Second Life in the News

Business Insider has an article up on Second Life: Second Life Has Devolved Into A Post-Apocalyptic Virtual World, And The Weirdest Thing Is How Many People Still Use It. Karyne Levy wrote the article. He/She (?) quotes William Reed Seal-Foss a regular on the Metaverse Podcasts with a generally negative stand on Second Life.

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While Karyne distorts what SL is and misses much of what is going on, the article is not that bad. It is just the typical ignorant writer writing without bothering to do more than a minimal amount of research on their article. A basic noobie thinking they know what SL is.

You can join BI and leave comments several have. Jo Yardley comments at length. She and others referred Karyne to Flickr’s SL Looking Good, which has some awesome pictures from within SL. Jo and a couple of others refer Karyne to Drax’s World Makers on YouTube. The play list there is getting impressive. 

Jo does a good job responding to negative comments by bitter sounding people taking their shots at SL. Yay, Jo!

There is a group commenting at BI that claim special people get benefits the rest of SL users do not get. After reading a bunch of these comments a basic theme is clear. If you are a friend of the Lab you get special treatment. But, none of the people talking are those special friends. They just think such people exist, no proof is offered.

Those they have labeled as ‘special’ often come back saying they wish they were getting special treatment. These slanderous/libelous rumors have been around for all of SL’s life. Without some substantial proof they remain slanderous/libelous rumors.

Drop by BI and add your two cents. Vote the various comments up or down. The ignorant currently are more vocal than the knowledgeable.

12 thoughts on “Second Life in the News

  1. At first glance, between the comments to that article, I saw more naysayers and haters bashing SL than else, and they getting many up-votes, while other people were down-voted at will. Looking at it better, the hate comes mostly from 2 or 3 nicknames doing a lot of noise (and showing a conspiracy mindset), while the voting system is easily exploitable. Anyway it is also possible that the votes are genuine: there is for sure an huge and diffuse prejudice against SL, so I’m glad that there are other people offering a more balanced view. But this time I noticed that not all the people bashing SL in the comments are the usual 5 minutes users: some of them seem more or less experienced. It looks like that a good amount of people have been hurt or burned by SL management or by bad experiences in a way or another (I had some bad myself), but I don’t think it’s enough to explain why SL got such a bad reputation, stigma and stopped booming and to receive media attention. There are other factors, starting from the misleading articles (hype first, “horror” stories then).

    Moreover, while the journalist correctly cared to find an old time user as a guide, and in an area that is supposed to help new people, the perspective of that 2004 user (Judy Brodie) gives a somewhat biased idea, as various people point out. While is true that a big portion of SL just revolves around virtual sex and the most popular places are in many cases clubs and adult regions (but not always), if they went to Hollywood Airport or sailing to the Blake Sea, for example, the journalist would have seen a new dimension already. As sailing simulator, SL does a pretty good job for a not dedicated simulator (with the plus of the freedom and the social side). Even parachuting is way better and actually more simulative, than the odd free falling that Judy shown to the journalist.
    I’d have taken the journalist to a spiritual place too, where there are regular meetings every day, showing that SL is also a good tool for who can’t go to a temple in RL (because of a disability or not having one of their religion of philosophy nearby, etc) and that a virtual environment isn’t really a game as isn’t a forum. It is a simulator where you can do anything, even games: there are many games and RP in SL, if one wants that.
    Then you could visit a nuclear plant in 3D, the NASA rockets and see how big they are, or the Yamato battleship (which is no longer possible to do in RL).
    And so on and on…
    So, while I can understand that there are many people looking at SL just as a sex or dating simulator or even worst as a dating or porn game, I feel it kinda sad, because Second Life is much more than just that, and the journalists should research and explore it better, to give a correct information and not a misleading one.

    • I see lots of comments where people state as fact what people think of SL and how many think that. I doubt anyone can know that information. We just have no way to reliably measure what people are thinking. People relate their ‘limited’ personal experience as if it is the universal reality, it isn’t.

      There are many people that have been in SL for a long time and are unhappy or leaving, or have left. My experience in the OpenSim grids is many of such people are there and the attitude toward LL and SL is highly negative. My personal experience is a majority of the people I know in OpenSim are unhappy with SL. But, I only know a small number of the people in OpenSim. What I know may not be representative of the whole, but I still have the idea it is as that is my experience. I try to be careful in how I relate that experience and base decisions on it.

