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What's your opinion on SL's community as a whole?


JPG0809
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I know many stand by their opinion that SL doesn't have just one single community, but a multitude of them. Now, though I understand and can agree to some extent, I would like to make a comparision.

If you've ever played an MMORPG, there's usually a feature in which players can create a "guild'. Guilds are groups of players who join up together to perform a specific task such as crafting, hunting, collecting, or just simply a group of friends who just want to hangout and enjoy the game together. I tend to see guilds in MMORPG's the same way we see groups in SL. However, no matter what way you cut it, each and every group have something in common no matter how different they are from each other.

We all enjoy/use SL.

So, as a whole and not just from the groups you associate with, what is your opinion on the grid's community?

I'm not excluding your groups at all, they are definately valid in your decision, but what about newbs, random strangers you meet/chat with while you're exploring, that woman you saw walking into a wall for 2 minutes straight. Put it all together and say what you like, what you don't like, or just a simple summary on SL's public. Maybe this can hopefully be applied to the new Sansar project and what we would also like from it!

 

Thank you!

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What community?

In my opinion there is none. We might all use SL, but thats about it. Behond that, there are just little "interest groups" who are here for a certain thing (like Building or doing really bad roleplay in Gor). Groups are not compareable to guilds in MMORPGs. You join a guild because you want company or to be able to do activities like raiding (or benefit from guild bonuses in certain mmos), but you do not join a group because of that.

SL groups are either for shopping, event-updates and for showing your interests. In most groups, the groupchat is always silent and often not even intended to be used for chatting randomly. The groupmembers also rarely know each other.

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Hmm, closest (very loose) fit from the OED is

'Community..
 8. An online facility, such as an electronic bulletin board, forum, or chat room, where users can share information or discuss topics of mutual interest.'

And that only describes tiny subsets.

So I would say there is no overarching 'community' at all, only created accounts, a vast number of them. Even there, if we take the active ones ( nope not going to try to count those ) there are clear divisions. Take these forums. There are accounts that are not aware they exist, accounts that read them (a subset of whom participate) and even accounts that never actually log in world and whose sole purpose is to be active here. All SLers. Sole connection.

There are communities within that set of accounts, loads of them, but apart from opening an account - nope, for which I am grateful. As imposing the label 'community' on a disparate group who have only a single link leads to self appointed 'community leaders' and, to misquote Granny Weatherwax, "I can't be having with all that".

(Although Mistress W may be closer in some ways with  "Don't do what you will, do what I tells you." =^^=  )



(I considered ' 5b. A group of people who share the same interests, pursuits, or occupation, esp. when distinct from those of the society in which they live. ' but only the last part seemed applicable ).

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My opinions, on the sl community huh....My definition of "the sl community" would simply be the collective of all residents in sl..not necessarily the typical definition of "community", most likely. In fact, I don't think I'd actually define it as a community at all, to be honest. 

It's very welcoming, despite the belief otherwise, of people who *want to be welcomed. Those who choose not to be, well, no one can help them. Otherwise, there are so many places, and so many ways one can be welcomed, it's unreal, perhaps even overwhelming for some people.

It's very vast, with a multitude of smaller communities and groups, that themselves have smaller groups, and so on and so forth.

It can be amazingly helpful, if you actually try to look in the places where the help you seek is A-welcome and B-likely available. It can be a helpful place, but not to those who don't try and help themselves too. In that way, it's no different than many areas in life, now is it? That goes for all areas of sl and where the community exists.

There is something here for everyone, and every thing. Things I like, things I don't like, and everything in between, it all exists in sl.

It is, surprisingly, quite protective of itself, even some of the loudest naysayers will protect the areas of their(perceived, perhaps?) community, often quite proudly.

It's run by a bunch of nutters. By run, I don't mean LL, I mean us, residents. We're all a bunch of nutters in our own special way, and that's one thing that makes it special.

It's quite unique, comparisons to other places, games, websites, whatever have you, can be made, but on the whole, nothing truly compares. 

Those in charge of those of us who run this crazy place, aren't the sharpest pencils in the box, and have done a lot of things that would, easily, kill any other community. That's where being nutters comes in handy, we survive despite asinine moves and decisions ;)

It, like any community, has its own flaws. We change that which we can, and simply accept that which we cannot. Even when we raise our voices loud against that which we can change....few will ever truly leave for good(unless forced, either by LL, or some rl force that is much stronger than any force found within sl).

Ummm, I lost my train of thought, so if I think of what else I was going to say, I'll come back.

 

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I slightly disagree with others here; I think there are two primary and very active Communities within Second Life. In no particular order they are: Socialites and Creators.

Socialites routinely use SL for the immersive experience of sharing social interactions with their friends. They wander around, spend lots of time in chat, know all the best hangouts ... and generally couldn't build a box with two prims and an instruction manual.

Creators spend most of their time in SL either tearing things apart or putting them together. Any social activities are restricted to discussions with recipients (customers or just lucky friends) about a build, device, apparel, etc. Creators can't hold a purely social conversation for more than about 10 seconds because "I need to get back to fixing ..."

