Canadian ‘Casters Corner Cory O.

by walkerspaight on 08/02/06 at 8:56 am

Canadian podcast site Thunderbird Six has sat down Linden Lab veep of development Cory Ondrejka (that’s Cory Linden to you) for a long interview now posted to their site (see episode #23 for immediate listening). Among other things, Cory notes that more than 130,000 people have signed up to SL at one time or another, and wistfully recalls the days when Larry Lessig first had the idea for Linden Lab to grant residents the IP rights to their creations — slightly different from the common myth of LL as visionary right out of the gate.

Cory makes an interesting point about "role-playing," noting that the first form of online role-playing can be thought of as the screen names people chose as their first logins. But he takes it a bit too far when he describes the breadth of role-playing available in Second Life. "Part of your role-playing may be to be an entrepreneur," Cory says. "You’re also leveraging your real-world skills." True enough, on one level, but talk to the entrepreneurs in Second Life and they will tell you that they aren’t role-playing at all — they’re actually entrepreneurs. The fact that what’s going on in LL’s virtual world isn’t virtual at all initially came as a surprise to the Lindens, according to Cory. One wonders whether they’ve fully caught up yet.

Another surprise is Cory’s narration of several alien abduction episodes that have hit the Grid. No explanation why no one has come to abduct any Herald employees though. (/pout)

4 Responses to “Canadian ‘Casters Corner Cory O.”

  1. Prokofy Neva

    Feb 8th, 2006

    Uri, you’d be more of an expert on Linden mythology than me, but I didn’t understand it to be a claim of LL’s that they thought up that IP idea themselves. When Lessig was in SL lecturing recently, Philip said forthrightly that it was his idea from the podium. And the hype preceding the event made it clear it was his idea.

    (What I STILL don’t get, though, and I wish someone would clear it up for me, is how Lessig can seemingly be against big corporations holding copyrights and trying to protect their property rights, and against copyright for old dead white guys especially which he feels is held on to “for too long”, but then be for copyright for leaner corporations (little things on the Internet especially if they have kewl names — at what point would then LL cross the line into being “evil” and “big” for Lessig?), and copyrights for live brown boys if they remix stuff from everybody else in Brazil, or live anybody in SL if they poach stuff off the Internet by right-clicking, then slap a “copyright” on it in SL, or use the evil corporation’s software to make their stuff. I’m just not following this with the politically-correct rose-tinted opticals I guess.)

    There’s been a ton of “Free Culture” events and hype from Hamlet Linden SL, with everybody in the group constantly being flogged to “vote” for officers and events, and to turn out and donate money to various venues for “Free Culture”. I’m gathering that *somebody* still has to pay for “Free Culture”. Ultimately, who *does* pay for “Free Culture”? Are these big corporations like Sony, or the littler ones like LL, supposed to just keep endlessly paying? Why?

    As for the stuff about “role-playing the entrepreneur” this is almost at the level of Jeff Brown saying that if Uri’s a newspaper editor, Jeff is a railroad tycoon. Well, Uri’s a virtual editor at least, and that acquires reality, and Jeff, being a game dev guy, is kinda like the modern-day equivalent of a railroad tycoon anyway.

    Cory’s remarks reveal the basic attitude toward the feebs and choads (his words about people that *don’t* hire who *don’t* pass muster at the recruiting station) that are their customers. There’s a kind of thinly-veiled but deep-seated scorn for people who make a living out of a game, or try to make a living, despite all the game’s vicissitudes, and don’t, say, have a prestigious Naval background and a high-paying and high-profile job as a game dev.

  2. Walker Spaight

    Feb 8th, 2006

    My bad, Prok, not Uri’s. I missed the Lessig event. In any case, I was referring more to the common mythology than to any claim on the part of LL.

  3. Urizenus

    Feb 8th, 2006

    I always thought that Lindens had the idea of going to Lessig to write up their IP rights. Whether that was a shared myth, I dunno.

    On Cory on his customers “roleplaying” entrepreneurs, yeah, it sort of seems that the Lindens love to whip up large batches of Kool Aide, but they don’t drink it themselves. But if you ask me, that shit is delicious!

  4. Dave Brodbeck

    Feb 22nd, 2006

    Thanks for the mention. Glyn and I loved talking with Cory.


Leave a Reply