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SL itself is no game, its a platform you log in to and from there decide what you are going to participate in. This can indeed be games, or just chat, visit book readings, learn, build, listen to music, do whatever. If comparing with online games, SL is more like a lobby where you log in to and socialize, meet and get ready to "play" the game hosted by that lobby with the people you meet up with, only with access to so much more than just games.

 

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The debate kinda proves my point, and also that people don't understand how language works. And whatever, really. People can argue semantics all they like. I only really have a problem with it when people take this "it's not a game" mentality so far that they start to argue whenever anyone compares the technical aspects of SL to those of videogames. Because SL, whether or not you consider it a videogame, has a lot in common with how videogames work (There's some differences, but they're essentially the same thing) and those comparisons are extremely useful for understanding, and fixing, a lot of SL's problems, from lag and performance, to why SL has such a hard time holding on to new users.

 

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agree with @Penny Patton

we can go all semantic, broadly speaking tho SL falls within the accepted definition of a video game.

as wikipedia puts it:

"A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor."

"The electronic systems used to play video games are known as platforms; "

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game

but then of course we can always ignore the context and argue that SL is not an electronic game, because not-a-game

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1 hour ago, Penny Patton said:

The debate kinda proves my point, and also that people don't understand how language works. And whatever, really. People can argue semantics all they like. I only really have a problem with it when people take this "it's not a game" mentality so far that they start to argue whenever anyone compares the technical aspects of SL to those of videogames. Because SL, whether or not you consider it a videogame, has a lot in common with how videogames work (There's some differences, but they're essentially the same thing) and those comparisons are extremely useful for understanding, and fixing, a lot of SL's problems, from lag and performance, to why SL has such a hard time holding on to new users.

 

The original concept of SL was more or less meant as a gateway between real life and virtual. Not a virtual chat room per se, but to make connections with others via a virtual platform and our avatars were meant as a virtual representation of our real life selves. It was a way to explore things we couldn’t imagine doing in the reality. At least that’s how it was in the beginning from what I read.

In essence, SL was not really a ‘game’. But, now it sort of is in a way. I think new users have a hard time trying to find a motive in SL that keeps them entertained. 

 

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Does it matter? Whether its a game or not?

Just asking..........O.o

Edited by BelindaN
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19 minutes ago, Ashlyn Voir said:

In essence, SL was not really a ‘game’. But, now it sort of is in a way. I think new users have a hard time trying to find a motive in SL that keeps them entertained.

when we look at new users in for the first time then yes is quite a lot who come from a gamer background life experience. Has always been true this since the beginning of SL

my own tendency is to relate to them in terms that they understand. Way back and now today. When a person says: How do I play this game? Then I don't engage with them on what they just said. Just say to them follow me. Up the stairs to the portals. Go thru the portals to see what there is. Top left your screen is your Home button. If you get lost then press Home and you will come back to here. Pretty much they all say: woohoo! and woosh

back in the day it was follow me to the big green arrow. Click the arrow and get a destination. Click the destination and off you go. Again pretty much woohoo! and woosh

in time new people who stick with it come to understand the nuanced differences between the SL experience and their gamer background experiences

even tho I understand the nuances I still use words like: play, spawn, terrorport, treknology, arena, char, etc, depending on the company

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25 minutes ago, Ashlyn Voir said:

In essence, SL was not really a ‘game’. But, now it sort of is in a way. I think new users have a hard time trying to find a motive in SL that keeps them entertained. 

 

That is an interesting point. I normally steer clear of this sort of 'school is out and bored' recurring thing. That you say 'keeps them entertained' speaks volumes. Being 20k years old on this cycle I still find the idea of paper entertaining of course. And making marks... shakes head before being distracted =^^=

Good point though. Well unless I am supposed to entertain them. If the Lab is then - well ok. As long as I can keep doing my own thing within, no problem.

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1 hour ago, Ashlyn Voir said:

In essence, SL was not really a ‘game’. But, now it sort of is in a way. I think new users have a hard time trying to find a motive in SL that keeps them entertained. 

Perhaps if they thought of it less of a game and more of a virtual world.... They wouldn't get so stuck on "WHAT DO I DO NAAAAAAOOOOWWWW?!?!?!?!?" 

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A lot of people need to be told what to do and what is possible though.

