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Gavin Hird wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:


Gavin Hird wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

 It's much too self-centred an attitude to be seriously supported.

Self centered? - Really?   

Yes. Absolutely.

Companies that think you you goes the way of Nokia. Once a market leader – now nowhere to be seen. 

Ah but I started closing my store years ago. That's quite well known here. So it won't go the way of Nokia. The difference is that Nokia didn't want to lose its market share. I've wanted my store closed for years, and I've done things to make sure it happens - eventually ;)

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kiramanell wrote:

Backwards compatibility -- often lobsidedly thrown in our faces here as something holding the company back -- is, in the rest of the world, the corner stone to staying in business.

That's why if you play The Sims (or just about any other video game with multiple versions) all your stuff from the version before can be used in the new version. And you can play your VCR tapes in your DVD player and your LP's in your CD player.

 

 

Oh, wait...

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kiramanell wrote:

Backwards compatibility -- often lobsidedly thrown in our faces here as something holding the company back -- is, in the rest of the world, the corner stone to staying in business.

That's simply not true. Read "The Innovators Dilemma" by Clayton Christensen for a compelling treatise on the perils in your belief.

Look at Microsoft, and the history of Windows. With maybe a few small exceptions, a program written for XP, back in the day, will, to date, still run on Windows 8.1 just fine. In fact, if Microsoft had broken with backwards compatibility after XP, Windows would be dead as a doornail by now.

Others have offered ample examples of retirement of products and technologies by Microsoft. I'll argue that their failure to change more radically over the years has placed them at a competitive disadvantage. How well has their insistence on retaining desktop compatibility in the mobile environment worked for them?

The same could be said for a company like Intel. Why do you think they're still on the x86 architecture!?

The cost of retaining X86 compatibility is low, the benefits are high. The inverse applies for LL and SL.

To stay with the XP analogy, there's technically no valid reason the New World couldn't come with a 'SL 1.0 Compatibility Mode' too.

You'd need to have demonstrated significant technical expertise for anyone to take your assessment seriously. There are numerous technical reasons (scalability and portability are two) to abandon large portions of SL's design.

Especially since the code for it is, naturally, already there.

The recipe for New Coke is already there, why not reuse it?

Not doing so is simply a choice.

Yes, and as explained elsewhere, a good one.

And, much like there's no such thing as being 'a little pregnant,' likewise there's no such thing as 'a little backwards compatible.' Either you are, in full, or you are simply not.

Expressing this degree of certainty over clearly unsupportable claims makes you a flashing target for ridicule. Backwards compatibility has always been, and will always be, something that is done by degree. My new cordless electric drill is backwards compatible with all of my previous drill bits, and none of my previous batteries.

Like I've argued before, half a home = no home: if only half the structure can be ported, I will effectively not have ported the home at all.

This statement is both wrong and of questionable bearing on the topic at hand. But I'll endeavor to draw a parallel that's both right and relevant.

My RL home is a mix of the original farm cottage (now my family room) and two major rebuilds over the last hundred years. The current house is five times the size of the original. Oher than the beautiful fieldstone basement walls of the original cottage (which is the only part of the basement that ever leaks), there's not a day I don't wish the remainder was gone. The stud and rafter spacing is erratic, the lumber is not of standard dimension, nothing is square, nothing is straight. The proportions of the room are for a time when men were as short as women are today. I fit, but my neighborhood handyman has to watch his head (and his coat pockets, but that's another story).

The millwork placed in the home by my Father (with my help!) during the last addition has been the subject of serious admiration for nearly 40 years. My colorful vocabulary is largely the result of Dad's regrets over trying to retain compatibility with anything in the old cottage (made by strangers) and, to a lesser extent, the first addition (made by Dad and his grandfather).

The worlds largest tech company, Apple, is infamous for dropping compatibilty (MacDraw, AppleWorks, Final Cut). They're also famous for keeping it (68L->PPC->Intel). Compatibility is a double edged sword. The smart know how to wield it.

