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Future of the metaverse, and all that


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51 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Again, your notion of user content is very constrained, as you mean merely the ability to upload your mods or create a game -- which are rather constrained activities -- on a platform about war games and racing games.

And once again COMPLETELY missing my point. I give up. Please just leave the thread if you are going to not offer any form of decent input into the discussion and just be a one trick pony focused on one irrelevant point you are trying to make that no one else is even suggesting.

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:EDIT:

Let me try and make it simple for you. NO ONE is suggesting that second life needs to be like Roblox and focus on games. Absolutely no one has said that. What they, myself included have said is that second life needs to evolve like Roblox have and LL need stop being slow at updating to meet current needs.

Prime example that has already been stated is how Roblox had a mobile client (developed by Roblox not third party) in 2012 unlike SL which still hasn't had a LL developed and marketed 3D mobile client despite them needing to have one.

That is all anyone even me is suggesting. But for some odd random reason you think we are talking about replacing second life with games. I have no idea where you even got that from.

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Just my opinion but after watching some videos of Microsofts new mixed reality headsets, I strongly suspect the "metaverse" will not be on some game server whether S/L, Roblox etc but rather collaborative spaces that a mixed reality style of program and VR headset can bring. It's usable for work or social and though could potentially utilize Secondlife spaces, it would just be one of many options.

 

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8 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Most people in SL do not want war games;

SL can't make responsive games.

No-one in SL wants the games that can be made.

No-one is joining SL for the games or to make games.

 

Channeling Oscar doesn't change the basic point.

We need the ability to make and play responsive games in SL.

"Games" is just shorthand for a collection of platform and service changes that will positively impact all aspects of SL.

LL tried and failed to accomplish the same outcome with "experiences" substituting much needed fundamental architectural upgrade for a load of extra LSL chewing gum. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Did Heraclitus lose his right arm in a knee-jumping contest? I missed that. 

I know Gurdjieff would often say this but it didn't come from him like a lot of things didn't come from him.

I never met him so I don't know if he would have said it that succinctly, but after wading through the tales to the grandson trilogy if he written anything like that it would have filled three paragraphs and be peppered with invented names to make the ordinary sound extraordinary and repeated at least three times per paragraph just in case the reader missed it the first or second time.

As an off-the-cuff comment and totally unrelated to the topic, it's interesting to note that the cult leaders have not taken to the metaverse in quite the same way that they used TV to reach the wider audience. Is this a sign that the metaverse is the thinking person's TV?

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@lucagrabacr It's not just the US with its Puritan founders, but many countries in the world with various religions that are conservative about sexual matters. As long as SL remains a platform free for sexual expression, that "visionary narrative" will be hampered -- but that's a good thing. And I think LL, having burned out with the "Metaverse" narrative a decade ago and seen how it gave them no great user increase -- for all the fancy talk -- is unlikely to pick that up again.

@Alwin Alcott How is LL to remove the "meat market" from the "general part"? Take chest measurements at the entrance of every sim like we have temperatures taken now in many public buildings in RL?

Again, the investors have Upland to play with the NFT idea and don't have to invade SL with it.

@Drayke Newall If you don't want to replace SL with gaming culture -- gaming culture which spawns games but isn't the same thing as games -- then why are you here complaining? Gaming culture and tech culture always reiterate and always change just for the same of change due to FOMA and envy of the next game maker standing at the next urinal. But games have life spans and they start and die, like World of Warcraft, because they are games, not real life. 

The sad secret about most online populations is that they don't want to make things themselves, and don't want platforms where they can make 10 million games or 10 million pairs of mesh shoes, either. They want a small class of people to do that for them, and they turn over their rights and freedoms to have that content be of the highest quality.
 
To make the new user experience viable, the Lindens would have to completely depart from game culture with its Myst-like palaces and paths and with cruelty like jumping over chasms which you find in the current iteration. I was literally shaken by how awful and not just outdated but updated to new horrors the current user experience is.

