Last night I was a bit cranky, a bit down. My mind kept circling in the same grooves, all of which were annoying. I remembered that “back in the day” when I was in this kind of mood, I’d head into SL for friends, live music, some relaxation.
I logged in and decided to head to my favorite go-to location – Fogbound Blues club. There was a time in this blog when I’d remember to capture all the links, the map locations. These days when I log in I can barely remember how to move myself, much less my camera, and even less remember how to find and save information. Trying to change out of my jeans & sweater to my adorable skating outfit was almost painful. 🙂
I made it to Fogbound and had a very difficult time moving about, or even getting my camera to do what I wanted. I finally saw an open chair and SAT there, listening to DJ Panther for a bit. As I sat there I IM’d my friend Honey who was inworld. She invited me to come skating. Ahhh, memories. We used to skate all the time back in the day, back at ShengriLa. (That is not a typo.) I said that sounded like a great idea and she sent me the TP (which is NOT toilet paper, for all you relative new-comers to this blog – it is Teleportation address).
I was just about to accept it when I realized one of my 2 absolute favorite musicians – Noma Falta – was playing live at the moment. (The other absolute fav is Komuso Takagawa, without whose music I could never survive the yearly traumatic procedure on my tongue.) I bopped over to hear Noma. I did a tad better once I got there, remembering how to find her, move closer, not bump into anyone. I stayed for one great blues song but then TP’d to ice skate.
What fun. For those of you who have never become immersed in a virtual reality, you have to believe me when I tell you that for me being in SL, living through my avatar, feels extremely real. My brain can accept what my eyes and ears send it and translate that as “real”. Honey and I skated and chatted and caught up on life. It was simply fantastic. Just what I needed. Well, maybe what I need is a new gaming computer. This Lenovo does NOT render the graphics anywhere near as wonderfully as my Alienware did in its day. My husband and son have fancy-dancy gaming computers. Maybe if *I* had one too, I’d spend more time in SL. Heaven knows reality has not been such a joy the last few years.
I’ve been reading a LOT, although mostly books that do not challenge and are not edifying and ARE an attempt at escapism. I’ve watched more TV in the last 2 months than I have probably watched in the last 5 years combined – I’m NOT a big TV watcher. I haven’t been able to work in the garden and see the neighbors working in their gardens or folks taking walks. I confess – I was lonely. What do you do if you are lonely and want people and music and company but you are practicing separation and isolation? You go home to SecondLife.
I know that a lot of the folks who follow this blog started following long after my SL days. You seem to enjoy my musings on my cats, my garden, life in general, work, the weather and all those other aspects of what is also known as IRL – “in real life”. This blog started as a chronicle of my adventures in SL. It was a marvelous time. I was privileged to not only enjoy SL in my private life but could work and build and develop as part of my professional career as well. But time moves on, people take new jobs, people die, get new interests, have other obligations. *rueful smile* Gaming laptops age. All of those things happened and I stopped going into SL. It took me a few years to surrender my land. I was paying around $40 a month, I think, for something I never used. I was never able to convince myself to give up my premium status, however. I was paying $72 a year for that until this past payment when it rose to $100/yr. Even so, I could not make that break. I had a zillion rationalizations for why I should keep the account.
I’d been chatting via social media with a friend from those good old SL days and we agreed to try to meet inworld. She had a new avatar, a new life, new friends, new everything there. Last night I went ‘home’. *laughing* Good grief, I’d forgotten SO MUCH. First, my pool with my ducks was making SO MUCH NOISE it was making me crazy. Why did I ever think pool sounds were a good idea? I knew I had to open the item, find the script that made the noise and stop it, but could not remember how to do it. I’ve also realized that at some point when we moved from our home on the water to our treetop home, Drake dyed his feathers yellow. He used to be white. I had 2 white ducks and one yellow and now I have 2 yellow ducks and one white one. I asked Drake why and he said he needed a new look for a new home. Bill, as usual, was totally oblivious to everything.
