Please Fix SL

by Pixeleen Mistral on 25/11/06 at 12:16 pm

Residents turn to skywriting to contact game gods – will the gods listen?

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk

Please_fix_sl“PLEASE FIX SL” is the message floating in air over Yongnam and Walden sims at 299 meters – the highest altitude where objects will appear on the Second Life metaverse world map. When I investigated the floating prims, I found they belong to Bibi Book – a kindly witch who specializes in building in SL. Like many residents with more than a few weeks of experience with SL, Ms. Book is less than pleased with the current state of the world, and is very willing to talk about a number of problems that never seem to be addressed by the Linden game gods.

When I asked for specifics, Ms. Book said there are “a lot of bugs at least for building, and all the mess with packet loss and rebooting sims, texturing does not work well, prims change settings by themselves, there are rounding failures…”. The problems are severe enough to curtail what is apparently Ms. Book’s main interests in Second Life, and she complained, “The last weeks, or better now months I have not build a lot – texturing the castle and the high prim chess board made me crazy”.

Any questions about the validity of these complaints were answered after I was an unwilling participant/observer of 3 crashes of Yongnam sim and a pair of crashes of Jinsil sim over the last 24 hours.

Sadly, one of the Yongnam sim crashes resulted in the disappearance of my only copy of Mat Warf’s new sailboat prototype – apparently due to a rollback of the sim state. Delightful as the crashed sim photographs are, it is troubling when sims repeatedly crash and eat inventory. I suppose if this sort of thing continues, I’m going to need a much larger expense account from the Herald – I hope we can afford it.

sims offline – again

While residents of Second Life are well known for their ability to whinge, it is a measure of the level of resident frustration that a number of sims – such as Yongnam and Walden – are expending prims to publicize their displeasure. Ms. Book tells me that she holds enough land in the metaverse, “to be in concierge group now” so this does not appear to be idle complaining by freeloaders – but are landowners really a serious consideration for the Lab?


It would be interesting to see what effect a spontaneous resident mass protest by way of skywriting might have on Linden Lab, and Ms. Book appears willing to find out – she told me, “everyone may ask me for the letters”. Beyond the possibility of public embarrassment, Linden Lab might want to heed Ms. Book if for no other reason than she and her associates seem to be involved in the sort of activities that make Second Life an interesting place to live – or as some have speculated, have we now moved completely into the corporate commercialization of the metaverse?

While ‘our world/their imagination’ is clearly good enough for mainstream media PR-driven hype events – MSM hypervents – the story on the ground is one of significant frustration for those with ambitions to do something other than be passive consumers. Why does this matter? User retention might become an issue.

When I spoke with Ms. Book, Barney Boomslang — a friendly gargoyle — he told me about a show-and-tell event run in Yongnam at 2 PM on Sundays at Yongnam (132, 77, 22). According to Mr. Boomslang, “up to 9 residents can show things they built themselves” After that the audience votes on best builds, the money they all put in the pot is then given out to the participants who showed something.

This sort of event – combining both resident creativity and a social scene – would seem ideal to increase the retention rate of residents, and certainly sounds more interesting than flying around yet another a deserted PR hyerpvent stage island – but for this to work some level of metaverse stability is necessary.

As our friends over at Clickable Culture point out, skywriting is one of the few forms of mass media available to residents. Let us all hope that the game gods see the writing in the sky and do something about it. If enough land owners take part, perhaps they will.

sims keep going missing…

6 Responses to “Please Fix SL”

  1. Prokofy Neva

    Nov 25th, 2006

    Just to add a comment here, I have several parcels on Jirindalae, and while Jirindalae doesn’t crash, it has a wierd thing going on with it connected to Jinsil. For a long time, when you tried to edit the land on Jirindalae, it would give you an error message: “You are not authorized to edit Jinsil” — isn’t Jinsil protected Governor land? It was like the sims got mixed up on a server somewhere. Finally this got fixed although I think it was some kind of workaround. It would be interesting to check if these sims are “neighbours”.

  2. Gungible

    Nov 26th, 2006

    Please buy a better computer.
    Then maybe SL will be “fixed” for you.

    That’s how I “fixed” SL.

  3. Random Writer

    Nov 26th, 2006

    Yes, because a better computer fixes missing image bugs, packet loss, sim crashes, and a plethura of other things.

    I have a high end computer, better than 90% out there, and it sure as hell didn’t fix sim crashes… hmm… maybe I just need to drop 2k for that new video card…

  4. Espresso Saarinen

    Nov 26th, 2006

    in a word, gungible, bullshit. i have a damed hot machine, 4gb of ram, 512mb nvidia, and 3+hz of cpu does not overcome sim crashes, grid outages, broken object building and editing, a scripting language that sucks caterpillar snot, lag to the max, data base server (note it is not distributed data base service, a telling little one there to any distributed computing grownup) outages, etc. etc. etc.

    i guess if all you want to do is drink beer in the elbow room and get an occasional cyberfuck in the welcome areas, you don’t mind that sl is currently a technical cluster fuck. but cut the rest of us a bleeding break.

  5. Rez

    Nov 26th, 2006

    Actually, I think up to 400m is the limit for things being visible on the world map.

  6. Anonymous

    May 20th, 2007

    Helo everyone! I’m sorry to say that the issues Pixeleen Mistral was referring to has nothing to do with the client end (your computer). VERY WELL PUT RANDOM WRITER! more colorful than most would venture to post. ; )
    SL is an emerging game, like all others, it goes through growing pains. We may not agree how they prioritize bugs, however, they have managed to keep the whole game from crashing completely. Thats no small feat. Be happy for what you DO have, and look forward to what’s ahead…they WILL and DO address ALL of our concerns, even the “free-loaders”. It boils down to PRIORITY.

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