Saga of Second Life vs. Shameless Blatant Furries

by Pixeleen Mistral on 11/04/10 at 5:31 pm

The Saga of Second Life is a provocative six minute video which argues M Linden’s the pursuit of a corporate-friendly suburban-style virtual world is doomed to massive fail – and at odds with the interests of the players that built Second Life. This is not the sort of message that Linden fanboys enjoy hearing, so it was not surprising the video was quickly pulled from BlipTV. But at least for now, the Saga of Second Life can be seen on YouTube.

If this critique gains traction, look for the Lab to exclaim how happy they are that "the residents are so passionate about SL" – the cynical game gods’ quaint way of saying STFU. But a bland brush off is unlikely to succeed after 2 year’s of M Linden’s leadership.

M started off on the wrong foot, trumpeting his engagement in SL, only to be found asleep and AFK on the job in the default noobie avatar’s jeans and T shirt – an shocking misstep in the fashion and avatar customization-obsessed Second Life.

After blowing his street-cred with the player community during his first days, the next two years have demonstrated an impressive range of player alienating actions including an attempt to de-sexualize Second Life, a round of virtual land price cuts followed by 66% price hikes that sent land owners heading for the exits, a third party viewer policy that is driving developers to rival platforms, and an arrogant aproach to DRM that caused top content developers to file a class action lawsuit against the Lab.

From the players’ perspective M Linden’s reign has been anything but a success, but it appears the Lindens have decided to bet their world on real life in Second Life – despite evidence that this experience works for neither the players nor the corporations.

What works to create a compelling Second Life experience? Player-created narrative and identity that may have very little to do with real life – despite the Lab’s continuing push to integrate the two. That a profanity-laced parody of Second Life furry culture looks far more appealing than the Lab’ official promotional video says it all. M Linden is doing it wrong.

55 Responses to “Saga of Second Life vs. Shameless Blatant Furries”

  1. Jumpman Lane

    Apr 11th, 2010

    M stutters too! stuttering fuck!

  2. Nebula/PinkBunny

    Apr 11th, 2010

    oh god i cannot stop luaghing

  3. Edward Orendorff

    Apr 11th, 2010

    funny, a video about griefing furries coming from woodbury… seems to me they have tons of experience in that. it’s not a parady, it’s an everyday experience for them.

    and yes, m linden sux ballz. everything in the article about his deployment of rl strategy to shape up sl is dead on. there are bug reports in the jira well over 2 years old with no response from anyone. the new 2.0 viewer is a joke.

    sl is not facebook.

  4. Orion

    Apr 11th, 2010

    Save Second Life? Too late.

  5. PLAYA

    Apr 11th, 2010

    de-sexualize Second Life? shit what else is there to do but look at cartoon porn while you yank your crank or tickle your spasm chasm?

    Hehehe Ole Mark wants to bring in the loot not the broke sicko’s who ran down SL.

    Money talks… and we know what walks

  6. Mikael

    Apr 11th, 2010

    LMAO @ spasm chasm

    How many guys in SL have seen a real one? No your sisters don’t count.

  7. Senban Babii

    Apr 11th, 2010

    That parody of ICP’s I Do This has been playing the rounds in my office. Even non-SLifers are loving it and getting curious about signing up. None of them care about the nuclear family suburban sterile existence that Linden Lab are pushing and which the JLU are trying to enforce. People are saying “omg you can do this kind of stuff in SL?” They don’t want to log in so they can extend their daily existence into pixels, they want to have fun, to party, to play.

    Woodbury University understand SL. The sooner they are put in charge of Linden Lab the better.

  8. [...] Saga of Second Life vs. Shameless Blatant Furries ( [...]

  9. Kipaji Titian

    Apr 11th, 2010

    All M has to do to sterilize SL of what he considers the unsavory is this…

    There is this other online world named [insert name and URL here]. You will find high frame rate, no lag, a great viewer, and never get booted. While there you can be a vampire, a lycan, the slave from that O book, a cowboy, and Indian, Captain of the Enterprise, Darth Vader, a Gorean, the Green Lantern, Magneto, a squirrel, and dove, or whatever else you want to be.

    Or you can be here and have a nice life that looks just like your real life. While in SL, you can watch (at 8fps) your avatar mow your virtual lawn and chat with the other seven people with active accounts.

