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Future of the metaverse, and all that


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20 hours ago, FairreLilette said:

What's the difference of gambling in California or Las Vegas or the internet?

real world casinos provide a lot more jobs than do online casinos.  It was real world jobs that gave motivation to the US Congress to ban online casinos in the USA

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Being surrounded by Chipmunk-sounding tiny furries is not my idea of fun. I get that it's your entertainment, but it's rather insulting to say that having no desire to be surrounded by Chipmunk-soundi

Or, where a venture capitalist thinks SL-like systems are going. The Metaverse: What It Is, Where to Find it, Who Will Build It, and Fortnite  Is Fortnite the next Metaverse? The Most Imp

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1 hour ago, Mollymews said:

real world casinos provide a lot more jobs than do online casinos.  It was real world jobs that gave motivation to the US Congress to ban online casinos in the USA

Different world now though and will be post coronavirus but even pre-coronavirus we could say that about many businesses.   

It's difficult to look forward yet as we haven't even passed the pandemic yet.  

So many businesses have already declared they want to be an online only business now, many of those in retail space have.   I supposed for the months with no business, property taxes and insurance and licensing, and all kinds of things never got paid.  

 

 

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58 minutes ago, FairreLilette said:

Different world now though and will be post coronavirus but even pre-coronavirus we could say that about many businesses.   

It's difficult to look forward yet as we haven't even passed the pandemic yet.  

So many businesses have already declared they want to be an online only business now, many of those in retail space have.   I supposed for the months with no business, property taxes and insurance and licensing, and all kinds of things never got paid. 

yes, being able to order in stuff is convenient and works quite well for known (standard fare) products

is a reversion to an earlier delivery model that worked in the past. Being able to order stuff from a catalogue (or by phoning the local store) and have the stuff delivered to our door

we moved away from this delivery model for a time when private vehicles came within reach of people to buy. And the placement of infrastructure to facilitate the movement of the vehicles. Big box stores and supersized supermarkets, etc popped up because of this

technology has made producing catalogues a whole lot simpler and easier. Payments also simpler and easier. And the infrastructure facilitating vehicle movement is being re-purposed. Rather than us driving our vehicle to pick up the goods, somebody else is picking up the goods and bringing them to us

covid has helped to bump up online ordering/buying for sure. However even without covid this was happening anyway

 

on the impact of covid going forward. At this time our hope is that there will be a vaccine. While we have this hope then we accept mitigation and prudence efforts in the main

i think too tho that should there not ever be a actual vaccine for covid and only ever treatments, then people will adapt to this should it become the reality. Is a dismal reality should it turn out that some people will continue to die of this despite treatment

at the moment there is hope that a vaccine can be found and while that hope remains then people continue to exercise prudence. However that hope in people's minds will not last forever

faced with a bleak future of suppressed income due to prudence, or a dismal future risking death in a way not seen before, then people as a body will choose the dismal future over the bleak future

i think we have only a few months before hope fades. About as long as the northern winter I think. Come the northern spring and no vaccine then people will say has been a long hard bleak winter and we are done. Our future is dismal but we are not going to go thru another bleak winter now that spring is here, no matter how dismal the spring will be

 

 

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Roblox took a long time to get going, but then...

Roblox started as Lego-like, but has slowly become closer to Fortnite-level objects. Like SL, it's a social open world system with building. There really are big wins in this space.

Linden Lab had a Roblox competitor, called BlocksWorld. Launched in 2016, it was less successful, and was quietly shut down on June 17, 2020. What went wrong?

 

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1 hour ago, animats said:

Linden Lab had a Roblox competitor, called BlocksWorld. Launched in 2016, it was less successful, and was quietly shut down on June 17, 2020. What went wrong?

 

the product never gained sufficient users willing to monetarise their ingame experience.  User unwillingness to monetarise happens far more times than does willingness. Blocksworld was just a game, like any other game, most of which sink without a trace. In this sense the demise of Blocksworld was nothing special

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Thought this to be interesting with regards to the metaverse. Virtual Property of the famous New York Stock Exchange Sells for US$23,000 in Upland Metaverse Auction

Upland is a blockchain-based metaverse that is mapped to real-world addresses and is basically a literal virtual world monopoly game. What is more interesting is that the reason why they are able to convert that inworld currency to such large USD amount is through their partnership with Linden Lab's very own Tilia…

Wonder when the last time someone made that kind of cash in Second Life for 1 parcel of land with a building on it. Also makes one think about that acquisition recently of LL and why it was organised. Was it truly for SL and  Tilia or just for Tilia.