I did a little better at moving around and getting my panda, Bamboo, to come back and join me. Thank goodness my friend came inworld and helped me remember how to stop scripts, manage sound. Wow. Did she look different. I knew she had a new avatar, but avatar structure and movement have improved immensely since I was there last. Her fingers MOVED! My fingers are very blocky looking. We sat and talked and talked (yes, talked, we both went to voice, not just text chat). She promised to meet me again and take me shopping for a new body, new head, new hair and lots of new clothes!!!! I’m so excited! 🙂
While we were talking other friends logged in and saw that I was logged in. I got several IMs saying hello and *hug*. I accepted a TP from a friend to a performance going on by one of the musicians I always liked – Grace McDonnough. In this case TP means Teleport, NOT toilet paper. 🙂 I had a great time talking to my friend there, and hearing Grace’s singing. From there I headed over to Prim Economy to hear Komuso Tokugawa, who is one of my top 2 favorite performers in SL. I still listen to his music (which I had downloaded). I made a new friend there as we shared conversation about horses and shoes. The inworld versions of both have apparently improved as much as the avatars. She says that when you are riding a horse inworld you actually have the natural movement of a horse (you used to simply move forward with no rise and fall). I’m extremely excited to try riding in SL again. My good friend Calli was inworld. I managed to get over to Tribeca to catch the very last song of her set. Since it was Friday, and it was Tribeca, of course the closing song was “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. It’s ALWAYS Hallelujah. Last night’s rendition was by Jeff Buckley.
I went back in on Saturday, too. This time I remembered how to adjust my draw rate (how far away you can see items) and quality of detail. Slowly but surely some of the tricks are coming back. I caught up with another dear friend from the “old days”. I also got to hear Noma Falta live. I swear she gets better all the time. She was rocking it out at Smokestack. That venue was new for me. I like it. Had good seating, good dancing scripts, lots of people there. I did see one or two familiar names in the audience. It was another lovely evening. I sat there sipping my wine, listening to great music, chatting with my friend, catching up on all that has been happening. I was home. 🙂
The Jewish calendar has many twists and turns. Our dear friend Lalo Telling passed away on the 1st of Tevet on the Hebrew calendar in the year 2012 of the Gregorian calendar. That means that his yahrtzeit (the anniversary of his death) occurs during Rosh Chodesh. Some Hebrew months always have TWO days for Rosh Chodesh. Some Hebrew months always have ONE day for Rosh Chodesh. Some months, well, it varies. You probably guessed that for Tevet it varies. This month Tevet has one day, apparently. I believe that means that starting at sundown on December 3, 2013 through sundown December 4, 2013 is the first day of Tevet and is Rosh Chodesh and is indeed Lalo’s yahrtzeit. If I’m wrong – I think Lalo will forgive me.
It’s been a year. I miss him still, very much. Passover came and went without him skyping in to our celebration. After only 2 years he was a regular and the other regulars all asked after him and missed his presence. The high holidays came and went in the fall and there was no Lalo to discuss d’vrei Torah and sermons and meaning and customs. Now it’s Chanukah. Last year I flew out to be with him. We lit the Chanukiah, we sang the prayers, we sang other songs and blessings. Despite the sad reason for my presence, we had a very very good time. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to be with him then.
Lalo and I didn’t know each other all that long in SL. We met in the late winter of 2011, inworld. We happened to be at the same musical event. I’d been following his blog and IM’d him to introduce myself. As it happens so often in SL, we clicked. We cared about many of the same things, laughed at the same things, enjoyed playing in SL. I still have not written up half the adventures that Lalo, Bamboo and I took together in SL. The one in the truck with Bamboo, when we were run off the road by a tank – that was a true SL/Lalo/Ahuva/Bamboo classic. Shortly after I met him he was blessed with a FL friend and companion, Emspar. He and I had less time to play inworld because his outworld was so full of joy with Emspar and with work. We still had Friday nights at Tribeca with the rest of the gang, and Fridays at The Listening Room with those wonderful folks, and dancing at Fogbound and with Noma and Taunter and Komuso. We visited SL amusements, learned to ride horses at Carriage Trade, did the big SL celebrations. When I look back, by the Gregorian calendar it wasn’t very long. But in SL terms it was. SL has never been quite the same for me since he died. I feel the loss so keenly there. A part of me still checks the friends list to see if he’s logged in yet.
I love to think of Lalo. I love to remember our conversations on Judaism, on engineering, music, books, life. He was intelligent, witty, funny, and so full of interesting information. I miss you, dear friend, more than I could have ever realized. Thank you for enriching my life. Your memory is a blessing to me.
