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Darrius Gothly

A Left-Handed Look at Sansar

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Pamela Galli wrote:


Dresden wrote:

 

Pamela Galli wrote:

Well I can tell you one thing that no one, but no one at LL, has the faintest, foggiest clue about. And that is customer service.

And they've no intention of learning about it... especially for Sansar.  Where, as Ebbe has already stated, users will basically be considered customers of those who create the "experiences".  Which leads one to believe that, from LL's perspective, only these so-called "experience providers" will be considered direct customers of LL.  Therefore, it is
they
(the "experience providers") who will be responsible for providing service to
their
customers, bypassing the need for LL to provide any service to anyone other than
them
.

Pretty nifty workaround, don't ya think?

...Dres

Sounds about right, just more of the same -- except in SL you already have quite a lot of  ppl who want to create stuff AND play store. What I imagine for Sansar is that game asset creators will sell full perm wholesale to ppl who do want to play store/experience provider, which would mean far fewer CS requests about how to find things in inventory, etc.  

Well, we've been the 'unsung heroes' of SL for ages now.  We have been the volunteer support staff with out whom SL would grind to a halt.  Sure there's the Knowledge Base and the Wiki, but I am left with the distinct impression very few read any of it and if they do it's because we have directed them there.

If LL had to pay staff to do the support work we do I think it would bankrupt  them.

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This forum is where I go when a customer has a problem I can't figure out. The helpers here are the most valuable unsung heros in SL. (Along with the Firestorm ppl inworld, Whirly in a class by herself.)

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Anya Ristow wrote:

It got people into SL chasing far-fetched promises


It did indeed but that meant they actually came here and made this make-believe world of ours a little bit more alive. ;)

 


Anya Ristow wrote:

and made SL a place of redundant, low-quality crap in eyesore stores with traffic-faking bots, gamed marketplace, gamed events listings, gamed search, gamed classifieds, gamed map, creepy, non-responsive (bot) avatars to make newbies feel unwelcome, phony banks and stock exchanges, ad farms, spam, and creepy fake events in the pursuit of trivial amounts of tip money and side sales from tacky, laggy vendors.


Those are the blessings of a completely unregulated market where merchants and traders are free from responsibility for their actions.

 


Anya Ristow wrote:

IMO "the ability for people to make money here" caused SL to fail.


Did SL fail? It's been here for more than twelve years now and although it's hardly still going strong, at least it's still going. That's actually an amazing achievement in itself.

Compare it to the other hypergrid based virtual realities. Yes, for each serious content creator in SL there are probably 10 copybotters, 100 pretenders and 1000 happy amateurs who just want to have fun putting things together. That's not good of course but it's still a much higher ratio of serious creators than any of the other grids has to show. Much, maybe most, of SL if garbage but not all. Even today there are many true gems to be found here. As far as I know there is only one sim worth seeing on any of the other grids and it was made by Yadni Monde who wouldn't have been a great builder if it wasn't for Second Life. (Edit: no, make that two. Aley's also been busy on another grid recently.)

Compared to those other grids SL is a huge success and I do believe that's very much because of the good content creators who came here looking for the promised land. Most of them were of course taken in by empty promises but they still delivered their part of the deal to the benefit of LL's investors and everybody who truly love and appreciate Second Life as a virtual world.

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Perrie Juran wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:


Dresden wrote:

 

Pamela Galli wrote:

Well I can tell you one thing that no one, but no one at LL, has the faintest, foggiest clue about. And that is customer service.

And they've no intention of learning about it... especially for Sansar.  Where, as Ebbe has already stated, users will basically be considered customers of those who create the "experiences".  Which leads one to believe that, from LL's perspective, only these so-called "experience providers" will be considered direct customers of LL.  Therefore, it is
they
(the "experience providers") who will be responsible for providing service to
their
customers, bypassing the need for LL to provide any service to anyone other than
them
.

Pretty nifty workaround, don't ya think?

...Dres

Sounds about right, just more of the same -- except in SL you already have quite a lot of  ppl who want to create stuff AND play store. What I imagine for Sansar is that game asset creators will sell full perm wholesale to ppl who do want to play store/experience provider, which would mean far fewer CS requests about how to find things in inventory, etc.  