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3 hours ago, Drayke Newall said:

Thought this to be interesting with regards to the metaverse. Virtual Property of the famous New York Stock Exchange Sells for US$23,000 in Upland Metaverse Auction

Upland is a blockchain-based metaverse that is mapped to real-world addresses and is basically a literal virtual world monopoly game.

Upland is strange. I suspect they will at some point run into trouble with the SEC. It's not a game, it's a Make Money Fast scheme. You can't do anything with your "parcel" except trade it.

There are several "blockchain" based virtual worlds, notably Decentraland and Sominium Space. People trade land there for excessive amounts of money, but don't go in world much. The amount of land is severely restricted to keep the prices up.

Both have browser clients, so you can visit those low-rez worlds easily. At least you can go in world there, unlike Upland.

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6 hours ago, animats said:

Upland is strange. I suspect they will at some point run into trouble with the SEC. It's not a game, it's a Make Money Fast scheme. You can't do anything with your "parcel" except trade it.

There are several "blockchain" based virtual worlds, notably Decentraland and Sominium Space. People trade land there for excessive amounts of money, but don't go in world much. The amount of land is severely restricted to keep the prices up.

Both have browser clients, so you can visit those low-rez worlds easily. At least you can go in world there, unlike Upland.

Yeah it will be interesting to see what happens to it considering they are getting more exposure with the 3 latest massive USD sales.

When I first read about it a while ago, I to be honest thought it was the perfect money laundering system and I am like Ardy where I would never go their.

Still interesting that whilst not a true virtual world it does still offer virtual land to sell like second life. It's also the first time I've heard Tillia being in partnership with such a large transaction setup.

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14 hours ago, animats said:

Upland is strange. I suspect they will at some point run into trouble with the SEC. It's not a game, it's a Make Money Fast scheme. You can't do anything with your "parcel" except trade it.

Do I understand this right? They're selling virtual space that doesn't actually exist? Can I do that too?

We need a new word for it: metavirtual worlds!

14 hours ago, animats said:

There are several "blockchain" based virtual worlds, notably Decentraland and Sominium Space.

Sominium Space's most popular promo video on YouTube has managed to rake up a "whopping" 7,100 views over two years. Most of their videos have less than 500 views.

Decentraland has one promo video that has managed to get 254,000 views, probably because the exposure they got from the BBC reportage. The rest of their videos aren't performing much better than Sominium Space's.

For comparasion, the most popular official promo video for Second Life has 1,000,000 views over five months. OpensimVideo's latest upload got 1,100 views in five months.

Is it just me who is a little bit unimpressed?

Edited by ChinRey
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Well, the Next Big Thing getting venture capital is "virtual friends".

“There are about 86 million Gen Z people today, and I feel that in five years, most or all of them will have a virtual being as a close friend. They’ll share gossip, secrets, have conversations every day. Some of your friends in the Metaverse will be real people, and some will be what we would have called, a few years ago, NPCs, But we’re all avatars, some of us powered by AI and some of us by blood and guts. The Metaverse will be filled with these characters. A virtual being should be able to play with you in Roblox, in Fortnite, be on Instagram and TikTok, text with you and video chat and call and all the rest,” he says. “The characters transcend the game.”

This is from a VentureBeat conference later this month.

Superintelligent NPCs are still a bit out of reach, but consider how far Alexa and Siri have come. What they seem to have in mind initially is an interaction level comparable to fans writing to a YouTuber. That's chatbot-level, and achievable.

Automated Instagrammers are a thing: https://www.instagram.com/lilmiquela/

That's really not much better graphically than SL, except that they have a better renderer that can do skin properly. (The trick is having a subsurface scattering layer in a physically based renderer. Without that, skin is either too flat or too glossy.)

I once started working on a machine learning based NPC for SL, but SL doesn't have enough traffic. It would take thousands of interactions per day to train the smarter chatbots. The same situations have to come up many times so the classifier has something to work on.

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On 12/3/2020 at 6:18 AM, animats said:

Roblox started as Lego-like, but has slowly become closer to Fortnite-level objects. Like SL, it's a social open world system with building. There really are big wins in this space.

Linden Lab had a Roblox competitor, called BlocksWorld. Launched in 2016, it was less successful, and was quietly shut down on June 17, 2020. What went wrong?

was just reading something related to Roblox:

"In 2018, the top game on Roblox accounted for 8 to 10% of concurrent users, while in 2020, the top game accounts for upwards of 20 to 25% of concurrent users. He proposes two reasons for this concentration: the lack of an upper limit for engagement in games, and the social nature of games leading to winner-take-all network effects."

The Creator Economy Needs a Middle Class (hbr.org)

not sure what I think about the suggestions in this article as I'm not in the digital creative industry. Was an interesting read tho.