I think the problem here is that, understandably, you are thinking like an SL customer. Linden Lab, on the other hand and equally understandably, is thinking like a business.

Five years ago, two design teams sat down to figure out what to do next. One team, a handful, decided to craft from scratch an engaging sandbox virtual world that could run across desktop, console and mobile platforms. The other team, 300 strong, decided to leverage a great deal of legacy programming and infrastructure to improve upon an already successful sandbox virtual world.

Five years later, the little team has grown to 40, has 40 million paying customers, and has been purchased for US$2.5 Billion. That's $62.5 million per team member. Welcome to Minecraft.

That team of 300? It's now a team of 200 and has less revenue today than when it embarked on its bold journey of compatibility. I haven't looked lately, but a few years ago I found that this team had attracted total venture capital in the vicinity of $75 million. Welcome to SL.

Today, two design teams are sitting down to figure out what to do next.

 

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Of course, SL2 is intended to replace SL. Nobody said otherwise. But SL won't close when SL2 comes along. It will only close when it's no longer worthwhile keeping open.


That's kind of like saying Mp3 players are intended to replace CDs or Netflix will replace DVDs. Yet people still buy CDs and DVDs, and they still burn CDs and DVDs.

As to SL closing. I highly doubt merchants will bail on SL and just sell in SL2©, at least those with any intelligence wont anyway. That would kill SL faster than anything.

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Gavin Hird wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:


Gavin Hird wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

 It's much too self-centred an attitude to be seriously supported.

Self centered? - Really?   

Yes. Absolutely.

Companies that think like you goes the way of Nokia. Once a market leader – now nowhere to be seen. 

I have 5 Nokia phones.. When the zombie apocalypse happens i will be the only one with indestructible weapons.

 

Seriously though, i do still have a working Nokia flip phone.

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There is absolutely nothing wrong wanting to move virtual worlds into a realm of what is possible with current and near future technology, but if you start with a clean slate approach (which is essentially what they have said they do), you'll more or less have to recruite a completely new class of developers too. – The same developers who are fiercely competing in the mobile space where there probably is significantly more money to be had for the same effort. 

Some of the current developers may find the incentive to "retool" so to speak, but the learning curve could be staggering. 

... one example. They say that skins will not transfer. So skin makers will have to start developing skins from ground up unless they will use a character with an already known uv-map so that developer resources are commercially available. First of all this will lead to very few developers having the time and incentive to do this, and the new platform will simply be dull and unattractive for a long time. Particularly the female market is highly dependent on good skins with everything that follows. 

How much effort is it to create a good skin for a completely new uv-map? 4-6 months real effort time. Maybe more to get all the shadow, muscle, facial, nails, eye, brows, makeup, teeth, hairline... maps done. You are easily talking a year to make it real good for you need to test, and test and test again to make it look good with the lighting model and the shaders used for the new platform. Only then you can start create variety. 

 

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:


Of course, SL2 is intended to replace SL. Nobody said otherwise. But SL won't close when SL2 comes along. It will only close when it's no longer worthwhile keeping open.


That's kind of like saying Mp3 players are intended to replace CDs or Netflix will replace DVDs. Yet people still buy CDs and DVDs, and they still burn CDs and DVDs.

As to SL closing. I highly doubt merchants will bail on SL and just sell in SL2©, at least those with any intelligence wont anyway. That would kill SL faster than anything.

I'm not sure what points you are trying to make here.

What I said about SL not closing when SL2 comes along is from LL's mouth. The only addition is saying that it will close when it's no longer worthwhile keeping open. That addition is common sense. It could actually close before then but, according to LL, not when SL2 comes along.

Netflix and the like were never intended to replace DVDs. As they are now, they can't replace them. MP3 players may replace CDs eventually but these things take time. CDs replaced records and tapes but it took time.

Of course merchants won't bail on SL. They'll do both. They'll only bail on SL when it's no longer worthwhile continuing with it.