Well, we've been the 'unsung heroes' of SL for ages now.  We have been the volunteer support staff with out whom SL would grind to a halt.  Sure there's the Knowledge Base and the Wiki, but I am left with the distinct impression very few read any of it and if they do it's because we have directed them there.

If LL had to pay staff to do the support work we do I think it would bankrupt  them.

This is exactly the point where I predict failure will occur. Even companies that should know better how to allocate and pay for resources (meaning "employees") such as retail outlets and the like .. even they are cutting off their own noses by hiring only the cheapest, least skilled people and beating them mercilessly with stupid hours, minimum wage rates and exclusion from anything livable.

Make no mistake, LL would crater themselves just like any other modern company would do, in order to prevent actually paying for decent labor and support. Look at what Sears did in the past 20 years that has nearly killed a very old company, simply because they couldn't be bothered to pay for decent customer service people.

The two goals of modern business are simple: More money in, less money out. Every other consideration is forbidden unless they are directly tied to those two goals. That means doing something that will cost a bit of money tomorrow, but will make piles of it in two years .. that's out. It's a mistake that companies choose every day .. and it shows up in LL's history as well.

Sansar may very well get a good start, and may very well have some neat tech and fun toys. But when problems occur, and when LL realizes they've not absolved themselves of customer support but merely made it more expensive .. they'll take actions to shift the costs even further off themselves .. and begin the mudslide that ends in disaster.

Professional Creators won't accept the CSR duties we all carry silently (and FREE). They will build it into their costs and push some of it back on LL. The net result will be that end-users won't get support like they deserve or need, both parties (creators and LL) will blame the other .. and the problem will never be resolved.

Bottom line? Pissed off customers .. aren't customers any more.

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ChinRey wrote:

Did SL fail?

It certainly fell far, far short of LL's goals. And from the perspective of those of us who loved SL and heavily invested time and treasure into it, but no longer sign in, yes, it has failed.

 

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I've read a few of your posts Anya, and it's clear that you see a lot of things wrong with how Second Life has turned out. *shrugs* Each of us comes away with our own interpretation of reality .. and viruality.

But the concept of falling "short of LL's goals" begged me to reply.

My interpretation of the Early Days involves two separate sets of goals. One of them was Philip's original grand vision, the other was the corporate-dictated financial bottom line.

Philip was extremely hypnotic when he got on the soapbox and preached the glory of his future vision. He could paint a picture for people that made them want to climb in and see it for themselves. He courted technical types that could make it happen, and he courted money types that would pay for it. But central to his pitch was the complex, organic and ever mysterious world that could be realized in a Virtual Environment.

I'm gonna have to call that one a win.

The corporate mandate to make a financial success ... that one ... not a win. But I see that as having two primary causes. One of those is the fact that the customer base is shrinking, costs are increasing, and the overall popularity of the platform is reaching a natural lifespan. The other though is perhaps more germane to understanding what is going on.

The second cause for Linden Lab not attaining their goals is .. businesses never do. No matter how much money flows in the door this week, the goal is always "next week, we do more!" That's just the nature of how business works.

The real failure, if one can be singled out in this instance, is that the company has made decisions based on financial reasons .. and probably only short-term reasons .. that have had an appreciable and negative effect on the user base. LL has chosen to take short money at the loss of future income. And that too is endemic to far too many companies these days.

Second Life is still full of the vitality, beauty, ugliness and chaos that Philip first dreamed. And there are still a bunch of us doing everything we can to keep it vital, beautiful, ugly and chaotic whenever we can. *wink*

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Interesting thoughts here. Still, I agree to disagree with those who claim that Second Life "failed". It certainly did not. There still are about 18,000 sims out there which are paid for by someone, plus the Linden continents (which, admittedly, look pretty wasted these days). 25,000 sims. Second Life only failed to fulfill the mainstream dream. It never really went mainstream, and lately since 2009 it never even came close again.

You can debate on why it failed to become a mainstream product, of course. And Linden Lab intentions. Maybe that´s the key for understanding "Project Sansar". Why should a company make a big fuss over something like "Project Sansar"? Certainly not for replacing the successful niche product by another niche product in the same niche.