  10. IntLibber Brautigan

    Apr 11th, 2010

    Part of the problem is that Linden Lab tries to enforce this sort of mashup of experiences on its mainland that is in total and blatant disregard of the fact that there are different SL experiences for different people. Trying to tell a furry he has to live next to a gorean, and telling the gorean he has to live next to a rabid libertarian who has to tolerate the fasco-tract slums of prokofy who has to tolerate goons shooting her chickens who have to tolerate intolerance of their installation and performance art…. despite the fact that everybody’s idea of an ideal second life experience necessarily conflicts with many other persons ideal experiences, the lab continues to enforce its intolerance of intolerance when the very essence of individualist self determination revolves around not having to put up with other people’s stupid shit (i.e. otherwise known as “intolerance”).

    For all the griping about separate G and R rated continents, the fact is that experience based segregation has been successful, at least in the sense of improving the mainland experience. I would further support the furtherance of this principle into separating the Desperate Housewives/Leave it to Beaver suburban hell fantasy LL is promoting into a separate continental experience from those intent on pursuing SL as a game, with different rules on each. The gamer continent should have a much broader tolerance of play which would be construed as “abuse” when played, say, on Prokofy’s e-lawn.

    This is a rather obvious strategy that the lab should have taken from seeing its private estate market customers, with isolated continents serving exclusively to gorean, vampire/goths, militaries, furrys, etc.

    Senban is right, Woodbury DOES understand SL far better than the AOHell idiots that have taken over LL. But they aren’t in charge in order to improve customer experience, they are there to prepare LL for the inevitable merger or IPO once the markets pick up more so they can all cash out. Once that happens, expect SL to become even more suburban. The rest of us are going to be in the disaspora into the intergrid.

  11. We

    Apr 11th, 2010

    The corporations aren’t coming back, M. They’re not interested. Stop sacrificing your loyal customers on the mantle of IBM.

  12. Baloo Uriza

    Apr 11th, 2010

    The first video took a lot of creative liberties with the chronology of the stories. For example, they’re trying to say that Nike, Coke and Reuters left SL after M Linden took over: None of which were true. Last I checked, Coke’s still sponsoring at least one jazz club in SL, and Reuters and Nike left during Phil’s time. There’s plenty of ways to have gotten the point across that SL is being destroyed by suits, but this wasn’t it.

    The only thing arrogant about the Lindens implementing DRM is considering that it would do more than inconvenience or prevent legitimate, protected use while doing zero to prevent piracy. Implementing DRM is never a good idea, and is always a mistake.

    The second video dramatically changed my opinion of Woodbury University for the better. Bravo!

  13. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Apr 11th, 2010

    I hate to be all doom and gloom about this, but I think pix is right about the mistakes being made.

    Here’s how the narrative as I understand it is unfolding: I think LL is setting the platform up for sale to another batch of clueless MBAs who don’t know how to have fun. They need to sell it before SL gets drowned out by one of the startups using something like WebGL, at which point it’s sale value will probably drop to near 0.

    I don’t think open sim is going to hack it either. Aside from a few nagging physics and coding problems the main drawback to open sim is the lack of a decent search engine. Nobody will stay in your grid if they can’t find what they are looking for there. Likewise, there’s no point in making something if nobody can find it. OS is essentially darknet. If OS ever got a search engine then it could be huge.

    Too bad I don’t know anybody who might be able to help open sim… I mean, like the guy who invented search engines… whoever that guy is, he would be a real hero if he could step in and make it work somehow. ;)

  14. Baloo Uriza

    Apr 11th, 2010

    I think you’re confusing OpenSimulator (which does have search indexing functionality available from the traditional search tabs in the viewers) with a particular grid (that isn’t using search). OSGrid has search enabled on most public regions, for example.

  15. Judge Joker

    Apr 11th, 2010

    Just to point out before you read what I have said below, I am a furrie so I’m not talking total bullshit today.

    @Senban Babii

    I don’t think putting Woodbury University in charge of Linden Labs would benefit Second Life as a whole, we still need stale corp culture to crunch numbers and make sure the bills are payed.

    And Judging by the video if the impression is most of Woodbury is furry, then they would spend all of Linden Labs profits on DNP Yiff? that would be blatant stereotyping typical Woodbury.

    Soft is a furrie, so are many others at Linden Labs but that don’t mean they would be anything like Woodbury or other furries.

    The only reason Woodbury lets in furries is because they are creative and vulnerable to fun and also tend to be the most accessible group to cross over to being a Woodbury member.

