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Phil Deakins

SL and its Learning Curve

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Anaiya Ahren wrote:

Just to be clear on the one hand - it makes no sense to you that the things you consider the necessities are hard to learn and you can't fathom that someone has trouble pushing the arrow key or typing on their keyboard.  It's easy to agree with that position.

On the other hand - you're sure this is the set of things people mean when they say "SL has a steep learning curve", but if both these things are true then that means these people are smart enough to easily create an account, find the arrow keys, type on their keyboard but too stupid to realize how easy they found it.   I find that impossible to agree with; actually it's just plain ludicrous.

The second paragraph isn't correct. I don't think that people who say that SL has a steep learning curve are refering to those easy things to learn. I don't think that at all. I think that those who say that SL has a steep learning curve mean that there's a lot to learn to acquire the ability/knowledge to use all the features of SL that we who have been here a while use, and that they think it happens at the beginning. If it did happen at the beginning then SL would indeed have a steep learning curve.

As I said earlier, each of us has only one experience of being at the beginning in SL, so we can only go by that experience, plus a touch of reasonable sense. Some may know people who really struggled to get to grips with the very basic things, but that can't be the norm for the average new user.

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Phil Deakins wrote:



Again, you are just arguing for the sake of arguing, and without any sense of reality. I can't grumble though. It's what is expected of you in this forum.


So are you, you're just doing it badly. Also expected.

This is the exact post you started this thread off with.

"I've just read another post that states that SL has a very steep learning curve. That statement is one of hundreds, if not thousands, of identical statements. I didn't find a steep learning curve at all, let alone a very steep one, so I want to ask what it is that people mean when they say that SL has a steep learning curve; i.e. what is steep about it?

I admit that, to get to use SL to its full takes time, but so do most other things such as all sort of programmes, technical equipment, such as PVRs, etc., etc., and the learning curves are gentle slopes - bit by bit - but there's nothing steep about learning to use SL. When I first came in, I learned that the cursor keys cause me to move in various directions, and I soon learned how to TP to places and talk locally. That's all I needed at the start, I could use SL, and there was nothing steep about it. So what is meant by SL's steep learning curve?"

In the course of this thread, a number of people have given you reasons why they and others considered SL's learning curve to be steep, thereby answering your question. Instead of saying, "Okay, that's what they mean. Thank you," you've denied the validity of their points of view based on no authority other than your opinion.

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Freya Mokusei wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

So there's no point in me trying to answer her questions


It's a thought experiment.
:P

I write technical manuals every so often - one qualification for this asked me to
"Describe the process of making a cup of tea to an alien."

The point being, how do you describe elements that require
to someone without the common frame of reference? What's a teabag, how do you describe a kettle to someone who's seen plenty of metal but never had to boil water.

That's the situation many people are in when they join Second Life. If you can't empathise with that missing knowledge, then you won't
see
the learning curve.

It's not really the situation that anyone is in when they first arrive in SL. Everyone who arrives here knows how to type on the keyboard, and they all know how to use and click the mouse. So they're off to a good start already :) They only need to be told to use certain keys to make their avatars move, and what to click to get the chat box up. Stuff like that.

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Anaiya Ahren wrote:

New users commonly want to dress their avatar up immediately and start buying
with the assumption that it's relatively simple - see shoes - like shoes, pay for shoes, wear shoes, whereas SLINK compatable shoes are everywhere and beat the pants off classic avatar feet or shoes that come with feet in them.  So in many cases users who are a few days old want these feet before they even know they exist because they already bought shoes for them having had no idea how complicated it was.  When they find out they need these add on feet to wear their add on shoes, many specifically comment about what a steep learning curve SL has. 

So the problem isn't that people can't identify how steep their learning curve but rather that you're wrong about how new users use SL.  Some wear the starter avatar for 7 years but many change it up within an hour of logging for the first time and for those kind of people, nice shoes are often high on their "must do right now" list.

I have to say that I don't accept that. I would say that new users commonly want to get around and find out what this thing called SL is about before anything else. No doubt that soon after that many may want to dress their avatar better, and many may not. But it's not first thing, imo. Getting around and talking must be the first things, and then learn other things as they come up. Don't forget that a new user first needs to come to realise that avatars can be dressed up differently, so they're not going to want to learn about buying L$ etc. straight off the bat. They're going to chat with people and ask questions before they even become aware that things can be bought, and by that time they are using SL quite well..