Linden Lab wants more than the niche, and they ever wanted more than the niche. I remember times when they still were talking <in open> of "millions of new users" and whatever when they introduced sculpties and, later on, 3D object imports. Obviously neither sculpties nor 3D object imports attracted these "millions of new users". These features neither boosted Second Life nor did they ruin Second Life, but they certainly failed to turn Second Life into the wished mainstream product.

I guess this did not stay unnoticed at Linden Lab. And the question: "What made Second Life fail in the mainstream sense" is the answer to all open questions on "Project Sansar" - if there is any brain cell  left at the Lab. And if they aren´t completely shut off the real world by wearing  Oculus Rift 24/7.

To me its a mixed bag of reasons. ´The most obvious reasons are:

- Pricing (it´s WAY too expensive to rent a server - probably it´s CRAZY expensive to host these servers and backbones, too)

- Ease of use and learning curve (It´s WAY too complicated to learn for mainstream - not only because of a borked UI)

- Nipples (Mainstream hates nipples)

- Scalabilty (When SL scratched the 100 k user barrier in 2008 it almost died)

- The limits of the average home PC (Yes folks, look at what sells on the mainstream PC/tablet market).

There could be other (debatable) reasons like a mediocre to lousy customer service, some kneejerk strategical Lab desicions,regarding "attracting business", a not working advertisement and PR strategy, leaving the extremely promising path of uniformed in-world builing by in-world toolsets, missing the point of mainstream entry by producing negative headlines just when it was about to happen, and so on and so on. But i guess these reasons play a minor role and are directly connected or results of the listed main reasons, somehow.

And maybe, maybe, maybe .. this planet isn´t really ready or not willing to adopt ANY kind of Second Life like Virtual Reality in the mainstream sense. Forget the hype on VR and see what´s really mainstream after 12 years of Second Life and numerous parallel and similar attempts: Minecraft, Facebook and Google. While numerous Flash games cover the mainstream online-game market.  And nothing beats WoW if it comes to 3D online gaming, while WoW runs an even older and more limited engine as SL runs.

Anyways, let´s assume that this planet is ready for the mainstream VR Linden Lab ever dreamt of. Whatever the Lab will come up with, it will not be a second Second Life. Because if they want to avoid problems with pricing, usability, nipples, scalability and mainstream computing limits they must strip things down to the bone and hope that the new shaders will make people believe that this is "progress". I have no clue what exactly the Lab is up to, but i do not expect a miracle or something as "significant" as (OMG!) "next generation".

I only hope for Linden Lab and Second Life that it will succeed, at least SOMEHOW, and not destroy the still pretty successful  niche product which enables Linden Lab to just THINK of going mainstream.

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Sassy Romano wrote:


Vivienne Schell wrote:

 

- Nipples (Mainstream
USA
hates nipples)


Fixed that for you. 

(once again thanking the fact that I am SO not mainstream ... :matte-motes-evil: )

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see that is now a new SL avatar bones set

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Release_Notes/Second_Life_Project_Bento/5.0.0.309171

is pretty good I think

+

in the sense of transistion, compatibility with Sansar, is even more pretty good. Could mean that the same SL new-mesh avatar can be used in both SL and Sansar, seems to me. I dont see why this would not be the case

if so then it raises other intriguing possibilities for SL new-mesh models, like buildings and furniture for example. Pretty much all new-mesh models could be made for both platforms. Or at least modded more easily by the creators to display in Sansar, rather than having to make all again from scratch

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Sassy Romano wrote:


Vivienne Schell wrote:

 

- Nipples (Mainstream
USA
hates nipples)


Fixed that for you. 

I must not be mainsteam.  ;)

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Vivienne Schell wrote:...

..."What made Second Life fail in the mainstream sense"...To me its a mixed bag of reasons. ´The most obvious reasons are:

- Pricing (it´s WAY too expensive to rent a server - probably it´s CRAZY expensive to host these servers and backbones, too)

- Ease of use and learning curve (It´s WAY too complicated to learn for mainstream - not only because of a borked UI)

- Nipples (Mainstream hates nipples)

- Scalabilty (When SL scratched the 100 k user barrier in 2008 it almost died)

- The limits of the average home PC (Yes folks, look at what sells on the mainstream PC/tablet market).