But I think that could only be achieved by starting now to breed a class of babies on a mountain somewhere without the Internet for 20 years and that creates other problems obviously. I would have thought the "gamification of everything," a particular fad among virtual world professors in the last decade, and promoted by game devs in particular as a notion of becoming more generally "relevant" in RL would have died out when it clashed with reality but now Amazon has gamification for its workers.

So many people in this thread seem to want SL to take over the world so that they can take over the world along with SL. We don't need you to do that.

It's silly to claim I "oppose" games when anyone can simply read my posts. 


Comparing "10 million user-created games" with SL regions on which millions of things can happen which can never happen in the 10 million games is not just apples and oranges, it reveals again the invalid premise of all these demands and comparisons -- world domination and control schemes which are always plaguing the Metaverse.

Users who can only make one more game and one more version of "war" or "race" are not in some robust, creative, place. They're in jail, sketching the bars of their cages, as Nabokov put it. 

Trying to elevate the nature of games to reify them as invaluable communication devices saving children during the pandemic because they can have birthdays there only reveals the poverty of this imagination. A Zoom birthday party isn't any better. You can't persuasively conflate and confuse people's adaptation to an aberration and a dysfunction -- the pandemic -- as "progress".

Kodak and Xerox were killed by the Internet and died because they were tethered to real life. Among the things they did were spawn the kind of suburbia which Bellisseria scarily replicates. But they may have the last word because people liked their photography albums which online, can be removed by a company going out of business at the flick of a mouse. Who remembers, "Zoom, Photos for Life!" now? Who remembers the name of that service everyone used for their SL blogs taking pictures with the old tools inworld retired by the Lindens, which now only leave holes in archives?

The reason there is sex in SL is because it has versimilitude with real life, and does what real people in the real world want, not want a cultist's idea of what life should be that even leads to RL murder. And that's more than fine.

The listing of functions you can do inworld in SL like building or driving and claiming "you can do them in other worlds" again misses the point: that you can do them in the constraints of "game making" or under the brutal rule of platformer owners who impose a totalitarian society on you. That's not the future of the Metaverse; that's the past of the meat world.

@Coffee everything you describe about hard caps on assets or "sanity" belongs to the world of making games, making them better looking, and the Metaverse as Gulag. In SL we do have more freedom, and that is precious.

When LL introduced mesh, they did this as harshly and cruelly as they possibly could. They even paid advertisers to make a widely-viewed video to mock and scorn any residents who did not like the idea of having mesh imposed on them. It's funny to recall how one of their key presentations of mesh at the time was that you "couldn't" edit it because this would lead to sudden huge increase in prims/land impact -- so it was the engineer's edge-case thinking of 99/1 not real life, which is never so precise. They drove any sculpty or prim creators who wanted to remain in those media out of the world, making it a poorer place. When they did finally implement it, they dropped the sillyness about how you "can't" put it on edit and the lion's share of use cases do not lead to sudden LI increases. Among the reasons for this is the hard stop of sims to adding more prims.

LL has been happy to break the world for their techie visions and have done things like take a perfectly good search out of 1.23 and replace it with something far worse -- and the TPVs got the last laugh there, because they prudently left the 1.23-type search in their viewers where they remain today and are among the features that make them wildly more popular. LL junked area search early on as a privacy buster, which they were correct to care about, and again, left the TPVs to install the boon for quickly getting through quests and games which was the greater use case.

It's hard to fault LL for "staying in Sansar too long" long after it was clear VR wasn't taking off -- they could have seen this truth before starting if they peered past Silicon Valley/gaming/tech culture -- but once you make development decisions it is not easy to shut them down without losses. They were lucky they found a buyer.

It would be ok if SL remained small and didn't lose its "aging" population and waited until either technology of servers becomes much cheaper or the ramp-up is easier for other cultural reasons (or they change their ramp-up when younger or even older developers comes along not wedded to the gaming culture). By that time, if SL has truly become unviable, perhaps by that time, these other platforms you claim are "better" will have dropped their totalitarianism or at least reformed it and become more free. It's ok that SL serves as a model in that regard.