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roblox-metaverse.png.bc0dc07be3f2d471d620d32f12009809.png

The Roblox plan for the Metaverse

Roblox has been around for about as long as SL. It's taken a long time to get going. It was smaller than Second Life for years. Then it started to take off. At this moment, 1,803,974 players are connected to Roblox. The company is valued at US$29.5 billion and is about to go public.

Roblox's CEO wants to build the Metaverse. Above is his list of what the Metaverse needs. Let's see how SL looks.

  • Identity. You have a persistent identity in the world. SL definitely has that.
  • Friends. Not just people in your MMO clan or party. SL has that.
  • Immersive. SL kind of has that. Are you your avatar, or are you puppeteering your avatar? SL is ambiguous about that. Luca Grabacr points out that a few simple changes make SL more immersive. We don't need full VR.
  • Low Friction. SL falls down here. The new user experience is too painful. That's been discussed before.
  • Variety. SL has that, with a huge range of activities.
  • Anywhere. Not being on mobile is a problem for SL.
  • Economy. SL has a functioning economy, and the users and creators make this world go.
  • Civility. An interesting point rarely brought up. SL does well on this. Without an army of moderators, too. The way private property works in SL leads to not needing too much moderation. SL works well enough that governance meetings are boring. It's like going to city council meetings.

So Second Life checks off 6 of the 8 items.

Interestingly, the two big problem areas are technical and fixable.

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18 minutes ago, animats said:

 

roblox-metaverse.png.bc0dc07be3f2d471d620d32f12009809.png

The Roblox plan for the Metaverse

Roblox has been around for about as long as SL. It's taken a long time to get going. It was smaller than Second Life for years. Then it started to take off. At this moment, 1,803,974 players are connected to Roblox. The company is valued at US$29.5 billion and is about to go public.

Roblox's CEO wants to build the Metaverse. Above is his list of what the Metaverse needs. Let's see how SL looks.

  • Identity. You have a persistent identity in the world. SL definitely has that.
  • Friends. Not just people in your MMO clan or party. SL has that.
  • Immersive. SL kind of has that. Are you your avatar, or are you puppeteering your avatar? SL is ambiguous about that. Luca Grabacr points out that a few simple changes make SL more immersive. We don't need full VR.
  • Low Friction. SL falls down here. The new user experience is too painful. That's been discussed before.
  • Variety. SL has that, with a huge range of activities.
  • Anywhere. Not being on mobile is a problem for SL.
  • Economy. SL has a functioning economy, and the users and creators make this world go.
  • Civility. An interesting point rarely brought up. SL does well on this. Without an army of moderators, too. The way private property works in SL leads to not needing too much moderation. SL works well enough that governance meetings are boring. It's like going to city council meetings.

So Second Life checks off 6 of the 8 items.

Interestingly, the two big problem areas are technical and fixable.

Roblox doesn't offer complex AAA "looking" avatars like SL.

Roblox avatars are slightly evolved Lego men at best.

The "worlds" are also simple looking like something out of Animal Crossing.

The user dynamic is not the same as SL's aging audience either.

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12 hours ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

Roblox doesn't offer complex AAA "looking" avatars like SL.

Roblox avatars are slightly evolved Lego men at best.

The "worlds" are also simple looking like something out of Animal Crossing.

The user dynamic is not the same as SL's aging audience either.

It’s core user base is also 8-12 year olds. My nephew stayed with us summer before last, he’s 12, so at the time I watched him play it he was 10 and he was playing with other 10 year olds.

So yeah....not the same audience.

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3 minutes ago, Janet Voxel said:

It’s core user base is also 8-12 year olds. My nephew stayed with us summer before last, he’s 12, so at the time I watched him play it he was 10 and he was playing with other 10 year olds.

So yeah....not the same audience.

Yep, and this is one of the many reasons people need to stop trying to compare other bloody products to Second Life .....

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Just now, Solar Legion said:

Yep, and this is one of the many reasons people need to stop trying to compare other bloody products to Second Life .....

Well....the guy that's always talking about Robolox and Fortnight said it so....I don't think he'll ever get it.

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  • 1 month later...

Roblox is doing an initial public offering tomorrow.

If you're interested, here's the final S-1 filing.

"Growth at Roblox has been driven primarily by a significant investment in technology and two mutually reinforcing network effects: content and social.

First, user-generated content, built by our community of developers and creators, powers our platform. As developers and creators build increasingly high-quality content, more users are attracted to our platform. The more users on our platform, the higher the engagement and the more attractive Roblox becomes to developers and creators. With more users, more Robux are spent on our platform, incentivizing developers and creators to design increasingly engaging content and encouraging new developers and creators to start building on our platform.