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:



Again, you are just arguing for the sake of arguing, and without any sense of reality. I can't grumble though. It's what is expected of you in this forum.


So are you, you're just doing it badly. Also expected.

This is the exact post you started this thread off with.

"I've just read another post that states that SL has a very steep learning curve. That statement is one of hundreds, if not thousands, of identical statements. I didn't find a steep learning curve at all, let alone a very steep one, so I want to ask what it is that people mean when they say that SL has a steep learning curve; i.e. what is steep about it?

I admit that, to get to use SL to its full takes time, but so do most other things such as all sort of programmes, technical equipment, such as PVRs, etc., etc., and the learning curves are gentle slopes - bit by bit - but there's nothing steep about learning to use SL. When I first came in, I learned that the cursor keys cause me to move in various directions, and I soon learned how to TP to places and talk locally. That's all I needed at the start, I could use SL, and there was nothing steep about it. So what is meant by SL's
steep learning curve
?"

In the course of this thread, a number of people have given you reasons why they and others considered SL's learning curve to be steep, thereby answering your question. Instead of saying, "Okay, that's what they mean. Thank you," you've denied the validity of their points of view based on no authority other than your opinion.


Ah. I see you've dropped out of arguing about the topic. I don't blame you. You dug a deep hole that you never managed to get out of, and the best way for you was to drop it, which you have now done :)

Ok. I asked about what people meant, and some gave me their answers. That's good. In the process of asking, I did say that "there's nothing steep about learning to using SL", so it was clear that I wasn't asking so that I could adopt the same view. I was curious why people said it, that's all. If people had written something that persuaded me, I would have changed my mind. And, since I stated my definite view at the start, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to discuss it when someone offers their view. Apart from the posts between you and I, I think it's all gone very well. Some people have told me what they understand by the phrase, and I now know what they think. My question was answered by some people. It's known that, when you enter a thread, you enter with negativity, so those posts don't matter. Actually, your first post was ok, and my reply to it was also ok. After that you chose to press your point by attempting to bellittle me for something I didn't say. That's where you went wrong. If you had stuck to discussing your points, instead of doing what you did, we could have discussed it quite happily, no doubt agreeing to differ. But that's not you, is it? ;)

Incidentally, it is quite well known here that I do enjoy a good argument, but I never argue unless I believe that I am right, and I argue very well indeed. You have no chance of beating me in argument. The hole you dug for yourself shows that :) You can't fault anything I've written in this little argument between us, except one thing, which is that I used some phrases without explaining precisely what I meant by them. Your best bet would have been to stick to the points you made in your first post, instead of going on the offensive by actually quoting me as saying something I didn't say, and then trying to belittle me for saying it. You need to know who you're dealing with before attempting stupidities like that. Perhaps you'll learn by it ;)

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Phil, I think we might be running into some confusion in this thread just because of differences in different people's priorities. You mentioned, "When a new user first arrives, they need to quickly learn how to use SL - things like movement, TPing, and communicating. When they've learned those things, they can use SL "properly". They don't need to learn anything else to happily use SL for hours on end, day after day."

I'm sure that's true for some newcomers, but for many of us, the experience is very different. When I came to Second Life, of course I learned to move around and communicate quickly, but as I moved around, my experience was dominated by all the things I couldn't do. For instance, even though I knew how to teleport, I didn't have anywhere to teleport to. I needed to learn to use search (which was even more limited then, in 2006, than it is now), but I didn't realize it at the time. So I wandered around on foot and eventually found a club full of furries, which was confusing, although the people there were very nice. So then I needed to learn to dance, which wasn't trivial. And of course wandering around and meeting people very quickly made me realize that I didn't look anything like I wanted to look yet. I'm sure this is often less of a concern for men than it is for women, but I felt embarrassed and disappointed not to be able to dress nicely. It was important to me within the first day I arrived.

I think you're absolutely right that people can wander around and talk for hours on end with little idea of how everything around them works, no sense of where to go, and looking like a default avatar. I question, though, how many people actually enjoy this.

