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obsidian29

Is this game even active anymore?

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Hi out there. o/

I joined Second Life ages ago - I dunno, a year? - and was at first quite excited about it. I really joined for the reason of hearing about an RPG area based off a movie, but I found that it was long gone, and so searched for more things to find. I came across free things, a nice little meant-to-look-rundown town that I set as my 'home', and a beautifully crafted post-apocalyptic RPG sim that I fell in love with.

But my computer was bluescreening randomly, Second Life's viewer (I tried the main one and a second community-made one) regularly took up half the memory available to my computer when playing, in addition to freezing, hanging with no way to close the window, and outright crashing. The FPS was unbearable. Still, I stuck around.

Until I decided one day to buy some Linden Dollars to get a feral avatar I really liked, along with a replica of a Pagani Zonda from a car lot - and found that they demanded you agree that they will save your bank account info, and that you will agree that if withdraws happen from your account that appear to be from Linden Labs - they're not.

That's a big red flag for me. From there I started to really see the underside - customer support seemed to be bad, a lot of Google searches returned results of 'where did Second Life go' and 'why is no-one in Second Life anymore'. Even 'why is Second Life boring' was a top suggestion as I began to type Second Life's name.

 

Now, after finally telling. Is this game even worth being in anymore? I had thought I made my decision last year when I removed the Viewer from the computer's hard drive and immediately stopped having the bluescreen errors (and they haven't come back since), but now I'm kind of missing After the Fall, and other areas that I had come to enjoy hanging out in when nothing else was happening in my other games. I ask the community: Is the game still good? Did I just see the bad side and there's still a good side to be seen, or is what I saw the true face of Second Life as it is now?

 

Thanks, and thanks for reading. I know I tend to write novels. ;)

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Disclaimer: The following is simply my humble opinion. I can't speak for everyone.

So, a couple of things stand out:

1. Your computer issues with FPS, bluescreens, etc. My suggestion is whether you stay in Second Life or not, really take a look at your computer. Uninstall unnecessary programs. Personally, I like to put a fresh install of Windows just to clean things up a bit, usually at least once a year. Make sure your computer is free from viruses and whatnot.

Just as important, take a look at your hardware. There are free gaming benchmark tests (google computer benchmark). If you are on Windows, you can check "system information" for some standard stuff. Now take a look at how behind some of your stuff might be and consider upgrading within your budget. This will increase your Second Life experience as well as other online games.

2. Your concerns about account security. I have been here a few years, I even have two premium accounts. I regularly buy lindens and I've never had any issues at all. So I can't really comment any further than to say that I find everything to be secure.

3. Is Second Life Active? Yes and no. It really depends on what you are looking for. There are still a ton of people in Second Life. Many people are still adding to the creative world that is here. You can find new sims, attractions, events, etc. That being said, it can feel a tad lonely. You have to really work to make friends and you need to find the more populated places. Personally, I enjoy the Blarney Stone Pub and Commune Utopia to make friends. But even when you have a bunch of people standing around, chat can still be empty. I don't know if it's because everyone is waiting for someone else to talk or if it's because people are having private chats. Whatever the case, you really need to make an effort to get the chat going if that's what you want.

To summarize, it's free. It can't hurt for you to pop in and see what's going on. No one can really answer all your questions because most of the answers are subjective. If you are having lots of hardware/graphics problems and you can't afford to upgrade your system, I would actually recommend finding something else to do that isn't so hard on your system. You can always return at a later date. 

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Yes, this virtual reality is still very much active, albeit a little quiet here and there.

I'm sure it's just a like the eye of a storm - the quiet before the onslaught.

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First... *hushed whisper* I'd be cautious about referring to SL as a 'game'. I'm surprised no one has berated you for that, yet. Which would be unfortunate because it would call attention away from the true question you are asking.

Now... in addition to Nalytha's excellent post above, I offer this...

 

With the current rate of attrition, it does look a bit bleak... on the surface.

If you're not interested in adult-themed sims or skill-region sims (or just simply locked out due to your real life location), it may appear that there really may not be much for you to do.

But Second Life is what you make of it.

 

There are people still on Second Life that are struggling against the image it's acquired. Citizens of a virtual world that are still out there making creative content, sharing experiences and truly trying to make it into a better place.

They just seem to go unnoticed.

 

Right now, it looks like SL is at somewhat of a crossroads. With more and more attention being given to the unsavory aspects of SL, sims closing and/or leaving due to financial difficulties, and virtually little or no support for those that do stay and persevere.

However, if you dig a bit deeper... you will find those people and together you will find the strength to turn the tide.

 

From your post, I gather that you are most interested in role-playing.

While it does take money to operate or maintain a RP sim, it takes very little to acquire the look for your avatar and just simply roleplay.

Your biggest obstacle will be to find likeminded individuals to associate with so that you don't feel you're in a vacuum. 

Post something in the community forums about the type of roleplaying you're seeking. Post on twitter. Search for a group to join, or learn how to start your own.

There are people out there that may share the same interests and are like you, just in need of someone else to share that with.

 

It's like a town with a tennis court in the park. Every day you drive by and see it. Empty. And wonder if anyone in the town even plays tennis.

There's likely others doing the same thing and have given up on the idea of ever playing because they never saw anyone out there, either.

Just go out there. Even if it's by yourself.

Or just socialize and fish around for people that say they would like to play tennis but never do because they have no one to play with.

 

Same concept applies in Second Life. Although it may seem a bit frustrating at first.

SL is vast. And people that share interests have more of a chance to miss running into each other without some concerted effort.