"Sim crossings" as your goal and yard stick for technical progress becomes obsolete once you don't need games, especially racing games, and realize the truth articulated by Oz Linden: most people stay on their sims. PS they work "good enough" to support a hardy population of travelers. There need not be any haste in making a mobile application when on people's phones are always a zillion more compelling application, starting with various communication and news apps like What's App or Twitter that rivet their attention or Facetime which works well enough for social purposes. Why bother to sink into the avatarization and identity destruction of SL or any other platform that came out of gaming and tech culture itself when there is something closer to RL. Avatarization is a big stumbling block for new users never factored in by LL. Just like many people simply cannot be hypnotized by the old hypnotizer's methods, they won't avatarize for many reasons, chief of which is the loss of control of their identity to the game company.

@Arielle Popstar I think it's the right direction to contemplate how the Metaverse already exists and will exist among and between, not on. Therefore the governing bodies and standards makers become more important than this or that engineer who makes the FPS faster. When the Metaverse has to serve to view medical charts and care for patients along with many more activities rooted in real life, the gaming culture is what will be curtailed and pushed back, rather than invading real life as it has tended to do. So if a giant company like Microsoft or Google decides to get involved in the Metaverse again, even if their avatars are more primitive they will get more users if they make onboarding simple and combine personal freedom with security from persecution by other people.

@Coffee I don't know who Oscar is. Oscar Linden? Again most people don't want war games and don't want games period because they don't want a world of constraints, they want freedom in all dimensions, to create and rez things themselves even at a primitive level and to manipulate the environment -- which you cannot do if you have the tabula resa a constrained game environment.

When you claim, oh, but gaming produces all these better technical features and LL is falling behind, this is like the space program trying to sell its plans to go to remote, dark planets with dull rocks and pick them up by saying that along the way, they will make this great instant drink called Tang that will be used to nourish every child at every breakfast table

@Profaitchikenz I once proposed re-translating "All and Everything" from the original, which doesn't quite exist or is held close by the original adepts and their heirs, and isn't even all in Russian -- so that the sentences were more "normal" and not so bizarre as in the approved translation which was made by Gurdjieff's students who were Russians who didn't know English and English-speakers who didn't know Russian. Which isn't an off topic comment because most "spirited" discussion about "the Metaverse" is the same, by technicians who don't know anything of history and the humanities or by those with "liberal arts" educations who don't know the limitations of technology. Again see "The Two Cultures".

The reason the cult leaders don't seem visible to you in the Metaverse is because they already run the Metaverse and rule all debates about it. But this won't last forever.

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5 hours ago, Arielle Popstar said:

Just my opinion but after watching some videos of Microsofts new mixed reality headsets, I strongly suspect the "metaverse" will not be on some game server whether S/L, Roblox etc but rather collaborative spaces that a mixed reality style of program and VR headset can bring.

VR seems to be a niche.  It's fun for a while, but not for long. I've tried both VR headsets and the Microsoft HoloLens AR system. A big problem with VR is that about 5 to 10% of the population gets nauseated when the visual world and the real world are moving independently. Even among people who can tolerate it, it's kind of wearing. That's why Beat Saber, where you stand in one place and slash at oncoming targets, is the most successful VR game. 2019 was supposed to be the "year of VR", and it wasn't. VR didn't even pick up much during the pandemic.

3 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

We need the ability to make and play responsive games in SL.

I agree. It's quite possible to get the frame rate up with a better viewer architecture. Making the system more responsive is tougher, but there's already been some progress server side. The bottlenecks are known. The basic architecture isn't that bad. SL needs to come up to a level of performance on a gamer PC that would not get it laughed off Steam. That's tough, but not impossible. Getting up to that level would open up new markets.

A bit of encouraging news: LL is trying to hire a replacement for Oz Linden. And a technical project manager for Second Life.

Edited by animats
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29 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

The reason the cult leaders don't seem visible to you in the Metaverse is because they already run the Metaverse and rule all debates about it.

Isn't that what L Bob Rife was trying to accomplish?