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Gavin Hird wrote:

There is absolutely nothing wrong wanting to move virtual worlds into a realm of what is possible with current and near future technology, but if you start with a clean slate approach (which is essentially what they have said they do), you'll more or less have to recruite a completely new class of developers too. – The same developers who are fiercely competing in the mobile space where there probably is significantly more money to be had for the same effort. 

Some of the current developers may find the incentive to "retool" so to speak, but the learning curve could be staggering. 

... one example. They say that skins will not transfer. So skin makers will have to start developing skins from ground up unless they will use a character with an already known uv-map so that developer resources are commercially available. First of all this will lead to very few developers having the time and incentive to do this, and the new platform will simply be dull and unattractive for a long time. Particularly the female market is highly dependent on good skins with everything that follows. 

How much effort is it to create a good skin for a completely new uv-map? 4-6 months real effort time. Maybe more to get all the shadow, muscle, facial, nails, eye, brows, makeup, teeth, hairline... maps done. You are easily talking a year to make it real good for you need to test, and test and test again to make it look good with the lighting model and the shaders used for the new platform. Only then you can start create variety.  

You paint a very bleak picture. I have no doubt that it's a very unrealistic bleak picture :)

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Phil Deakins wrote:

I have no doubt that it's a
very unrealistic
bleak picture
:)


This.

I dunno I've followed the responses here, I've tried to see more to this issue than a fear of change combined with a complete failure to understand the tech industry but... I can't. I just can't.

All this fear and confusion is just blurring the lines, ridiculous examples and complete fictions aren't adding anything to the conversation. Second Life is a product with a lifecycle, obsolescence is inevitable. I fully understand that some people have invested a lot here (I've invested plenty myself!), but things change, products die - and the data (and money/effort) you gave away goes with it. Every company has casualties of progress, what's been discussed in recent pages as 'backwards compatibility' is in reality just public relations.

I think most people are happy with this set-up. Sure there's a [wholly unproductive] gnashing of teeth, some regrets - but people keep using services like iCloud, Steam and Instagram, where they intentionally lose control of their data (and one day, that data will be gone). I'd bet that everyone in Second Life today has invested in some technology that is no longer relevant (VHS, MySpace, PPC, 2600Hz) - and they understand that Second Life will - one day - join them in the big ol' datacenter in the sky.

If people really wanted an SL experience with no progress and full control of their data well... those options exist, but they're not popular. There's still time to invest in that experience, it's just that no-one can expect a for-profit company like Linden Lab to do this - they have to diversify, grow, expand into new markets in order to serve their board of directors. That's always been the deal - people are still free to invest in themselves, in other services.

I agree wholeheartedly with Phil's assertion that it is selfish to expect LL to hold back forever (they've definitely tried). My use of the King Knute analogy in my earlier post wasn't accidental - trying to hold back the tide will only see LL smashed under the waves.

Freya out.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

You paint a very bleak picture. I have no doubt that it's a very unrealistic bleak picture
:)

I paint a realistic picture. 

It is actually easy to fix if they want to by adding a UV set to the avatar mesh that is identical to the legacy one. DAZ studio has done this with their character models, and they can use skins from multiple generation avatars. 

Regardless, creating skins for a new UV is hard and takes a lot of time. 

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:


Of course, SL2 is intended to replace SL. Nobody said otherwise. But SL won't close when SL2 comes along. It will only close when it's no longer worthwhile keeping open.


That's kind of like saying Mp3 players are intended to replace CDs or Netflix will replace DVDs. Yet people still buy CDs and DVDs, and they still burn CDs and DVDs.

As to SL closing. I highly doubt merchants will bail on SL and just sell in SL2©, at least those with any intelligence wont anyway. That would kill SL faster than anything.

I'm not sure what points you are trying to make here.

What I said about SL not closing when SL2 comes along is from LL's mouth. The only addition is saying that it will close when it's no longer worthwhile keeping open. That addition is common sense. It could actually close before then but, according to LL, not when SL2 comes along.

