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Future of the metaverse, and all that


animats
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4 minutes ago, Arielle Popstar said:

Like this one: [screenclip mentioning sex fetishes]

They are talking about me!

It's always about you, isn't it Arielle? 
:)



I'm kinda glad the people I talk to that I ask, "Have you heard of SL?" say "no" because otherwise I'd have to lie to them about being here just for the music.

Edited by Seicher Rae
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When I visited my family this summer, I took my nephew to a local VR center. Or rather he took me but I still had to pay but that's life ;)

Anyway, there was nobody booked for the hour after our session so I had a long and interesting chat with the owner.

One thing that surprised was that he had never ever even heard of Sansar or High Fidelity. He vaguely remembered something called Second Life and with a bit of prompting he also recalled hearing about Roblox as a place with "Lego style" avatars. I suppose it shows how obscure our little corner of the virtual reality scene really is.

What didn't surprise me though, was what the opwner had to say about Meta. He also teaches IT at a local high school and he told us his students had been very enthusiastic when he showed them the house he had built on Meta. But it didn't last; they soon got bored because there was nothing to do there.

This is of course the big problem all those new VR ventures face: Virtual reality is a medium. It has little or no value in itself, it's what it's filled up with that matters and as far as I know nobody has managed to come up with any content or activities with wide enough appeal to support a huge shared virtual reality like what Meta aspires to become.

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I think Metaverse will be the future it will be the best creation in the history of mankind but we will see what Metaverse world will be the dominant in the future SL or Facebook Meta? or maybe we will see many popular Metaverses competing with each other? i think the VR technology will play an important role for the Metaverses.of the future i think it will take a long time to see the true evolution of the Metaverses maybe we will see their true potential in 30 or 40 years maybe for 2060

Edited by Harloxzz
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  • 4 weeks later...

https://www.6gworld.com/exclusives/the-way-were-building-the-metaverse-is-all-wrong/
 

Discusses SL quite a bit, accurately.

Despite its age, Second Life is still the best example we’ve got to a working metaverse. But before you make comparisons to the likes of Fortnite and Roblox, it’s not so much a game as it is a social platform. There are no goals or objectives. Instead, you socialise with friends, buy and sell property, shop for virtual merchandise, dance at nightclubs, watch live events and even attend virtual classes and exhibitions – all the stuff that’s described as being essential to the metaverse.

But there’s one important thing that sets Second Life apart from the majority of metaverse contenders, and that’s its content creation tools. In Second Life, anyone can create and sell content, ranging from skins, animations and textures to property, clothing and even virtual art. As long as you’ve got the coding and development know-how, this can be done by utilising the in-world tools alongside Linden Scripting Language, Second Life’s programming language.

By giving its users the tools and resources that it needs to create, Second Life has continued to innovate and evolve over the years. It’s a shining example of how integral thriving creator economies are to the success of metaverse platforms”

 

Edited by Pamela Galli
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7 hours ago, Pamela Galli said:

Despite its age, Second Life is still the best example we’ve got to a working metaverse.

I think there's implied constraint in this definition. You're referring to a specific type of Internet-networked 3D-rendered system for the metaverse, but in many ways there are limits and barriers to this that are not present in MUSHes. You can do things in MUSHes that feel less bound by the paradigm's implementation, like pure imagination. For example, rooms have exits that can be arbitrarily linked and connected to more than just other rooms in other locations-- in fact, they needn't be portals in walls at all, they can be mounted on avatars.  People can enter them and find themselves not in another room but inside others' avatars, or riding atop, or anything customized in simple script. When they spoke from there, you'd hear them. They would actually be listed in your inventory and you could drop them or give them to others, or experience that firsthand. This is just one trivial example of the unbound nature of other metaverse implementations. Anything you could express in text didn't require outside support, expensive third-party applications and skillsets, or any of that. It was far more direct because it integrated cybernetically with your local creative abilities, like reading a book with some imaginative weight behind its realization, but the final experience was always a co-creation unbound by the graphical or technical limits that have been part of the 3D VR MMO experience. In this paradigm, I constantly bounce off the rails, wanting to do things that haven't been implemented but are clear as a bell to me and expressible at a moment's notice, extemporaneous and impromptu. 

