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23 June 2006

Rip Off the Band-aid

It's probably hard to believe...
But I spent ALL DAY attempting to be there for the Third Anniversary speech by Philip, which was slated for 2pm. I was there with a lot of others, including Salazar, at something like 10:30. Hermia and Ethan came. The database server crashed and log-ins were halted by that; the talk was postponed as Philip couldn't log in. We waited anyway.

Hermia Linden and Ethan Linden

Jeska and Torley came, then Philip showed up and was hit by a million comments and queries. A griefer deliberately crashed the sims multiple times by rezzing a huge scripted object. We clawed our way back once, twice, three times, four times... maybe five times. Finally scripts/build were turned off and although the large object was rezzed again as an attachment (someone said), it had no power as scripts were disabled.

But - for me at least - it was worth it to struggle to be there. Second Life is like the wild west as far as virtual worlds go. It's unique. It's got huge growing pains as it is pushing resolutely against the ragged edge of home computer technology. Right now the people who own systems that will run SL are those interested in technology, tech professionals, and gamers. The gamer group in particular seems to have a percentage of the grieferwannabe immature types who are able to have a greater negative affect that is warranted by their numbers. LL opened the floodgates on 6-6-06 by allowing unverified account sign-ups, and many people are upset by that (since I haven't come into contact with this reportedly huge griefer influx I can't really say anything about it). I understand why people are against the immediate sign-ups, but... I just think it's a good thing. It's crazy now. We are in the wild west. But - I see the griefer spike dying down, and as home computers get better, more ordinary people will be drawn to try SL. It will be a normal thing - yes, an easy target for a griefer to hit - but he grew up with it, his mother has an account, he disdains the adult world as "boring" and goes off to play a FPS.

So, things are growing in inconvenient ways - the trousers are too short, the sleeve is too tight. I think we will grow out of this difficult time eventually. Second Life is three years old. That is, three years post-beta. That's not very old. To create a hugely complex and enormous growing-like-a-weed never-attempted-before on-the-bleeding-edge resident-built virtual world - surely - is not an easy, smooth, simple thing.

I find it incredibly exciting.

Philip Linden: A digital version of the world -- real and malleable and compelling enough for us all to do things in it that we can only dream of in RL. To move people forward by letting them learn and teach and live to the greatest degree they desire. Look at all the stuff people are learning here! It is inspiring... plenty inspiring enough to get me through troubles like today!
NOTE: I had to turn all detail way, way down, so nothing looks any good - be advised that right now a jammed area full of hoochie hair, floopy prims, scripts, etc., etc. is just a lagfest even with settings turned down.

posted by - 6:09 PM

I agree with Philip that credit cards never were a deterrent to children in Second Life. They can do all sorts of amazing things on their computers, and many privileged children do have their own cards. In "Real Life" we all have to deal with those who are thieves, vandals and other sorts of anti-social people. Of course we will have to deal with them in Second Life as well. We will have to take the bad with the good I think ... and I love this experience ... I could never have built my little house in Real Life, and my gallery!

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