Netflix and the like were never intended to replace DVDs. As they are now, they can't replace them. MP3 players may replace CDs eventually but these things take time. CDs replaced records and tapes but it took time.

Of course merchants won't bail on SL. They'll do both. They'll only bail on SL when it's no longer worthwhile continuing with it.

SL2© will not replace SL. It will run alongside it happily. CDs did NOT replace records and tapes, both are still sold and used widely. Just like VCRs. Some movies were never released on DVD. Why do most professional photographers still use film?

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The learning curve will NOT be staggering. The curve for SL2 will most likely be less than for SL1. According to Lindens that are talking, it is the Lab's intent to reduce the learning curve for new users wherever possible.

I suspect we will have free form mesh objects as the primary building components. That is the case with any 3D environment, Cry Engine, Unreal, Unity... etc. So, the tools and tech for developing those objects are well known. So, no staggering lerning curve there.

New skins... we are seeing new skins shifted over from the classic Linden avatar and UV map to the Slink type mesh bodies now. It is getting easier to make entirely new skins for the mesh bodies because we do not have to learn how to handle the oddities found in the classic avatar UV map. For classic skin and clothes we actually use tools to distort or skins and clothes to work with the oddities in the classic avatar's UV Map. Those oddities are not likely to make it into SL2.

We are very likely to have standard armatures for animating things. So, the contortions we go through to animate objects and limitations in SL1 will disappear. SL2 is very likely to have a much more standard style of object animation, which more people will understand from having learned 3D modeling and animation in school or other classes for generic game design.

For animating hands and faces we are likely to also have access to the standard controls and methods used in other platforms. Ebbe has said the 'dead face' mesh avatars we have now are going to be fixed. Does he mean on SL1 and 2 or just 2? Not clear.

Will we still have parametric prims? I suspect we will. But, those are something few other games use. So, while they are handy for those just learning to model in 3D, they are a puzzle to most 3D modelers that come into SL. Such people usually have the background knowledge to quickly pickup what they are and how to use them. But, we will probably find everything goes to what we call mesh prims in SL2.

Sculpties... the most confusing thing I've run into and they exist pretty much only in SL1. They were a great hack for the time. I expect those and their convoluted learning curve to disappear in SL2, just as they are fading from SL1.

It doesn't take 4-6 months to create a new UV map for a mesh body. Modeling a new mesh body/avatar can take time but how much really depends on a modelers skill and ability. I'm slow and a bit of a novice at 3D modeling. I built my first body suit for my avatar in about 16 hours, including a UVMap and most of that time was spent learning how to use Blender to do what I wanted. I can repeat the task now in a couple of hours with a much better result.

In the 3D real time render eng the Lab develops, we will will most likely let shadow and ambient occlusion be handled by the render system. Even if we do decide to add shadow and AO, Blender does those quickly. Once modelers have a Blender file setup for modeling, these things go every quickly.

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It is difficult to comment on your post as you seem to lack a fundamental understanding of how a skin is created, and Blender is never part of the equation unless someone happens to use it to check it outside the rendering engine. 

Any uv-mapped avatar have oddities that you need to tackle unless you have a very high resolution mesh, but even then the mesh will not always bend and stretch gracefully, so you have to compensate (as you very clearly can see in the DAZ characters.) 

The new SL avatar is likely to be in the max 12k poly range, but possibly lower depending on the design parameters set for mobile devices. So the UV map and mesh is bound to have oddities.  It is this UV map I say it will take 4-6 months to master before someone have worked throgh it and created merchant resources others can build on. A skin usually have 25-80 layers, maps and blend modes depending on which bodypart, and all of these must be adapted and tuned to the new uv to be able to recreate an existing skin on the new uv map. The new rendering engine will most likely light the avatar different, so you have to compensate for that too. What might look good in your graphics editing application and applied to a character in a 3D modeller, may look like **bleep**e when imported to SL. This will be the case on the new platform too. 