On the road, can’t make it inworld. So I did something as good – I met up with SL friends in “RL”. Erev AH5B I had dinner with Dale. Lovely lovely time – great food, great ambiance and wonderful company. 🙂 Tonight I had dinner with another friend I met first in SL. M is no longer inworld but we stay in touch. I was within an hour of his location today so we met for dinner. Again – a wonderful wonderful time. We’d not seen each other in at least 2 years. We talked and laughed and reminisced. So in a very real sense – I WAS in SL for AH5B. When I got in my car to drive home, Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” was playing on the radio. I thought it quite apt. Since I have no SL photo to share, I’ll share the music. I’ll also share my thought: I wouldn’t trade away a single moment of my SL time. It’s been 5 amazing years. I’ve grown, learned, laughed, hurt, loved, lost, lived. I’ve integrated my SLness into my RLness. I may not be inworld as much as I used to show up but believe me – SL is in my world all the time. SL has given me many of the “times of my life”.
Some days I want to get in my car and drive and drive and drive – just leave everything and everyone behind me. That’s not always very practical, however. Gas costs a lot, time constraints, guilt, you know – the regular mish-mash of mature reality. But I don’t have to be mature or sensible in SL. In Secondlife, I can ditch some of the constraints that I’m forced to acknowledge in my corporeal existence. Tonight, feeling a bit frustrated in several directions, I needed to ride. Thank you black-Kat Choppers for my Grifter Bike. 🙂
I came inworld and changed quickly into appropriate attire. It was a gorgeous day today – nearly perfect weather. I really wanted to just wear jeans and a tank top but I knew the wind would sting. So jeans and my leather jacket, leather boots. and some glasses to protect my eyes. Tie my hair back, (don’t need no stinkin’ helmet in SL), a pair of gloves and I was ready to ride.
I live near Rt. 12 – an easy hop over to the road. It took me a bit to remember the controls. Always helps to read the directions. 🙂 And I was off….. Ahhhhhhhhh……. Feel that motor purr……..
Of course, no SL road is complete without one of Ann Marie Oleandar’s vehicles on the road. HAH!!! I had to return a crashed tank that was resting on my land, but I left THIS particular tank waaaaaaay behind. Eat my dust!!!! Or smoke, as the case may be.
I have to say that sim crossings have gotten MUCH better. Yes, I vanished through the road, or careened madly about in the air, but I always found myself righted and ready to ride on. And ride on I did. On and on and on and on. Lalo and I had driven quite aways along Rt 12, but we never made it as far as I went tonight.
Tonight I went to the end of the road and back. 🙂 Without any elves or goblins or hobbits. The road gets a bit bumpy there at the end, and there is a lot of low-hanging foliage. But there are some beautiful sights. There is even a visitors’ center. I may have to head on back there some time and check it out.
The chopper did the trick. I had the purr of the engine, the sights of the scenery, the adventure to the end of the road. The frustrating situations are still there, I’m sure, but at least I escaped them for a bit and feel as though I’ve left them far far behind.
As Scarlett would say, tomorrow is another day. Bring it on. .
Dell, Secondlife and I have a problem. I’m sure that the 2 of them don’t care, but I do. So my gorgeous gaming laptop, the famed and fabled Alienware M17x came back today – “repaired”, or so Dell claims. I headed into SL, turned the graphics up to high, and set out. Only took about 10 minutes before the video failed. The screen goes black, then it turns white, then I get a box (that fades fairly quickly) telling me that the drivers failed, but they have “successfully recovered”. Really? I don’t think so.
Why is it Dell’s problem? Because from now on I intend to tell everyone all over how Dell is incapable of offering proper support for configuring their gaming computers. And because I believe that they are not telling me truth about this repair. I have PAID for in-home support. That means they are supposed to come to my home and replace parts while I am watching. They refused to do this and demanded that I send the laptop to them for “analysis”. I did. I shipped it out Thursday afternoon and saw that they received it Friday. It was back in my house on Tuesday. That means they shipped it Monday. Really? You performed analysis over the weekend? Why do I find that hard to believe? The piece of paper claims they replaced/repaired my video card. I find that incredibly difficult to believe. It’s hard to believe because they didn’t have it long enough. Because when I turn on the computer and head into SL, the fans immediately make more noise than a helicopter coming in for a landing. Because it only took 10 minutes to crash out the M17x.
Why do I think this is Dell’s problem, not SL’s? I bought a new laptop 3 weeks ago. Nothing fancy – an Ideapad Y580. Guess what. It runs SL at Ultra graphics, quietly, smoothly and without crashing. That’s right, Dell. A mere Ideapad laptop whips your famed fabled premiere gaming laptop.