With VR 3D, it's like everything has to be painstakingly realized, pre-baked, and carefully integrated at a high level of technical artistry, making it a more exclusive experience for many. You basically have to be Pixar visionary genius level to be a full creator here. And then, it's just what it is, static. Is it alive, conscious, unbound to unfold as a living idea in others? You give someone a 3D toaster, they take it in and that's all it is. You give them the idea of toaster, and they get to interactively co-create it from your suggestion. Has the co-creation been stripped back too far? Now it's more difficult to do, but the paradigm is different too-- people specialize in creating things that you can purchase for a fee, but is capitalism really what the Metaverse is supposed to be about? I thought it was about something pure, equally available to all participants. I guess someone could make the argument that having Internet access in 1994 and knowing how to telnet to a MUSH running on a Sun SPARCStation 4 and participate was its own kind of exclusivity. Or maybe they'd make the argument that literacy, and cultural literacy in science fiction and fantasy literature was a form of exclusivity. Either way, ideas roost and take flight almost faster than Blender or Photoshop can open, nevermind whether or not you are a master of either, the idea got bored and left because of all the requirements to express it in this paradigm. It wasn't actually so bad in 2004 when you could still realize most of the idea directly in prims, but now you basically need a large creative team, or you need to virtually go through that process just to create at full potential, but nobody provides a way to slow down ideas and make them persist long enough to do all that as an individual.

Because everything's been monetized, I miss being able to create without an accountant's fetid breath wafting over my shoulder. This system is literally broken and dysfunctional unless you have money or rare skills. I tried to acquire them, but there was always pushback and consequence which we might  interpret as anticompetitive hazing from incumbent rivals against new starts. Maybe it's more portable in ways, but I'm not sure the essence of Metaverse has actually changed or advanced as a result of 3D VR on screens or headsets. I think at some point they diverted off from magick and instead looked at conforming to very partisan ideas like "let's make it a real estate or business tycoon game," or a way explore narrow conformal dreams rather than diving deep into cybernetic possibility for ascension beyond the constraints of Earthly paradigm and into high fantasy, sci-fi or higher-dimensional spirituality (anyone's guess how or if those should even be divided- I think it's all an expression of the same universal.). 

The irony is, back in those days, creation was easy in ASCII, but I had a void where there should have been an endless fountain of creativity. Now, I'm overcome that darkness, but creation and possibility seem harder than they were a generation or two ago. It's all been done and turned into a three-ring binder and barriers have been built where before it felt undivided. Perhaps some day there will be a system for people like me.

Edited by Brightstar7777
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1 hour ago, Brightstar7777 said:

is capitalism really what the Metaverse is supposed to be about?

Well, capitalism may not have a place in the utopian best-case-scenario of a Metaverse to which you're referring, but according to Neal Stephenson (the guy who coined the phrase "metaverse" in the 1992 novel Snow Crash) it seems that he envisioned capitalism being as rampant there as it is in RL...

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Anyone with enough money could modify an avatar to look like whatever or whoever, but most people just rent standard avatars ("Brandy" and "Clint" being popular off-the-shelf models for women and men).

He even refers to the social stigma associated with wearing off-the-shelf avatars and using low end equipment on a few occasions, referring to those who use pay-terminals as "black-and-whites"...

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Besides, if this guy's using a pay terminal -- which he must be, to judge from the image quality -- it can't jazz up his avatar.  It just shows him the way he is, except not as well.

Talking to a black-and-white on the Street is like talking to a person who has his face stuck in a xerox machine, repeatedly pounding the copy button, while you stand by the output tray pulling the sheets out one at a time and looking at them.”

 

1 hour ago, Brightstar7777 said:

The irony is, back in those days, creation was easy in ASCII, but I had a void where there should have been an endless fountain of creativity. Now, I'm overcome that darkness, but creation and possibility seem harder than they were a generation or two ago. It's all been done and turned into a three-ring binder and barriers have been built where before it felt undivided.