Much as I'd like to believe your proposal, it fails in the same way as all the other conspiracy theories, the assumption that cliques are far more intelligent than the rest of us and apart from the odd slip of letting other people find out what they're up to, are invincible. Lizard or not, they all put on their trousers one leg at a time. Trying to run a planet full of us lot would be like trying to herd cats, even the alpha males and females can only lead where their tribes will follow.

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13 minutes ago, animats said:

VR seems to be a niche.  It's fun for a while, but not for long

I think the novelty wanes when you realise you are effectively blinkered. The crucial thing to me that makes SL far more useful than VR is that you don't have to give up any of your freedom. You can get up from the PC and walk through to get a coffee without stopping the world either where the kitchen is or where your avatar is. I can get fully immersed in a PC screen and the scattered heaps of paper and notes around me, I don't have to put on a headset and see only the display and hear only the sounds. Equally, I value the control of my own attention, I don't want to hand it over to somebody who wants me to be immersed in their idea of an experience.

There's a secondary target of the VR-proponents and that's the same as the fairground rides, to try and induce in you artificial sensations. But that's just a small part of what the metaverse should be able to offer. The collaborative ability is I think far more valuable than the fairground-attraction side.

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1 hour ago, animats said:

I find the Primary Function laughable, particularly:

Quote

You will be responsible for managing the entire Second Life development team and ensuring the engineers deliver the product without compromise against tight deadlines.

How did this go with:

  • Animesh - development time: 1 year, 6 months
  • BoM - development time: 2 years, 3 months
  • EEP - development time: 2 years, 10 months

Also, I see no mention of "# years of actually using the platform is a plus!" in the Knowledge, Skills, Abilities.

Edited by Lucia Nightfire
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It's not just gaming facets, but also content/world creation/exploration/presentation/immersion that some of the competition have an edge over SL with.

A few months ago I brought up just a sample of things we can't do in SL due to lack of functions/tools/backend here.

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6 minutes ago, animats said:

VR seems to be a niche.  It's fun for a while, but not for long. I've tried both VR headsets and the Microsoft HoloLens AR system. A big problem with VR is that about 5 to 10% of the population gets nauseated when the visual world and the real world are moving independently. Even among people who can tolerate it, it's kind of wearing. That's why Beat Saber, where you stand in one place and slash at oncoming targets, is the most successful VR game. 2019 was supposed to be the "year of VR", and it wasn't. VR didn't even pick up much during the pandemic.

A bit of encouraging news: LL is trying to hire a replacement for Oz Linden. And a technical project manager for Second Life.

I bet 5-10% of the population gets seasick on their first cruise ship but they didn't stop building them because of it. Maria Korolov of Hypergrid Business predicted a few years ago that VR would dip in popularity for 2-3 years and then come back stronger than ever as hardware upgrades for it would improve. Her estimation was that 2021 or 2022 would be when we see it go mainstream and I think she is right.

Today I noticed 2 articles in 2 different newspapers about the effect the lockdowns are having on the mental health of the populations because of the physical separations between people. Right afterwards I watched the videos for the Microsoft Mixed Reality headsets and realized it is the next best thing to being there. It should not be difficult for Secondlife to merge in that sort of thing as they already were experimenting with puppeteering in 2008. It could be a shot in the arm that S/L needs to garner a broader mass appeal.

Quote

I agree. It's quite possible to get the frame rate up with a better viewer architecture. Making the system more responsive is tougher, but there's already been some progress server side. The bottlenecks are known. The basic architecture isn't that bad.

One easy way to speed up frame rate is to limit the amount of avatars in a scene. Some finer grained viewer controls for limiting that would be nice. As an example would be the ability to render those avatars  you specifically select rather than just self and friends or all.

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Everything SL does, other platforms do better. This is fact. We can see evidence already linked in the thread.

It's been blind luck that so far, none offer everything SL does, because they'd keep on top of it and continue to do it better.

That luck won't last. 