Here are mine:

- Bots. To a new-comer every place you visit in SL seems to be full of anti-social people. There's a room full of people who are apparently talking to each other, but they aren't saying anything intelligent, but more importantly, any attempt to talk to them is ignored. To someone new to SL this is off-putting. It appears you are being ignored. Even more off-putting and creepy is a room full of or an info node full of avatars who aren't saying anything at all. And they, too, will ignore you.

- Make money selling crap. People came to check out SL and what they saw was an eyesore. Tacky, ugly, empty stores everywhere, selling tacky, ugly crap. When they searched for stuff they found crap. When they checked the events list they found crap. When they sought clumps of avatars on they map they found empty stores, empty because the box of bots was hidden in the sky. Every avenue for finding stuff and connecting with people was gamed and full of crap. LL let this happen because they have a libertarian left, west-coast philosphy of everyone gets a pat on the head. Even people who are damaging their platform.

- Fake success. Actual, human activity peaked in 2007 or so. The only economic measure that wasn't gamed was classifieds spending, and it peaked in 2007. Google's interest plots are shaped the same way. They peaked in 2007. Every other measure was gamed, by residents and by LL themselves. Concurrency plots are shaped (but not scaled) exactly as they were in 2007, almost line-on-line, as if someone captured a week of data in 2007 and simply replicated it week after week since. The grid is so much bigger now than when people were actually interested in SL, but it's mostly empty, as if half of it isn't being paid for. LL used a doubling, and perhaps even a quadrupling, of server capacity to grow the grid with unused regions, rather than lowering tier.

But the worst part of fake success is that almost all the I'm-making-money-in-SL stories that got so many people into SL turned out to be making tier, or almost making tier, or beer money.

- Nipples. You say mainstream hates nipples. Actually, this is a residents-killed-SL thing. Mainstream isn't frightened by tacky, slutty avatars and kink. They just don't feel like they are in the company of adults when they find it *everywhere*.

 

There are three take-aways:

1) Had SL been actually successful, the technical limitations of the platform could have been fixed over time. LL's striving for the appearance of success killed any chance of actual success, so having no resources to grow the platform is their own fault.

2) The great bulk of people who might be interested in the platform came in 2006 and 2007 and they didn't like what they saw. There will never, ever be that many people visiting SL again. The platform is now limited to only people who are newly old enough or newly computer-enabled. This is a small number compared to 2006 and 2007. The same thing will happen to Sansar if LL doesn't get it right. They need to retain more of the great bulk of initial visitors.

3) The type pf people SL did retain mock everything that is mainstream. This does not bode well for any VR platform that will attract the same people.

 

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Anya Ristow wrote:

There are three take-aways:

1) Had SL been actually successful, the technical limitations of the platform could have been fixed over time. LL's striving for the appearance of success killed any chance of actual success, so having no resources to grow the platform is their own fault.

2) The great bulk of people who might be interested in the platform came in 2006 and 2007 and they didn't like what they saw. There will never, ever be that many people visiting SL again. The platform is now limited to only people who are newly old enough or newly computer-enabled. This is a small number compared to 2006 and 2007. The same thing will happen to Sansar if LL doesn't get it right. They need to retain more of the great bulk of initial visitors.

3) The type pf people SL did retain mock everything that is mainstream. This does not bode well for any VR platform that will attract the same people. 

1) It depends on the definition of "success". Near as I can tell, SL is still operating, so there is an argument to be made that it is successful. There are a number of knock-on businesses and individuals that are also deriving income from the continued operation, so again I'd mark that as success.

However SL did not live up to the Investor's dreams of success. All the hype and buzz that went into SL's genesis, the era in which it was launched, led to a situation of severe over-hype. Expectations that could never be met, weren't met. So we have the ticklish situation of a commercial success being treated as a failure.

More and more pressure has been put on each successive CEO to somehow meet the original impossible goals, and each one has had less and less chance of pulling it off .. especially given the tighter and tighter constraints placed upon them.