      I am not surprised that some of the more emotionally involved long time SL peeps are out spreading hate and negativity. I just believe what they are saying tells me more about them than SL.

      I agree that the journalist’s investigation and research was lame. There are many things that could have been discovered. That lazy, dimwitted approach to a subject is a peeve of mine. But, that the new user experience allows such failure to find the interesting is a serious problem.

      As to SL being in a large part about sex… isn’t that the way RL is? Put things in perspective. How many times a week to you think people in SL have sex in RL? And how often in SL? Is it RL or SL that has more sex going on?

      • Talking in general, I agree that there people taking themselves and their own limited personal experience as paradigm of the humanity, and that nobody is a telepath, although I’m not sure what exactly are, under that article, the “lots of comments where people state as fact what people think of SL and how many think that” (or maybe I didn’t understand what do you mean, sorry), anyway I see that most of the negative comments there show huge prejudices against SL, biased and unfounded stuff, hate words such as “another useless CEO”, “Who can waste their spare time like that, on such a useless junk of a game, when there are so much to see in the real world ? ” (40 up 17 down.. this is quite a typical comment under SL news these days, as well as “SL still exists?”) and conspiracy way of reasoning: “these people are LL pets” “Linden Lab leverages several private websites for publicity & damage control with those two..” [SL Universe and New World Notes] “…The are activating a network of damage control blogs to discredit your article to debunk your experience”and so on.
        I agree that people with that attitude tell more about themselves than SL, but they mislead who doesn’t know about SL.

        As for sex and dating in SL, it is the same phenomenon that we can observe in any social place on the Net, from Facebook to Couchsurfing: I guess it’s the human nature, and I can understand that, as I said, but I was pointing out that SL is much more than that, and it is sad, because this part is missed, as it was missed in that article, and it was missed by that 2004 avatar that (mis)leaded the journalist, and it is usually missed every time people around the Internet write about SL, outside the SL community.

        As for your last question: ” How many times a week to you think people in SL have sex in RL? And how often in SL? Is it RL or SL that has more sex going on?”
        As above I don’t know what people think and what are the stats, but there are different situations. Besides limited samples, there are other elements to consider: in SL it is easier to meet some random guy or gal and doing that, anonymously and without the risks you have in RL (STD etc) even if you in SL are 70, disabled, obese or you have any other problem in having sex with someone every time you want in RL. But it is not just that. The available stats are how popular the places are, traffic wise (sometimes exploited, but in general it gives the idea). They show that there is a lot of BDSM going in SL (among the most popular places) as well as any kind of fetish that you can’t have easily in RL. At the apex of that, snuff sex, I’m pretty sure that you can do it fully only once as victim in RL, but you can be beheaded, butchered, roasted and so on as many times as you want in SL.
        Samples from different sex clubs seem to support this. So it is likely that a good number of people are experiencing their fetish and sex more often in SL than in RL, but, again, while many people are focused on virtual porn and dating, SL isn’t just that.

        • The human tendency to exaggerate numbers to support one’s point is common and misleading. It is true people are mislead by a few vocal people. I think that is a problem of our modern day culture. If people were skeptical, as I think they should be, it would not be possible to mislead any significant number of people.

          As for journalists missing the point on sex… I don’t think so. It is in their best interest to hype up the sex angles because that gets people to read them.

          My point with the ‘how much/many’ is that you simply cannot estimate or even guess whether SL or RL has more sex going on. Seeing sex clubs in SL doesn’t tell us a lot. In RL many clubs maintain a low profile to avoid legal problems. That is not necessary in SL.

          The most profitable part of the Internet is porn. Isn’t the Internet RL? The most profitable part of SL is fashion. Doesn’t that present a counter intuitive point on the subject?

          I agree SL is more than just sex, but, even you still want to insist that there is more sex in SL after admitting we can’t know…

          Having been to Europe I know their sexual entertainment is much more public. SL is much more like Europe in its sexual aspects. But, that we have more sex going on or being publicized in SL than in RL is not a fact and remains unknown being a hard point to prove either way, if it can be proven. But, people seem to want to insist that there is a lot of sex going on in SL… it may just be that sex is safer and easier to find along with being better categorized…

          • The world isn’t as it should be, but as it is, so indeed, few vocal people can mislead a significant number of people and feed further prejudices.