    They are usually not accepted in other circles because furries are shocking and disgusting to a large proportion of second life, which is what Woodbury does, SHOCK AND AWE! which means in some sense Woodbury furries are being used as one of the few community’s left as a tool to continue to shock corp culture residents, and that’s if they are real furries at all. “Shock and awe, technically known as rapid dominance, is a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming power, dominant battlefield awareness”.

    Furries where griefed for years and continue to this day to be under the impression that was put out there of them being the above statement, even the largest furrie website community has massive amounts of Yiff and it would not be surprising if like Corsi most would elect to join groups who might protect them and give them an aura reputation to avoid being seen as a weak target.

    Which side would you rather be on? a perceived aggressors side or a perceived weak and constantly attacked side?

    Notice how they invest in machinima to promote themselves?

    Kalel calls them second life griefers but that’s just one possible side, the correct term might be artists, art is supposed to inspire reactions in people and that’s what Woodbury does.

    Woodbury creates without bounds Woodbury allows furries and anyone who is not chained with Kale Syndrome to express themselves, but we can’t ignore that some have and will go outside moral ethics and expand on it to get other reactions that require moderating by Linden Labs.

    But not all Woodbury members are griefers It took me along time to learn that, they toe a thin line between art and what ever you perceive them to be, you have to wade though all the stereotyping by Kalel Venkman wannabes and up front shock and awe! from Woodbury exploits.

    But I can vouch for Hydra Shaftoe who is on my friends list “for how long due to saying that here I don’t know” but hes extremely more intelligent with a better CV than that video would make out.

    I have known him slightly on and off since he worked in world for nokia I believe, since they closed down or dropped staff including him and this is where he went.

    So please leave him be hes given allot in the past to Second Life and it’s progression and tends to manage allot of other things for people right now I just see it as him having some down time.

    I don’t see anyone else in second life giving talented individuals opportunity’s and trying to support them, I would assume Woodbury is now his sl “family”.

    Not everyone wants to be the sterile corporate image but not everyone is Woodbury, some people still have reputations, and I can understand how Hydra might have just thought like me F*$% It after loosing work and gravitated to having a good time with people who care about him.

    Ironicly about 4-6 months ago he told me he still cares about his reputation, in google and other sources when I was putting some links up for him, I assume with the JLU wiki leak with his name being listed there hes capitalizing on that image more than he would have.

    The problem with Second Life is it’s moving away from being community based, that’s evident because they don’t listen to the community at all anymore.

    You can’t shut the barn door after the horse has bolted.

    Second Life was born from community’s who came together to develop concepts and ideas, the Lindens who have now left employment at Linden Labs were the architects of the software and the previous vision.

    But if Second Life is to continue M Linden needs to realise it’s roots and start carving Second Life back up into community sections, within search and at entry points, start pumping out portal sims for communities that are well known and get sims moved and organised next to each other at no extra cost.

    Get communities to submit their sim landmarks and give people the opportunity to have all the best ones in their designated folders, upon join up though the website before you even join sl.

    All they cared about last time was the sailing community and screwed over everyone else, sailing sucks I mean wtf? if that was a community help test why choose them it was total fail.

    Woodbury is just a reminder of what a community can do in it’s most extreme artistic form.

  16. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Apr 11th, 2010


    I don’t doubt what you say. You probably know a lot more about OS than I do. That said, I can’t get anything useful on search in OS. Maybe I’m doing it wrong? Is there a setting I’m missing? I would find it hard to believe that so little is out there on OS. Do landowners not fill out their parcel descriptions or something?


    “I am a furrie so I’m not talking total bullshit today.”

    LOL, there are so many directions one could go to make fun of that. Let’s go with:

    “Don’t panic. I am here to clarify everything with my superior anthropomorphic intelligence!”

    Also, about the featured idea: The featured system has been shut down for quite some time now. My university has an archaeology sim named archaeology island. It recently opened and it isn’t getting much exposure. The artifacts are scanned into sculpt maps via a 3D scanner because they are not allowed to leave the country of origin (Greece). It would be of interest to historians and archaeologists, so it deserves to be featured, but LL won’t accept any more submissions for featured builds. The RL admins at my university are very upset about the end of the featured program.

  17. Baloo Uriza

    Apr 11th, 2010

    You say OpenSimulator, but you don’t state which grid.