2) The entire market for online entertainment has splintered in 1000's of directions since 2007. Very few garner more than a few 100,000 active users. Only the really BIG names make it above those levels, and they have attributes that give them advantages others don't get.

You're not looking at something that is predominantly SL's fault. You're looking at a basic (but really unique and spectacular) online venture that is seeing continued business .. but believes it should be one of the big names. You are seeing them make decisions in the hunt for bigness. And you are seeing them fail because that level of bigness isn't to be found in these fields.

3) And HERE is the real crux. Us oddballs, weirdos, nutjobs and just plain anti-establishment people in SL .. are your boss, your neighbor, your preacher .. and maybe even your significant other. We ARE people, same as everyone else. But the PERCEPTION held by "Mainstream" is that we are unsuitable because we wear funny clothes, or skins or do extremish stuff .. for pretend!

We see the fantasy, the frivolity and the pleasure in making believe .. and in getting RL benefits too (for many of us). But there are those that see the outside and make their once and forever decision on that alone.

So you tell me .. Is SL ugly, or just different than what others call "acceptable"?

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

1) It depends on the definition of "success".


Hey, I was going to say that!

Second Life never reached its full potential of course and it certainly was anywhere near what the hype claimed it to be. But there's a long way from there down to downright failure.

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ChinRey wrote:


Darrius Gothly wrote:

1) It depends on the definition of "success".


Hey, I was going to say that!

I'll rent it to ya .. cheap! :imabratbot: (why don't they ever have the GOOD emojis?)

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It seems to me that LL is, and has always been, trying to shoot for "mainstream" acceptance adoption.  That will never happen no matter how wonderful what they have to offer ends up being.  SL is a niche... virtual worlds are a niche.  The "mainstream" are more concerned with their real lifes, as they should be.  What they really want is to connect with RL people who can add something to thier RL lives.

Those of us wishing to project ourselves as make-believe people (aka, avatars) are and will always be in the minority (niche... if you will).  Only in someone's psychotic, dystopian fantasy would a majority of so-called normal people adopt the sort of alternate personas which most of us SL users cherish about ourselves.  We are not, nor will we ever be mainstream... and not just cause we don't wanna be.

Unfortunately, LL has never understood this simple fact of human nature.  It matters not how great their new virtual world will be.  They'll still be catering to a small demographic... a demographic over which they currently dominate.

Sansar will never be adopted by the masses.  I simply fail to see why LL doesn't understand that their current SL user base isn't their best customer for the next generation platform.

...Dres

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Dresden Ceriano wrote:

It seems to me that LL is, and has always been, trying to shoot for "mainstream"
acceptance
adoption.  That will never happen no matter how wonderful what they have to offer ends up being.  SL is a niche... virtual worlds are a niche.  The "mainstream" are more concerned with their real lifes, as they should be.  What they really want is to connect with RL people who can add something to thier RL lives.

Those of us wishing to project ourselves as make-believe people (aka, avatars) are and will always be in the minority (niche... if you will).  Only in someone's psychotic, dystopian fantasy would a majority of so-called normal people adopt the sort of alternate personas which most of us SL users cherish about ourselves.  We are not, nor will we ever be mainstream... and not just cause we don't wanna be.

Unfortunately, LL has never understood this simple fact of human nature.  It matters not how great their new virtual world will be.  They'll still be catering to a small demographic... a demographic over which they currently dominate.

Sansar will never be adopted by the masses.  I simply fail to see why LL doesn't understand that their current SL user base isn't their best customer for the next generation platform.

...Dres

Unless ....

Sansar uses 3D Virtual Reality input to animate and manipulate a virtual representation of your RL self. So you become the Avatar, placed into a virtual presentation of the Real World, interacting with other RL people in the same RL environment.

Second Life but with RL people actors instead of make-believe avatar actors.

Gahhhhhh!! (my head just exploded)

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

Unless ....

Sansar uses 3D Virtual Reality input to animate and manipulate a virtual representation of your RL self. So you become the Avatar, placed into a virtual presentation of the Real World, interacting with other RL people in the same RL environment.

Second Life but with RL people actors instead of make-believe avatar actors.

Gahhhhhh!! (my head just exploded)

I thought that was what High Fidelity was trying to accomplish... not Sansar.