That’s why a lot of people don’t get it and end up leaving.

Since we’re talking about video games. Take a game series like Final Fantasy. People's biggest gripe is it’s story is on the rails. They don’t want it on the rails. It’s still a good game and very popular.

Compare it to a game like Romancing Saga. Same type of game, but it’s not on the rails. You could play it 20 different times and get 20 different outcomes and still come across things you’ve never seen before. It was my favorite jRPG.

Most people have never heard of Romancing Saga and a lot of people just didn’t get that freedom that came with the game.

SL is sort of like Romancing Saga, except there’s no training wheels. For most people it needs training wheels and it probably should come in game form until they’re ready to ride.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, BelindaN said:

Does it matter? Whether its a game or not?

Just asking..........O.o

Penny nailed why it matters.

Because many games do many of the same things that SL does, but they do it with less lag, higher framerates, and on lower spec computers.

And whenever a new user comes along and says "Why do I get 90 FPS in my other games, but only 18 FPS in SL?" everyone tries to justify it by arguing that SL isn't a game, when we should all be asking why LL isn't looking at what these other game devs are doing.

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3 hours ago, Drake1 Nightfire said:

Perhaps if they thought of it less of a game and more of a virtual world.... They wouldn't get so stuck on "WHAT DO I DO NAAAAAAOOOOWWWW?!?!?!?!?" 

No, no they wouldn't and this is precisely where the "it's not a game" mentality actually has a negative impact on SL. New users are saying these things about Second Life because:

  • SL's new user experience is, and always has been, bad.
  • The SL user interface, no matter what viewer you use, is badly designed and laid out.
  • SL's interactivity and social features are ridiculously underdeveloped.
  • SL's presentation is extremely poor.

And that's not even getting into how poorly SL runs, with content creators and TPV developers alike are living in a fantasy land where they believe avatars with 500MB of textures have no impact on performance. (With some of them using the "SL is not a game" line to somehow justify this insane idea, as if SL has magical fairy dust powered rendering techniques. If you even the most basic, general knowledge of how 3D rendering and game design, yes game design, works, this idea that SL's high-poly, texture heavy content has no impact on performance is Flat Earther levels of crazy.)

 These are all things LL needs to fix. The current LL development crew seems to at least partially realize this, and they seem to be making some progress by finally giving us features like Animesh and the EEP improvements, but they've got a lot of work ahead of them before they make a real dent in SL's problems. In the meantime, we will continue to get confused people giving SL a try, having no idea what to do, where to go, or why SL looks and runs so poorly, before they give up on it altogether.

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1 hour ago, Gadget Portal said:

Penny nailed why it matters.

Because many games do many of the same things that SL does, but they do it with less lag, higher framerates, and on lower spec computers.

And whenever a new user comes along and says "Why do I get 90 FPS in my other games, but only 18 FPS in SL?" everyone tries to justify it by arguing that SL isn't a game, when we should all be asking why LL isn't looking at what these other game devs are doing.

Well, either you want to be able to do ANYTHING in SL or you want LL to completely regulate what is uploaded into SL and restrict things immensely, which would mean they need to hire a boatload more employees to police things. Land costs would jump back up probably higher than it was, import costs would jump, and established merchants would have to completely redo their entire inventory. SL is far beyond fixing to a MMorpg point. Not gonna happen. Get over it.

35 minutes ago, Penny Patton said:

No, no they wouldn't and this is precisely where the "it's not a game" mentality actually has a negative impact on SL. New users are saying these things about Second Life because:

  • SL's new user experience is, and always has been, bad.
  • The SL user interface, no matter what viewer you use, is badly designed and laid out.
  • SL's interactivity and social features are ridiculously underdeveloped.
  • SL's presentation is extremely poor.

And that's not even getting into how poorly SL runs, with content creators and TPV developers alike are living in a fantasy land where they believe avatars with 500MB of textures have no impact on performance. (With some of them using the "SL is not a game" line to somehow justify this insane idea, as if SL has magical fairy dust powered rendering techniques. If you even the most basic, general knowledge of how 3D rendering and game design, yes game design, works, this idea that SL's high-poly, texture heavy content has no impact on performance is Flat Earther levels of crazy.)