By adding the existing uv to the new avtar mesh (making it backward compatible) one would be able to apply existing skins to the new avatar mesh avaiting the process of designing for the new and enhanced uv. It would also to some extent support existing system clothing as they are mapped to the same uv. 

Most designer will design to the standard supplied avatar uv, and even though some might create their own fully uv mapped avatar meshes, they are bound to be less popular since you can only use a limited set of textures on them. This is also the fundamental problem with the Slink type bodies. 

Many of us already let the rendering engine handle shadows and AO, and those designers who keep creating objects and textures that are baked will automatically be disqualified from my purchase list as they are close to useless when the advanced  lighting model has been turned on. 

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I've thought about chiming in on the discussion above, but figured it was smarter to stay out of it. I don't work on avatar components, and mainly just create objects, as making and mapping raw mesh is my absolute strongest point as a developer, but I don't have the patience to kick back with my tablet and texture anything worthwhile without dozing off, or checking the SL forums. 

With that being said, I've used a plethora of shortcuts to make an old texture work with a reworked UV map, because I lack patience. It's not perfect, but it works, and it's also why I try to work with a target resolution of about 3-5 times that of the final texture. I don't know. I got a new GPU. Maybe I can push that a little more. 

Concerning what may be brought to the game, I'm almost positive they'll integrate DX12 support. That doesn't mean much, but it does mean that lighting will be alot more natural, so there's that.

However, there are a few things I'd like to see. The scripting language in game, surprisingly, is fine. I don't see alot of room for improvement, though, with the technology we have today, and the extent of the scripts presently out there, I'm completely neutral on whether or not they'll go with an object oriented approach or not. I don't see any negatives. If they don't however, the in game editor needs a facelift. Honestly, that's the only change I can suggest, that I don't feel they would hit already. 

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Gavin Hird wrote:

There is absolutely nothing wrong wanting to move virtual worlds into a realm of what is possible with current and near future technology, but if you start with a clean slate approach (which is essentially what they have said they do), you'll more or less have to recruite a completely new class of developers too. – The same developers who are fiercely competing in the mobile space where there probably is significantly more money to be had for the same effort. 

Some of the current developers may find the incentive to "retool" so to speak, but the learning curve could be staggering. 

... one example. They say that skins will not transfer. So skin makers will have to start developing skins from ground up unless they will use a character with an already known uv-map so that developer resources are commercially available. First of all this will lead to very few developers having the time and incentive to do this, and the new platform will simply be dull and unattractive for a long time. Particularly the female market is highly dependent on good skins with everything that follows. 

How much effort is it to create a good skin for a completely new uv-map? 4-6 months real effort time. Maybe more to get all the shadow, muscle, facial, nails, eye, brows, makeup, teeth, hairline... maps done. You are easily talking a year to make it real good for you need to test, and test and test again to make it look good with the lighting model and the shaders used for the new platform. Only then you can start create variety. 

 

I have to also disagree.

The real issues are never, ever going to be with any work that creators do. If you are an experienced creator, it is ALL easy, especially when we get to upload exactly what we want, with our own skeletons and all. This is also especially true if the creator already creates for other platforms, like Daz, or Unity. Heck, I already have about 6 full avatars that I'll have ready for Unity by the time LL opens beta on the new world. If what LL says is correct, I'll be able to upload those same avatars that I created for Unity, or even Daz, directly into this new world with little to no extra work.

We have been on the same side on issue before, but I think you are definitely painting a picture that has no place in reality, especially when you have been in SL for so long. LL put out mesh, with the ability to make new avatars, and then we got Avastar for Blender. Before that, we got a numerous sculpty making tools from the community. Before that we got many different animation tools specifically for SL. This could go on and on. I suspect that someone, maybe Gaia and her people, will create a UV map converter. Bam! 1 click. Even if we had to do the UV map conversions ourselves, it would take, literally, a day in Blender, with most of that time spent figuring out the best way to do it.