            You think what the journalist thinks; It’s possible, but I don’t believe it just because it seems likely: we can’t know that for sure.
            What I care for is for the evidence that SL is more than just that, and for the evidence that that part is missing, apparently isn’t sufficient even to be in SL since 2004 to not be misleading (I don’t want to be hurting, it’s likely that she did her best and in good faith, and she tried to show a bit of something else, at least… maybe she feels sorry in this moment), and that it is usually missed every time people around the Internet write about SL, outside the SL community.

            My point is that it is a part that deserves to be seen and known, and it’s a pity when SL is taken and portrayed just as a sex game, without seeing the whole picture and missing the rest. Even Ebbe wants to show something more to the journalist, and I’m glad he tweeted that.

            You keep to argue about the sex in SL, as if you assumed I was thinking something that actually I’m not thinking, and I’m not insisting in what you believe I’m. So let’s clarify:
            – I’m not sorry that there is sex in SL: I’m worried that the other sides of SL aren’t acknowledged (as happened above).
            – I’m not surprised that sex is popular in SL: I know that \the Net is for porn\ and humans are sexual and you are the same real human, whatever you are interacting with other people somewhere or in front of a computer or another device. BTW I’m from Europe and yes we are less afraid and in my case it doesn’t offend me at all: it’s just the human nature (as long as nobody is hurt or abused).
            – I’m not quantify how many this and that. \Many\ isn’t a number, nor a percentage. I said \the most popular places are in many cases clubs and adult regions (but not always)\. That’s a fact and the data isn’t hidden: you can start from the traffic numbers shown by your viewer. Yes, sex and dating is very popular in SL.
            BTW, taking fashion profit as data for your estimation is misleading, as: #1 you can have plenty of sex for free in SL, #2 fashion in SL includes also adult stuff and sexy, skimpy clothes, appliers for giant breasts and so on.
            – I’m not insisting that there is more sex in SL that in RL: I never said that (and actually I don’t even think it does matter). I only answered to your question, even if we are digressing, and I told that you can’t know it, instead. But there are different situations, and I exemplified, where it is obvious that they can have more sex in SL than in RL (if not in SL only)… and you can have it freely and for free. We can know those at least, for information. It doesn’t mean that there is more sex in SL than in RL. I don’t know it and that’s not the point.
            However there are various elements that contribute in making sex popular in SL. In general it is easier and you get less troubles. On the other hand virtual sex can’t replace a real experience, right? But a porn video replaces it even less, yet \Internet is for porn\… Also in SL you can do whatever you want and what you can’t in RL and you can experience lots of fetishes not always easily accessible for free, and any time of the day you feel like to do so; moreover, unlike videos, you are doing that with another real person on the other end of the wire, exploring fantasies and reactions. So, among the other things, SL gives the opportunity to satisfy what can’t be satisfied in RL or what can’t be satisfied so much and so easily. It doesn’t mean it is better, worse, more, less than RL (for whatever you care to compare), it is even complementary in some circumstances.
            Anyway I saw any kind of reason, but that’s another story.
            Anyway sex and dating are very popular in SL.

            I’m glad that Ebbe, Drax, and others, even common users, care to show the rest and let people know about it.

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  3. These days 20% of the sims in Second Life is Adult and sexual related while about 7% of the internet is sexual related and this trend is growing in Second Life
    This is not horrible as it is just porn, so what.
    Nalates, when you follow Second Life you know that teachers and educators have been screwed over by Linden Lab and no matter how you would twist or turn it that is a fact.
    You know content creators are being abused by Linden Lab their TOS and these people receive little to no respect from Linden Lab and that is the reason why the majority left or just stopped creating.
    When you would start to do some decent journalism and investigate really deep in the background of grandfathered sims and private estates you would find a lot of dirt and see how Linden Lab has been involved in corruption and scams over the years. Many did invest in land and sims over the years and got nothing in return.

    I am sure you remember the Greenies sim, the projects by RightAsRain Rimbaud who put in large amounts of money to set up large projects on the grid and paid artists to develop content and did even managed to do a promo for L’oreal cosmetics. He got nothing out of it.