Yeah, when I have the time and energy I’ll call Dell’s Customer Service. I’ll undoubtedly have to beg and fight my way to talk to someone who actually knows something about their Alienware brand. That’s another big runaround that I get from their Customer Support. The techs say “oh yes, I know that”. Only after something happens, like last year, when the machine caught fire, do I find out that I’m dealing with people who have no special knowledge of Alienware.
I’m so disgusted with Dell. I have been a loyal customer for over 6 years. All of our computers were Dells or the Alienware until I bought the Ideapad. I have a year left on my contract with them. I’ll send them the AW every single week for the next year until they make it work properly for my needs. Don’t tell me it’s SL. You should be so ashamed, Dell. Expect to hear from me. Every single week, if not every day.
One In Three Women On The Planet Will Be Raped Or Beaten In Her Lifetime.
One Billion Women Violated Is An Atrocity.
One Billion Women Dancing Is A Revolution.
Join V-Day on 02.14.13 STRIKE, DANCE, RISE in your community & Demand an end to violence (copied from the official One Billion Rising url)
I hold strong views on many subjects. I try not to preach to my friends and coworkers. But in this instance, I believe so strongly in this movement, that I am speaking out to you. Yes – YOU. I mean you – male and female both. Join the revolution. End the violence.
I hope to rise in both SL and RL. I’ve found 2 possible RL events. In SL – it’s running 24 hours, from midnight Wednesday, Feb 13th through midnight, Feb 14th. It will be LIVESTREAMED. There are going to be live performances by well-known SL entertainers (*grin* one of my personal favorites is rumored to be the closing act)
To get you revving – watch the video. Yep, I’m there. Honour is there. Saffia is there, Pyper, Tatiana, sooooooo many others. There is still time for you to be there too, on Feb 14th. Schedules will be posted later this week. Pyper Dollinger, Tatiana Kurri, Saffia Widdershins, Petlove Petshop, Honour McMillan, and Aisling Sinclair have done a FANTASTIC job on this video! You have to LOVE The Dazzlers. I want to be a Dazzler when (if) I grow up!
You need to get yourself over to Prim Perfect and pick up the poster and your t-shirt. They have both male and female mesh shirts, in a variety of sizes, both black and white backgrounds.
Note: Check out my new hair up top. I’m sure I’ll still be wearing my Analog Dog “Astrid”, that I’ve been wearing for 4+ years now. *grin* But Queue Marlow won my heart yet again with “driven” in butterscotch. 🙂
I’m not very good at predicting ‘THE FUTURE’. You know – what will be a hit, what life will be like in 3 years, much less 10 years. I have a mom’s sense of the future: if you try to carry all those things at once you’re going to drop something. My vision tends to be personal and short-term. I really thought virtual worlds were about to burst into the big time. I was lining up my career to be a part of it. I guess I was blinded by the light of my love. Not only didn’t it happen, but it seems to have receded nearly out of sight (for me). I think about this chain of events and wonder, as so many others do, why it hasn’t happened. I still believe that one of the major issues is that there are no tools (or almost no tools) available for the business or corporate user to access in SecondLife or OpenSim. Things may have changed, since I am out of touch, but if the applications were present, I think I’d know from (1) blogs/Twitter/chat and (2) Virtual Worlds would be gaining positive publicity and hype. Obviously, other people have other ideas as to what is and isn’t happening and why.
A little while ago, many in the SecondLife Premium User community were introduced to a new SL offering called Premium Wilderness. I was involved in my own personal issues at the time and didn’t head over there but I read several of the posts and tweets about it. As you would expect, easily 50% of the comments hated it and 48% of the comments were neutral and I will guess that 2% dared to like it. But one of my favorite things to do in SL is go to sims where someone has taken the time and effort to make rides and interactive environments – like going to an amusement park. Or – perhaps more similar – like the interactive computer books and games my son played when he was a wee little thing. So I took a quick trip there. It has possibilities. Having been in SL now for almost 4 years, I have to say that I think some of the effects were very nice. Others – not so much. It could have been me, but not one of the objects on which I tried to sit had a pose that fit. That was disappointing. I did really like the sound effects. 🙂
I understand the frustration of folks who think all of LL’s efforts should be on improving their existing product. I have to tell you – software development doesn’t really work like that. My group – oops, my former group – has been successful through 3 major take-overs because we were NEVER just working on what we had – we were ALWAYS developing the NEXT thing. We (they) are here and many many others who started with us are not here. Yes, it’s very, very hard to fix bugs, add enhancements and design new applications. But that’s what the good software developers do. I was liaison with support and with the clients – I DO understand the client experience and emotions.
