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3 hours ago, lucagrabacr said:

An acquirement by FB is unlikely... 

If a buy offer does come, the outcome will most likely depends...

Either way,  whether you believe SL is better off not being owned by Facebook...

 

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Edited by Chroma Starlight
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  • 2 weeks later...

Matthew Ball, the venture capitalist partly responsible for this round of hype, has written "The Metaverse Primer". This is a 9-part series on what this is all about, where it might be going, the technologies involved, the business issues, and things business people need to know. It's a reasonably balanced overview, without excessive hype. Recommended reading for management-level Lindens.

Second Life is not mentioned much, but there are some important points made about it.

The most obvious behavioral change of the past year has been the increasing amount of time we spent online and in virtual worlds. But more important is destigmatization of this time. For decades, “gamers” have been making “fake” avatars and spending their free time in digital worlds while carrying out miscellaneous tasks and pursuing  non-game-like objectives such as designing a room in Second Life (versus killing a terrorist in Counter-Strike). A huge portion of society, if not the majority of it, considered such efforts to be weird or wasteful or anti-social (if they didn’t look down on it outright). Some saw it as the modern version of an adult man building a train set in their basement.

It’s hard to imagine what could have more rapidly changed this perception than COVID-19. Millions of the above skeptics have now participated in (and enjoyed) virtual worlds and activities such as Animal Crossing, Fortnite, or Roblox as they sought out things to do, attended events once planned for the real world, or tried to spend time with their kids indoors. Not only has this destigmatized virtual life, and “the Metaverse,” but it might even mean an extra generation will participate in it.

That minor remark deserves attention by LL marketing.

Ball's article "Payments, Payment Rails, and Blockchains, and The Metaverse" covers how creators get paid, and how much. There's a long discussion of ACH vs FedWire vs cryptocurrencies, and a useful list of how big a cut different virtual worlds take. The 30% "Apple Tax" is discussed and viewed very negatively. It gets worse. "Roblox pays developers only 24.5% of every dollar spent on their games, assets, or items." Ouch. Ball presents the argument that charging more than about 5%, about what most payment systems cost, chokes off the creator business as a business and has people looking for another payment approach. Companies will not pay a 30% markup for mere access to a platform. Apple is, of course, in litigation over this and undergoing antitrust investigation.

There's even an article on lag: "Networking and the Metaverse". Worth a read by developers.

 

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3 hours ago, Muffinstuff said:

I'm more than happy with SL being it's own Independent "thing". For better or worse, its always kind of been that way. Its general ethos has not changed, and that's part of what makes it special.

I sort of disagree. It's original ethos was social building centric.

Now it's ethos is business entrepreneurship, brand establishing and fashion centric.

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On 8/7/2021 at 11:35 PM, animats said:

Matthew Ball, the venture capitalist partly responsible for this round of hype, has written "The Metaverse Primer". This is a 9-part series on what this is all about, where it might be going, the technologies involved, the business issues, and things business people need to know. It's a reasonably balanced overview, without excessive hype. Recommended reading for management-level Lindens.

Second Life is not mentioned much, but there are some important points made about it.

The most obvious behavioral change of the past year has been the increasing amount of time we spent online and in virtual worlds. But more important is destigmatization of this time. For decades, “gamers” have been making “fake” avatars and spending their free time in digital worlds while carrying out miscellaneous tasks and pursuing  non-game-like objectives such as designing a room in Second Life (versus killing a terrorist in Counter-Strike). A huge portion of society, if not the majority of it, considered such efforts to be weird or wasteful or anti-social (if they didn’t look down on it outright). Some saw it as the modern version of an adult man building a train set in their basement.

It’s hard to imagine what could have more rapidly changed this perception than COVID-19. Millions of the above skeptics have now participated in (and enjoyed) virtual worlds and activities such as Animal Crossing, Fortnite, or Roblox as they sought out things to do, attended events once planned for the real world, or tried to spend time with their kids indoors. Not only has this destigmatized virtual life, and “the Metaverse,” but it might even mean an extra generation will participate in it.

That minor remark deserves attention by LL marketing.

Ball's article "Payments, Payment Rails, and Blockchains, and The Metaverse" covers how creators get paid, and how much. There's a long discussion of ACH vs FedWire vs cryptocurrencies, and a useful list of how big a cut different virtual worlds take. The 30% "Apple Tax" is discussed and viewed very negatively. It gets worse. "Roblox pays developers only 24.5% of every dollar spent on their games, assets, or items." Ouch. Ball presents the argument that charging more than about 5%, about what most payment systems cost, chokes off the creator business as a business and has people looking for another payment approach. Companies will not pay a 30% markup for mere access to a platform. Apple is, of course, in litigation over this and undergoing antitrust investigation.