    Linden Lab did switch price for Homestead islands, all the people who got a Homestead with their paycheck got scammed by Linden Lab who forced them to either pay up or get their land reclaimed. So much dirt goes on at this company it is mind boggling.

    The Mainland used to be a good market where traders bough and sold land each day. Linden saw this and got greedy as usual and flooded the Mainland market with more sims until all the traders were drowning in land and left. The result is that today 65% of Mainland is abandoned or Linden owned.

    People who set up small rental communities offering houses for new people, such as the famous Prokofy Neva for example got their businesses trashed by Linden Homes.

    Do I really have to go on here? Are you really so naive or such a fangirl you ignore the facts?

    Here is another one for you to ponder on: Anshe Chung a resident running an Estate like many others does now have offices inside of Battery Street where she sits the entire day among Lindens hearing and seeing the entire business at work.
    Talk about insider trading. How much worse can it get?

    Why do you think people get mad? Why do you think people sell their land and leave?

    Without residents these Lindens are nothing. Lindens invite people to come to their platform to buy land set up businesses create content, engage in communities and participate. Once people get to that point they get scammed, scammed by copy botters, scammed by grandfathered tier rates and secret discounts on land.

    Even Desmond Shang a huge Linden heel licker got screwed over after putting in a lot of effort, since then the heel licking is over even with him.

    Altberg does not know where to do damage control first now. A lot of people are extremely angry now and it will not get better.

    The cherry on the cake for you Nalates:

    The lack of effort that Linden Lab is now putting in the platform will lead to the closure of the Second Life grid in the next years from now. This means that every customer by Linden Lab who purchased any form of content (some bought for 40000 US$) will have been screwed. Total bill for this: millions and millions of Dollars

    Why on earth would people be mad Nalates? You tell me

    • The 20% versus 7% is misleading. In RL the Internet is used by most businesses whether they are in the sex industry or not. It is a promotional medium. Consider the number of ads on TV or radio for sex services or products verses other ads. The Internet is the same.

      Businesses do not come to SL to advertise, thus throwing off the stats.

      I agree that educators got the shaft. Prior SL management was more accounting oriented and short sighted.

      Your statement that the majority of creators left or stopped creating in SL is simply wrong. It didn’t happen. That the Lab has no respect for creators ignores facts to the contrary. I agree the TOS is a mess. But, that is more a legal department thing than a homogeneous attitude at the Lab.

      You see conspiracy. I see business practices by those with limited understanding of their product.

      Classing Anshe Chung as an ‘inside trader’ is a misunderstanding to term. It is quite common for businesses to accommodate large clients. I’m not sure what advantage you think Anshe gets from being in the same building… Do you know if she pays rent for the office there? Or is it free? And how do you know?

      As to “Why do you think people get mad? Why do you think people sell their land and leave?” I find it pretty well fits with human nature. I’ve seen more rage quits from various games and forums than I thought to count. It is always because someone can’t have things their way.

      The idea that ‘a lot of people’ are angry is rather meaningless. Put a quantity on that statement and get some perspective. If all the people logging into OpenSims were angry at LL/SL it would still be a very small percentage of the daily logins at SL.

      Your idea that people are getting screwed by LL because at some future date the SL world may close… is without perspective. The majority of cars purchased from GM have gone to scrap yard. They no longer run. They had to be replaced. Why buy a car that will only last 10 years?

      Why are people mad? Mostly because they want to be.

  4. When I first read the article I felt it was awful. I mean commenting that adult content was on display when you have to opt in to see adult content just seemed a poor presentation technique, there was no mention of that being an opt in choice, or how easily you can opt out.

    However reading between the lines you do get a sense of the problems with the new user experience, not knowing where to go, not being able to find active places etc.

    Then there’s the love story in there with her guide who met and married her husband first inside and then outside of Second Life.

    On reflection it’s not quite as bad as I first thought, but it does fall short of being a fair appraisal of Second Life, however it does give some insight to the frustrations new users face.

  5. Nalates wants proof about special friend deals. Ok Nalates let me show you big proof:

    This is just one isolated case where one of Linden their pets by the name of Zoha islands receives special treatment to further increase their already huge empire of 700 simulators.

    I will also show you exactly where the corruption happens and how Zoha islands with the help of Linden Lab can expand and become even larger at the expense of all other normal businesses who need to obey towards Linden Lab their TOS but for Zoha islands Linden Lab makes an exception. The rules suddenly do not apply then.

