What’s Needed in Second Life

OK… we get lots of these stories. But, Loki Eliot has a post titled: I cant control how you see my world.

Loki explains what he wants to improve the experiences he builds in Second Life™. He makes some good points. Check out the article.

One thought on “What’s Needed in Second Life

  1. There lies a bigger story behind the single points that Loki makes. In my humble opinion the biggest factor holding SL back (since the hype until 2008) is the wrong idea of its purpose. Second Life has never been a “world”. It was just a great story to create a hype. However the idea of a “world” has let to management decisions that are backfiring.

    Second Life should be seen as a medium and not as a world simulation. A medium is a transmission channel to store or deliver data to people. A medium is set-up in a way that content creators are the shaping the experience that the user will get. The medium itself is “just” a tool-set given to content creators – that’s why media are so powerful.

    Linden Lab didn’t follow the idea to make Second Life a medium. They followed the idea to make it a simulation of the real world. Because of that they assumed wrongly to much power (as a simulated government) and pre-shape the experience of the user – leaving only a very restrained space for content creators.

    Make the comparison with the internet: A company can perfectly define how a website should look like and what information will be given there. In Second Life a content creator cannot control which scripts run on his/her sim. Other residents can come and influence the experience of visitors in ways that the content creator didn’t want. Imagine that for a website. I could go to the Ferrari website and spray my graffiti slogans on it and everyone visiting it could see it. In such a case the internet wouldn’t have been such a great success, would it? But this is exactly what is happening with Second Life. At this point a hole book could be written about the failure of LL to shape SL as a medium and – resulting in its uselessness for game-makers, content-providers and serious advertising industry.

    What could happen with SL being shaped and presented as a real medium? All people would go daily to places similar to those we know from Second Life – but not with the idea that they go to this virtual world. They would go to the latest product presentation from Sony based on that Linden Lab technology thing. They would watch this interactive movie based on that Linden Lab technology thing. There would still be a big virtual community that uses the technology to meet and interact – and this community would be many times larger than today – but the community would be only one of several functions of the platform.

    I can’t believe that no one realized in 10 years of Second Life, that the technology should have been shaped as a medium. Because if anyone would have, at least one of all those useless Open Sim clones would have tried to take a different road than being another virtual copy of “world”.

    LL has understood that their metaphor of a world was not working, but they have chosen another wrong metaphor instead: “Shared Creative Places”. The wrong metaphor has lead them to develop several useless new applications and waste their resources.

    What Loki wants with the tools he proposes – that’s at least my interpretation – is to be finally able to shape the experience of SL residents that visit his sim. But SL in general won’t get to this point unless LL realities that they have to develop SL as a medium.

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