    At least on OSGrid’s OpenSimulator bundle and by default in a fresh OpenSimulator install, the search module isn’t enabled. I believe there are privacy reasons for doing this, though it could be a good deal of ignorance of the problem, too. I know I had to ask around about where to find and enable the search module after noticing nothing in my region was appearing on the OSgrid search.

  18. TrinityDejavu

    Apr 11th, 2010

    Ok. So failed and tanked trying to be the corporate suck up, what the hell make M(uppet) Linden think Second Life is somehow magically different !

  19. IntLibber Brautigan

    Apr 11th, 2010

    Trinity is right on. The masses of tech-illiterate idiots in the early 1990′s that made AOL a cash cow with which to sucker Time Warner CBS into an amusing buyout turned sour simply do not exist today. Even tribesmen in the Sudan are playing facebook apps on their cellphones today.

    SL became successful because it catered to cultural and entrepreneurial bleeding edge constituencies: the furrys, the bankers and stock traders, the land speculators, the web advertising gurus, the bloggers, podcasters and vbloggers, the DJs and ravers, the First Person Shooter fans, the BDSM crowd, the transhumanists and singulatarians, and yes, the trolls.

    SL will not be successful trying to cater to a constituency of tech-illiterate, graphics-deficient, culturally clueless suburban zombies who want nothing more than to replicate their suburban tract hell in virtual reality. Those people simply do not exist anymore, they died out in the 90′s transformed into a lot of tech savvy people who don’t tolerate fascist terms of service, who route around stuffed suit idiocy.

  20. Baloo Uriza

    Apr 11th, 2010

    In’s defense, they didn’t have the technology to pull it off. SL does. Same problem with Google Lively, and SL won that battle for the same reason. SL has always been more open at almost every level. Heck, OSGrid is larger than Second Life’s threshold of success at this point!

  21. Jumpman Lane

    Apr 12th, 2010


  22. Darien Caldwell

    Apr 12th, 2010

    The first Video, meh. Went between two extremes of bullshit.

    The Second video, <3

    That is what SL is all about, rock on.

  23. James Larken Smith

    Apr 12th, 2010

    The ironic part of the first video, is in complaining about DRM problems, the creator is violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by using that song without permission from Sony Music. Most likely that is why it was removed from Blip TV. Not the implied reason that The Lab had it removed……

  24. All Seeing Eye

    Apr 12th, 2010

    mutha fukahs! who authorized these woodbury types to have fun in SL! Clearly a bannable offense! Get your asses back to work making content to sell for less than slave wages to pay Kingdon his tribute.

  25. NebulaCS

    Apr 12th, 2010

    @ Baloo but OS grid is wonderfull and the issues I have reported there to some of the rather talkitive admins there have been taken care of asap. It may be a bit slower but it is so much fun and everyone there is really cool.

  26. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Apr 12th, 2010

    I think this pretty much sums it up:;

  27. Meif Ling

    Apr 12th, 2010

    Jesus christ, why did you have to go and dig that up?

  28. IntLibber Brautigan

    Apr 12th, 2010

    ah the new rickroll… rolling troll and lol into a tasty russian pirogi of musical lulziness.

  29. At0m0 Beerbaum

    Apr 12th, 2010

    god you people are so misinformed.

  30. Sam Splitlevel

    Apr 12th, 2010

    You people have no friggin’ clue how wonderful Lawnmower Life can be. We have the greatest neighbors. Chet and Susan come over to our Cape Cod with their virtual daughter, Muffin, and while she and our virtual son, Matlock, play on the swing set Chet and I talk about the virtues of Briggs and Stratton vs. Tecumseh engines. We are in the antique mower club and made a group for all five of us.

    I just upgraded my grill set to include a smoker and outdoor bar. You people have no decency to critique our world.

    Mr. Linden says that he’ll put in a sandbox soon so we can learn that “building thing” and I hear so much about. I’m going to make a brush guard for our virtual Suburban so I can mow down everyone who disagrees with me after Mr. Slate downsizes me at the virtual investment bank.

  31. Calif

    Apr 12th, 2010

    Lots of stolen content in this woodbury video, doesn’t surprise me much of course.

  32. kanomi

    Apr 12th, 2010

    Mark Kingdon made art and forced it to be exhibited on Second Life? That’s FRAGGING FANTASTIC. Perhaps Marc you could highlight your naked nepotism in a special callout box in the middle of your BROKEN VIEWER 2.0?