If it's any consolation the sad truth is that once you've learned how to use all those creative tools then, rather than feeling your creativity is stymied by lack of expertise, it will instead be tempered (and perhaps even hampered) by the knowledge of what isn't possible and a deeper understanding of the vast amount of work involved in creating what is.

On a more positive note, there's no reason why your particular brand of ASCII-based creativity can't live on inside the wider metaverse, since typing is still a thing (at least for now)! :) 

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On 9/22/2022 at 8:50 PM, Kimmi Zehetbauer said:

Second Life was here before the current "metaverse" fad and will be here after when the interest goes away.

Metaverse is not really past the stages of being a buzz word yet.
And in general news sources it is slowly fading away. Just like VR-goggles did IMHO.
Only a topic on very specific websites, magazine and inner circles.

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In case the TikTok invasion weren't enough, ByteDance now wants to strap itself onto your face (Europe and Asia only) as the "Pico 4" VR headset.

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If this all sounds familiar, it should: ByteDance is implicitly positioning the Pico 4 as an answer to Meta’s entry-level Quest 2. As you can see with the comparison here, the Pico Neo 3 Link was already in the same rough specs ballpark as the Quest 2, and the Pico 4 costs about the same as a Quest 2 after a Meta price rise in July. Although Pico’s been making standalone headsets longer than Meta, updates like a fitness center and Pico Worlds (a clear counterpart to Meta’s Horizon) are more recent additions that mirror Quest features. Like the Quest 2, the Pico 4 will offer hand tracking, following an update shortly after release. The Pico 4 is also being announced a few weeks ahead of Meta’s Connect event, where Meta is expected to release its new Project Cambria headset.

(per The Verge, emphasis mine.)

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I just listened to the first episode of the WSJ's 4-part podcast series on building a metaverse, focusing on Second Life.  Very interesting and I think others might be interested as well.  Thanks, Ryan, for alerting us to the series!  Finally some reality comes to the subject.  

 

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2 hours ago, Leora Greenwood said:

Episode 2 of the WSJ's wonderful podcast series on Second Life dropped today:  all about early sex in SL, early combat, early Jessie, and early griefing.  A great episode, informative and very funny in sections.

That's a great series. Finally, a mainstream reporter who can get past writing yet another My First Metaverse Article.

Annie Minoff: As Second Life grew, these problems, griefing, violence, offensive imagery, they only got worse. It all raised the possibility that if conditions didn't improve, users might leave the world altogether. So Linden Lab made changes. A big one was giving people more control over what other users could do to them. Over time, Linden Lab added tools like muting people or blocking them. Say someone was bombing your house. Now you could set up an invisible barrier to stop them.

That's the insight that made SL work. Empower landowners and give users limited defenses. Everybody else in the metaverse biz is trying to do this with an army of outsourced "moderators" armed with ban hammers. Or worse, a not too bright AI. Roblox and Meta Horizon went that route. SL got this right.

SL had the advantage of being formed in a more tolerant time.

 

Edited by animats
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https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-63078950

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"The model is broken," technology and ethics researcher Stephanie Hare says of Roblox's moderation system.

"There is an argument that the company has the right to profit from content that some people find offensive, but clearly these games broke their own decency rules, so why wasn't it spotted before a reporter found it?

"It comes down to incentive - there's no penalty or enforcement, so the company can just rely on inadequate tools and staffing and this will keep happening."

 

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1 hour ago, animats said:

That's the insight that made SL work. Empower landowners and give users limited defenses.

This is mostly true -- and in general, I am all for empowering residents to look after themselves, although I still think some of our tools are inadequate (don't get me started on our rating system again . . .)

But it's not entirely true that LL takes a hands-off approach. There are kinds of behaviours that are banned. The main point about that is that LL depends upon ARs to detect violations. I think the evidence suggests that's not sufficient to prevent such things from happening -- because they tend to be occurring quietly in out-of-the-way places -- but it a least keeps most of them out of the public eye, and permits LL to say it is "doing something."

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