 These are all things LL needs to fix. The current LL development crew seems to at least partially realize this, and they seem to be making some progress by finally giving us features like Animesh and the EEP improvements, but they've got a lot of work ahead of them before they make a real dent in SL's problems. In the meantime, we will continue to get confused people giving SL a try, having no idea what to do, where to go, or why SL looks and runs so poorly, before they give up on it altogether.

More and more new users are asking "what do i do now?" because they think SL is a game, when it isnt. When told all of the various things they can do, they leave to go back to their actual video games. 

LL will never do anything to fix the texture and mesh issues. They cant without doing a compete overhaul of the base system. If they did that, how could any of the things we have now work? They wouldn't. All of the money sent over the last 15 years would be for naught as all older items that dont conform to the new OS would break and not be usable. 

LL can add all the fancy crap they want, it still wont fix merchants using 1024 textures for a damn hinge, earring or doorknob. 

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3 minutes ago, Drake1 Nightfire said:

Well, either you want to be able to do ANYTHING in SL or you want LL to completely regulate what is uploaded into SL and restrict things immensely, which would mean they need to hire a boatload more employees to police things. Land costs would jump back up probably higher than it was, import costs would jump, and established merchants would have to completely redo their entire inventory. SL is far beyond fixing to a MMorpg point. Not gonna happen. Get over it.

More and more new users are asking "what do i do now?" because they think SL is a game, when it isnt. When told all of the various things they can do, they leave to go back to their actual video games. 

LL will never do anything to fix the texture and mesh issues. They cant without doing a compete overhaul of the base system. If they did that, how could any of the things we have now work? They wouldn't. All of the money sent over the last 15 years would be for naught as all older items that dont conform to the new OS would break and not be usable. 

LL can add all the fancy crap they want, it still wont fix merchants using 1024 textures for a damn hinge, earring or doorknob. 

Personally, I'd be fine with LL adding higher land impacts and max capacities on avatars, 'cause I buy mod stuff only from decent creators and I know even if they don't push updates, I can replace the texture myself to fix the issue.

If you've been buying no modify 1024 everything all these years, you've been making the same mistake as the creators selling this stuff, and I have no issue with mistakes having consequences.

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2 minutes ago, Gadget Portal said:

Personally, I'd be fine with LL adding higher land impacts and max capacities on avatars, 'cause I buy mod stuff only from decent creators and I know even if they don't push updates, I can replace the texture myself to fix the issue.

I said higher land costs... and i dont think there is a max capacity on an avatar, unless you mean attachment points. 

3 minutes ago, Gadget Portal said:

If you've been buying no modify 1024 everything all these years, you've been making the same mistake as the creators selling this stuff, and I have no issue with mistakes having consequences.

right, because its so easy to tell from a picture what the pixel count of a texture on a part of a house is from an ad board.. You really do come off as a self righteous prig. 

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3 minutes ago, Drake1 Nightfire said:

I said higher land costs... and i dont think there is a max capacity on an avatar, unless you mean attachment points.

I'm all for higher land costs, and all for implementing something similar for avatars.

5 minutes ago, Drake1 Nightfire said:

right, because its so easy to tell from a picture what the pixel count of a texture on a part of a house is from an ad board.. You really do come off as a self righteous prig. 

Come on, now you're being intentionally confrontational. I know you've been in SL long enough to know better than to buy something after only looking at a picture. Demo everything. It's even more effective now that we have the tools to easily see texture memory and LOD info.

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3 hours ago, Drake1 Nightfire said:

LL will never do anything to fix the texture and mesh issues. They cant without doing a compete overhaul of the base system. If they did that, how could any of the things we have now work? They wouldn't. All of the money sent over the last 15 years would be for naught as all older items that dont conform to the new OS would break and not be usable. 

Old content is constantly being phased out. Most avatars are not walking around in system clothes they bought in 2005. More and more of the grid is covered in mesh rather than prims and sculpts. Even regular rigged mesh has more or less been phased out entirely for fitmesh and Bento. And LL could totally phase in any changes to address problem content in a way that allowed people time to adapt rather than breaking content overnight.

Fears over changes to restrict unoptimized content are extremely exaggerated. 