There's even an article on lag: "Networking and the Metaverse". Worth a read by developers.

 

Matthew Ball is not a persuasive Metaversal venture capitalist because of his failure to research SL and his likely disdain for it. He raises topics again and again that have been dealt with and even solved or at least become the subject of many working remedies in SL, and he just doesn't acknowledge that; it's not on the screen for him.

Therefore for him to raise merely the "destigmatization" issue -- a fancy way of saying that it's ok to be a furry and fly around in virtual worlds and waste time and no one should shame you for this -- *is not enough*. That's the least of the values of SL, which has created all kinds of precedents and useful knowledge on everything from tutorials for walking around, to an inworld economy with permissions and IP rights, to vehicles that yes, do cross sim seams; to breedables and gatchas in the economy; to use by educators; etc. etc. 

His article on payments is imply ignorant. Deeply ignorant of things outside his beloved blockchain, which actually is not something most ordinary people want to embrace because anonymity doesn't cut it for them, and electronic processes are not a substitute for people. SL has taught them that, BTW.

Yeah, the boosters of Roblox in this forums, or who tout even a virtual world by a Microsoft or a Facebook to come, can't admit that these big guys gouge the hell out of prosumers; LL take 10%; they take 24-33%. That's wrong. Only a riot of millions of people will stop that, but it won't happen as they will lure many rubes into their carnivals which will make gatchas look like an altar-call at a born-again church.

I'm not finished which his long "primer" yet but I would say it is worth reading not by "developers" who can continue this arrogant heist of people's willingness to expend their time, talent, and treasure, but by people -- ordinary people, small creators, prosumers -- who can stand up to this attitude and show another way, and who are willing to refute every line he writes and find the alternative arguments. 

 

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13 hours ago, animats said:

"Building the Open Metaverse", a SIGGRAPH panel, is tomorrow. Remote only. Tuesday, August 10, 1-3:00 pm ET. Not free, but "basic" SIGGRAPH registration ($50) is enough.

Epic, NVidia, Roblox, Kronos, Unity - the people making it happen.

Nobody from Linden Lab, though. Too bad. They should be presenting.

 

Maybe they aren't invited. Maybe they are even banned.

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On 4/15/2021 at 1:05 PM, animats said:

A concurrent user count well below 100 happened to it.

High Fidelity belongs to the class of "game level loaders". Someone creates a level offline, uploads it, and then others can visit. Each level is totally isolated, and there's a long loading delay as the next level loads. It's not a single world like SL. Basically, it's a download system for simple indy games.

Sansar and Sinespace are other examples of that category. Interest in those is very low. Concurrent user counts are around 20. If your game was any good, you'd put it on Steam, so this is kind of a bottom-feeder business.

Fortnite Creative Mode, which is somewhat similar, is a modest success, but it's a tiny fraction of the Fortnite empire.

That's simply not true. It has more than 100 certainly. And it doesn't matter.

Because you don't explain what it was for -- it was called High FIDELITY because Philip took a pivot in recent years towards development of immersive sound systems. And he sells these now to worlds and games far larger than SL. THAT is what is relevant here. Go and listen to his recent speeches.

Numbers are not relevant. What is relevant is experience and solutions for the Metaverse that can scale, or even not scale, but be relevant to separate smaller worlds.

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On 5/4/2021 at 11:27 AM, Selene Gregoire said:

EA/Maxis tested the open world environment with The Sims 3. Then, with S4, they reverted back to loading screens for the benefit of players who could not afford high end gaming pcs.

https://www.gamezone.com/originals/the-sims-4-s-loading-screens-are-a-win-in-every-respect-says-ea/

Personally, I  prefer open worlds, however, since I was used to loading screens, I'm not overly bothered by them. If there is an S5 (most likely in a few years) and it is open world, I'll probably get it if I can afford it. If not, I'm more likely to just stick with 2, 3 and 4. I still have all of the original Sims 1 discs but the graphics are just a bit too old for my eyes.

https://freeso.org/

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47 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Yeah, the boosters of Roblox in this forums, or who tout even a virtual world by a Microsoft or a Facebook to come, can't admit that these big guys gouge the hell out of prosumers; LL take 10%; they take 24-33%. That's wrong. Only a riot of millions of people will stop that, but it won't happen as they will lure many rubes into their carnivals which will make gatchas look like an altar-call at a born-again church.

With Roblox taking 75% and Core Games taking 50% of the revenue share sets a dangerous precedent for the future.