    This is where the scam happens and what makes the economy rot when one receives special treatment and all others do not with the help of Linden Lab

    Earlier this year Zoha islands did declare proudly on their blog they took over a large estate named Bonaire. You want proof Nalates here is your proof:

    This 151 sim estate of Bonaire did exist out of full sims and homestead islands. Of course all homestead islands that bonaire had were grandfathered regions. Linden Lab does stipulate in their TOS that grandfathered tier regions cannot be transfered upon sale. So the 95 US$ paid by Bonaire to Linden Lab can never transfer to a new owner. When such a sim gets sold it is billed at the new rate of 125 US$ per month according to Linden Lab and their TOS.

    This is very clearly described on Linden Lab their website:

    When you look at the land sales on the website of Zoha islands you can see the price charged is 130 US$ per month by PayPal and reduce this with the 5 US$ charge by PayPal for the transaction you have 125 US$

    But wait, Linden Lab does charge 125 US$ per Homestead Island and Zoha claims to have paid a lot to take over the Bonaire estate. When Zoha pays 125 US$ per month to Linden Lab and Linden Lab charges Zoha 125 US$ per month …………….

    I do not know how far your economic degree stretches Nalates but you do not have to be a genius to see that Linden Lab did help Zoha islands and did transfer the grandfathered rates (WHICH LINDEN LAB SPECIFIES IS NOT POSSIBLE BY THEIR TOS) or gives Zoha special friend deals so that Zoha can further expand their estate.

    It is also the reason why Bonaire sold as Bonaire got slowly chocked to death by Linden Lab their pets. That is what Linden Lab engages themself in each day. Really dirty scams are being pulled by Ebbe Altberg and his staff to benefit a few making all the other customers pay for it. Now Zoha islands has 850 sims all based on special friend pricing so they can continue to butcher roleplay communities and residents wanting to rent out a section of their Island or anyone wanting to set up a rental business.

    People are well aware of this, those that matter know what goes on and what has been going on for years. Without Linden Lab their special help Anshe Chung would have vanished years ago, Linden Lab had to be extra nice to her to get her back. How long do you think such a business climate can last Nalates? It is based on rotten corruption and scams. I did just show you one little example that you can check 100%

    Anshe Chung remains a user, she is no better than Desmand Shang or Pituca Fairchang or dAlliez Everything she has and has been able to take over has been with the help of Linden Lab and not because she is an exceptional business woman.

    People are not mad because they mostly want to be. People get mad for a reason. People living in Gaza are mad these days because their house gets bombed at night and not because they just feel like it.

    People have been scammed for years. If everything is that great why did Lilith Heart the largest garden store in Second Life known by each single resident in Second Life just close half of her store two weeks ago?

    You might not agree with my \perspective\ but you cannot ignore facts and hard figures. Fact is that Linden Lab has been supporting and engaging in corrupt business behaviour for years. Bait and switch practices, predatory business practices.

    Right now people are paying lawyers legal fees in the hope to set up shady casinos hidden as games of skill. To Linden Lab it is just an experiment. When it all blows up the \customers\ will be paying the bill again.

    • Where is the proof that the owners of Bonaire were coerced into selling? All you have shown is that Zoha and Bonaire made a deal. How do you know what kind of deal Zoha negotiated with Linden Lab? Why do you think the TOS is the be all only way to do business with the Lab? Anyone that wants to buy a thousand regions in a single purchase is going to get their own deal and agreement with the Lab.

      Your cheap shots at me I just consider transference and a revealing of yourself. You slam me hinting I don’t know how to do basic math (economics) which you say reveals the corruption. This suggests it is you that lacks the real understanding. You seem to have little understanding of how free markets work. Large companies do business differently than the masses, but that is not corruption it is life in a free world. It is exercising one’s advantages to get the best deal possible. Both sides are free to accept or refuse a deal. That they came to terms suggests some mutually agreeable deal was reached between all parties involved.

      Your implied idea that all the dealings with LL you describe have to based on corruption has no basis. That we will all have to pay for ‘shady’ casino deals gone wrong is so far from business reality I no idea where to start. I think you are beyond any help I could provide.

      You have left SL, yes?


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