Second Life Fanboys Protest Times Haterade

by Alphaville Herald on 03/04/09 at 7:23 pm

Stop saying bad things about my game or I'll call you names and pout

by Pixeleen Mistral, New Media desk

UntitledThe high pitched squeal you hear is the sound of Second Life fanboys writhing in pain as David Rowan at the Times of London dumps a big bucket of icy haterade all over Second Life, Twitter, and Facebook, observing that the blogosphere mood is “death-watch snarky: in the fickle realm of online chatter, yesterday's achingly fashionable meeting points are rapidly acquiring the funerary aura of Icelandic bank headquarters.”  

Mr. Rowan goes on to point out that with an ever-shrinking hype lifecycle around social media sites – be they 2D or 3D – the chances of monetizing the audience before it moves on to the next big thing is becoming more than just challenging, with “average revenue per user for some of the largest new media sites is measured in pennies per month”.

Even worse for Linden Lab, Second Life has yet to show any potential for generating significant ad revenues, and Rowan quotes Paul Lee – Deloitte's director of technology research – as saying the Second Life has been “virtually abandoned” by “normal” people and businesses. Of course, there are still the Goreans and the Furries who need to hold virtual business meetings – but will they pay the bills before they move on?

Combine the brutal economics of “free” services with an adoption curve that Rowan says “inevitably peters out long before such tech businesses can fulfil their financial expectations” and the future looks bleak for new media companies that cannot find a sugar daddy to buy them at wildly inflated valuations.

On the other side of the gray goo fence, Prad Prathivi at MetaversallySpeaking was perhaps overcome by emotion after seeing his game dissed in the Times,  and fails to address Mr. Rowan’s argument that the large media companies such a Google have beenseriously overpaying for social sites with mercurial audience appeal. Mr. Prathivi finds the whole article “fabulously flawed” and whinges that ‘the real irony here is that The Times is the real “uncool” brand’.

It would be cruel to point out that Prad perfectly illustrates Mr. Rowan’s argument when Prad says none of the cool kids are in Myspace anymore, so we won't do that.  Instead, let us hope that Mr. Prathivi will get used to bad press about his favorite game, before he too decides that it is time to depart for a better world.

28 Responses to “Second Life Fanboys Protest Times Haterade”

  1. Urizenus Sklar

    Apr 3rd, 2009

    I actually agree that the Times article is stupid. SL doesn’t need ad revenue. That just isn’t the business model. Obviously you don’t need ads if you are selling/renting islands, selling funny money, etc. Reliable sources put the Second Life revenues at around 60-70 million $US. That is nothing to sneeze at.

    I think it is increasingly a mistake to lump SL in with twitter and facebook. SL just isn’t a social platform anymore. It is something else. It’s evolved into a kind of space and place simulator.

    I’m not saying SL will be a success. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t lump it together with social media.

  2. JimBean

    Apr 3rd, 2009

    Hey Pix.

    Get the fuck out of Second Life already. I understand why you can’t move into Lively (it’s dead) but you can certainly move to Metaplace (until it dies.)

    Seriously. Your whining has reached a screeching volume. It’s Prokofy intolerable. GET THE FUCK OUT.

    Seriously. It’d suck if your wife and kids got beat up.

  3. Two Worlds

    Apr 3rd, 2009

    The reason why you shouldn’t lump SL with social media is that social media is exceedingly accessible. I have friends and co-workers who are 50 and 60 years old who have Facebooks. It’s no big thing with them. That is the ultimate indicator of social media’s success. Second Life is anything BUT accessible. You need to either have some kind of Masters degree in programming or something or be one of these Web 2.0 douchetards like Prad and Hamlet and that lot in order to use it. The fact that the graphics requirements are increasingly steep doesn’t help either.

  4. Landsend Korobase

    Apr 4th, 2009

    I sympathise with what you’re saying here – everytime I say anything remotely anti-SL I have to deal with counter-attacks which sound a lot like empty chest-banging Tarzan-style instead of thoughtful counter-comments. SL is good in some ways, and crap in other ways – yet a heck of a lot of hard-corers think saying anything bad about it makes you an ebil moron.

