by Pixeleen Mistral on 09/04/10 at 12:10 pm
Over the last 24 hours, Soviet Woodbury annexed both the Estonia and Animation sims to double the land under Soviet control – a grim confirmation of the worst fears of Kalel Venkman’s Justice League Unlimited vigilantes and their allies in Second Life.
Is this only the beginning of a nightmarish MMO griefer-collectivist attack on the serious business of Second Life? Why won’t M Linden curb the hyper-aggressive tendentious techno-communist running-dog expansionist impulses of the Woodbury faction’s politburo? Will the Lindens provide virtual land to almost anyone willing to pay? Who will drive the role play anime communists out of the woodpile?
I visited Soviet Woodbury earlier today seeking answers to these vexing questions.
As I arrived, a flying communist shark was circling overhead – something like the fully armed flying moose of the Jessie sim wars. It was immediately clear that the Woodbury faction is on a war footing — and modeling new uniforms. Could this be part of a recruiting drive?
Woodbury Commissar Tizzy Teardrop told me, “by the time Woodbury’s phase 2 rollout is complete, we will have most of the SSR territories”. We may be witnessing the beginning stages of a balkanized virtual world – but how will the Soviet Woodbury faction control the expanding empire?
One clue came from weapons maker Epacsten Subagja who demonstrated an improved version of the ES163 Minigun which features LOLcube color strobe animations and fires randomly shaped projectiles which inflict 100 damage in damage-enabled land — not the sort of thing that the current Linden marketing team has in mind, but less creepy than raising pretend virtual children in Second Life as the most recent Linden e-mail seems to suggest.
The contrast between the Lab’s promotion of virtual life in suburban tract housing and the more nuanced stories the player communities create for themselves points to the real battle in Second Life – a struggle for narrative control of the experience. Is mass adoption of Second Life more likely from recapitulating real life in the virtual realm or the sort of ironic magical realism the Soviet Woodbury group pursues?
The popularity of World of Warcraft despite it’s lack of suburban homes implies M Linden may have pointed the Lab in the wrong direction – perhaps it is time to hire the Woodbury group to help promote the product. Even a rough cut of the Soviet Woodbury video trailer looks more interesting than what the Linden leadership is peddling
ironic magical realism – Soviet Woodbury trailer