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Linden Lab's New CEO

BK Linden


I’m happy to announce some very exciting news today: Rod Humble is Linden Lab’s new CEO. Our press release is here. You’ll hear from Rod himself after he starts in mid-January, but in the meantime, we wanted to share a brief introduction.

Rod has an impressive depth of experience in developing and leading fun, immersive entertainment experiences that have been great successes. As a 20-year veteran of game development, he’s worked on more than 200 games, and last year, the gaming magazine Edge named him #2 on their annual list of Hot 100 Game Developers. Rod is coming to Linden Lab from Electronic Arts, where he was Executive Vice President and led EA Play, including the best-selling PC game franchise of all time, The Sims. Prior to EA, he was a VP of Product Development at Sony Online Entertainment, where he led the EverQuest Studio.

Rod has a deep appreciation for what makes Second Life special. He’s already been exploring and experimenting inworld to familiarize himself with the pluses and minuses of our product and the successes and challenges faced by our Residents. He’ll officially start at the Lab in mid-January, and I’m excited for us to begin 2011 with fresh perspective, renewed energy, and creativity.

To give you a sense for Rod’s creativity, personality, and perspective, here are few links to his personal creations and a couple of press interviews he’s given:

Art games Rod has created in his ‘spare’ time:

Press interviews with Rod:

Happy holidays to you all from Linden Lab! We wish everyone a very happy and prosperous new year -- it’s going to be a great one for Second Life!

Rod's bio:

Rod Humble is Chief Executive Officer at Linden Lab, and he leads the company’s strategy and the development of Second Life. Humble’s 20-year career in the game development industry has included work on more than 200 games. He joined Linden Lab from Electronic Arts, where, in his role as Executive Vice President, he led the EA Play label, which includes the best-selling PC game franchise of all time, The Sims. In 2009, he was ranked #2 on the annual list of the Hot 100 Game Developers from gaming publication Edge. Prior to his work at Electronic Arts, Humble served as Vice President of Product Development at Sony Online Entertainment for the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) EverQuest.


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Ron, think you need to go to orientation island and see all the "great" stuff in store for the kids like the guy named onehardbigdick Resident.  Yep a great place for 16-17 year olds.

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I think that cybercultural environment is waning is SL. Thankfully, despite the small size, it's beginning to take root in Inworldz and as the bugs are fixed there it feels a lot like the old SL but on the frontier. Leaving SL for Inworldz reminds me of way back when I left the controlled, expensive corporate AOL for the wide, wild internet. SL is intentionally moving towards becoming "a game" and in the process actively moving against some of the most important aspects of its former status as a leader in co-imagined user creativity. Particularly revealing was the decision to flood the grid with underaged residents while simultaneously doubling tier for the non-profit orgs who gave so much to SL's cyber-culture. That was it for me. It's sad and difficult to leave friends and inventory behind. But frankly, it's worth it!

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"Last Thoughts of the Aurochs"

Them Aurochs was a rite tuff clan but we Enochs nigh unto rubbed 'em out. That were before I come to the fake world o' Second Life.  If'n King Rod done made him a game out'n our war in the hollers then he am okay in my book.

PS an' this am a spoiler: I don't know the last thoughts o' no Aurochs, but the last words out o' Zebulon Auroch were "Hey, watch this!"

That were the time he strapped what they call a JATO bottle (some sort o' big ol' miltary rocket) to the top o' his '67 Impala SS an' lit the fuse.

It were a site to behold.

PPS: Miss Keli, you got some important hillbilly hair there. Let's go to the Sugar Grove Drive-In in my pickemup truck. That-there new chainsaw movie am rite romantical.

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Nice resume. Please remember the typical SL user is not the same you are used to. Some just use the game a a virtual chat room. The mass of technical changes lately have been rough on those people and many left. Being associated with the SIMS is awesome but please remember this is not The SIMS. The Sims online failed as I recall.

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Welcome Rod,I am hoping you will not forget that some dont consider secondlife "just a game" it more than that to allot of people. Secondlife is a lifestyle, much more than the Sims could ever ever hope to be or acheive.

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"Just  because it doesn't fit some people's notion of what a game -is-, doesn't  make it not a game.  If you do something for fun, it is a game, even if  its bouncing the ball for your dog, or wiggling a wand with a feather  boa on the end for your cat - those are certainlt games without levels  and winners.