Second, our platform is social. When users join, they typically play with friends. This inspires them to invite more friends, who in turn, invite their friends, driving organic growth. The more friends that each of our users has playing together on the platform, the more valuable and engaging the platform becomes. This drives more users to our platform through word of mouth from their existing friends on the platform."

Second Life doesn't seem to be able to get that kind of network effect. Why?

  • Daily active users, or DAUs, on Roblox grew 47% from 12.0 million DAUs in 2018 to 17.6 million in 2019 and grew 85%, to 32.6 million, in 2020.

 

   

Hours engaged on Roblox grew 45% from 9.4 billion in 2018 to 13.7 billion in 2019 and grew 124%, to 30.6 billion, in 2020.

 

   

Daily paying users on Roblox grew from approximately 125,000 in 2018 to approximately 184,000 in 2019, and approximately 490,000 in 2020.

Second Life and Roblox are roughly the same age, but Roblox management kept their platform moving forward. In the last year, that really paid off.

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with it being played by over half of all children aged under 16 in the United States.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Roblox in numerous ways. Due to quarantines imposed by the pandemic limiting social interaction, Roblox is being used as a way for children to communicate with each other.[59] One of the most noted ways that this method of communication is being carried out is the phenomenon of birthday parties being held on the platform.[60][61] COVID-19 has caused a substantial increase in both the platform's revenue and the number of players on it, in line with similar effects experienced by the majority of the gaming industry, as players forced to remain indoors due to COVID-19 lockdowns spent more time playing video games.[62][63] From February 2020 to January 2021, Roblox experienced an increase in valuation from $4 billion to $29.5 billion, an increase attributed largely to the pandemic.

That might explain that increase in revenue and users over the last year.  I'm sure SL experienced some of the same only with adults.  Although, adults probably provided most of that revenue on Roblox by financing their kids online activity.

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1 minute ago, Rowan Amore said:

I'm sure SL experienced some of the same only with adults. 

SL did. Daily connected user peak went from around 35-40K to 45-55K.

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The population in Roblox is children social networking and learning via information exchange.  Children have very few responsibilities greater than being well socialized.

Second Life is adults.  Adults tend to have many responsibilities greater than socialization, and many are just tired of the unfiltered exposure one gets in a mob.  Adults often have to compartmentalize and sequester to get any "me time" and what they choose to do in that time is often way more varied than what children have learned to to.

Yes, these are rather cloudy sets but they may have some bearing on the populations in the various virtual worlds and online multiplayer games.

There comes a time in ones life,

when one realizes that,

what one called boredom in youth,

one calls relaxation in maturity.

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On 3/12/2021 at 10:47 AM, Ardy Lay said:

The population in Roblox is children social networking and learning via information exchange.  Children have very few responsibilities greater than being well socialized.

Second Life is adults.  Adults tend to have many responsibilities greater than socialization, and many are just tired of the unfiltered exposure one gets in a mob.  Adults often have to compartmentalize and sequester to get any "me time" and what they choose to do in that time is often way more varied than what children have learned to to.

Yes, these are rather cloudy sets but they may have some bearing on the populations in the various virtual worlds and online multiplayer games.

There comes a time in ones life, when one realizes that, what one called boredom in youth, one calls relaxation in maturity.

It's amazing how much "mature wisdom" resembles being too tired. -- Robert A. Heinlein.

Good point, though. Roblox is exciting to kids but wearing on adults. Second Life is boring to kids but OK for adults.

Entertainment in general has a far higher density of interesting events than most real life. At least 10x, maybe 100x. This is also true of video games. It's not as true of Second Life, which is a big world in which, most of the time, nothing interesting is happening in most of the world.

There are people who want that. When Bellessaria came online, I posted "Oh, the banality". SL had created a giant planned unit development, the most boring form of American suburbia. There was a much bigger market for that than I expected.

What Second Life isn't good at is creating environments with more action. Worth thinking about, to expand the user base. Go visit Cocoon in Second Life, and then watch the trailer for Cyberpunk 2077. Same theme. Compare and contrast.

 

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Posted (edited)

There's a large amount of "metaverse" activity right now, and most of it involves insanely overpriced "land" in virtual worlds with a "blockchain". Atari has started a casino in Decentraland. MegaCryptoPolis has opened a 3D world where land can cost as much as US$181,000 per parcel, and you must have a crypto wallet to visit. Storefronts start at US$91,600.

The Make Money Fast crowd is taking over the virtual world industry. The worlds they are creating are crappy. Few people actually go there; they just trade tokens. This is discouraging.

I just hope that the new owners of Linden Lab don't try to go in this direction. It won't end well.

Edited by animats
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