    Gotta say though, I don’t think you do Prad’s post justice, he does actually talk quite sensibly to some of the points raised in the original article. Sure he seems to get a bit emotive through the piece, but that was the style in which the original Times article was written as well, so it’s appropriate.

  5. Eric Jennings

    Apr 4th, 2009

    Pix, to help you with your quest on discrediting SL by citing stupid Brit articles, here’s another recent one for you:

    Quick, report about it before anyone else does!

  6. Lilly Lalonde

    Apr 4th, 2009

    Well in response to Two Worlds comment ‘You need to either have some kind of Masters degree in programming or something or be one of these Web 2.0 douchetards like Prad and Hamlet and that lot in order to use it.’ I would have to disagree I have neither a programming degree or am I a web 2.0 douchetard but I find SL fun and entertaining on a daily basis. From the very beginning I found it easy to ‘play’ and loved exploring what others have created. Yes I think you might need a bit more computer knowledge if you intend to build or create clothes and skins but not everyone wants to do that. Some people just want to log in to interact with friends and enjoy what SL has to offer. Maybe Two Worlds should log in and enjoy a nice live concert or sit with a friend from another country and have a nice conversation while marveling at what someone elses imagination created.

  7. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Apr 4th, 2009

    From Eric’s link:

    ‘Just three years ago technology experts predicted Second Life would become the internet sensation of the decade, overtaking YouTube and MySpace in the process. Now the same experts are predicting its imminent demise.’

    Who exactly are these ‘experts’?

    I have a better prediction to make: SL will continue to trundle on as its usual laggy, smut-filled self. It won’t die in a year, it won’t boom into anything. It’ll just be your average shitpit virtual world that will persist for as long as its attached players do.

    There’s a big fucking difference between being dead and being a profitable little niche for a few thousand hundred thousand perverts and nerds.

  8. LOL

    Apr 5th, 2009

    After Reading this Article and Before reading the comments I went over to the London times and read thier article. It Brings up very intresting points regarding Real Big Life Business and Profit Margins, something most SL Business owners have no real clue about. The Times hit the nail on the head in my opnion, Fact is, no REAL LIFE business is going to spend REAL LIFE dollars on a game that will show them pennie profits. All of the Large companies mentioned in the times are power house fortune 500 companies that will drop Millions of dollars (Not Linden $L) on advertizing so long as they see a profitable return, key word being “PROFITABLE”.

    For most SL Business owners, sitting in thier parents basment or using thier spare time inbetween the daily 9-5 rush in and out of thier cubicles, spending a few hundred dollars on SL to maybe make a profit of a few hundred more is not that big a loss. For any of the companies mentioned in the Times, doing that is a complete waste of thier time and money. Remeber, these companies are not just 1 or 2 middle aged sexually frustrated computer geeks\nerds. They are HUGE internation companies, who’s marketing and advertizing departments are 10x the size of Linden Lab’s entire operation.

    When your adverage person buys an island in SL lets say for 1100$us then pays 295$us a month Tier (RENT) we all think, oh big deal, any company mentioned in the times can afford that, and Linden Lab says “COME ON BIG BUSINESS WE WILL HELP GET YOU STARTED” as we all know, that is just COMPLETE HORSE SHIT. Big Business spends BIG money in many ways to determine if settingup a presence in SL is even worth it for them. They factor in things your adverage SL business looser(owner) does not, such things like the cost in billable hours to hire a digital media design studio to create thier SL presence, if they do not have one in house, then they think how much will our advertizing department bill for creating a new Digital campaign inside Second Life. How many hours will it take the Research and Marketing department to figure out what our Target market is in SL. How many geeks, then they look at SL operation costs and determine how many geeks will they need to hire to Run the sim (billable hours).

    In the end it may seem to your adverage business looser in SL that it is not a big deal they waste a few hundred hours and a few weekends on seconf life for Pennie profits, but to big business, that waste of Billable hours in the end costs them a few hundred thousand dollars, only to see may a few hundred return in profits. This type of Profit Margin could never be explained to shareholders as a “GOOD THING” so most big business never get into SL, because thier Research and Marketing departments tell them “Setting up in SL would be a HUGE waste of COmpany time and Money to reach such a SMALL market of single Males aged 15-35 living in thier parents basement\attic”

  9. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Apr 5th, 2009

    >Masters degree in programming



    I’m no fucking genius, but even I managed to teach myself LSL with the help of the LL’s wiki.

