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Archive | August, 2012

Collection of Views on Participation in Second Life & the Metaverse

Recently there's been a few articles in which current and past members of Second Life have expressed their thoughts on participation in virtual platforms. I'm listing them here because they express what appear to be several common attitudes or views on the benefits and challenges of the Second Life platform. Some also offer insight into what people are looking for from a virtual experience.

Why Anyone Who Cares About the Metaverse Needs to Move Beyond Second Life; Now, Not Later – by Chris Collins (Fleep in Second Life)

My take on the future of the Metaverse: If there has been a failure, it is ours – on Botgirl's Identity Circus by Botgirl Questi

More thoughts on the present and future Metaverse – on Botgirl's Identity Circus by Botgirl Questi

Comment: On the Metaverse – on Cyberbehavior and Cyberworlds by Dr Matthieu J. Guitton

Second Life is Not the Metaverse — But That's Not What It Was First Invented to Be – on New World Notes by Wagner James Au

Snow Crashing – on Andromeda by Will Burns (darianknight) 

Second Life, the Metaverse, and Everything – on Honour's Post Menopausal View (of Second Life) by Honour McMillan

Sharing Virtual Vision 2020 at the Non-Profit Commons

Last Friday, I had a tremendous opportunity to share information about the Virtual Vision 2020 effort at the Non-profit Commons weekly meeing. And I want to very much thank Renne Emiko Brock-Richmond (Zinnia Zauber in SL) for asking and arranging for me to speak.  The group was outstanding and had come great questions and information to share. I don't believe the presentation was videotaped. But I uploaded the slides to Slideshare and attached an audio file so anyone who is interested in viewing it can do so.

A Glimpse into the Development of Second Life

Part of the purpose of a community plan is to take time to reflect and capture how and why a community formed and discover the early visions driving its development. By exploring these questions, we better understand how we got to where we are today. Recently there was an amazing opportunity to hear Philip Rosedale, the creator of Second Life, provide the answers to some of these questions at the 2012 International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference. Gentle Heron, who interviewed Philip, asked some great questions, and Philip's answers were thoughtful and informative. The video of the interview has been embedded below:

 

The Viewer is Critical Infrastructure

In the world of Second Life, the viewer has to be considered critical infrastructure. It allows us to access the world, and it's the method through which we control our experience. Without it we don't get in. And if the viewer has problems or doesn't work well, our experience and quality of life suffers. Yep, definitely critical.

Currently Second Life provides an official viewer along with a Beta version. When we all first join, we are most likely downloading and using the official Second Life viewer. But once we spend some time in world, some of us eventually realize not everyone is using the official viewer. We realize there are other viewers available  – these are referred to as Third Party Viewers (TPV). Some people try out these other viewers and never go back to the one provided by Second Life. Others regularly switch between viewers. And there are many who never use anything but the Second Life viewer. In May of this year, the New World Notes blog posted a story with some user statistics indicating 65-75% of people in Second Life were using the Phoenix/Firestorm viewers with Phoenix being number one, Firestorm number two, and the official viewer being the third most used viewer. The story generated many comments – another indication of how important the viewer is to users.

Over the years there's been a lot of changes to the official viewer and even more were recently announced. Many blogs have been posting articles about the changes. So I'm listing some articles here that capture the conversation because they are an indication of what Second Life members need and envision for this critical piece of infrastructure – the viewer. As I find more, I'll continue to add them to this post:

 

For General Viewer Information:

Second Life Forum – Viewer Topic (note it's one of the topics with the most posts which is another sign indicating its importance)

 

Reactions to recent viewer changes:

Raising the Walls  – from the Telling: Like it Is blog

Linden Lab cuts viewer link to OpenSim – from the Hypergrid Business site (while the focus of the article is on OpenSim, a portion of the article and some of the comments specifically express opinions about how this affects Second Life)