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07 May 2008

Sanitised For Your Protection
I usually just sign up for betas when I run across them (unlike some people who actively look) and I almost always promptly forget about them until I get an email. I got an email from Mycosm,* which is, it seems, a business formulated almost entirely in response to corporate displeasure with certain aspects of Second Life. The things they state as "problems" are in fact
not problems at all, but let's look at their list:

“I couldn’t even work out how to move!”
Short answer: up arrow key makes you walk. Long answer: There's a big learning curve I have heard people talk about in Second Life, but have never noticed myself. However, assuming that there is something like that, I would've thought that the time spent learning to fit in and becoming a resident and not just a tourist would be fascinating and add lustre to the feeling one would have once having become acclimatised. Like, say, moving to another country. I hope the question-asker never needs to travel too far from home; most people, however, travel to new places for adventure and to learn and experience new things, i.e. fun.

“Why am I part of someone else’s world? I want my own world.”
Uh - if separation and control are your thing then one world encompassing the messiness and variety of human experimention, learning, taste, and so forth, is not for you.

“Why doesn’t it look as good as a game?”
Parts of SL DO, but because SL is built by users there's no consistent theme or quality level, and parts may not be to your taste. We have been given superb abilities in SL and have completely run amok :D in unexpected ways. We revel in our freedom - or if some don't it's because they don't understand how wonderful it is. LL gamely makes things work, even makes things better, when people wear 10,000 polygons on their heads, 1000 prim necklaces, and umpteen highly scripted attachments.

“There is nothing to do here.”
Wow, this is not something any artist, or creative individual, could possibly understand, but then, hey - this person couldn't figure out how to walk. Unimaginative.

“I don’t like meeting strangers, where are my real friends?"
AKA "I don't want to meet people from all around the world - I'd rather hang with my little clique and never have to learn anything new." Fearful and/or lazy.

I think a corporation wants total control, no learning curve, channeled experiences for visitors, separation - I would guess they'd be happy with this kind of thing, which is reminiscent of non-unified places like ActiveWorlds and others. In other words, it's reverting to an older paradigm and saying it's a Brand New! Improved! idea.

"We firmly believe in a clean, safe community."
We believe in a safe community, and that's why you need to be over 18 to legally access SL. The things people like to play around with are many and varied, and "clean" doesn't really stretch to cover them all, though, but go ahead and do what you want.

"For this reason we emphasize sharing Mycosm with friends instead of strangers."
There's that strange xenophobia - is it attempting to profit by building upon fear?

Well, it's good to have new worlds to explore and it isn't as though SL has no room for improvement - some things need to be overhauled completely, like the way newbies look and the default walk animation. Maybe there could be a kind of premium entrance that involves extra steps from choosing a shape and skin (don't ask me how that could be done equitably as I don't know) to an AO, clothing and accessories.

*10 demerits for naming it "My-" something.

posted by - 10:59 PM

1) Couldn't move. What? I mean, hell's bells - it's not hard now is it? 4 keys. I can understand people taking their time to be able to move well, but being unable to figure out how to move altogether. SL is simply not that complicated at that level.

2) Own world. Hmmm, odd. That would just be a meeting place for you and your mates. Nowt wrong with that per se, but that isn't what SL is about so to call that a problem is disingenuous.

3) It's not a game! It's an emerging field created by the users - it's going to look ropey in places. I can't build for toffee, but is this SL's fault?

4) Nothing to do. /me is speechless. Do they mean their is no over-arching plot as in a game? I don't know if I mentioned this, but it's not a game, you know...

5) Stranger Danger. offs. See no 2.

Still, having said that, if it means I can have a sim on the cheap and connect that to the world of SL then count me in!
I recommend for these people. They will find it clean, safe and utterly borificating. There are canned "things to do", which should make their fear-ridden passive souls content.
I looked at the website after the gentleman at eightbar mentioned it following the VW2008 conference.

They have a very nice trailer.

Doesn't seem like much of an alternative to SL or even anything that would work in conjunction with SL. It will be interesting to see what becomes of these sort of enterprises, the clean well-lighted rooms of 2008.
HBA, Mycosm has no code relationship to SL, but there are many sl-open-sourced-code-based projects that might interest you (they are fun to experiment in, anyway).
Enj, the Mycosm people are going to provide something more buttoned-down than There. There has the one-world-strangers-messiness that they are counting on being a minus rather than a plus, not to mention the "unclean" aspect.
Corcosman - "clean well-lighted rooms" is a good description. Their trailer is ok but doesn't give much information. I watched it back whenever I signed up for the beta, then watched it again (thinking it was new) yesterday. All it says, really, is that they don't have anything to show.
Thanks for the post. We have a rich heritage in 3D simulation and are seeking to combine our technology with the opportunity in virtual worlds, rather than combat a particular product like SL. The space is really heating up!

Ben (Mycosm)
Oh, Ben, you are polite :D

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