 

For those who watched the big social media corporations banding together in a brutal savaging of the upstart, Parlor. It was possible because Parlor trusted Amazon as their host.

In a future where SL becomes a thorn in the Megacorp Metaverses' sides, you'll see SL trashed overnight with everyone reporting on the grid's darkest, grittiest activities. The BDSM, furry, enslavement and abuse sims will be the talking points that cause concerned parent Amazon to pull the plug.

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8 hours ago, Mr Amore said:

n a future where SL becomes a thorn in the Megacorp Metaverses' sides, you'll see SL trashed overnight with everyone reporting on the grid's darkest, grittiest activities. The BDSM, furry, enslavement and abuse sims will be the talking points that cause concerned parent Amazon to pull the plug.

SL is put under that spotlight every 5 years or so anyway.

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8 hours ago, Mr Amore said:

With Roblox taking 75% and Core Games taking 50% of the revenue share sets a dangerous precedent for the future.

 

For those who watched the big social media corporations banding together in a brutal savaging of the upstart, Parlor. It was possible because Parlor trusted Amazon as their host.

In a future where SL becomes a thorn in the Megacorp Metaverses' sides, you'll see SL trashed overnight with everyone reporting on the grid's darkest, grittiest activities. The BDSM, furry, enslavement and abuse sims will be the talking points that cause concerned parent Amazon to pull the plug.

I think that's possible, and maybe Intel will once again make a virtual world (or...something?) which may explain why years ago, in the Copybot era, they hired one of SL's top griefers after he deployed Copybot for a high-profile contractor in SL and harmed all our businesses which then yes, did some damage to LL.

You find animosity toward SL and LL sometimes not in an actual competitor, but other companies for whatever tangled reasons, sometimes very personal -- maybe former Linden employees are in them.

Techs are hired guns who hop from one place to another, leaving a trail of grievances and bringing a boatload of gossip in the industry. Read Glass Door, and see what one particularly angry and bitter Linden said, who knows who -- he complained that the company wouldn't protect them from the user base.  He has a certain point there. Certain outward facing Lindens put up with an enormous amount of hate, annoyance, griefing, resentment etc. We don't even see the half of it. I think they *do* protect their own as I've seen it. But I have only anecdotal awareness of this. Glass Door is only one more set of possibly false data which you have to triangulate against other sets of possibly false and distorted data. 

Sometimes in that past there were Linden friends of the griefers and copybotters but I don't think so much now with the current batch of more professional Lindens, with less from the user base, but I just don't know, I don't have the bandwidth to follow it now as I once did. Many people suspect the Lindens of all sorts of dark things like rebooting sims and making copies of rare gatchas to sell on the MP but you know what? They have jobs and lives. They don't need to do that? So it's kind of silly to suspect them as if caught, they would lose those jobs and lives.

I mean, if you look at this rationally, you'd have to ask why a giant company like Google or Facebook, even allowing for weirdness in certain activist sects within their midst, would bother trashing and trampling LL, when their virtual world will have millions, and LL will have...250,000 maybe. But maybe it's like the way Russia beats up on little Estonia or small (by comparison) Ukraine; the example of a free world they establish with the same set of bad circumstances like bad weather, bad crops, bad luck, wars, etc. undermines the regime.

What I think is far more likely is this: LL will gradually over time have to adopt these rapacious practices. So they will move to 15% tax -- because they can. The Linden dollar will cost more. Then more still. Then they may license creators. You will not be able to upload mesh or sell inworld with not only a form of payment; you'll need a manual clearance and that lets discretionary factors creep in. Already Sinespace, which grew out of SL, has that feature. Only the licensed can sell. Skilled professionals will scoff at this factor as a hurdle because they will cross it with superior English language skills, computer connections, and Mole friends. Others will find it insurmountable even with talent given these other obstacles.  Then somebody who wants to put two prims together and texture them for their friends and charge 10L can't even do that anymore. Or maybe they can, but that's *all;* they can do. They can no longer buy mesh models and sculpty maps unless they, too, are licensed like those sellers. Etc.

Creator-fascists will celebrate the lessening of copybot and more important, the decrease of competition against themselves from the poor folks. 

I feel the world is always lurching toward these possibilities and it's only really traditions set in the early 2000s, the presence of old Lindens, the presence of oldbie users or whatever other factors that prevent this. It could change at any moment like the gatcha policy did or the abandoned land policy simply because it can and Lindens do what they want with their perception of the world.