You may log in randomly, find the ideal spot to roleplay... and no one is around. Then log back off.

And later that same day, someone else may have done the same thing.

And both of you take from the experience the same idea: that there's no one out there.

 

If you're familiar with LARPs, in real life, then the same concept of meeting people, finding a location and then scheduling a meet time applies in SL.

Good luck.

 

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"First... your biggest mistake in the OP was referring to SL as a 'game'. I'm surprised no one has berated you for that, yet. Which would be unfortunate because it would call attention away from the true question you are asking."

 

Stop being a hypocrite. Secondlife is a game. I am tired of this sl-is-not-a-game defense or justification of your computer 3d gaem actvity. Inside sl you play with your avatar , you play with the objects if you are building, you play with the script if you are a coder and you share or sell your creation to others for them to enjoy and play with it. SL IS A GAME AND THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.  

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tako Absent wrote:

I am tired of this sl-is-not-a-game defense


go take some rest than.... really nobody else started a defense  or against about it but YOU

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Thank you.

In my defense, seeing that it was the OP's first ever post here... and they had sincere questions that they were looking for answers for, I tried (tongue-in-cheek) to both prepare them for the onslaught of posts that they were bound to get simply because of the 'game' references and to deter the thread from heading into that direction, which would have undermined the whole purpose of their original post, much against the OP's intentions, I'm sure.

I was basically nipping it in the bud by bringing it to attention and then dismissing it as I went into the real concerns of the OP.

 

I may not have been as clear as I could've been, but I was put in the same position when I first posted on these boards and made the 'grave error' of mentioning SL and "games" in the same sentence.

So much so, that I was told that Second Life "may not be for me" and was made to feel very unwelcome here, while many questions I had were either downplayed or ignored.

 

And if the poster who took offence to what I said would've read the rest of my post, they would've seen that I tried to help the OP and make them feel welcome here.

I edited my original post to make it seem less obtrusive.

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I usually explain it by saying that Second Life is the stadium rather than the game played in it. When you think about the different sports that can be played in the same stadium, and the different other events that can be held, you can see how that fits.

But "game" is a word with so many meanings that calling Second Life a game isn't so very wrong. And there are still places such as Universities maintaining locations here. So "game" isn't entirely right either.

It's still a useful label for most of. We come here for fun.

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The original aversion against calling SL a game resulted from people, who called it that, while expecting SL to be like the "other" games they played and started complaining about SL not fullfilling their expectations, which were the wrong ones to begin with. They were often confused, because no in-depth tutorial guides them on what to do and no quest rewards them or why Second Life simply does not perform like an AAA title...the list is endless.

The other negative association comes from people causing drama and broken hearts and then back out of the mess by saying "its just a game!".

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After 9+ years of the same tedious arguaments I just go 'sigh not again' and dismiss as not worth wasting any more braincells on.  Probably because spare ones are getting harder to find.

I know my position on it and to be honest I don't really give a rodents back bits how others view it.

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It is what you make it, why do you care what anyone else thinks, it either does or doesn't Orkney for you. It works for me, I love it, can't imagine going back to my life before SL, I would give up cable TV before I would give up SL, but that's just me, you might be totally different. You have to figure out if the time spent here is worth it to you, and no one else can figure that out for you, their opinions on the games worth do not mean anything in regard to what it is worth to you.

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tako Absent wrote:

"First... your biggest mistake in the OP was referring to SL as a 'game'. I'm surprised no one has berated you for that, yet. Which would be unfortunate because it would call attention away from the true question you are asking."

 

Stop being a hypocrite. Secondlife is a game. I am tired of this sl-is-not-a-game defense or justification of your computer 3d gaem actvity. Inside sl you play with your avatar , you play with the objects if you are building, you play with the script if you are a coder and you share or sell your creation to others for them to enjoy and play with it. SL IS A GAME AND THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.  

Everything you described can be a RL activity, so RL must be a game as well. The stakes are higher though.

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I am back after being gone for four years. I quit cause my computer couldn't handle whatever crap they were throwing in the grid.

It doesn't seem much different - mostly vacant areas, some of the older places still there but new faces, the griefers still acting the ass, not much has changed.

 

I think the reason SL isn't very popular is because the media seldom talks about it, no, it is the countless social medias that get crammed down peoples' throats. If virtual worlds were big, if commercials said things like, "build your own custom (whatever) on Second Life" then more people would be in.

I am glad virtual worlds are not real big. It is one of the last sacred things on the web where you don't have to worry about reality. It is  3D version of what the web was like 15 or so years ago when we were warned NOT to share too much RL info.

 

Even if it seems slow, I say enjoy it.

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I keep a concurrency meter out on my land that I have not reset since 2009.

It shows the low and the high.

Here's a picture, from a different subject, with it shown in the central background:



See that 48,000 number?

That's been about the average since 2010. In 2009 it was usually in the 50,000 range. Its been about stable for the last 6 years. That said two days ago it was at 58,000 at one point in the evening.

See the 22,000? That's actually from 2009 or 2010 - It gets into the 20,000 range usually in the SL-time evening, basically the middle of the night for the western hemisphere.

 

SL activity hasn't changed much for many years. The number number of active users might be in flux, and who is around might be changing - but how active people are is pretty stable.

As for gauging this by 'popular venues', sims come and go, but just because an favorite goes doesn't mean everything is over - just that that old favorite went.

After all, pet rocks went out of style in the 1970s... but people still collect stuff. Disco went out of style too - but music is still around. Though the current auto-tune stuff makes me wonder... I guess that just means I'm getting old...

 

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