Now, I'm not a skin maker, but have have made skins. I was also a charcoal artist that drew people on the spot, in less than a half hour, and people paid me. In a half hour, they got an extremely detailed charcoal drawing. This is what it means to be an artist. It doesn't take you a year to make 1 fricken skin. That would be ridiculous. With computers, all you really need to do, is do 1 and every other skin is just a variation of that. It works the same with animation too. Today, no matter what the animation, I will already have something similar, and can mod them quickly to create any animation possible. How could we sell things so cheap if it took us a year just to texture our avatars. Some, really good skin designers and modellers, can even just model their whole avatar in super high detail, and basically have Blender generation a good portion of the work to make a skin, with minimal manual touch ups from there.

That said, yeah, if you want to make a whole avatar, with clothing, weapons, animations, huds and all, with variations, then it does take months, and sometimes half a year. This is also why it is good that the new world will be using a standard format that many are already creating for. Beyond that tho, most things can be done extremely quickly today.

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well actually I have always maintained, that L$ is real money, based upon the fact that its linked to the Financial stock market rates around the world, face book credits or my sub for Star Wars doesnt fluctuate with the Wolrds Financial Currency Market rates, but L$ does, making it , in all but law legal tender, whatever the terms of sevice says.

 

I think if people lose many thousands of real $ or GBP because of the loss of a huge inventory, I can see a few cases being bought up for consideration, despite the TOS, courts can over rule and side with customers who have used an economy currency that connected to RL currency market rates, hence, thats not Play money, what ever way you look at it.

 

Hence LL is wrong when They call it just a game, if their Currency, has a flucuating value based on RL exhange rates, then its  A  game based on Real life values, both asset wise and currency wise.  I can see many people, esecially mega sim owners making possible claims for loss of income, if there's no compensation offer. As I see it, courts will say there should be a safety net to protect the amount of cah put into SL......lest not forget, this place is one of, if not the most expensive places to invest money into a virtual world, for a very long time. At 1000$ a sim, thats a lot of real currency not play money. In my home Town, that amount in GBP would pay for one months REAL rent for a one bed flat.  LL has to be realistic, and know people wont pay these sort of prices again, when there is already a very bad shortage of real housing in UK, plus with no one getting wage rises for 3 years or more, just as in US, LL will price themselves out of the whole virtual world market if they try an maintain really insane land prices /  tiers again. 

 

LL next time round really has to decide legally, because The world is watching financial transactions closely the next few years, If the L$ is still being floated within second life with buying or selling them based on RL exchange rates, then I believe its nonsence to suggest LL can call it play money any longer. They will have set L$ at a set price, and not play it on the exchange market, before I ever enter a new SL. Whats your take on legallity of LL of using the Worlds Currency market rates to set the L$ of each day.??

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Michaelatv Destiny wrote:

well actually I have always maintained, that L$ is real money, based upon the fact that its linked to the Financial stock market rates around the world, face book credits or my sub for Star Wars doesnt fluctuate with the Wolrds Financial Currency Market rates, but L$ does, making it , in all but law legal tender, whatever the terms of sevice says.

 
If it's legal tender in all but law then it's not legal tender. It is not linked to the stock market rates around the world.. The L$ dollar value hasn't moved in years.

I think if people lose many thousands of real $ or GBP because of the loss of a huge inventory, I can see a few cases being bought up for consideration, despite the TOS, courts can over rule and side with customers who have used an economy currency that connected to RL currency market rates, hence, thats not Play money, what ever way you look at it.

 
You can think that, the law says otherwise.

Hence LL is wrong when They call it just a game, if their Currency, has a flucuating value based on RL exhange rates, then its  A  game based on Real life values, both asset wise and currency wise.  I can see many people, esecially mega sim owners making possible claims for loss of income, if there's no compensation offer. As I see it, courts will say there should be a safety net to protect the amount of cah put into SL......lest not forget, this place is one of, if not the most expensive places to invest money into a virtual world, for a very long time. At 1000$ a sim, thats a lot of real currency not play money. In my home Town, that amount in GBP would pay for one months REAL rent for a one bed flat.  LL has to be realistic, and know people wont pay these sort of prices again, when there is already a very bad shortage of real housing in UK, plus with no one getting wage rises for 3 years or more, just as in US, LL will price themselves out of the whole virtual world market if they try an maintain really insane land prices /  tiers again. 