There has always been the dichotomy and even warfare between worldists and platformists and I have never forgotten, since I first came and saw the FIC set-up here and the contractor system of 2006-2007 that objectively speaking, the Lindens don't need the world, and if anything, far from providing showcases for them to demonstrate to clients, and far from providing a pool of skilled labour, and far from providing even some crowd to put traffic on RL company islands, the user base is an embarrassment. We've been told us much by the past board chair. The user base is, largely speaking *in the way* of the Bright and Glorious Feature. Far better to use things like the gatcha policy to shake it out, curb the economic activity of "losers" and keep only the very cream of the creator class whom they themselves can hire as contractors for TV/media/etc tie-ins or clients. That's a possible route for them that few in the industry will complain about, and some forums regs here will lustily cheer.

This ancient (2007) post on Terra Nova debating a scholar who claimed all of SL was a Ponzi scheme is absolutely fascinating to read, 14 years later. The Lindens proved them wrong. The Linden dollar went up to 241 currently, and there's documented proof for forums disbelievers that it was *266* in 2007. That means LESS value. Big contractors who made RL money in SL like the Electric Sheep are all gone now or pivoted. Yes, some are creeping up again but that chapter ended for a good 12 years. The economy used to be one -- as I say in the thread there -- where there were the top Gucci bag sellers, the people selling fake Gucci bags on the sidewalks on Fifth Avenue, and the sex trade -- and that's it. We had a way more stratified economy then and while these gentlemen sneer and call it "Mayberry, RFD," it was much, much more than that then -- and now, of course, but because of gatchas and cheap weekend sales as well. All that's going to change with the farmization of SL, the end of abandoned land, etc.

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15 hours ago, Muffinstuff said:

I'm more than happy with SL being it's own Independent "thing". For better or worse, its always kind of been that way. Its general ethos has not changed, and that's part of what makes it special.

I appreciate SL's ethos, which does come from its early years of hope. The hands-off, we're just the municipal government attitude does help. I want SL's traditions to play a strong role in defining how the metaverse looks. Otherwise, we get something awful like Zuckerberg's AR goggles with ad overlays on everything, or totally censored and monitored life from the Roblox people.

I listened to the SIGGRAPH "Metaverse" panel today.  Mostly people talking about plans,  not actuals. Anyone can watch for free in a month. It cost $50 to watch it live.

  • Lots of interest in graphic object standards from NVidia and Kronos. They like Pixar's USD content format, which is a superset of glTF.
  • Roblox has big plans. 5 years to the metaverse. NPCs with AI, 10,000 avatars in a space, automatic voice language translation, 100ms automatic censorship for saying bad words. (Roblox is very kid-oriented and has a huge army of moderators.)
  • Epic just sent some guy from Quixel, which is scanning everything in sight, like Google Earth at super high rez.
  • Nobody from Facebook. Nobody from the NFT crowd.

It's early days. I'm encouraged to see the progress on graphics standards.

 

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On 8/9/2021 at 2:15 PM, Lucia Nightfire said:

Why does that scene from Carrie come to mind? 🤔

THEY'RE ALL GOING TO LAUGH AT YOU!

Have you ever pitched to a set of VC's?  I have.  Many times.  The laughter of analysts can be a valuable tool.

I went searching for this thread today, because I stumbled across this metaverse buzzfest (and exercise in naivete) on CNN today.  https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/08/tech/metaverse-explainer/index.html

Hilariously, Snow Crash is cited as the place where the term "metaverse" was invented AND SL is not mentioned, for obvious reasons already explored to death in this thread.  BUT.

One can point to many examples of entities that reached the point where people laughed at them, and recovered.  Disney, for example.  Whether SL recovers value at this late date (not that I'm sure recovering value would be a GOOD thing for the users) depends on whether board members feel inclined to find the chutzpah to step out and aggressively present some truths to opinion leaders.

Here's a truth: Long term, the thing which makes or breaks a virtual experience is the connection between users.  That same sense of connection is the core of Facebook's success.

By that criteria SL is one of the few, and by far the most successful, metaverse -- the only one that has self-sustaining communities that have persisted for over 10 years.  I would argue that at this point, SL's users are not an embarrassment - we are, at last, an asset.  An asset that is already adept at weaving together a 3D virtual world, Facebook, and Discord into a fabric that bridges anonymous avatars and, when desired, RL identities, augmenting both. A userbase that is loyal NOT to SL's aging platform, but to the communities it supports.

If I were pitching SL for sale to a company interested in the metaverse space, I would start with laughter at SL's userbase.  And I would end by convincing the audience that SL's primary asset, the one you would buy it for, is precisely that userbase.  Convince that userbase to populate a new metaverse, convince them to work with the technical team to make it more interactive and ALIVE than anything LL has managed, and that metaverse would be miles ahead of any other.