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1 hour ago, Arielle Popstar said:

One easy way to speed up frame rate is to limit the amount of avatars in a scene. Some finer grained viewer controls for limiting that would be nice. As an example would be the ability to render those avatars  you specifically select rather than just self and friends or all.

If specific avatars are causing lag, I would think/hope that once ArcTan is completed and accurate complexity values are reported, this can finally be realized through jellydolls. We also need a total scene complexity reference too, imo. Why render a group of avatars whose individual complexities are low, but are standing behind another group whose total complexity exceeds a certain scene threshold limit?

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10 minutes ago, Arielle Popstar said:

One easy way to speed up frame rate is to limit the amount of avatars in a scene.

Set the number of avatars not drawn as impostors to 3 or 4 and that happens. That slider really should be tied to the main graphics complexity slider, because few people know about it.

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1 minute ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

If specific avatars are causing lag, I would think/hope that once ArcTan is completed and accurate complexity values are reported, this can finally be realized through jellydolls. We also need a total scene complexity reference too, imo. Why render a group of avatars whose individual complexities are low, but are standing behind another group whose total complexity exceeds a certain scene threshold limit?

The jellydolls I find make a minimal difference to the framerate. I pointed that out a couple weeks ago to the Lindens and hope they will follow up on that to see about reducing it more.

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1 hour ago, Arielle Popstar said:

The jellydolls I find make a minimal difference to the framerate. I pointed that out a couple weeks ago to the Lindens and hope they will follow up on that to see about reducing it more.

Was this testing the latest jelldolls code where attachments & animations are removed/replaced?

The impostoring effect alone should yield FPS. At least it does for me.

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7 minutes ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

Was this testing the latest jelldolls code where attachments & animations are removed/replaced?

The impostoring effect alone should yield FPS. At least it does for me.

Yes it was the latest on the S/L viewer.

15 minutes ago, animats said:

Set the number of avatars not drawn as impostors to 3 or 4 and that happens. That slider really should be tied to the main graphics complexity slider, because few people know about it.

That doesn't seem to make a difference on the Firestorm viewer. I tried it ages ago and it didn't work and just retried it at a busy club with the setting at 1 but everyone there (32) loaded  dragging my fps to 10

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1 hour ago, Profaitchikenz Haiku said:

Isn't that what L Bob Rife was trying to accomplish?

Much as I'd like to believe your proposal, it fails in the same way as all the other conspiracy theories, the assumption that cliques are far more intelligent than the rest of us and apart from the odd slip of letting other people find out what they're up to, are invincible. Lizard or not, they all put on their trousers one leg at a time. Trying to run a planet full of us lot would be like trying to herd cats, even the alpha males and females can only lead where their tribes will follow.

Oh, L. Bob Rife, bless his little Sumerican soul. You must know that Snowcrash was the early Lindens' bible. I could barely get through it, and thanks to Neal, we have legions of kids making big black box clubhouses in SL.  I did like that other one of Stephenson's where all the books are cut up into smithereens and tossed in the air. That is exactly the Internet, thank you! BTW I made a Nam Shub of Enki device if you want, I can send you. 

Oh, but my point is exactly that, the early Metaverse wranglers who aspire to Take Over in fact will fall hard and break up on the stones of reality like "hospitals" or "schools" or even "my house" and "your house". This is why in my own little sci-fi story I had the US Post Office "pivot" to virtual world making because -- that will be about the level and the functionality.

But right now we're still in the early Snowcrash phase where they are trying to devise various methods and means of takeover, including using the adolescent school-yard shaming and beat-down technique, they have the fabulous Sony Walkman to play their song any time whereas the new kid still has an old transistor radio waiting for his song to come on. Etc. 

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1 hour ago, Profaitchikenz Haiku said:

I think the novelty wanes when you realise you are effectively blinkered. The crucial thing to me that makes SL far more useful than VR is that you don't have to give up any of your freedom. You can get up from the PC and walk through to get a coffee without stopping the world either where the kitchen is or where your avatar is. I can get fully immersed in a PC screen and the scattered heaps of paper and notes around me, I don't have to put on a headset and see only the display and hear only the sounds. Equally, I value the control of my own attention, I don't want to hand it over to somebody who wants me to be immersed in their idea of an experience.