    Marc Kingdon from the Magic Kingdom,
    Had an audience but he couldn’t keep ‘em.
    The world he wanted to Disneyify
    The grievances he wouldn’t rectify
    And now he’s back to PowerPoint preachin’.

    Someone should start an SL viral called “FK”:

    Fuck Kingdon.

    Just put FK symbols all over the blogs, videos, in-world estates…after all who are the real shareholders here?

  33. Baloo Uriza

    Apr 12th, 2010

    I’m not sure Prok is a reliable source for anything other than Prok’s colorful and frequently out-of-touch worldview.

    @NebulaCS: I’m not criticizing OSgrid at all. I was simply observing that land barrons have to explicitly enable search if they want search to work on items in their regions.

  34. A Furry

    Apr 12th, 2010

    Fuck Mark Kingdon and fuck everything he has done to Second Life! There used to be a way to stick it to the man,it was called Rock And Roll,but the man ruined that too with a little thing called “Corporate Rock” Who is the man,he is the one who controls everything and don’t try to get up the social ladder because the man will just call you a washed out loser.

    And I’ve lost many friends and places in Second Life due to him,Like the yiff factory,and friends who used to be in Furnation and such.

  35. Baloo Uriza

    Apr 13th, 2010

    I can’t say that the Yiff Factory was exactly a crown jewel in Second Life. Then again, neither is most of the crap that plays into stereotypes, especially when it has floors that are sticky….

  36. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Apr 13th, 2010

    Flat growth in the user base is an issue because the industry is growing at 16%. If SL grows at less than 16% then the industry is leaving SL behind. Why would the industry leave SL behind? MMOs are driven by fun. Lack of growth in an MMO is a sign that the MMO in question is not fun anymore.


    I think fun is the real strength of OS. I mean, I personally don’t get it, but everybody I know in OS is having fun there.

    @Baloo: I try a lot of different grids when I make an expedition into OS space. I make these expeditions every few months or so, and they last a couple of days. I haven’t really found fun things there yet. I know fun is out there somewhere, I just haven’t found it yet. When RL calms down I’ll make another expedition into the unknown. Maybe next time I’ll blog about it.

  37. Baloo Uriza

    Apr 13th, 2010

    Really? The virtual reality industry is growing at 16%? I’m afraid you’re going to have to back that factoid up, Bubblesort.

  38. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Apr 13th, 2010

    @Baloo: See the link in my above post. It’s in the video. I did make a mistake, though. The video quotes the president, CEO of 38 Studios as saying the MMO industry is growing at 17%, not 16%.

  39. All Seeing Eye

    Apr 13th, 2010

    I’m surprised nobody has picked up on the girl with the “slightly slanted Asiatic puffy looking eyes” at that convention in Austin giving that “failing our way to success” presentation yet. what a fucking crock of shit. they needed to have the pic of the retard winning the race up there for that bullshit. Failing their way to legendary failure is more like it.

  40. Baloo Uriza

    Apr 13th, 2010

    I think you have market segments confused, Bubblesort. See, SL isn’t competing against MMOs, SL is in the virtual reality business. Completely different segments entirely.

  41. viruspoem

    Apr 13th, 2010

    Ach, that video, and the ensuing comments…

    Some perspective from someone who’s been riding around in the ‘tubes since most of you were, like, 6–this is what *always* happens. It’s almost a natural law by now. Any organization, and especially those growing from the germ of a progressive ideal, will fall and fall hard into a morass of banality, sterilization, and collaboration with TPTB. Look at Apple–the child of two uneducated stoner hobbyists trying to democratize computer science, now engaged in selling black boxes to people too fanboyish to care that they’re not allowed to look inside. Look at Google–”Don’t be evil,” yeah, until you get a nastygram from the Chinese consulate. Look at stupid Burning Man. Look at the *whole fricking Internet in 1997*. All these kids embrace Eris in the beginning, only to find that She doesn’t scale very efficiently. They get popular for obvious reasons (oh geez, people liek freedomz, wut?) and they get exposed, and in come the Normal Ordinary Responsible Carpetbaggers, looking for a taste of all the sweetmeats they choose to deny themselves IRL. But a taste is all they can handle, and anything more than that makes them edgy and confused. And so, to fulfill the very real and immediate need of suddenly building infrastructure to support two million short, squat, ill-favored proles, these companies start to bring in the MBAs, people who, in the vast majority of cases, have pursued their life-path specifically *because* they are slow and banal and incapable of learning a real skill. The only skill that these people *do* have is knowing what the people want, and they give it to them in spades.