Roblox is hugely successful, but its youthful users are hooked on this game ... that game ... this 20 minute rush, that 15 minute success.  As all SL's users know, a game platform is not a metaverse, not a place that people want to inhabit for years.  Game players will drift away to a new adrenaline source, inhabitants will stay forever.

CNN argues that everyone wants to make a metaverse, a place where people can build virtual lives, but no one knows what that looks like.  Voila.

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16 minutes ago, Nika Talaj said:

Have you ever pitched to a set of VC's?  I have.  Many times.  The laughter of analysts can be a valuable tool.

I went searching for this thread today, because I stumbled across this metaverse buzzfest (and exercise in naivete) on CNN today.  https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/08/tech/metaverse-explainer/index.html

Hilariously, Snow Crash is cited as the place where the term "metaverse" was invented AND SL is not mentioned, for obvious reasons already explored to death in this thread.  BUT.

One can point to many examples of entities that reached the point where people laughed at them, and recovered.  Disney, for example.  Whether SL recovers value at this late date (not that I'm sure recovering value would be a GOOD thing for the users) depends on whether board members feel inclined to find the chutzpah to step out and aggressively present some truths to opinion leaders.

Here's a truth: Long term, the thing which makes or breaks a virtual experience is the connection between users.  That same sense of connection is the core of Facebook's success.

By that criteria SL is one of the few, and by far the most successful, metaverse -- the only one that has self-sustaining communities that have persisted for over 10 years.  I would argue that at this point, SL's users are not an embarrassment - we are, at last, an asset.  An asset that is already adept at weaving together a 3D virtual world, Facebook, and Discord into a fabric that bridges anonymous avatars and, when desired, RL identities, augmenting both. A userbase that is loyal NOT to SL's aging platform, but to the communities it supports.

If I were pitching SL for sale to a company interested in the metaverse space, I would start with laughter at SL's userbase.  And I would end by convincing the audience that SL's primary asset, the one you would buy it for, is precisely that userbase.  Convince that userbase to populate a new metaverse, convince them to work with the technical team to make it more interactive and ALIVE than anything LL has managed, and that metaverse would be miles ahead of any other.

Roblox is hugely successful, but its youthful users are hooked on this game ... that game ... this 20 minute rush, that 15 minute success.  As all SL's users know, a game platform is not a metaverse, not a place that people want to inhabit for years.  Game players will drift away to a new adrenaline source, inhabitants will stay forever.

CNN argues that everyone wants to make a metaverse, a place where people can build virtual lives, but no one knows what that looks like.  Voila.

Well, the Metaverse will be dumbed down in the hands of platforms for the masses but there's no need to be snobbish about it. I don't know if you've ever been in New Jersey. Aimee Weber, a determined platformist, former top'selling lingerie creator, and Linden contractor, used to say SL was a world -- only like Tile World in New Jersey was a world, you know, where you can go see samples of tiles to pick out for your bathroom.

And I would disagree and say that the significance of the world of SL for worldists is that people put bathrooms in their virtual homes even though they have no actual need of them. And they pick out the tiles with great care sometimes, or re-tile a house they bought on the market. I have done such re-tiling myself for such unnecessary rooms. I tend to turn a bathroom into another little room to rent or maybe just throw a hot tub into it. And I don't mean that people want to turn the SL bathroom into a venue for sex, that's another plane. I mean that people assiduously make these rooms which have absolutely no purpose and in which they are unlikely to ever sit or even take a bath, although you would hope they would at least simulate that after the expensive, scripted tubs they have purchased.

And why? It's because as Philip has always explained, you can manipulate pixels where you can't manipulate prims, as they aren't moveable or cost too much, and that's the draw.

So the other thing about New Jersey is that it has huge malls, strip malls, big destination malls like Newmark Center in Jersey City, and then miles of chemical factories, and that big sign "Trenton Makes, the World Takes" and all that. So there is just miles of this stuff, pretty much all concrete -- of the kind certain transportation games love to reproduce in SL, although most of us are pretty done with it in RL.

And one time this friend of mind who had to drive through all that stuff all the time was told by another friend then she never stopped and smelled the roses, etc. so she literally pulled off the highway and tried to find a rose bush, and didn't at first, and then did, and it was an epiphany. My son used to make me go to Newmark to buy sneakers because it's true, they are cheaper and there is less sales tax. Then he would go to the Chick-Fil-a and it would be so horrible I literally could not swallow it and so maybe we would get a pizza and watch some stupid movie about aliens. So why would my son and his wife stay in, like Bayonne? Because the rents were cheaper, there were little jobs they could put together doing social media for mom and pop restaurants and some real estate photography and various factories that needed media that sold uniforms wholesale, etc.

