s is Mario. A killer-app pulls people in and holds them long enough to learn the system and possibilities. Something SL really needs.

25:00 The Panel is debating graphics quality and the importance of high quality graphics to users at this point. None of the panel seems to be aware of the numerous studies of the affect of graphics quality on software and game players. Very simply put: graphics are not that important, but they must meet some basic level or they become an obstacle to player adoption. Think of Minecraft verses Second Life and think of Skyrim and WoW. Graphics quality is like a photo album. Skyrim is far more detailed (I do not play either, just trailers), but that better graphics is not going to pull WoW players to Skyrim and HOLD them. It will earn them a look, but probably not a hold. You seldom look at your photo albums. You look at them even less if the photos suck, but you aren’t going to the album for the quality of the images. So too, after an initial look you go to a game for reasons other than the quality of the graphics.

40:00 Rosedale statements: Rosedale’s statements in a recent interview on the complexity of getting people into Second Life or any virtual world and past the learning curve are drawing fire in many places. The panel debates what he really meant.

45:30 Deformation Project Delay: Karl clarifies the expected delay. This is not a negative thing. But, people are taking a very negative spin on the topic, which as best I can tell is totally out of touch with reality. In Hamlet’s post Karl commented that the sky is not falling.

49:50 Discarded Projects: Hamlet asked LL if the Lab would make the discarded projects known to the residents… probably not.

50:30 OSGrid Game Copied: There is a story around that the new Linden Realms game is a copy of a game in OSGrid. There are similarities but they are numerous games that are similar. Gianna thinks the OSGrid game is similar to the game Dune. This is a non-issue.

56:00 Linden Helpers: My article #SL’s New Linden Helpers and Gianna’s take are about the same. The Panel goes on to relate some personal experiences with mentors/helpers.

I think the panels general opinion is that if mentors are well managed they can be helpful. The problem is the Lab seems to be trying to move away management tasks. The two seem mutually exclusive to me.

01:02:00 Ashton Kutcher tweet about Joe Paterno and how social media affects us. Really?

01:07:30 Machinima: Announcement about an upcoming event.

01:08:16 Deformer Project Update: The delay will not be that long, working with the Lab is good, and the whole thing is good news. Everybody relax, it’s all good. Conversation is ongoing with Karl and the Lab and emails going back and forth. Karl says things are working very well as is.

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