    Kingdon is not the disease, he is a symptom. This started long before he arrived, because it had to start. It’s the nature of the game.

    This, the striving for popular appeal, is the mechanism by which everything you know is laid low, by which every protocol-wide Autonomous Zone shrinks into a ghetto before disappearing completely, by which a couple of German journalists come to dictate what is “illegal” on a server in San Francisco in spite of international jurisprudence and common frigging sense, by which the merest hint of a possible federal gambling investigation at some indeterminate point in the future can eviscerate an entire economy and destroy a bank in which several people had vested thousands of IRL dollars (and the pathos of this latter case is that you all have convinced yourselves that the bank was a ponzi scheme instead of accepting the source of the causality loop that led to the evaporation of your spacebux).

    I have to agree with above posts that SL is dead, dead, dead, and that the only hope of keeping what we knew alive is an OpenSim on everyone’s machine connecting to a hypergrid–and this is not an option, really, as those of us in the US, at least, are severely limited in our upstream bandwidth by law (I have a nasty feeling that this is not due to technical considerations.) So all I can add is copybot yourself out and work with what you’ve got, because the very nature of commerce means that no commercial entity will save you.


    Apr 13th, 2010

    a bad dream, or a Vision Of Hell ?

    We report, you decide…

  43. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Apr 13th, 2010


    I am not saying that SL and MMOs are exactly the same thing. No two MMOs are exactly the same thing, either. Sameness is not important. Economically, what is important is how people use these services. SL and other MMOs are substitute services, but not complimentary services. This means that if MMOs grow at 17% we should see SL grow at 17%, otherwise SL users and potential SL users are taking their game play time and spending it elsewhere.

    When two goods can be used for the same thing then the goods are considered to be substitutes. A Ford and a BMW of roughly equal value both have the same basic function, so they are generally seen as substitute goods, ceteris peribus. Complimentary goods are goods that work well together. Peanut butter and jelly is one example. Another would be left and right shoes. Consuming one adds to the benefit of consuming one more of it’s compliment.

    If SL and WoW provided added benefits when used together then they would be complimentary goods (I’ll just use WoW as a generic example of an MMO). They do not provide any added benefits when used together. In fact, the more time you spend in SL the slower you will level in WoW and the more time you spend in WoW the less time you will have to spend in SL towards whatever goals or relationships you have built in SL. I don’t know anybody who runs WoW and SL at the same time, but hypothetically, I suppose it’s possible. In such a case, dividing your attention between SL and WoW will probably mean that you play WoW and SL more poorly than you would if you only played one at a time (sorry, I just can’t imagine fragging hordies while playing with sculpt studio at the same time).

    So these two goods are not compliments.

    SL and all other MMOs are substitutes because people have finite resources with which to spend on gaming, so they can choose to play only one game with these resources. SL and other MMOs are generally interchangeable for most of the SL population.

    To understand how this works on a more micro level, lets take a look at what the average MMO player does when he or she gets home from work in the evening:

    Alice gets home from work. She makes some coffee, checks the snail mail, returns some calls and then decides to play an MMO. It is now 6:00 PM, and she has 4 hours to play before she has to do something else, like go to bed. She has already installed 3 MMOs, and the startup cost of installing a fourth and learning it is more than she is willing to spend right now, so she limits her choices to these three. Alice can play WoW or Free Realms or SecondLife. If she plays SL then she won’t be able to spend that time leveling a character in a traditional WoW or Free Realms. If she plays WoW or Free Realms then she will be giving up time she could be spending in SL making something or listening to a DJ. In the end she makes her decision based on her preference for leveling vs building. Today she is in the mood to level and she can gain more levels quickly in Free Realms than she can in WoW, so she plays Free Realms.

    I am not saying that this is the exact same computation that all SLers make when they log into SL. Some people choose SL over other substitutes because of their friends, for example. When people choose to spend their time in SL they are also choosing to not spend their time in whatever other game they play.