Not the creative stuff my son hoped for when he studied and mastered all these things in various schools and jobs and did bold things like go to this very high-end real estate guy and tell him he could be his new media guy, whereupon this guy, a Russian oligarch, didn't laugh at him, but simply showed him the tablet with drone photography and 3D programs of interiors his media people already did, and my son, with his cell phone photos and starter camera from B&H, just sat and stared and realized what a fool he was, but he picked himself up, he went to the next Orthodox wedding gig and made sure to do it well, the next one, the next modest gig after that, some kid's birthday, some pizza joint's opening, and saved for the next level of camera, the next and the next. And they did this and did this and it worked and they made a living until the pandemic, whereupon everything died, restaurants closed, they had to return deposits, and there was no work except a Spanish TV camera crew where...they got COVID. And so on and so forth until they moved to Florida and despite what you read in the papers, have flourished. So the Metaverse will be like that because guess what, it has humans in it, and not much else, so it will tend to replicate RL.

So meanwhile in New York City, we have interesting little cafes where, say, Joseph Brodsky used to have his coffee or some art house movie or some fascinating artisan restaurant. OK COVID, awful, but there is some recovery, outdoor restaurants, still in masks, and now Little Norah Brown will play in some park. An author is going to read from his book outdoors and all in all, I still think the depth of intellectual life; the art museums that began to re-open, the galleries, well, it is more concentrated than the mall in New Jersey, it has less people, it is more fragile than the pizza joint, but still, I'd rather be here than in, say, Florida.

So you can see this is a metaphor for the depth and length of the Metaverse. Some of it will be Bayonne. Some of it will be Newmark Mall, Some of it will be Cafe Reggio. And there is no need to be snobbish about this or mock Bayonne as so many do, nor, the reverse, join the stampede at Newmark buying Nikes and eating fast food, who never heard of Joseph Brodsky, let's say, or if they did, wonder why there wasn't a YouTube. Like that.

I actually don't think the skills are transferable, seriously. That is, if you know PhotoShop and Blender for some other job, you can transfer it into SL, but all you have to do is look at the very well made content (by Moles in some cases) at Zenescope to realize something is missing. It looks like a mall in New Jersey because it isn't part of the cafe culture of New York, i.e. the world of SL, which of course has worlds within worlds. Content disconnected from communities and cultures will have that mall-like feel. But it doesn't matter because not everyone can master a niche worldlet like SL and they will make what they make, and for people, and that's fine.

So it's not important if we criticize it, and no one will care. Because it's not for us. It's for the people who already are attracted to Zenescope in its other forms, which, I gather, are in turn a distillation of ancient stories like Robin Hood with a new patina. It's for them to come in SL and add a dimension of the 3D world and perspective and capacity and real-time in-person socialization and all the rest. So I have no idea if those people will flock there; likely not, like the Suicide Girls and Podpast Pickle and CSI fans came and went, it was too hard, they didn't have the graphics card, whatever. Or maybe not. Maybe this time it will stick.

But at some point these issues will fall to the wayside and there will be thick and thin places in the Metaverse, that some will view as "fun" and "boring" places accordingly, like some people don't want to tackle a big thick book, they just want a very simplified Robin Hood story where Robin Hood is a girl, and one with T&A, especially. But that's ok, there's room for everybody.

So these Metaversal managers always talk about interoperability and standards and jockey with each other to be the standard-setter with whatever agenda. And here LL lost out in a way because their early edition of this about 10-15 years ago was a Yahoo group even I was in, where very far left Lindens and residents of the FOSS and copyleftist and open source gang insisted on destroying copyright, which they thought was a bourgeois affectation. And they kept doing this in 100 ways and people like me kept saying that would destroy the world and they just yammered on with this agenda as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others have done and here we all are. So their extremism got them left out of whatever talks a Microsoft or Google, with its utterly failed early virtual world called "Lively," which was anything but; now their caution or their smallness will get them left out even if they aren't as extreme ideologically. But maybe not. Because we aren't told everything and not everything happening is this space is online or even available for $50 tickets.

I don't think a world in which even the tiny percentage of people willing to go on the forums can't agree will have any influence on anything and won't be able to get elected even as dog-catcher. But even so, this contingent or that, this programmer or that designer, will make a mark somewhere. And I continue to believe that the experience of SL is vital to the Metaverse -- and that experience is not what some people think it is.