...Dres

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Talking this out with "the kids" .. we've come to a conclusion.

It would require putting artificial limitations on the body mechanics and the contents (clutter?) found in the virtual world. SL's big drawback is the total immensity of the "possible" things. By limiting the possible .. by hand-selecting a small-ish set of creators .. you can make something that is very realistic, useable by the masses, and puts them into a real-life looking experience.

Did I just say .. "Experience"?

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Dresden Ceriano wrote:

It seems to me that LL is, and has always been, trying to shoot for "mainstream"
acceptance
adoption.

Yeah, that's the hype I was talking about.

There are lots of speculations about the future of virtual reality. Here are three clear and obvious facts for a change:

  1. There will never be a mass market virtual reality named Second Life.
  2. There will never be a mass market virtual reality named Sansar (or one that was named Sansar in the development stage).
  3. There will never be a mass market virtual reality named High Fidelity.

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Dresden Ceriano wrote:

  Only in someone's psychotic, dystopian fantasy would a majority of so-called normal people adopt the sort of alternate personas which most of us SL users cherish about ourselves.  We are not, nor will we ever be mainstream... and not just cause we don't wanna be.

 

...Dres

Agree. I have only one friend that I think might get SL. The rest are too normal and well adjusted.:matte-motes-big-grin-wink:  I do think of many SL friends as normal and well adjusted, too, but then I remind myself: well, except they ARE in SL. You just have to be a bit off center to get SL, much less take to it like so many of us do.

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Dresden Ceriano wrote:

Those of us wishing to project ourselves as make-believe people (aka, avatars) are and will always be in the minority (niche... if you will).  Only in someone's psychotic,dystopian fantasy would a majority of so-called normal people adopt the sort of alternatepersonas which most of usSL users cherish about ourselves.  We are not, nor will we ever be mainstream... and not just cause we don't wanna be.

There's this thing called American Exceptionalism, which used to mean America is new and different but has come to mean that we're better than you.

Among people who read a lot, there's a conflation of knowledge and intelligence, and the belief that people who don't know about topics specifically what I've read about must be uneducated, and therefore stupid. We'll call it Literary Exceptionalism.

Among computer programmers there's this belief that people who lack computer skills, or who value social networks and clicking on things willy-nilly over protecting their computer, are dumb. We'll call it Coder Exceptionalism.

Among Christians there's this belief that if you don't believe what we believe you're going to be tormented for eternity in this thing called Hell. We'll call it Christian Exceptionalism. There's a Muslim Exceptionalism, too.

Among the illiberal left there's this belief that bigotry and prejudice are signs of ignorance and stupidity, unless the bigotry and prejudice is against the right people, in which case those are signs of enlightenment and progressiveness. We'll call it Progressive Exceptionalism. There is, of course, a Conservative Exceptionalism, too.

And there's this belief that people who lack imagination and intelligence, that is, most people who aren't us, can't possibly understand or enjoy an avatar in a 3D virtual environment. We'll call it Rosedalean Exceptionalism. We know that the unwashed, mundane masses can't undertand us because none of them have ever played with dolls, worn costumes, played dress-up or cowboys and indians or cops and robbers or doctor, none of them have a favorite character in Anime or enjoy movies like Star Wars, none of them enjoy first-person shooters or online RPGs like WOW, none of them enjoy porn, or could even figure out how to find some online, none of them spend time online communicating with real-world friends, as we all know that the likes of Facebook are a total flop, we know that texting and IMing are beyond their abilty, and they wouldn't want to do those things if they managed to figure them out, and certainly none of them are capable of becoming friends with people they only know online.

 

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Ha! objectives?? what objectives? If you mean LLs objectives, thats a real trash heap of a goal or decision. LLs constantly makes bad decisions as an 'objective' and they have for yrs, since 1999, matter of fact. Look, SL was meant to be a social media, it succeeded, but not thanks to LLs and their 'decisions', which often worked against the people they tried to keep or attract.  They allowed stupid people, owners, and trolls to flourish, whilst throwing the people who were unique to the curb, favoring those suck-up, mindless, follow-alongs and deviants who genuinly tried to make it better.

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