I think it's natural to come to Second Life with expectations that you'll be able to have a particular kind of Second Life, and that fairly soon. Whether you're coming to dance and socialize (in which case you will probably want to look good, which opens up a huge list of things you have to learn, especially if you're a woman) or to have a mansion and a speedboat or to kill vampires, a lot of people are coming to Second Life wanting to do something specific that Second Life can definitely do. However, getting from just being able to walk and talk in a default avatar to living the life you pictured when you signed up can require teaching yourself many, many things. That's what we mean when some of us say that Second Life has a steep learning curve. It doesn't apply if you'll be happy for a long time with the absolute minimum Second Life can offer. Many people, though, are not.

^^^\ Kate /^^^

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Thank you, Kate. That was a very good, and very interesting post - probably the most comprehensive answer to my question yet, and I appreciate the time you took writing it :)

It was such a well-written post that I'm refining my understanding of what people mean when they that SL has a steep learning curve. I've always read that phrase as meaning that new users can't really do anything in SL until they've learned a lot - similar to Blender that was horrendous for a new user to get anything out of until a lot was learned. By the nature of what it is, Blender has to have a steep learning curve, but it used to seem like a near verticle learning one.

If I've understood you correctly, you're saying that the phrase really means that there's a lot to learn in order to use SL in the way that the average user uses it (knowing how to do all the usual things), and that some of those things can come very soon after first logging in. Is that a good understanding of what you said?

I think I'll accept that. I'm not sure that "steep" quite fits it though, because, to me, it implies 'very hard', and I don't think it is. A bit confusing maybe, a bit time consuming maybe, but not very very hard - imo, of course.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

It's not really the situation that anyone is in when they first arrive in SL. Everyone who arrives here knows how to type on the keyboard, and they all know how to use and click the mouse. So they're off to a good start already
:)


Cool! Then why does any service bother with orientation or tutorials. Why does anyone hire or train UX professionals at all! "Everyone" (not the word I would use, disability exists) can use a mouse - halfway there! 

I can only assume you're being deliberately obtuse in this reply, and that's disappointing. If there's an application (WhatsApp or Tinder, as top-of-my-head examples) that makes communication quicker and easier, has a lower bar than SL has... at what point do new users decide the bar is just too high to be worthwhile (spoiler alert: regularly).

You're right that conversation can happen immediately after signing up - but does it? The thread I posted earlier illuminates slightly, people want (or feel they should) 'look good' and be able to socially conform before they mix with other people - ditch the starter avatar, get an AO, all those messages that we've been culturally passing onto new users for 10 years or more. I posted earlier too that even in 2006, as someone who felt they came from a semi-technical background (I'd been using computers for a decade or so, I could 'type and use a mouse'), I still secluded myself away from other people for a week in Second Life - until I felt I wouldn't be a burden to those around me, and until I could appear to be skilled in what I was trying to do, the buttons I needed to find. I know for a fact, having seen plenty of it, that many new users face criticism for not changing their looks before attempting to socialise.

Your approach doesn't appear to be realistic, and it's my opinion that you trying and failing to understand the new user experience is not helping. This thread reads as though everyone else can see the problem, why are we still trying to convince you that it exists?

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If I've understood you correctly, you're saying that the phrase really means that there's a lot to learn in order to use SL in the way that the average user uses it (knowing how to do all the usual things), and that some of those things can come very soon after first logging in. Is that a good understanding of what you said?

Yes! Thanks, that's a good summary.

I think I'll accept that. I'm not sure that "steep" quite fits it though, because, to me, it implies 'very hard', and I don't think it is. A bit confusing maybe, a bit time consuming maybe, but not very very hard - imo, of course.

Oh, that helps me understand a bit better what you're talking about. "Steep" makes me think "lots to learn," but if a person thinks of it as "difficult to learn," then I agree, it's not hard for a person who's comfortable with technology so much as just requiring a lot of perseverance. Apparently all of us here have some of that!

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I'm not being deliberatley obtuse, Freya. Why would I want to do that?

You talked about teaching an alien, who knows absolutely nothing about life on Earth, how to make a cup of tea. That's an alien brain that knows nothing about how to do anything on Earth, but is capable of being taught. That's the way I understood it, anyway. That situation doesn't apply to a new user entering SL.