Nikaj's idea is that we should become a batch of probiotic yoghurt that the big dogs then use as starter in their own bland mass market yoghurt products. And I think some people will not want to do that and not get the credit.

When you say "the connection between users" is really the essential thing, well, no. That was Mark Kingdon's fake hypothesis, that the killer app in SL is "each other". Baloney. "Each other" are in many cases a obstacle to people's virtual lives -- see elsewhere where I discuss Big Dog and his security orb along with Water Hog and his ban lines on a river, etc. etc. Why romanticize this?! Why are we fetishizing "connectivity" when the experience most of us have with it daily is really negative? Spam emails from LinkedIn that were never agreed to; spam phone calls trying to sell car insurance and you don't have a call; endless groups fund-raising, politicians trying to be seen on Twitter, etc. What's needed is not connectivity for connectivity's sake but selectivity of the ocean of connections and content, curation.

My definition of a virtual world is that it requires a) a sense of place b) drama. Now why so short, and why with a word that many think is more about girls arguing who stole whose hair with a ripped mod, or whose alt is stepping out with whose other alt. Because "drama" simply means, in the absence of game play, some kind of action, story, yearning for something that plays out for people, something that makes them stick, whatever it is. So that is really all you need. It does not have to look pretty and can be as flat as a board or like The Sims Online, people still find meaning and life. So it's not "connection", which is just as much about a Russian operative asking me on Messenger if I can send him a list of "every student I know in every Russian course in the US and Europe" (!) as it is hearing what my grand niece is up to on her first day of school (why so early this year??? Guess due to COVID). No,and  it's not about commuuuunity, either as much as that sacral concept is invoked constantly especially when it comes time for Bellisseria Parades of boats or Houses Beautiful. 

It's about freedom, and choice, and the ability to be able to choose what you want to do, whether it is low-brow activity like buying sneakers at Newmark or eating pizza, or whether it's listening to Little Norah Brown give her rendition of "Wedding Dress" learned from John Cohen and played on Roscoe Holcomb's actual banjo, or whether it's flying around in an elf cape and making little leaf beds. Choice. Freedom to, and freedom from, so that means governance, freeing people from each other as much as from the state. And economy, so it can sustain itself.

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Forbes has some good things to say about Second Life today.

One Metaverse already exists. Second Life, a web based 3D virtual world, has been popular for two decades. It still has a million monthly users. It has an economy. People buy and sell virtual real estate and digital goods. It is spatial (3D). It has persistence. It is social. You have an embodied presence, an avatar. Second Life may already be a metaverse. But, as we know, it is not the metaverse. The distinction is incredibly important. 

The Guardian is negative on the Zuckerberg vision of the metaverse.

Tech oligarchs like Zuckerberg, with his Sauron-like ambition to own the One Ring to rule them all, seem like the worst choice to put in charge of building a new world.

The Zuckerberg vision seems to be people wearing goggles all their waking hours, logged into Facebook. That may seem insane, but look how many people walk around glued to their phone screens. While wearing iDweebs in their ears. Pushback against that vision is growing.

Bloomberg has a video about an Korean telco's metaverse. It looks like Second Life from years ago, but it does have better avatar tracking.

Second Life remains well positioned in the metaverse industry.

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In order to become the metaverse, SL has to grow beyond it's borders. It's as simple as that.

SL must let go of it's walled garden mentality. Without change in that regard, we are unavoidably bound to the same fate as There! Active Worlds and Blue Mars.

We've done amazingly well to stave off the simple attrition that's left those worlds abandoned to caretakers and die hard fans, but a core community is not sufficient alone and it's not a fate we should accept.

Opensim is close, but not the answer. That's the SL equivalent of the reverse engineered private servers we have seen for games & communities who've been shuttered by their commercial owners. 

Tilia is a step towards breaking the SL product stack up into the necessary independent parts needed.

Next we would need to see core transactions (L$ and inventory) migrated to using a blockchain (and I don't mean some crypto bitcoin-esque nonsense, I mean a blockchain).

Once that's in place, LL can publish the region sources and allow all and sundry to independently host their own regions and connect them to shared core services. LL become the first central bank, first keeper of records and first domain registry. 

Any region host would then be able to connect to and interact with the wider grid.

Then, and only then, would SL be the metaverse.

 

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2 hours ago, animats said:

Forbes has some good things to say about Second Life today.