 
LL has never called it a game. Ever. The difference in your analogy about RL rent is, you do not have to rent land in SL to use it. That is entirely optional.

LL next time round really has to decide legally, because The world is watching financial transactions closely the next few years, If the L$ is still being floated within second life with buying or selling them based on RL exchange rates, then I believe its nonsence to suggest LL can call it play money any longer. They will have set L$ at a set price, and not play it on the exchange market, before I ever enter a new SL. Whats your take on legallity of LL of using the Worlds Currency market rates to set the L$ of each day.??

Again, the exchange rates for L$ to USD has not fluctuated in over 6 years. The L$ does not change from day to day. If that was the case then when the US experienced the second biggest recession ever it would have dropped like a stone. Which it did not do.

 

Do a little research before making sweeping statements about the L$ please.

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

It is not linked to the stock market rates around the world.. The L$ dollar value hasn't moved in years.
 


Just a quick clarification - not even really, since it's an oversight you've accidentally inherited from Michela's reply:-

Since the L$-to-dollar value hasn't changed, that actually means that it is tied to the US Dollar. It's not tied to "stock markets around the world" (not your wording), just to one currency. The US Dollar has moved around a lot, which means I get more L$ for my non-US currency. A US resident however, may not notice this better value (because it remains consistant).

To agree with you - This quality of the Linden Dollar is not unique to L$, or Second Life. Plenty of other online services tie their in-game tokens to their own local currency - I'd say most, but I've not run the numbers - I just know it'd be hard not to do this. Tying the tokens to the currency in this way doesn't make them 'real money' for lots and lots of important legal/economic reasons.

I agree with the sentiment of your post and I know what you meant, just... nit-picky. :)

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 I can see many people, esecially mega sim owners making possible claims for loss of income, if there's no compensation offer.

I dont see why LL need to compensate, the sim owners are running a business. If the keep to the end then the can lose money. If a shop in rl stay in a town where people are running away from, then you have 2 options. close the shop and hope you can sell it. and move on to new place or just stop complete.

But in RL you dont get a compensation because your shop is running bad , because you did stay to long in empty town.

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Our Treasury department have used the official US definition of a virtual currency as being «a medium of exchange that operates like a currency in some environments, but does not have all the attributes of real currency. In particular the virtual currency does not have legal tender status in any jurisdiction»

Based on this definition they concluded Bitcoin (and other virtual currencies) are not covered by any EU directives covering payment services and money. So the status is that within the EU virtiual currencies are not legal tender. 

Some countries, like Germany have made special provisions for Bitcoin, but most will regard it as property if even that. 

In my country they don't even regard it as such, and any proceeds from SecondLife is simply treated as winnigs from a game, and is hence free of taxation. 

I assume even region owners are covered under the same TOS as the rest of the residents, and unless there is a special business contract covering this, as far as EU is concerned it all falls under consumer legislation. 

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:


Michaelatv Destiny wrote:

well actually I have always maintained, that L$ is real money, based upon the fact that its linked to the Financial stock market rates around the world, face book credits or my sub for Star Wars doesnt fluctuate with the Wolrds Financial Currency Market rates, but L$ does, making it , in all but law legal tender, whatever the terms of sevice says.

 
If it's legal tender in all but law then it's not legal tender. It is not linked to the stock market rates around the world.. The L$ dollar value hasn't moved in years.

I think if people lose many thousands of real $ or GBP because of the loss of a huge inventory, I can see a few cases being bought up for consideration, despite the TOS, courts can over rule and side with customers who have used an economy currency that connected to RL currency market rates, hence, thats not Play money, what ever way you look at it.

 
You can think that, the law says otherwise.