    In this framework, SL is a substitute for other forms of entertainment such as watching TV or going fishing. The currency spent on these things is our free time. The reason why one service or good is chosen over another service or good is because of the preferences of the individual. If somebody is an SL user then they are probably also a user of some kind of traditional MMO, IME. If more people have more free time because less of them have jobs (which is true in the US), then we should expect more people to be on MMOs and on SL. If SL is not picking up more users in a situation like this then it is shrinking in relation to the pool of people who spend their time in virtual worlds and MMOs. Therefore, anything less than 17% user base growth in SL should be seen as shrinkage.

  44. Baloo Uriza

    Apr 14th, 2010

    But SL isn’t an MMO, it’s a virtual reality sandbox. Comparing SL to the MMO segment is comparing apples to oranges.

  45. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Apr 14th, 2010

    Economically speaking, what the thing IS does not matter one bit. Literally speaking, apples and oranges do not have to be the same thing in order for them to be considered substitutes (to me, when I’m packing a bag lunch, apples and oranges are perfect substitutes).

    How the product is CONSUMED is what I am talking about. SecondLife is consumed as if it is an MMO, therefore it is a substitute for an MMO.

  46. IntLibber Brautigan

    Apr 14th, 2010

    SL is an MMO without a point, or storyline, or goal, at least that’s what they claim.

    In fact, there is a point, there is a storyline (its called the Tao of Linden, all bend knee and bow down before the Linden Buddha). There are several goals, depending on which role you want to play.

    As the character in Caprica says of New Cap City: “Maybe the point of the game is to figure out the point of the game…” which is deliciously recursive for the code geeks that love SL.

    If you play the role of being the same no-account nothing you are in real life, you pay your premium tax, get your tract house, bitch about the neighbors yiffing on your elawn, and abuse report anything that doesnt fit into your narrow parochial mindset.

    If you move up to being a tract-house e-landlord, you get to bitch about how tough the game gods make it to make a dime and spin theories of leninist conspiracies that are focused on you exclusively.

    If you are a closet fascist, you can join a fake police force or other vigilante group flying around in spandex, and tattle on the fun that other people are having, maybe grief them for having fun. If you are really good at it you can dream about moving up to “the show” and join LL’s governance team, and get PAID to be a dick.

    If you choose to play an iconoclastic troll, satirist, or otherwise enjoy being creative, you can hang out with the bad kids, the misunderstood kids, the ones who the teachers think are just SO creative but don’t really play well with others and really should take their ritalin more often.

    If you are a twisted sexual deviant, you put on a fursuit and hang out in furnation (its all in fun, right?). At least spending your time hanging out in furnation means you aren’t out trying to convince fifth graders to take a ride in your car…. so there’s a social good being done here… keeping you busy photoshopping, sculpting, building animal e-penises for money is a productive use of your talents.

    Yes it is an MMO, but it is an extropic MMO because the environment is spontaneously organized by the users (for the most part, except when that interferes with the game god’s profit margins).

  47. Baloo Uriza

    Apr 14th, 2010

    If Second Life were consumed as if it were an MMO, we’d have a lot more folks gaming in-world. And we’d call it “in-game.”

    Also, the implication that furries are sexual deviants really belies how little the commentator who wrote that knows about furries in general.

  48. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Apr 14th, 2010

    “If Second Life were consumed as if it were an MMO, we’d have a lot more folks gaming in-world.”

    That’s an invalid argument. You’re begging the question. I’m saying that we should have more people in world because SL is consumed as if it is an MMO that is not fun anymore. For your argument to hold SL would have to be something that is not an MMO and it would have to be lots of fun but not fun enough to experience growth in the user base. Sorry, I just don’t see it.

    “And we’d call it “in-game”"

    Some people do call it in-game, but either way we’re just arguing semantics on that point. The vernacular language we use to describe something does not usually reveal it’s economic situation. If it did then economics would much easier. Maybe then people would not be so weirded out when I tell them that I’m having “inferior good pasta” for dinner instead of just telling them I’m eating ramen.

  49. IntLibber Brautigan

    Apr 15th, 2010

    Baloo, the problem with assuming there’d be a lot more people in SL is to overestimate the intelligence and imagination of the average person. Our corporatist/mercantilist push media and spoon fed government schooled culture suppresses imagination and creativity amongst the general population. Most gamers need to be fed storyline, plot, character, device and tactic. The few capable of innovation either become efamous in other MMO’s or banned as griefers.

    Most corporations cannot stand a customer who is capable of devising their own narrative.

  50. IntLibber Brautigan

    Apr 15th, 2010

    As for the furry comment, that was meant facetiously….

Leave a Reply