And if you are spending time in SL for any other  reason then fun, then you ought to  consider going back into RL, just because its not supposed to be  specifically fun."


Hm, well. According to this, then I must be the luckiest, or unluckiest person in the world. Since my store in SL is my "job", I guess it is pretty safe to say I use SL "for any other reason than fun", so according to you I should consider not doing it and going back to "RL".

On the other hand, since "it is a game", I guess I am extremely lucky to be one who "gets paid to play a game".  Your analogies are very poor, and very inaccurate. There are games inside of SL, yes. You can even use SL as a game, if that is what you want to do, sure. There are lots of people who login to do RP or whatever else and consider it to be a game. Thats fine. There are others who login and use it for socializing, both in fun and serious ways. There are people who "teach" through SL. There are fundraisers and non profit organizations in SL. Youre telling me all of these people are simply "playing a game"? I think not.

My point is SL, in and of itself, can be whatever the USER wants it to be. If you chose to make your experience into a game thats fine, but it still doesnt make SL as a whole a game any more than you having a laugh at work and me saying its a "game" because you had "fun".

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To make SL like a goal oriented game you would have to add a few things that allow it to be that way, something built in, and I don't think very many people would care to use it. Besides, we have enough scripted games of all sorts in SL anyway, though I will always prefer the whole building and ave making.

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I have seen a few changes over the years , but one thing that has remained consistent is the ability to create your own ave as you want it and not have to be some kind of cookie cutter garbage, or anything for that matter, vehicles, pets, etc. How this is done has changed a bit, say when they introduced sculpts, or before I was even on they did not have the whole animation override going a long time ago (as someone told me), and in the future they will introduce meshes to the main grid. I seriously doubt Rod has plans to totally alter the way SL works. Some changes, probably, but probably nothing drastic, aside fixing the things that are really broken (being hopeful ) and maybe working out some of the bugs in viewer 2 (I want properties and profiles in seperate windows, all in one gets a little annoying, or make it an option).

I'm pretty sure Rod is well aware that SL != The Sims and that making it like that would drive people away from SL more then the issues it already has.

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While I am sure the new CEO is a very smart fellow I am equally as sure his hiring will mark 2011 as the end of Linden Labs and Second Life.  The user base is shrinking.  It is not shrinking because there are no goblins to shoot or there is no super new armor to loot from an NPC that takes 120 people to defeat.  it is not shrinking because of VARs or anything of that nature.  It is shrinking because Linden Labs refuses to understand the thing that attracts people is that SL is an open ended virtual world and because they refuse to fix actual problems and instead focus time effort and money on making new viewers and trying to add new tricks.  Fix the lag,  fix region to region traveling,  update builder tools to be more intuitive.  Those are the three things that will save SL,  everything else you do will simply cause more people to leave. 

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Welcome to Second Life, Rod.

May I advise you be very very careful where you tread and who you tread on. The looney Lindens have a terrible habbit of doing just that. There is a very vocal minority that squeeks a lot too - I know, I'm one of them. We have fragil tempers these days since we have been pushed about so much and our pockets sucked dry for the privilige of doing something creative with the platform you gave us. We are tired of Linden crackpot ideas and rolling restarts and more and more controls and having a bunch of kids dumped on us to worry about.

However well intentioned we really don't want you to poke your noses in what we do. It's our world remember?  You told us that long ago. We made it what it is not you. We don't trust Lindens. We actually don't like you very much either most of the time.

We try to have fun and escape the riggers of the real world and then you go spoiling it all with one new control after another. Its tiresome. You kill off our inworld businesses with Web sales. Our malls grow silent. You do everything in your power to piss us off and don't fix the things we want fixed most, the lag (oh the lag!), the search (oh the search!). the script errors, the transaction errors, the lost inventory, the list goes on.

Are you sure this is the Job for you, Rod?

Anyway, welcome to the sinking ship.

I want to be grateful to you but you make it so hard

Here are some predictions for 2011


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Yes all of what you say is the actual truth...many people have submitted comments and all of them are valid and worthy...but chances are Ron will never read them, he may delegate someone in customer service to read them all and then we know what will happen...these comments will be shoved aside in the "to do " basket until the basket is full, and then they will throw away the basket.  Its all about money, the vast potential of Second Life will be negated for the sake of money and profits, that is the bottom line, anything else is just distant rumblings that Customer support from LL ignores on a daily basis.