  10. to lol

    Apr 5th, 2009

    If i understand the TOS states that only people 18+ can sign into SL,if there are younger people doing that,then it’s a breach of contract.

  11. LOL

    Apr 5th, 2009

    to lol from LOL

    “…….If i understand the TOS…….”


    it is so full of bullshit I would not whipe your ass with it. the SL T.O.S. is just something Linden’s use to hide behind… guess that narrows down your SL Identity. as for no SL users under the age of 18… all I have to say is, go to any combat sim and turn on your voice client, then listen to all the pre-pubecent voices screaming “Shoot that FUCER, KILL HIH, Fuck Him UP… and sop on.”

    -=FACT=- 95% of people who play videogames are Single Males aged 15-35.

  12. Just Me

    Apr 5th, 2009

    quote: -=FACT=- 95% of people who play videogames are Single Males aged 15-35. unquote

    yeah yeah yeah, but SL isn’t a videogame … tho most of the 15 to 35 year olds in SL try to treat it as one. That’s why they are in the combat sims in the first place.

    What about all the NON-combat sims ? The clubs, the shops? etc. Of the people on my friends list, I’d say 90 percent of them are over 40 … and half are over 50 years old. There’s a lot of places in SL to go to socialize, make friends, get support when you need a shoulder to lean on, etc.

    If you only go to combat sims, free sex places, griefer hangouts, etc. .. that’s what you’ll think SL is.

    If you go to a nice club (by my personal definition.. that’s a club without escorts or pole dancers), you can find nice, happy, friendly people to hang out with.

    And .. don’t forget all of the physically challenged folks who can’t easily get out in RL, as well as lots of other categories of people who use SL as a social outlet with more going for it than the mindless Facebook pages.

    By the way, SL “AIN’T” that hard to learn and use … I’m way over the 15 to 35 age group category, and I had no problem

  13. mootykips

    Apr 6th, 2009

    >If you only go to combat sims, free sex places, griefer hangouts, etc. .. that’s what you’ll think SL is.

    No, sorry, that’s what SL is. Your hamhanded attempts to redefine it as something else are transparent given traffic figures, usage patterns, and what is seen as important “news” to the “community”. It’s also why all the businesses trying to be ~XTREME HIP METAVERSE 2.0~ are leaving the stagnant cesspool of failure to be inhabited by weirdos, kids that don’t have money to buy CS 1.6, and griefers. SL is no more a legitimate social outlet than Furcadia. Even Habbo tops it in that respect.

  14. to mootykips

    Apr 6th, 2009

    Not to mention all the botters using bots to generate fake traffic.

    I hear you have to know c++++ to program a bot

  15. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Apr 6th, 2009

    >If you go to a nice club (by my personal definition.. that’s a club without escorts or pole dancers), you can find nice, happy, friendly people to hang out with.

    Why would I need SL for that when there are thousands of IRC networks that offer just this?

  16. Just Me

    Apr 6th, 2009


    Perhaps this comparison would be better.

    When you read the RL newspaper or turn on the TV news, you hear about murders and accidents, thefts and trials, embezzlers and political issues,etc. But actually, all that stuff is irrelevant to the great majority of people in RL. 99 percent of us live our lives, go about our business, socialize with friends, go to church, shop, vacation, etc —- without ever being murdered, being in an accident, and so on.

    All I’m saying is that the SL publicity is on the 1 percent of griefers, troublemakers, etc — not on the 99 percent of us who are enjoying the SL experience and ignoring that small vocal minority (who we never see or deal with, by the way, because we don’t go where they hang out).

    For us (the 99 percent silent majority), we are having a good time in SL. Perhaps you should try it sometime :-)

  17. LOL

    Apr 6th, 2009

    @Just Me

    What has anything you have said in your postings here got to do with the times article? or even this SL herald article?

  18. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Apr 6th, 2009

    >Perhaps this comparison would be better.

    What? No.