There's a secondary target of the VR-proponents and that's the same as the fairground rides, to try and induce in you artificial sensations. But that's just a small part of what the metaverse should be able to offer. The collaborative ability is I think far more valuable than the fairground-attraction side.

Exactly. You're strapped in for the fun ride and can't get off the rollercoaster -- unless of course you snatch off your goggles or exit out of your game. I truly value the fact that SL does not have "motives" like The Sims Online or quests with timing and responsibility like World of Warcraft so you can go offline to do a real job or make dinner without being killed by the game gods' machine

I personally didn't like the VR exhibits I went to - Ebbe Linden held a meet-up at one of them for SL residents and it was interesting to me that he wasn't all that impressed either, and this was some years ago. Maybe due to some SL applicability, I didn't feel any dizziness or car sickness at first, I just didn't like that I couldn't reach in and change the world. Then half an hour later I was hit with the vertigo, apparently it works that way for some. First the game companies tried to shame and heckle people who were carsick -- maybe they are all women or feeble -- but then they began to go on and on about improvements in FPS etc etc because in fact it's a lot of people that get sick. Lots. How do I know? My daughter's boyfriend worked as the Oculus Rift demonstrator at Best Buy, Each week, the company sent him a big box of paper towels and sanitizers because Best Buy did not want to supply this. He spent a lot of time cleaning up after carsick customers. Best Buy completely removed the exhibit after awhile as Oculus Rift began to fail badly and didn't seem to correlate with sales for Best Buy. Meanwhile, I still go to Best Buy to get desktops upon which SL more or less works. Oh, well.

 

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8 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

I did like that other one of Stephenson's where all the books are cut up into smithereens and tossed in the air.

Would that be Anathem?

I think Gibson's idea of the metaverse, although the hardware and interface were more complicated than necessary, gave a much more interesting idea of how people actually used the metaverse. As you say, Stephenson has inspired big black clubs and racing motorcycles, but I haven't so far seen much of Gibson's influence, although I did find Midian City very reminiscent of the Sprawl.

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47 minutes ago, Profaitchikenz Haiku said:

Would that be Anathem?

I think Gibson's idea of the metaverse, although the hardware and interface were more complicated than necessary, gave a much more interesting idea of how people actually used the metaverse. As you say, Stephenson has inspired big black clubs and racing motorcycles, but I haven't so far seen much of Gibson's influence, although I did find Midian City very reminiscent of the Sprawl.

So, so sorry. I'm mixing up my Metaversal literary giants who served as Linden Bibles. There's ANOTHER one, Vernor Vinge, look in the old forums for adulation there, and his book is called Rainbow's End. More readable than Stephenson in many ways.

 

 

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5 hours ago, animats said:

I agree. It's quite possible to get the frame rate up with a better viewer architecture.

It's really not.

SL's input and physics round trip is brutal.

Games prioritize player agency. The player does the thing, and the server accepts that .. with maybe a little sanity checking to stop hacks and cheats. The players action is authoritative and perceptually instantaneous.

SL prioritizes the shared experience. The player attempts the thing, sends that to the server which calculates the outcome and then sends that back to the player and everyone else. The server is authoritative,  half a second's delay a good day for most SL users. 

The absolute best SL can do is the round trip latency .. from input to result, depending on location ~200ms

A game running at 60fps can do it in 16.7ms

6 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

@Coffee I don't know who Oscar is. Oscar Linden? Again most people don't want war games and don't want games period because they don't want a world of constraints, they want freedom in all dimensions, to create and rez things themselves even at a primitive level and to manipulate the environment -- which you cannot do if you have the tabula resa a constrained game environment.

SL is exceptionally restrictive in what it's users can do. You have no idea what you're talking about and working on the assumption that SL is the top of the creative freedom tree. 

Argumentum ad populum is a fallacy. Don't worry Prok, no one will make you play war games, promise.

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