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01 February 2008

I just found this - I had answered some questions posed to me in late December asking what I saw for in the future for Second Life. I didn't returned the notecard with sufficient alacrity so it was not used and was forgotten by me until just now. I didn't answer quite as idiotically as I thought so here is part of it:

I'm not really time-based, so I'm busy enjoying what we have now and just being part of something that is in the process of becoming. That's what is exciting to me - SL is changing in unsynchronised steps that are reminiscent of a human adolescent. The feet grow huge, the knees haven't changed in years, things aren't balanced - because they are changing at different times and integration isn't possible yet. Even the uncomfortable parts are fascinating as it's all part of a maturing process.

It seems to me SL has come an incredible distance in a very, very short time.

As user hardware catches up to the SL requirements things will become easier for ordinary people to join successfully.

There's nothing else even close to SL at this time. I hope they maintain that difference and I trust that they will. We, the residents, are messy and unpredictable. No other company would allow us the freedoms we enjoy here - freedoms that allow abilities which have negative/positive effects so intertwined there's no way to curb one without curbing the other. They have stepped very lightly and carefully - and I appreciate that.

Worlds with fewer freedoms and user abilites bore, and quickly.

I hope some other VR company has the guts that Linden Lab has. I'm not holding my breath, though.

Is there anything in particular that you wish Linden Lab was doing differently?

There are things a long way off that are barely visible on the horizon which will come along in their time. What I feel in the aether is a rumbling and changing that is happening bit by bit and causing upsets. A huge project like Second Life, with its complexity and the almost infinite variety of user hardware has got to be a monster to guide. Every little change affects everything else. Things are ready to be added at different times, or can't be integrated without something else that's not ready. I can see LL responding to user concerns, but not always enough to placate some users. I think a bomb-proof and set-in-stone, unchanging SL would suit some people, and that may happen in the future, but for now it's not that way, obviously. I'd like people to enjoy things as they are - this amazing transformational, creative period - and not mix up the fast-running feeling of time in SL with the passage of real time. I trust LL to know what it's doing.

WAIT! I'd love to see Mount G'al and the Moth Temple lanterns fixed ;D That's what I wish they'd do differently.

Addendum: Obviously the answer or the future lies not with one virtual world but with many. People are always looking for the next big thing, yet, in virtual reality as in life I believe there must be every sort of environment to suit every type of user. If a user enjoys a particular world but grows older and seeks new stimuli, that "old" world isn't then worthy of being destroyed. Its userbase will fall within a certain group and it may
fail with people outside that group. That seems normal to me, as too does moving on when your taste changes. This is all very obvious, and I feel silly pointing it out, in a way. As I said years ago the simpler VRs are training wheels for SL. The more complex worlds are places to visit or which might more closely conform to the particular user's desires. People can, after all, be in more than one world. Granted, there's probably always a main one, but exploration and experimentation is good. Right now there's a lot to explore; no one knows what the future will bring and some worlds don't last. Make hay while the sun shines. The "next big thing" is multiplicity.


posted by - 10:30 PM

Thank you Os, your comments are, as always, lucid and worth pondering. I also like the world changing and users thinking up new ways to do things. SL is my only VR world ... I used to go to a couple of other worlds, but they quickly became stale and repetitive. Life is unpredictable! Thank G'al!

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