It used to be that the crossover between the two communities was wide and vital. But with all the impediments thrown into meeting the "minimum requirements" for a chosen community, the spare time available TO crossover is much less than it used to be.

If anything should be fixed in SL, it would be to find and remove the roadblocks that keep people from participating fully in both Communities. After all: "Man does not live by bread alone" .. and neither does SL.

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i am in pretty much the most used group in SL. Is like a guild in the OP sense

is over 65,000 members. and the chat goes all day 24/7. The mods pretty good. they just let it run most times bc the members are pretty good. like know the rules and follow them

sometimes a new person maybe post something that they shouldnt. but mod tells them what is. New person goes oh! sorry about that. didnt know. and the mod goes no worries

+

is guild like in the sense that the members work together to get loot, bargains, free stuff, good stuff, etc. What fairs and that are happening. Who got in, who didnt, what is the lagg like at that place, O.M.G !! my hand fall off when I went to change my dress. (: all kinds of things. Who wants coffee. How many sugars. I get these clothes and I wear and I am a box !!! halp !!, etc etc etc. yap yap etc and yap more (:

and quite often heaps of members will pile into a place to help a person get the loot off a board or a hunt or whichever, even when they dont actual want it for themself. LMs getting dropped on people when they shout out and so on. So is pretty good

+

i pretty much invite any new person I met inworld to these kinda groups and others like it. Assume they stand still long enough for me to click on them (:

thru these groups then they can feel like they can belong somewhere at the start. And also can make friends more easy. Or even if dont make any friends, the group is always there for them

i think that is this last thats pretty much the most important. Knowing that there is a group of people who are welcoming to you. Who dont mind at all that you a new person or a oldbie or whichever 

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JPG0809 wrote:

So, as a whole and not just from the groups you associate with, what is your opinion on the grid's community?

Apart from the groups? Seems to me rule no. 1 in SL is Don't talk to strangers. I usually break that rule myself and every now and then some stranger actually replies to my hello and every now and then we even start talking. Got some really nice and interesting chats that way and some people I met at random even became good friends. :)

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The "Socialities" group does not really exist as a community. I would be part of that one, since I'm not a builder. But the non-builders are pretty diverse. You have the fashioncrowd, the typical club people, different types of roleplayers, escorts, ballroom enthusiasts, furries and many more. Most people are a mix of all of that and more, but all have in common that besides the fact they are not here for buidling, they share no deeper connection. And thats a bit too less to form a community.

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In short: It's real. (^_^)

That is to say; there is likely no other online environment with a user base as diverse as what's found in SL.  While it may be easy enough to chop the crowd into a couple umbrella archetypes, there is far more variety than can be said in a forum post. (^_^)

I have personally met a range of people who span from a totally vapid horndog machismo to a mathematician who can make prims dance in unbelievable ways.  Neither of them come close to representing what SL is and can be as a whole.  But, each contribute in their own way.  (^_^)y

 

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I believe the SL community is extremely diverse and residents may or may not interact outside with others.  Here are some communities I thought about.

Casual drop-in's. They heard about Second Life, dropped in for a minute or an hour, then left. Now they are a community of SL-expats who are SL experts.

Anthropologists doing ethnographical research (hope I spelled that right.)

People who are using Second Life to do something that they can't do as well in real life because of physical limitations or financial limitations or other restrictions. (That's people like me.)

Artists who create what is impossible in real life.

Builders, architects, code poets, real estate agents, educators, fashion designers, creators of all types.

And ("cough cough") we shouldn't forget those who just visit the 'red light' districts in our world. I'd like to pretend they don't exist, but they help the economy.

Hope this isn't too jumbled. I haven't had my coffee yet.

 

 

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the SL community is very "human", this place of the internet is different from others in that it doesnt have a specific purpose, for example DevianArt is about displaying and admiring art, WOW is about being a character who follows objectives with the tools provided, Steam is about downloading and playing games, Second Life gives you the freedom to do what you like with minimum restrictions, it allows the user to express himself without constrains, they express their most human and profound wishes with their actions and their creations, having a luxury house in an island, a gothic castle, experimenting with prims, leading an organization, being an animal, a superhero, its a community that express itself in unbelievable ways, due to the possibility of anonymity and the lack of restrictions.

Second Life people are also alternative thinking, the users that try it one day and leave can't really be counted as an essential part of the second life community, they saw the product, decided to not be part of it, and went elsewhere, those who decided to stay, even with the complexity of learning the viewer and rezzing and parcel restrictions, they have an open mind to find appreciation in this rare jewel of the internet, they could have stay in WOW and follow defined rules, but they preferred to stay in a place where "no rules" are in place, those people have a mind willing to accept the unexpected, willing to go thru the complexity in order to reach it, willing to be social oddballs by embracing a not so popular "hobby", in exhange of complete freedom of self expression.

the SL community is strange, they have in common knowledge of prims, teleports, clubs, stores with expensive mesh creations (even if they dont understand what is mesh), inventory scrolling, they have all that as their common life, they probably have found weird avatars, more than once, that makes them more tolerant of the self expression of others, you cant never know what kind strange thing you may find next, they may be weird to other people, and its ok, because they are expressing themselves as they feel like it.

there is a certain elitism in the sl community, those who dont care to spend much, or dont speak a language used widely in second life and limit them from aquiring many things, and those who manage everything easy and know many places, buy many things they want, that know a lot of SL history and been here many years, the "succesful" (in their own ways) are more confident, they may be business owners, own many different avatars, be the Master they want to be, they have very defined personality in their avatars, while the less succesful can be seen shying away, with a less elaborated avatar.

in terms of intelligence, they range from people with psychological problems, to very intelligent people that use this environment to experiment, Second Life has the whole range of human minds to express themselves freely.