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Kate Amdahl wrote:

If I've understood you correctly, you're saying that the phrase really means that there's a lot to learn in order to use SL in the way that the average user uses it (knowing how to do all the usual things), and that some of those things can come very soon after first logging in. Is that a good understanding of what you said?

Yes! Thanks, that's a good summary.

I think I'll accept that. I'm not sure that "steep" quite fits it though, because, to me, it implies 'very hard', and I don't think it is. A bit confusing maybe, a bit time consuming maybe, but not very very hard - imo, of course.

Oh, that helps me understand a bit better what you're talking about. "Steep" makes me think "lots to learn," but if a person thinks of it as "difficult to learn," then I agree, it's not hard for a person who's comfortable with technology so much as just requiring a lot of perseverance. Apparently all of us here have some of that!

Steep makes me think lots to learn too, but that the learning of it all is hard because there's so much to learn before being properly able to use SL. Another way of looking at what I've been arguing is to say that it doesn't all need to be learned before SL can be used very well.

Incidentally, I like your new thread :)

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Phil Deakins wrote:

I'm not being deliberatley obtuse, Freya. Why would I want to do that?

You talked about teaching an alien, who knows absolutely nothing about life on Earth, how to make a cup of tea. That's an alien brain that knows nothing about how to do anything on Earth, but is capable of being taught. That's the way I understood it, anyway. That situation doesn't apply to a new user entering SL.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and try some literal examples.

Just because new users aren't aliens doesn't make it less applicable. It's a metaphor, a thought experiment. Here, I'll post some "Answers" from the Answers forum (leaving them unattributed, because this isn't about targetting anyone who is trying to help - this is absolutely not a failure of the volunteers there), see if you can imagine how alien these would sound to someone with zero experience of SL terminology:-

"What kind of house do you have? If it is a rented property, you will most likely be required to wear the appropriate group-tag for your furniture/rezzed items to stay inworld, otherwise they could possibly be auto-returned to your inventory."

"Usually all this means is that you left on an invisible mask prim/layer that makes your bits invisible so they don;t poke through your Mesh Outfit.. Look in the Current Outfit folder and take off the Alpha Layer that looks like a little white shirt."

"Scripts can be deactiveted for parcels/regions, that don't allow it, in the world/ about land window. Scripts can be made run, by selecting a object, and in the menu build/scrips, set scripts to running. Same with resettig and set to not run."

Is paying tier the same as 'rent'? What's a group-tag, where is it found? What's 'rezzed'? Can I rez them again if they're auto-returned? Who auto-returns them? Can you not see how these are difficult answers, that rely on a lot of tacit knowledge in order to be understood by the new user? These are all absolutely problems that a user could encounter within their first 24 hours on the platform.

Bear in mind this is what they receive from a helpful volunteer when a new user does find someone to ask these problems to - usually the viewer is totally silent in resolving any concerns. Getting these answers to the new user is the best case scenario. It requires the new user to:-

  1. Be able to verbalise their problem
  2. Be invested enough to want to try and resolve the problem themselves
  3. Be able to find the SL forums (and the Answers section within that) - or some other help resource staffed or maintained by volunteers
  4. Be able to correctly determine the resources they'll need to resolve the problem

Puzzled new users who pass all four tests are definitely in the minority - is basic CS statistics. If you think all that doesn't add up to a 'steep' curve then I really don't know what does.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

We are in agreement then
:)

I particularly like the part, "
more a very long hill with occasional jagged boulders
".
That describes the learning experience very well, imo.

I'm not sure I'd go that far. I agree that your specific terms for 'using Second Life' don't have a steep learning curve.

I still think that anyone whose primary requirement for SL is to shop and dress their av on their first day they log in will have a lot to learn in a short time. That, to me, is a steep curve. It was less steep for me, because when I started there was much less to learn. Sticking with the painfully narrow shoe example*, you had prim shoes with invisiprims, prim shoes without invisiprims, and textured footshapers. Even that had me briefly confused on my first day even before I acquired anything outside my inventory**

Now, is it reasonable for someone to expect to dress themselves with new items they've bought on their first day? Hell yes! LL's promotional material for newbies constantly show images of shopping and dressing. Malls, stores, avatars effortless shifting between outfits and forms - if not explicitly, then to facilitate other activites like scuba diving, lounging on beaches, dancing and exploring. If you sell someone on doing all these, is it unreasonable for them to expect to try them on their first log in?