Quite soon after the furor over Wilderness Experience was quieting down, Arianne Barnes (who I consider to be one of the most insightful virtual world bloggers around) posted on 3D Virtual Worlds vs MMORPGs. Arianne hit on one of the factors that SL devotees believe is KEY: User created content: “Basically, everything that makes 3D Virtual Worlds popular, can now be found in MMORPGs too, except user created content.” She goes on to say: “The MMOs are incorporating the stuff that makes 3DVWs popular. If they are to survive, the 3DVWs need to start incorporating what makes MMOs popular.” This makes a great deal of sense to me. I DO recommend you read the entire post, not just my excerpts here. Arianne is pro-3DVWs. She is not one of the many crying “the sky is falling, the sky is falling”. As a matter of fact, she points to LL Realms as a way Linden Lab is incorporating the popular MMO features. Virtual worlds are big enough for all of us – content designers, socializers and gamers.
While I have been pondering on how I wanted to approach this subject, Tateru Nino (another of my favorite bloggers and sources of information) posted about two MMOGs that ALLOW for user created content. It’s not quite the same as how it is done in SL, of course, but it’s happening. Maybe this is the mirror-image for Wilderness Experience? Of course, it may be late for both MMORPGs and 3DVWs – Facebook is neither of those and yet somehow the same (for some people. NOT me. DO NOT shoot me, folks). Facebook is pulling more people into their phones and off their powerful computer graphics cards. Prokofy Neva posted recently that Facebook is not only harming television, but that “The mobile phone is the new virtual world.” Prokofy mentions that Facebook pulls in those people who do NOT like being an avatar (my manager was among those) and people who do not like being anonymous and faceless (many of my engineering/scientist coworkers were among that demographic).
So where are we going? I don’t know. I still think that virtual worlds are going to become more mainstream, that corporations will utilize them more than is done in the present. I think that what we have now, however, is not going to be what becomes mainstream. I think we are evolving. I don’t think that “The Future” will be a hybrid of Facebook/3DVW/MMORPGs replacing all 3 of those constructs. I think there will be some other sort of synthesis – 3DVWs and MMORPGs. But of course, as I’ve already said – my crystal ball is usually opaque. *grin*
I have stated many times that I don’t play games. That’s not completely accurate of course – there are SOME games I enjoy. Spider Solitaire, for instance. 🙂 But mostly I mean competitive games, or role-playing games, or even card games. I’ve never learned to play chess or checkers. I did learn to play Bridge and Go!, but not to any degree of proficiency. So imagine my surprise last night when I found myself playing checkers.
Lalo wanted to investigate Wild West Town. I think he plans to post about that. It was a historical treasure. *smile* I offered to keep him company while he explored and took pictures. As usual my attention wandered. A friend I’d not seen in months (maybe years) logged in and I tp’d her over to chat. I rode my horse up and down the street. Finally I wandered into the general store, hoping for a nosh. There wasn’t much in the way of food but there was a gleaming checkers board. Now while I don’t PLAY checkers, I did indeed create my own checker board and pieces. I never scripted it to control movement or to account for kings. I was relying on the players to edit the pieces.
This board was scripted. It prompted each player in turn. When you selected the piece to move, it showed you the possible moves. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t all that swift at figuring out what “forward right”, “backward left”, etc. meant. I think I only messed up twice. Anyway, I sat myself down at the board and Lalo joined me. I did warn him that not only had I never played checkers, but that I wasn’t really a very good sport (illustration: right hand).
I had beginner’s luck and took the first piece, but Lalo quickly retaliated. Even when I seemed to be ahead at one moment, it was becoming clear that only one of us really had an idea of how to play and that one wasn’t me. *grin* I thought that perhaps Lalo needed a more visible reminder of how I’m really not a good sport (illustration: left arm).
I did try unfair tactics, trying different levels of distraction and pressure (illustration: c’mon, no one could miss this one). Good thing I still had my armament from my foray into Insilico. But to his credit, Lalo was unfazed. We did finally reach a point where we both had kings. We discussed the potential future moves and mostly it looked like chasing about the board.
Lalo proposed a deal. I offered a counter-proposal, which was accepted.
Lalo Telling: I say we call this a stalemate and be done :-\
Ahuva Heliosense: *grin*
Ahuva Heliosense: how about if we say i won and be done? *grin*
Lalo Telling: OK, I’ll accept that
Ahuva Heliosense laughs and kicks over the checkerboard
*grin* Lalo is a very wise man. I crowned myself Queen of the Checker Board and Lalo headed back out to take more pictures. We did try to catch a show at the theater, but apparently it was an off night.