Hence LL is wrong when They call it just a game, if their Currency, has a flucuating value based on RL exhange rates, then its  A  game based on Real life values, both asset wise and currency wise.  I can see many people, esecially mega sim owners making possible claims for loss of income, if there's no compensation offer. As I see it, courts will say there should be a safety net to protect the amount of cah put into SL......lest not forget, this place is one of, if not the most expensive places to invest money into a virtual world, for a very long time. At 1000$ a sim, thats a lot of real currency not play money. In my home Town, that amount in GBP would pay for one months REAL rent for a one bed flat.  LL has to be realistic, and know people wont pay these sort of prices again, when there is already a very bad shortage of real housing in UK, plus with no one getting wage rises for 3 years or more, just as in US, LL will price themselves out of the whole virtual world market if they try an maintain really insane land prices /  tiers again. 

 
LL has never called it a game. Ever. The difference in your analogy about RL rent is, you do not have to rent land in SL to use it. That is entirely optional.

LL next time round really has to decide legally, because The world is watching financial transactions closely the next few years, If the L$ is still being floated within second life with buying or selling them based on RL exchange rates, then I believe its nonsence to suggest LL can call it play money any longer. They will have set L$ at a set price, and not play it on the exchange market, before I ever enter a new SL. Whats your take on legallity of LL of using the Worlds Currency market rates to set the L$ of each day.??

Again, the exchange rates for L$ to USD has not fluctuated in over 6 years. The L$ does not change from day to day. If that was the case then when the US experienced the second biggest recession ever it would have dropped like a stone. Which it did not do.

 

Do a little research before making sweeping statements about the L$ please.

So much going on here.

First of all I don't think a Court would order compensation because we clearly accepted there were no 'guarantees.'  The only possible way I could see it happening is if on the day they opened the Next Generation Platform they closed Second Life.  A Court might find that to be a deceptive business practice.  But even then I'm not sure.  But for now it is a moot point because they have said they aren't closing SL.  So anyone who is leaving now is doing so of their own volition. 

As to the future, we will just have to see what happens.  It really would not matter (take that with a small grain of salt) what the cause was, if LL closed SL because it had become unprofitable, we'd still have no recourse.  Also, if LL should close it's doors, even if you prevailed in Court you'd get nothing because LL has no cash.  (If someone doesn't understand that last statement then you need to go take Business 101 again).

But getting back to the Linden Dollar and the Lindex, let's clear up one misconception.  Linden Lab has never said that Linden Dollars have no value.  Their value is defined in the TOS.  They did change the TOS from describing them as an "Inworld Currency" to a "License," but that could be looked at as a clarification.  Inara Pey has an interesting discussion of the subject here.

As to the issue of Fluctuation, actually yes the value of the Linden Dollar as weighed against the U.S. Dollar does fluctuated, but the Fluctuations are small.  Link.   (Some things I can't document now so if any one else can provide links that would be appreciated.)  What Linden Lab can do is step in by inflating or deflating the Money Supply / Total $L Supply.  They can even go as far as suspending trading on the Lindex (there are circuit breakers in the system) should the fluctuations get wild.

One thing that has me curious is how the Value of the $L ever got set to begin with.  For the sake of this dicusion we'll keep it simple by setting it at around 250L per US Dollar, a nice round number.

When SL opened there was no where or way to buy $L.  What everyone got was a stipend or earned $L from Linden Lab by hosting events, etc. Linden Lab simply added to the Money Supply as it was needed. Link.  At first there was no way to buy or sell $L.

But as the Economy grew 3rd Party exchanges opened first.  It wasn't until October 2005 that LL opened the Lindex.  Link.

What I don't know is if LL looked at the exchange rates on the 3rd party exchanges and set the initial rate on the Lindex accordingly or if they set a rate and the 3rd parties fell in line.  My guess it was based on what was happenning on the 3rd party exchanges. But I really don't know.  Perhaps an Old Timer could fill in some of this.

ETA: Clarity

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