I do agree with you on the point that LL needs to introduce tools to help people adapt. People need to be able to tell bad content from good. When they're shopping, they need to be able to tell bad content from good BEFORE buying it. People need to be able to see how much VRAM their avatars are using, how many triangles their attachments are made of (Firestorm's developers already have access to tools like these, but are choosing not to let their users have access to most of them).  And yes, there would need to be a grace period where people would have access to such tools well in advance of the changes going into effect, so they can adapt and be ready.

 I'm not saying there wouldn't be any issues at all but the problems are far outweighed by the benefits.

 

Edited by Penny Patton
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12 hours ago, Gadget Portal said:

Penny nailed why it matters.

Because many games do many of the same things that SL does, but they do it with less lag, higher framerates, and on lower spec computers.

And whenever a new user comes along and says "Why do I get 90 FPS in my other games, but only 18 FPS in SL?" everyone tries to justify it by arguing that SL isn't a game, when we should all be asking why LL isn't looking at what these other game devs are doing.

SL could get 90 fps too if every scene was static preloaded and optimized.

try loading any game on the fly and see what your frame rate is

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11 hours ago, Penny Patton said:

No, no they wouldn't and this is precisely where the "it's not a game" mentality actually has a negative impact on SL. New users are saying these things about Second Life because:

  • SL's new user experience is, and always has been, bad.
  • The SL user interface, no matter what viewer you use, is badly designed and laid out.
  • SL's interactivity and social features are ridiculously underdeveloped.
  • SL's presentation is extremely poor.

Hmm, you see I don't recognise this situation at all. I've never gamed on line................ so I had no expectations. What I found was therefore OK. Slow to rezz yes, but good fun to explore.

I soon saw it as a virtual chat room, and initially that was it for me. I'm still new (3 months) and my new user experience so far has been very good............O.o

I have no concept of how good it might be, but I'm happy with it as it is.............really.

I think what needs developing is a better road map for newbies because all newbies I meet when I'm in NCI Kuula ask the same thing..... "what is there to do here".............

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46 minutes ago, BelindaN said:

Hmm, you see I don't recognise this situation at all. I've never gamed on line................ so I had no expectations. What I found was therefore OK. Slow to rezz yes, but good fun to explore.

I soon saw it as a virtual chat room, and initially that was it for me. I'm still new (3 months) and my new user experience so far has been very good............O.o

I have no concept of how good it might be, but I'm happy with it as it is.............really.

I think what needs developing is a better road map for newbies because all newbies I meet when I'm in NCI Kuula ask the same thing..... "what is there to do here".............

Agreed, I've never gamed online before either. So logging in the first time and looking around it was simply wow this is amazing.

It was so much easier being a noob when the official viewer was actually user-friendly. So many times they try to "improve" something and just end up with an impossible mess.

Noobs ask me what there is to do here and I tell them they can do anything they want.

I think that idea of freedom upsets some people because they are used to having someone tell them what to do, either on a game platform or more sadly, in RL

 

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On 31/07/2018 at 6:15 AM, Phorumities said:

I don't cry when I play a game and lose.

A game doesn't rip my heart out and hand it to me and say here deal with it.

So no, Second Life is in no way shape or form a game to me.

To others maybe, but not me. 

At almost the same moment you posted that, Sylvanas ripped the heart from the Horde as they watched Teldrassil burn in their name, it's fair to say this has had a deeply complex emotional response. Many are in denial attacking the developers on social media, the forums are .. well .. a s-show, obviously, anything rather than accept the leader of their faction just committed a war crime and that they, as soldiers in her army with all sense of agency stripped away, will have to follow her orders and clinging to the hope something changes going forward ... and that was just this week.

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28 minutes ago, CoffeeDujour said:

At almost the same moment you posted that, Sylvanas ripped the heart from the Horde as they watched Teldrassil burn in their name, it's fair to say this has had a deeply complex emotional response. Many are in denial attacking the developers on social media, the forums are .. well .. a s-show, obviously, anything rather than accept the leader of their faction just committed a war crime and that they, as soldiers in her army with all sense of agency stripped away, will have to follow her orders and clinging to the hope something changes going forward ... and that was just this week.

I had to google the name to make any sense of what you wrote and now all I have to say is....

okeyyyyy...

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4 hours ago, Phorumities said:

SL could get 90 fps too if every scene was static preloaded and optimized.

try loading any game on the fly and see what your frame rate is

Everything about these two sentences is incorrect.