    You’re absolutely right that 99% of people live normal peaceful lives, but if you try to carry this analogy over into SL, it just doesn’t work.

    ALL of the most popular locations in SL are stupid night clubs, strip clubs, sex palaces, rape RP sims, and places that cater to fetishes like BDSM, Furry and gor. Put simply, virtually every popular hangout in SL exists for the purpose of getting some kind of e-secks.

    If you want to argue about how the silent majority is the true face of any given world, service, locale or social group, go ahead, but the silent majority of SL is sex obsessed weirdos of all kinds of creepy flavours.

  19. Emperor Norton hears a Who?

    Apr 6th, 2009

    Just Me @ “All I’m saying is that the SL publicity is on the 1 percent of griefers, troublemakers, etc — not on the 99 percent of us who are enjoying the SL experience and ignoring that small vocal minority”

    No body says they are not enjoying themselves in the the gay Gorian, Furry orgy pits of SL, just something things don’t go better with Coke. Apparently you aren’t a success officially if you don’t plaster Coke Cole advertisements all over everything like a nascar racer.

  20. Two Worlds

    Apr 6th, 2009

    I’ve been in Second Life since 2005. Most recently, I tried to enjoy a live concert, until the sim got too packed and it got so laggy that I just had to stay seated and train the camera on the performer until my fps got down to 1 or below. I tried to enjoy someone else’s build, until my laptop graphics card’s memory started filling up and things mostly became grey blobs and it became harder for the textures to load. I tried socializing and talking to other people, except there were fewer and fewer people to talk to, except for bots.

    Yes, I have a laptop graphics card and yes, I realize this isn’t the right kind of rig for ANY MMO–whether it be EVE Online, World of Warcraft, or Second Life. However, this is why places like Habbo Hotel, and Metaplace will have infinitely more success than Second Life, despite less “nice shiny things”–it’s not too resources-intensive, anyone can get it up and running in minutes, and it has a very low learning curve. Anyone–even a business-class laptop cheapa$$ like me, can open up a Metaplace account (once it goes open to the public) and start walking around and doing stuff. Best part of it all–it runs completely in a browser, and I can do stuff like check Facebook, IM friends, etc in the meantime. There’s no way I could do that with Second Life. After being on the open betas for apps and sites like Quake Live, Loudcrowd, and Metaplace I’m convinced–browser-based is the way to go.

  21. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Apr 7th, 2009

    >There’s no way I could do that with Second Life.

    What, you can’t run a browser and SL at the same time?

  22. mootykips

    Apr 7th, 2009

    if this is the same two worlds that got run out of Helldump i am going to laugh so hard

  23. A guy

    Apr 7th, 2009


    Yeah, it is. What is so funny about that though? I’m getting the impression that I don’t know the whole story. /r/ link plz

  24. Marcab Confederate

    Apr 7th, 2009

    Google it BH! TW is just a pathetic lulzcow attention whore basement dwelling virgin troll with too much free time between faps, so just feed him enough and push butan receev bacon.

  25. mootykips

    Apr 7th, 2009


    Okay. Thank you. I appreciate it.

    As for the rest of you…you say that I just get worked up and obsessed over an Internet forum. It’s not that I’m obsessed with the SA Forums. It’s not that I get worked up too easily over just Helldump. I get angry at people arguing. I get angry over people disagreeing, and not being able to work out their differences. That’s part of the “Two Worlds” thing. I look at the world around me, and I see it constantly divided, and almost hopelessly reconciliable. Democrats and Republicans…Christians and atheists…confessional Lutherans and mainstream Christianity…big city people and small town people…countless others. I look at the world around me and I see division, and people not willing or not able to understand why other people are different than them. And you all are not any different. We are not just Helldump and GBS and FYAD and BYOB…we are the SA Forums. We have to find common ground, before there is no ground under us to stand on at all.

    I know many of you Helldumpers voted for Barack Obama, a President who vowed to bring change and healing to a nation hurting from division over ideology and politics. Can’t you do the same thing on here? Why do you vote for a Presidential candidate who brings hope and change and unity…and yet your words on here are completely opposite to all of that? Don’t divide us. Don’t be like the previous administration, and the previous political body. Unite us. Change us. If you don’t like the way that the Forums are going, then show us how to do better. If you want to lead us, be a leader, but please, don’t pull us back, because we don’t need that.

