Archive | 2013

Let’s Create Legends!

Rockcliffe Library SimOne of the first steps in actually writing a community plan is to research and develop the introduction. This opening to the plan establishes background for the reader; it provides context and describes the type of community for which the plan is written. Some plans include in this section a back story or local tale which can be fictional in nature and provides the reader a feeling for the culture and spirit of that community. Unfortunately for Second Life, there is no legend or tale describing the founding of our world. We know the facts behind it, but this is not the same. So thinking about how creative the Second Life community is, we talked about asking people in Second Life to create and vote on a founding legend or story for Second Life. Then we talked about the sub-cultures – it would be interesting to have founding stories for those. So the outcome of this is a type of contest or call for Legends. There's a special website set up where you can learn more about how to submit and vote on entries we post at Virtual Vision 2020 Legends. Legends will be accepted until 11:59 pm CST March 31, 2013. Then voting will close at 5pm CST April 15, 2013.

Disclaimer: Virtual Vision 2020 and the Virtual Vision 2020 Legends are neither owned nor operated by Linden Lab or Second Life. Second Life® and Linden Lab® are trademarks or registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc. All rights reserved. No infringement is intended.

Culture Update – Religion in Second Life

Anglican Church in Second LifeToday I came across an article discussing the study of Buddhism in Second Life. It seems that religion has provided a basis for governance and culture since the beginning of time. So it's not surprising to find religious activity in the virtual world. The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life has been meeting and holding services there since late 2006. They currently have regular masses and meetings throughout the week. And there are several other denominations and religions throughout the grid.

The overall plan for this world needs to consider religious activity as part of the culture and how it can support the community in Second Life. And exploring existing religious groups and activity will be an important component in the development of the plan.

Business Development in Second Life

Virtual Vision 2020 recently set up a Google+ community to host discussions related to a community plan in Second Life. Someone had posted in the thread an observation they had upon entering Second Life for the purpose of exploring the platform for marketing their business. They said it felt empty like no one was around and did not think it would be valuable for business development.

This view has been shared by others who report on the failure of "real life" business efforts in Second Life. What is interesting is that in all of these is that the Second Life platform or environment is identified as the cause of the failure. The conclusion is that because of these failures, setting up a presence in Second Life isn't worth pursuing. 

Of course, those who understand the environment and who spend considerable time there have commented on the absurdity of this. They usually point out that the business did not take the right approach. Yet people who have not spent time in Second Life don't seem to understand this.

But those familiar with Second Life are right – Second Life has its own culture, much in the way countries have their own cultures. When US-based businesses try to open up a market in China in a manner similar to their US operations and experience failure, people don't say, "Oh, they are wasting their time." They don't blame China for being China. They don't dredge up all the negative aspects of the society as reasons people should stay away. Instead, people blame the company for ignoring the culture and not fitting their approach to what the Chinese expect.

So why is it so different with Second Life, and what strategies can we identify to correct this misconception and attitude? Can emulating what is done offline work? Companies trying to successfully move into the market in another country typically hire people or firms to help them make that transition. Is this what we need to develop and a service that needs to be offered for those considering a move into Second Life?

These are important questions to explore if we want to ensure successful economic and business development in Second Life. It seems one newly formed effort in Second Life, the Centre for Business Development, might be attempting to address these questions and services. You can read more about their mission and goals on their website at: http://businessdevelopmentcentresl.wordpress.com/about/.