One Metaverse already exists. Second Life, a web based 3D virtual world, has been popular for two decades. It still has a million monthly users. It has an economy. People buy and sell virtual real estate and digital goods. It is spatial (3D). It has persistence. It is social. You have an embodied presence, an avatar. Second Life may already be a metaverse. But, as we know, it is not the metaverse. The distinction is incredibly important. 

 

I just came across that article too. Further on it says:

"Here are a few things I know are true about the metaverse. You will have a secure personal identity, and you will move seamlessly from place to place, just as you move from web site to web site. It will be spatial, 3D, and any device with a browser, including the humble smartphone, will be able to access it."

Now, I love virtual worlds. But the question that pops to mind when I read this is.. why? what advantage is there to me in the things I commonly access on the web being 3D? Or for this identity to be portable across the wide range of things I use?

For example..We have specialised platforms for work things (eg I have used a 3D platform for counselling purposes, with a bunch of built in tools). There would be no point for my identity on such a platform to port over to buying a new set of curtains on Shopee, or to filing my taxes, or playing a game. I like things compartmentalised, for a number of reasons, security being a big one, privacy another. Also they have nothing to do with one another - the only common link I want there is real physical me, and as much as I choose/need to divulge.

How to make the metaverse is an interesting question, but I'm struggling to think of why.  🤔

 

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14 minutes ago, Akane Nacht said:

But the question that pops to mind when I read this is.. why?

Facebook-style ad tracking, of course. Real Names.

There are now, it seems, two competing visions of the metaverse. Hell, and Heaven.

Hell looks like that video Hyperreality I've mentioned before. Run by Facebook. Ads overlaid on the real world. "Branding". Someone is now working on contact lenses for this.

Heaven looks like Luca Grabacr's latest video, which Strawberry Singh just linked today. That shows Second Life at its best. That's what the Metaverse should look like.

LL just needs to make Second Life run all the time as well as it does at its best. This is hard technically, but far, far easier than cold-starting a new world. As Sansar demonstrated.

(The whole NFT thing was a fad that peaked last February. Some of the suckers haven't figured that out yet.)

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1 hour ago, Akane Nacht said:

Now, I love virtual worlds. But the question that pops to mind when I read this is.. why? what advantage is there to me in the things I commonly access on the web being 3D? Or for this identity to be portable across the wide range of things I use?

A 3d representation that an avatar can interact with just gives a better feel for what one is looking at than a 2d picture. So imagine for example being able to go shopping for a car using your s/l avatar to visit the showroom and then actually sit in the Mercedes you are interested in and drive it around  Then jump to a different region/sim and do a virtual tour of a museum. Stop off to shop and try on the latest fashions on an avatar that is a more realistic representation of yourself to potentially buy for your real self.

Each of those places is best off being its own individual space controlled by the actual company or entity that is showing off it products but still able to connect to a virtual highway that allows access from every other place rather than the closed garden S/L chose to become. With a seamless identity one could shop and access personal data from anywhere on the metaverse.

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23 hours ago, animats said:

Facebook-style ad tracking, of course. Real Names.

Well ya for sure. That's a clear benefit to them but not a benefit to me. Why would average person want to be in the metaverse is what I wonder.

 

22 hours ago, Arielle Popstar said:

Stop off to shop and try on the latest fashions on an avatar that is a more realistic representation of yourself to potentially buy for your real self.

Eh... I just want to know if the fabric feels comfy and doesn't need ironing. Neither of which the metaverse can help me with.

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7 hours ago, Akane Nacht said:

Well ya for sure. That's a clear benefit to them but not a benefit to me. Why would average person want to be in the metaverse is what I wonder.

Why would most everyone spend days on the same website/app as their parents and extended in-laws s-posting fascist/anti-vax/racist propaganda , yet here we are ...

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3 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Why would most everyone spend days on the same website/app as their parents and extended in-laws s-posting fascist/anti-vax/racist propaganda , yet here we are ...

In that case the question is.. is it more fun to be bored n crazy in 3d.. 

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Facebook has a new VR offering, "Facebook Workrooms". Facebook Workrooms is the office version of Facebook Horizons. Similarly, Breakroom is the office version of Sinespace. There seems to be a niche for these meeting systems.

cfecabb7975657f47faefa6bad5a741ec3-metav

First reviews indicate that the visuals are poor (see above) but the spatial audio is very good. You can reportedly turn your head and talk to your neighbor without bothering others. They also have a usable whiteboard and presentation system.

SL could be a player in this if the SL onboarding process wasn't such a botch. SL used to try for this business. Visit "Boardroom" to see the prim-era SL equivalent.

(Why is everyone legless in Facebook products? To prevent any possibility of sex. Really.)

 

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