    You all claim I’m obsessed with the “goon community”. I’m not obsessed with that…I guess if there’s anything I just feel an intense need to belong to something. I feel a need to find people to call my own “group”. That’s a need people everywhere have. That’s why we have nations, and governments, and churches, and clubs, and societies, and yes, even Internet forums. I want to be a part of something bigger than me. That’s why I teach–because I’m a part of the huge community of people who makes this world better by teaching. That’s why I’m a confessional Lutheran–because I belong to the huge organization of Lutherans who define themselves by the Christ-centered foundation of God’s Word, and the doctrinal solidity of the Augsburg Confessions. And that’s why I’m a goon–because I find friendship and camaraderie in the 100,000+ strong SA Forums. I like the same humor as goons. I go to the same websites as goons. I join the same groups as goons, read the same books, watch the same movies. We’re united in what we like and what we don’t like. That’s what Helldump needs to re-think. You all need to figure out what you have in COMMON with the rest of SA…as opposed to why you’re DIFFERENT from them, or why you’re better than them.

    I don’t remember what was the first time that I felt true pride and solidarity for these Forums. Maybe it was the first time I saw the SA Dating Game. Maybe it was the first Geno invasions on Habbo Hotel. Maybe it was the first time I saw the video of Gooncon 2k4, and I saw a huge mass of goons all cheering and yelling at Lowtax and having fun. Maybe it was when I was at Gooncon 2k5, and I saw our goony group begin to infiltrate the masses on Bourbon Street. It’s might’ve been the first time I played OJ in Goon Theft Auto, or the first Second Life Safari I participated in. Whatever it was, it made me realize something…we can do BIG things. We can be a huge force to be reckoned with…whether it be for bad or for good, a worldwide group of 120,000 so widespread and diverse as us can change a lot. But only if we’re united. Only if we stand together. Archimedes once said “Give me a lever big enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” We are that lever.

    But we’ve got enemies. We’ve got people who want to destroy us. 4chan. SASS. Any roving bands of hackers that steal our passwords or whatever kind of information. And they’d like nothing more than to see us bickering and squabbling about who’s a nerd and who’s one of the cool kids. You want to do that? Great…but you’ve just broken our lever, and you’ve taken away any chance of us getting anything done. Everyone can bring something to SA…or they can take away from it. What have you done, Helldumpers?

  26. DF

    Apr 9th, 2009

    “-=FACT=- 95% of people who play videogames are Single Males aged 15-35.”

    Better recheck your facts.

    Of the gamers among my friends, (about 20 people) all but 2 are male, all are indeed aged 15 – 35, but NONE of them is single. The age might be explained by the fact that I dont have any friends under 16, or over 40.

    And I agree that a gamer (person who plays videogames in general) is something different from a Second Life player. Yes, there’s SL players who are also gamers, and gamers sometimes also play SL, but they’re still miles apart.

    To Two Worlds:

    I have also been in SL since ’05. I barely know how to install Windows on a computer, thank heavens my significant other is a programmer and can handle all the technical stuff for me. However, since day one i have had no problems with Second Life in the way that it was too difficult.

    I have tried to understand the LSL scripting language, but I gave up pretty soon… It is gibberish to me, even with the help of the WIki page. But that’s only a very small part of the platform. The building tools are relatively easy, especially compared to other 3D programs like Maya, and the only ‘difficult’ part of clothing making is the creative aspect, what to make, and of course understanding the tools: third party programs like Photoshop or Gimp.

    Second Life is quite easy, even a complete computer illiterate like myself can ‘play’ this ‘game’.

  27. At0m0 Beerbaum

    Apr 11th, 2009

    That haterade image made me lol for some reason.

    Damn it.

  28. Archie Lukas

    Apr 12th, 2009


    Possibly by investors, hence the article -but then all the commercial names worth mentioning have already left -no surprise there, never could see the point- if I want crap advertising thrust down my face, I would stick to RL

    SL is not about that crap =about time Lindens realised that

Leave a Reply