 

* a painfully narrow example about shoes, not an example of painfully narrow shoes

** the avatar I started with had system shoes and foot attachments that weren't described as shoes. I couldn't work out why I had stuff stuck to my feet after I'd removed my shoes. I'm sure I'm not the first or last.

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This isn't really a response to your post, Freya. I was replying to you but I decided to write the following instead.

As I've been reading the posts in this thread, and the posts I just read in another thread (about the first days in SL), it has struck me that, for many new female users, the initial time can be quite steep. From what I've read (and this does include Theresa's first post), just about the first thing that many new female users want to do is pretty themselves up a lot, and I agree that understanding enough to do that is more complicated than simply logging in with whatever library avatar is chosen, and wandering around. I think that all, or almost all, of those who contributed reasons for steepness to this thread, are female, and, as such, have a very different perspective of the very early time to what I have, and probably to what most other males have.

So I accept that, for some people, SL does have quite a steep initial learning curve, but it is by choice and not out of necessity. I think I'm right in saying that the most suggested reason for steepness is the desire to make the avatar look good, and it's multiple females who have cited it in this thread. In the other thread, a number of females described why they came to SL, and that they pretty much already knew that they wanted to prettify their avatars.

So, to sum this post, it appears that many female avatars have a steep(ish) initial learning curve because they want to prettify their avatars pretty much straight away. It's a choice they make, but it's not something that is necessary in order to use SL to the full. I venture to suggest that males generally get to improving their avatars a bit later, by which time, they'll have got to grips with using SL. I also suggest that the 2 genders generally have very different perspectives in this regard.

Note: I do not suggest that all females, or even most females, immediately want to prettify their avatars, or that all or most males leave it until later. Both could be in a minority. If the posts in this thread are anything to go by, they are generalisations, but those who posted in the thread, are a tiny few and can't be taken as representing the SL population as a whole. It's just that the reasons for the steep learning curve given here are heavily towards improving the look of the female avatar, and are given by females.

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I think that my previous post pretty much replies to yours, Kelli.

In a nutshell, yes, SL can have a steep learning curve for those who choose it. But it isn't necessary in order to use SL to the full.

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Freya Mokusei wrote:

Is paying tier the same as 'rent'? What's a group-tag, where is it found? What's 'rezzed'? Can I rez them again if they're auto-returned? Who auto-returns them? Can you not see how these are difficult answers, that rely on a lot of tacit knowledge in order to be understood by the new user? These are all absolutely problems that a user
could
encounter within their first 24 hours on the platform.

I chose to quote only the above paragraph from your post because of its last sentence.

Yes, of course those problems could be encountered in the first 24 hours, and no doubt there are some people who have encountered them so early in their SL experiences. So I agree with your underlining of the word 'could' to show that it's only a possibility rather than a likelihood.

So new users could choose to learn all those things in the first 24 hours, making it a steep learning curve, but they don't have to. They can choose not to learn things so quickly. So I'll add something to my original statement:-

SL does not have an inherent steep learning curve.

 

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Oh jeez.

I'm not nuts about approximately 90% of the assumptions and implications you're making in that post. I can see your angle, and I'm sympathetic toward trying to help you see the thing everyone else is seeing. I'm going to try not to crucify you for probably the second time in this thread. :P

Your solution reads as telling women simply to shrug off the lifelong barrage of appearance-based judgements and comments they receive in real life, and just 'deal with' looking basic in SL while they learn the ropes "as men do". I don't think that approach is workable (I've already talked about the criticisms new users get if they stay as their Library avatars), and I think it suggests the steepness is caused by the user through an act of choice - which is both faulty and potentially harmful.


Phil Deakins wrote:

 

So I accept that, for some people, SL does have quite a steep initial learning curve, but it is by choice and not out of necessity.

-and-

SL does not have
an inherent
steep learning curve.

