Project Sansar: Democratizing?

Over on SLUniverse Han Held quotes Prokofy ripping on the idea of Project Sansar® being a democratizing force in Virtual Reality (VR). I would send Prokofy glasses, but I doubt she’ll ever see the world anywhere near the way I do. But, she does raise the question of whether Project Sansar can democratize VR. That is worth addressing.

The Village & BarDeco

The Village & BarDeco

So, first what is democratization? Merriam-Webster defines the word as; to make (a country or organization) more democratic, an alternate defintion:  to make (something) available to all people or said another way: to make it possible for all people to understand (something).

In referring to an article appearing in Wearable, in the comments Prokofy says, “I don’t see how this author is pulling the concept of “democratizing” out of the new Project Sansar. If anything, it’s about an increasingly narrow set of elite technologists and designers controlling the world.

The second sentence suggests, at least to me, that Prokofy is on more about the idea of making a ‘country’ or place more democratic. She thinks Second Life™ (SL) is more democratic (available to more people?) than Sansar can ever be. I disagree.

Is SL democratic? When did we get to vote on a Terms of Service change, or tier, or anything? SL is a benevolent dictatorship with a need and desire to keep its citizens happy because it CANNOT enforce its will on us, we can leave. But, the point is not about the control structure. We are free to move from and to whatever virtual worlds we want. Freedom. Those in charge can’t control where we click. We should be so free in RL.

Of course in a muddled way Prokofy is on about how easily we can use SL verses Sansar, more the second and third definitions of democratize. Even in that sense I disagree.

Do more people understand SL than will understand Sansar? In the technical sense that people understand SL and can build what they want, I doubt it. Only about a million of the 7 billion people on the planet can use SL.

The last couple of years SL has become more complex and if you look at the SL wiki on scripting and clothes making you’ll notice people have fallen behind in providing information on how to do things. There are tutorials out there, but they are out THERE not part of the SL site, wiki, or in-world.

There is no Ivory Tower Library of Primitives for mesh. Nor a “Texture Tutorials @ Livingtree” for texturing mesh. We go to YouTube, Vimeo, CG Cookie, and other sites to learn how to work with mesh.

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