Not my usual musical Friday night, but a lot of fun! Check out the Wild West. It has some very neat builds and humor. Especially in the school room. And vandals have not yet broken the lovely stained glass windows in the General Store.
Vision can be blurry because something is interfering actively or because the focus has not yet resolved. When I look at the future and virtual worlds, my vision blurs from both causes. This post was triggered by my reaction to Gwyneth Llewelyn‘s post “Innovation, yes, but wrong turn“. Gwyneth is one of my favorite bloggers. I find her comments to be sound and well-supported, and her tone is always equable.
I still believe that all of us will have an avatar in virtual worlds in the fairly near future. I believe that more and more business meetings and collaborations will take place virtually. There will always be a need for face-to-face. But the workplace is global and for short-duration meetings and conferences, unless we have a major breakthrough in transportation costs (“Beam me up, Scotty!”), the most cost and time efficient solution will remain electronic. I no longer believe, however, that SecondLife/OpenSim will be that virtual means. And therefore my vision is blurred from the unshed tears in my eyes. I am still unable to articulate why my SL avatar resonates so strongly for me. I am unable to identify which particular aspects make the experience so powerful. I have tried to bring friends and coworkers into SL. I’ve failed. I introduce them to friends. To live music. To building. To the ability to hold business meetings simply. Many many things. (No, I didn’t try introducing them to Zindra. Was that the problem?) But to date I have failed to convince anyone to see it as I do.
I think that not only is there something in my eyes, but I think the view-finder has not yet been turned to the correct focus. At the moment the virtual world is beset by a storm about anonymity, pseudonymity and “real identity”. I tend toward seeing the pessimistic future and I fear that we, advocates for pseudonymity and anonymity, are going to lose this argument. But moving beyond this moment, I think that the business world has still not identified why it needs virtual worlds. Because of that lack of vision – the WHY – virtual worlds still lack the WHAT. I think we have the “HOW” – we can get there. Once we are there, however, there’s little to do. There’s no “HOW”. We need TOOLS in the virtual worlds. Those tools are coming. But not fast enough and not “sexy” enough. We need tools that allow our avatars to do that which our organic bodies do: easy note taking, modify the same objects (think whiteboards, sketching). Picture yourself in an organic conference room in a brainstorming, problem-solving session. Now, imagine your avatar doing the same thing. The trick here is that all of those tasks that are seamless in the organic world need to be as seamless in the virtual. So yes, there are whiteboard tools and there are ways to modify the same object, etc. But they are not seamless to the avatar experience. The business world and LL only thought to the point of getting people IN.
Not only are we lacking the tools, but there are not enough people being encouraged and supported to envision. I state quite clearly – I am NOT a visionary. I am the person who can get your vision done. But we NEED the people who will look at the conference room I described, will look at the work being done, look at virtual worlds, and make the leap that says: ah, because we are freed from the constraints of the physical world, we can visualize the problem THUSLY. I had the good fortune to work on a project with people who ARE visionaries. We began work on such a business application tool. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the backing (substitute “funding”) to keep working so that they had time to learn the virtual worlds sufficiently to make that quantum leap into hyperspace.
In her article, Gwyneth Llewelyn says: However, I still think that LL (and not only Rod; he’s just starting to think like the rest) is working from a totally wrong assumption: that virtual worlds with user-generated content are somehow a mainstream product, if only “done right”, and that the trick is how to figure out to “do them right”. To be very honest — and you can check it up on my blog — I used to think like that as well. But the more time passes, the less likely I believe this is going to happen.
… I’m quite convinced these days that Second Life (and these days there is nothing else that compares with SL; I’m considering OpenSim to be just a variant of SL running under open source software, of course) is simply a niche product.
I’m sad to say that to a great extent, I agree. I think that SL/OpenSim is a tool, an environment. Now take that tool and customize it to what you need. Businesses need specific business tools, specific ways of manipulating data. Businesses need specific ways of interacting. Like the government, corporations have specific concerns that drive innovation. Think of how many inventions and every-day appliances we now have due to the government needing a tool. If business took virtual worlds seriously, used them, put the energy into adding tools and applications and seamless integration, virtual worlds would have a bigger niche. I believe that once such tools are there, other people will take them, bend them shake them and leap them into the future. As that happens, the niche expands to a mainstream product.