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Gee, you sound like a corporate lacky for Lindens, Galileo....you take all the fun out of Second Life by giving us stats that sound like any big corporation sucking people dry and loving it...and if these people complain, well, screw them cuz there are more where they came from and we don't need any stinking people as long as we got MONEY MONEY MONEY

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...and you sound like someone who has been in SL for so long you lack perspective on reality. Perhaps you don't really need a virtual world as it sounds like you're already in your own.

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Welcome Mr. Humble!

Hope you will listen to the residents on the grid.. Dont let SL go down.. Most important thing i think: pls keep allowing the 1.x viewers connect to the grid. There arent many people using 2.x.. its simply not user friendly.

I wish you good luck at LL!


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Hey folks,

Lets keep this discussion focused. This is prob the most important blog at moment and Rod needs our input.

For once many many residents are actually telling Linden Labs just what we feel - ie Linden Labs listen to us - we the users of SL and at the moment we all feel abused and taken advantage off.

Just fix what we are collectively saying is broke and dont make sweeping god like changes again

And just who in hell opened the door to Kids, dont Lindens know how much romance goes on under our virtual stars lol.

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A few problems on my special SL wish list in rough order of how much I want them or how much not having them ticks me off:

1) Remove the prim size restriction.  It is extremely annoying to have to stitch together prims for any sizes over 10m, especially since it both counts against prim allotment and causes texturing nightmares.  Opening it up so any prim can be up to 100m in any dimension (or even 255m) would make life much much better for all builders and improve build quality.    When I used this in some OpenSim building I realized just how unnecessarily limiting SL 10m limits are.


2) Fix group chat.  It lags like crazy and sends messages in wrong order occassionally as well.  If IRC, jabber, skype etc can do group text messages without such problems then clearly it is well within known technology to do so.  If you don't have the people power to do it then contact me to fix it on a contract basis.

3) Rearchitect to distribute busy sim workflow.  If you do this successfully then there would be no per-sim lag in heavy load conditions.  If you don't do it then OpenSim or one of the offshoots thereof eventually will.

4) Go beyond the horrible LSL.  Support full mono scripting and preferably javascript.   LSL is one of the weakest languages I have ever used and I have been in the business for over 30 years so I have seen some very weak ones indeed.

5) Stop the legal nonsense that we residents really own nothing although the original idea was supposed to be empowering us as creator/owners.   That we have no right to anything we bought or even built whatsoever and that LL can take it all away or lose it by accident with no recourse whatsoever is completely unacceptable.   It makes us residents effectively completely right-less feudal serfs.

6) Introduce effective rights granting licensing to works done for hire that give full ownership to hiring party.   This includes the right to mke out of game back-ups that aren't crippled by design.   Make it possible for a creator to specify that anyone they wish can have all rights that the creator has (Open Source equivalent).

7) Open Invertory management to scripting so we creators can build very effective and innovative inventory management solutions.    We will happily do a lot to make it better for everyone, not only for free but actually paying you for the privilege, if you do your part to make the minimal interfacse available.

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Let's hope he doesn't bring SOE's long-standing tradition of completely ignoring their playerbase, no matter how badly it effects the game.  SWG, anyone?

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Not at all. I would like to see you take your 30 years of business experience and open up your own virtual world. You can avoid all the problems here. Have outstanding customer service. A thriving member base.  A robust virtual economy. Not one social defect in the entire system. Oh wise old oracle, please open said world to the masses.

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I agree but Lindens didn't take advantage of many programs that would have supplied grants for special interests for disabled people.  I have worked in the corporate world and no matter what facade they depict, it is about MONEY....the reason Second Life is losing money is because they are forgetting the people who have made it what it is, the people who visit and use it, THE PEOPLE....to say that a corporation isn't concerned about "making profits" about all else is an oxymoron....of course it is about PROFITS....yu can't help someone across the street and then demand payment when you get them to the other side..

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Those are great suggestions, Serendipity!

I'm inspired to add one of my favorites to your list : )

Please give us html formatting on Notecards!   Or any kind of formatting, please.  Even bolding and tabs, anything.

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