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1 hour ago, Gadget Portal said:

Everything about these two sentences is incorrect.

actually i might not have used the correct terminology, but i only said what others have said 1000 times over.

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5 hours ago, Phorumities said:

SL could get 90 fps too if every scene was static preloaded and optimized.

try loading any game on the fly and see what your frame rate is

 If you've got a high-end gaming rig then you might be able to get 90fps in SL in sims with optimized content. No "static preloaded" features necessary. I think this is a bit overly optimistic, but not crazy unrealistic.

 When you talk about "preloaded" scenes I assume you're talking about baked in physics, lighting and shadows and all that. For those following along at home, it's not that the environments themselves are "static" (SL has pretty much any modern videogame beat in the lack of environment animation), it's that videogames can pre-calculate physics and certain visual effects. These help performance in games a ton, yes, but 3D games existed before these features. Sure, it would be great if LL supported shadow maps, instead of using literally dozens of 1024x1024 textures to bake shadows into a scene, you could use relatively small shadow maps (shadows do not need to be super high res, you could replace the high-res shadow prim of most any SL object with a 64x64 square shadow texture and few people would ever notice the difference) and tile smaller environment textures for scenes that not only used less VRAM but would actually look better than baked shadow environments currently do in SL. It would be great, but lacking these features doesn't mean we're doomed to the low framerates most people expect from SL.

If people began optimizing content in SL then yeah, you'd see an enormous performance boost. And I'm not just making an educated guess here, I've been building sims and creating content since 2005. Since at least 2009-2010 I've been making a huge effort to optimize every environment I create, creating entire sims that use a fraction of the VRAM you see elsewhere, and the performance boost is fantastic. My computer is old, a toaster, I have 12GB of system RAM, only 2GB of VRAM and an i7 processor from 2011, but I get 30-60fps in every sim I build. And these are detailed sims. I'm not the only one seeing the FPS boost, either. I've been getting messages from visitors to my sims who have been shocked at how much better SL runs for them. I've even had people tell me that they can turn on graphics features like shadows in my sims when they cannot use those features anywhere else in SL. It's not 90fps, but it's still a huge improvement.

5 hours ago, BelindaN said:

Hmm, you see I don't recognise this situation at all. I've never gamed on line................ so I had no expectations. What I found was therefore OK. Slow to rezz yes, but good fun to explore.

I soon saw it as a virtual chat room, and initially that was it for me. I'm still new (3 months) and my new user experience so far has been very good............O.o

I have no concept of how good it might be, but I'm happy with it as it is.............really.

I think what needs developing is a better road map for newbies because all newbies I meet when I'm in NCI Kuula ask the same thing..... "what is there to do here".............

Sure, if all you expect is a 3D chatroom and you have no expectations on performance or graphics or presentation, then SL is fine. You can log in, get dropped on one of the Social Island sims, and start chatting. But that's not all SL can be. It's not all that SL is. And telling people to not expect anything more than that is doing SL a disservice. 

Also, when users ask "what is there to do here?" it's not that they're overwhelmed by the possibility of doing anything they want, let's be real here: SL has limits, and popular SL pastimes are defined by those limits. You're not going to get a full-on videogame experience in SL, shooting aliens, in fast paced action environments. We have some combat sims, but they're cludgy. 90's FPS games beat them in terms of responsiveness and interactivity. We got sailing simulators, airplane simulators, but they're all very basic compared to videogames doing the same thing. They have their communities, but I would bet good money it's other aspects of SL that keep them in SL, otherwise they could go find a boat or plane simulator on Steam that would work better, look better, run better, and be a whole lot more user friendly and easier to get into.

And I'm saying exactly what you say at the end there, that the new user experience is lacking. If you want more than a 3D chatroom, the new user experience isn't going to help you find it. It's not easy to jump from social island to flying a plane your first day in SL if no one points you in the right direction. There was a huge public outcry when LL ended the "mentor" program because the new user experience was so bad you pretty much needed a live person to help walk you through it until you could find your way around on your own. It's not that they need to be told what to do, it's that they have no idea what their options are or how to find them and dismissing them asneeding someone to tell them what to do isn't going to make them feel any more welcome to stick around and find what SL has to offer them.

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