For it to be a 'choice' it has to be something that a user recognises as a choice. If - as you claim - female-presenting avatars are drawn toward prettifying themselves before they socialise, then is it something the user identifies as a choice ("I could go out dressed like this...") or is it an extension of the expectations placed upon women in real life? Are female users able to spot that Second Life appearance is an "optional" extra? Are male ones? Does any new user realise how complicated - how *unrealistic* and *impractical* it is to want to change clothes on their first day? Can any user spot that this learning curve *can* be slowed down, are they made to feel safe and secure while being ignorant of terminology and mechanisms (I'll answer this for you - no, they can't, and no they're not).

Given the hyperness of both masculiniity and femininity in SL I'm inclined to say that your assumptions are junk from the top down. Males in SL have many expectations piled on as well - especially because competition for attractive females runs high, and the appearance bar can be set very high, and it's still regularly assumed they're often more technically compentent than women in online spaces. Male new users joining SL with the intention of partnering-up would need to spend (anecdotally observed) more time and money than women reaching this bar simply because the fashion in SL is tilted against them - there's less variety and a much smaller top-end. This undercuts your theory.

You could *perhaps* attempt to argue that female-presenting avatars see this problem more accutely because of real world experience in receiving criticism for personal expression (which I could perhaps understand). You could also try to explain that this perceived 'gendered steepness' is seen by women because they're often socialised to be more empathic. Both of these would be less ridiculous theories, but my personal perspective is that they'd both still fall short.

None of this addresses the reality that Second Life is heavily populated by female-presenting avatars - for whatever reason you want to imagine. Given this reality, and your claim that women tend to see prettifying as a 'need' when joining SL - why is the learning process slanted against such a large user demographic? Why have LL's repeated attempts to improve the New User Experience never made prettifying easier?

I genuinely don't understand this approach to the discussion. Are you seriously suggesting it's the user's fault for trying to do too much at once? That the user sees this choice - simple and slow vs. hard and complex - and they choose the hard route?

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I'm only going by this thread, and by posts in another thread, and, if my memory isn't deceiving me, I see that all those who say that SL has a steep learning curve are female, and, apart from you, what they cite as the reason for the steepness is improving the look of the avatar, which they say occurs pretty much straight away. I'm happy with that. It's a choice, not an essential.


Freya Mokusei wrote:

Your solution reads as telling women simply to shrug off the lifelong barrage of appearance-based judgements and comments they receive in real life, and just 'deal with' looking basic in SL while they learn the ropes "as men do". I don't think that approach is workable, and I think it
suggests
the steepness is caused by the user through an act of choice. 

I'm not saying anything about any lifelong barrage, etc. I'm saying it is a choice that's not an essential to using SL. That's all I'm saying.


Phil Deakins wrote:

So I accept that, for some people, SL does have quite a steep initial learning curve, but it is by choice and not out of necessity.

For it to be a 'choice' it has to be something that a user
recognises
as a choice.

You are surely not suggesting that anyone who decides to buy, say, a dress, doesn't realise that they have the choice not to buy a dress? Of course they recognise the choice.

If - as you claim - female-presenting avatars are drawn toward prettifying themselves before they socialise, then is it something the user identifies as a choice ("I could go out dressed like this...") or is it an extension of the expectations placed upon women in real life?

Whatever causes people to change their appearance is irrelevant. It is
not
and essential for using SL.

Are female users able to spot that Second Life appearance is an "optional" extra? Are male ones?

If they choose to change their appearance, of course they recognise it as an option. It must be, or they couldn't change their appearance.

Given the hyperness of
both masculiniity and femininity
in SL I'm inclined to say that your assumptions are junk from the top down. Males in SL have many expectations piled on as well - especially because competition for attractive females runs high, and the appearance bar can be set very high. Male new users joining SL with the intention of partnering-up would need to spend (anecdotally observed)
more
time than women reaching this bar simply because the fashion in SL is tilted against them - there's less variety and a much smaller top-end.

All options. You're making plenty of assumptions there. For instance, you are assuming that people are looking for romantic involvements. Many are, of course, but many are not. Either way, it's all personal choice, and none of it is essential for using SL. Not only that, but none of it is necessary in the initial phase, so none of it applies to the 'steep learning curve'. You've strayed from the topic.