Second Life is a garden of ideas, in a very fertile soil.

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In real life I can catch a bus and sometimes someone will want a chat, sometimes it will be a silent journey (bots? ;)  )

In Second Life I can randomly teleport to a busy-looking spot and sometimes someone will want a chat, and sometimes it will be a silent session (bots?).

My opinion as a whole will make me sound as schizophrenic as SL itself would seem to be. A MPP (multiple purpose platform) full of (DUDS) diverse and unique dreamy sorts.

But very much like in real life, you always gravitate mostly to those with whom you have most in common, whether you actively pursue roleplay zones or building areas or just like a bit of shopping, drinking virtual coffee, chatting, etc.

I believe there really is something for just about everyone in Second Life.

Newbs are just people like I was seven and a half years ago, to be helped wherever possible. Random strangers are potential friends, like the people I meet on the local bus service.

I haven't at all got my head around even the idea of the new Sansar project yet, and to be honest, I don't know if I will.  If my avatar name remains mine and is automatically transferred to the new grid or copied to the new grid as a wholly different new entity, then I shall be more inclined to migrate (if that be the right word), and attempt to become as familiar with the new place as I am with Second Life, but I shall not lose any sleep if this doesn't happen.

Have I missed anything?

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I like to disagree about your narrow idea about the WoW community. Its not one big cluster of people who go after items. Some are interested in raiding, some of that group do it on a highly sucess orientated level (progress raiding) and others do it with a bunch of online friends on a level of lower difficulty and less speedy. Some are mainly interested in PvP, again with different sets of commitment and skill involved. Then there are people who prefer the "fluff" like pet battles, questing, leveling alts, collecting archievements and stuff. And you have a vivid roleplaying scene, centered around RP servers, which also is in itself very diverse by what kind of concepts they play and what is their opinion on how to play.

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maybe raiding is their objective and they do so with the tools provided by the software, i mention WOW as a software, like other games, that defines objectives for you, give you a prefabricated characters to choose from, without much customizations comparing to SL. WOW is like Zelda or Final Fantasy, you can travel the world and level up raiding items, WOW is basically a game, i would say that WOW users are gamers, Second Life users are something else.

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Obviously some are in groups that aren't active. You can find a group that interests you and can get very active. For instance, Builder's Brewery and the Speakeasy groups. Rather lively chats about diverse subjects.

Twisted Hunt group gets pretty raucous as does the Hunt for Your Inner **bleep** group. Don't let the names turn you off to some groups. These diverse groups can band together for wonderful things, like the recent Lexi Project where over 300 inworld creators donated items where 100% went to help Lexi, owner of AngelRed Couture, with her medical bills. (thank you Toxic and Heather for your hard work btw). 

The Second Life community has the biggest hearts I've ever seen. Relay for Life, Soles for Souls, Wigs for Kids, Goth group in GB(forget the name), LGBT charities, just to name a few, recieve thousands of US dollars in contributions. I know I wait every year for the sponsored events to purchase things. 

Like any large city or country, the community is made of up smaller subsets that have their own interests but will come together when needed. In RL look at the people that came from all over the US to help NYC after 9/11, those that came together after Katrina, those that came after the Indonesian tsunami and the Japanese tsunami and nuclear disaster. SL is a reflection of RL, including the best and the worst we can be. 

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My opinion is that your definition of "community" is as broad as calling all of humanity a "community".  It's semantically reasonable, but unrealistic.

In terms of the people of SL as a whole, it's the same as it ever was, although the immature, juvenile nitwits who use it as a playground to grief others are less common.  Mainly, I assume, because SL is no longer new, exciting, hip, or, frankly, interesting to that type of person.  Which, I suppose, is a good thing.

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Tolya Ugajin wrote:

In terms of the people of SL as a whole, it's the same as it ever was, although the immature, juvenile nitwits who use it as a playground to grief others are less common.  Mainly, I assume, because SL is no longer new, exciting, hip, or, frankly, interesting to that type of person.  Which, I suppose, is a good thing.

they dont come anymore bc the LL engineers broke their toys

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and also the actual juveniles who were once actual juveniles grew up to not be juvys. They got older and now most of them parked up in a SL beach shack somewheres doing not much at all except ogle random passing avatars that go by their shack

and the ones who werent actual juveniles just crusty old people with a butthurt on, sloped off. bc broken toys  

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