You could *perhaps* attempt to argue that female-presenting avatars
see
this problem more accutely because of real world experience in receiving criticism for personal expression (which I could perhaps understand). You could also try to explain that this perceived 'gendered steepness' is
seen
by women because they're often socialised to be more empathic. Both of these would be less ridiculous theories, but my personal perspective is that they'd both still fall short.

It doesn't matter how I see it. This thread is not about whether or not people want make themselves attractive to other people. It's
only
about the initial learning curve and whether or not it's steep. From the responses I've seen, it appears to me that it can be steep for those who choose it, even though the steepness isn't essential for using SL. For others, it's a steady slope with a jagged boulder from time to time.

 

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Sorry, there were some edits in my post.

I'm mainly interested in your answer to my final question:-

"I genuinely don't understand this approach to the discussion. Are you seriously suggesting it's the user's fault for trying to do too much at once? That the user sees this choice - simple and slow vs. hard and complex - and they choose the hard route?"

I'm especially interested in any reason you have to believe this choice is made deliberately, and any theories as to why users choose the hard route so regularly.

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Freya Mokusei wrote:

Sorry, there were some edits in my post.

I saw one of them - the bolded line - and I edited my reply to match it
:)

I'm mainly interested in your answer to my final question:-

"I genuinely don't understand this approach to the discussion. Are you seriously suggesting it's
the user's fault
for trying to do too much at once? That the user
sees
this choice - simple and slow vs. hard and complex - and they choose the
hard
route?"

Not at all, but I understand why you asked the question.

I don't think that any new user is offered the choice of hard or easy, and, after a little consideration, chooses one. Let's take a new girl as an example. She logs in for the first time, goes through whatever welcome bit that LL provides, and ends up at some other place. Then she may think, "I can't go around looking this", so she decides to do something about it straight away. Without realising it, she chooses what turns out to be a steeper learning path for a while, but she also knows that she doesn't have to do that, and that she can go about "looking like this". She can use SL without changing her appearance. She knows she doesn't have to change her appearance, but she chooses to. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. She didn't make a mistake, but, for her, the path is harder for a short time than it is for another girl who didn't think, "I can't go around looking like this".

In view of what I've just said, your last (added) paragraph doesn't apply, except to say that, although the choice is deliberate, she doesn't realise at the time that it's the steeper of the 2 choices. She realises that there's a choice, of course.

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So - in your view - it's not a choice any user makes knowledgeably, not a choice they can detect as being a hard route, and the appearance difficulty alone (I think we've highlighted others - buying land, using scripted objects - most things except standing in a place and talking or wandering around) will shove a new user into a steeper and more complicated path where they are inevitably more likely to abandon their attempts to understand SL and leave well in advance of mastering the learning curve without realising how easy they could've had it. Any user who struggles but persists may not be able to find support, and user retention in SL has always been very poor.

And yet this curve isn't 'steep' to you because...?

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Freya Mokusei wrote:

So - in your view - it's not a choice any user makes knowledgeably,
not a choice
they can detect as being a hard route
, and the appearance difficulty alone (I think we've highlighted others - buying land, using scripted objects - most things except standing in a place and talking or wandering around)
will shove a new user into a steeper and more complicated path
where they are inevitably more likely to abandon their attempts to understand SL and leave well in advance of mastering the learning curve
without realising how easy they could've had it
. Any user who struggles but persists
may not be able to find support
, and user retention in SL has always been
very poor
.

And yet this curve isn't 'steep'
to you
because...?

Not to mention that the act that serves as the accidental decision to scale Everest is - changing their clothing.

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Freya Mokusei wrote:

So - in your view - it's not a choice any user makes knowledgeably,
not a choice
they can detect as being a hard route
, and the appearance difficulty alone (I think we've highlighted others - buying land, using scripted objects - most things except standing in a place and talking or wandering around)
will shove a new user into a steeper and more complicated path
where they are inevitably more likely to abandon their attempts to understand SL and leave well in advance of mastering the learning curve
without realising how easy they could've had it
. Any user who struggles but persists
may not be able to find support
, and user retention in SL has always been
very poor
.

And yet this curve isn't 'steep'
to you
because...?

Because it doesn't normally take place in a short space of time. I've accepted that doing-up an avatar is a shortish steep bit that, for some people, occurs at the beginning. The other stuff you mentioned normally occurs over a period of time. It may only be a few weeks, but it's normally a period of time, and is outside the topic of this thread.

Freya. Of course there are steep bits to learning more and more of SL. They were described previously as "jagged boulders" by Kelli, and then by me when I adopted her phrase. You said that you were trying to support me. You weren't. You have been trying to force an unusual hypothetical example, which could occur, to show that my opinion is wrong. You haven't succeeded simply because you chose an example that isn't the norm, and also because I have always accepted that things can occur.

You seem to be very keen on insisting that it all takes place in the initial phase - a phase which doesn't last very long. I maintain that, whilst it can all occur then, it doesn't normally occur during that time, but rather, it occurs bit by bit - not over years, but bit by bit, nevertheless.

I'll use myself as an example. I joined SL, and found that I had to get a better graphics card that would run it. So I'll start from the new graphics card. In about a month, I had a business up and running, and I was building things for that business. For that to happen, I needed to buy L$, buy land, have a group, learn how to use the building tools, advertise, etc. But it was not a steep learning curve. It all occured over a number of weeks. First I learned how to move, communicate and TP, and I was going around quite happily. Then the skybox rental idea cropped up, so I discovered how to buy land, build skyboxes, etc. etc. It was all done bit by bit, as and when the need arose. I learned how to buy L$ - an easy lesson. Then I learned about buying land. Not quite as easy but easy enough. And so on. Each part was easy enough and was done one at a time so it wasn't steep or hard. And through it all, I was using SL perfectly well (clubs, dancing, exploring, etc.) after having learned the basics at the beginning. I don't remember exactly when I altered my avatar but it wasn't right at the start.

You keep talking about all these things happening together in the initial phase, but it doesn't normally happen that quickly. I suspect that you consider the initial phase as lasting longer than it does. Cramming stuff in as fast as you can is steep. Some people feel the need to do that right at the start to improve their appearance, and that's steep for them while it lasts.

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You're factually wrong and I can say this from personal experience because (confession time) I was once a new user, and I'm telling you explicitly that this is how it was with me.  That's a fact and I personally don't think facts should give way for unverified opinions no matter how fine the naval the opiner was gazing at when they formed their opinion.

Many people don't want to talk or chat or go places and be seen, much less go dancing, while they are wearing a clunky newbie avatar that screams "I'm a noob everyone!"  Many people want to immediately change their avatars because they have no intention whatsoever of chatting or exploring in a newbie avatar.

In all my years of using SL I've shown many new users around, precisely none of them didn't ask after gear for their avatar.  In fact I don't think this has ever not been the first thing I've been asked about when I was helping a new user including people who had logged in for the first time.    I won't say I don't accept that other people feel differently because that would just be silly.  Not everyone is like me and the notion that I could know that's something that doesn't happen and just isn't a thing is really just kind of bonkers.  Where would I get that information?  My belly button?

 

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You are mistaken, Anaiya. I am factually correct. It may surprise you to learn that I too was once new ;)

Judging by the post you replied to, and by the content of your post, it seems that you haven't followed the whole thread. Read on from the post you replied to to see what you've missed.

Basically, I've accepted that some people, though far from all, want to improve their appearance immediately - just like you said - and that, in doing it, they have a short steep learning curve. You will also see that it is their choice to do it that way, but that it is not an inherant part of SL. I actually added to my original statement and it now reads, 'SL does not have an inherent steep learning curve'.

I do want to ask you 2 questions, though. You have a female avatar, and, judging by the pic in the bath, a very attractive one. I imagine that your overall appearance is much more attractive than the library beginner avatars.

Question 1: do you think that the huge difference between your avatar and those of the new users you've shown round caused them to wonder (and ask) how to improve their own appearance? I imagine it did.

Question 2: My avatar is a very average looking male. Do you think that, if it had been me showing those new users round, all of them would have asked me the same questions about their appearance, as all of them asked you? I imagine not.

Btw, I do like your Vital Stats as they appear in your profile - especially the one beginning with W :)

 

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