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Limited resources makes the real world 'real'


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over on Reddit Philip Rosedale has done a AMA

in one response he said this:

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As I've gotten older and wiser, I'm struck by how deeply connected we are to the physical world we exist in, as well as to our precious planet. Our brains and bodies have evolved in a way that connects us perfectly to the world around us - things like touch and proprioception are incredibly important to most of us and may always lie beyond the reach of VR. Also - as we are waking up to most recently - the game called 'Planet Earth' is a special game we all have to play together, with a finite set of resources. I think there is something very powerful and affirming about that idea. If we are to build worlds (perhaps the vaunted 'metaverse') beyond this one, I bet that the idea of sharing a finite set of things (as opposed to just building into infinity with infinite resources) is part of what will make them 'real'.

i think Mr Rosedale is right about limited resources in a virtual metaverse, if we wanted to use a metaverse to be able to create simulations that we as human beings can relate to. Relate meaning more carefully than we do now in virtual worlds where raw resources are virtually unlimited (think inventory assets)

it got me thinking again about something I have thought about before (as have others)

 

a possible pathway to raw resource limits in such a metaverse could be that everything we possess has a notional resource cost. LI (as an example) is such a cost measurement

suppose that our inventory was capped to some minimum amount of notional resource cost (call it NRC). The minimum amount of resource that a new account needs to function. Our NRC can't go below this

suppose that we could buy NRC on a buy-sell exchange (similar to Lindex). When we buy stuff (like shoes) from a creator then it has NRC. To make the first pair of shoes the creator has to have available NRC. The more efficiently made, the less NRC consumed. For each pair of shoes transferred/sold the corresponding amount of NRC is transferred to the purchaser

the implications of this for the seller is that when their account runs out of NRC, no further shoes can be sold/transferred. Should they want to sell more of these shoes then buy NRC on the exchange. Sellers be able to set the shoes to Limited Number for Sale

the implication for the buyer is when they delete (combust) their shoes from inventory then the NRC is released and credited to their account.  NRC they can sell on the exchange. When we want to make a copy of the shoes then the NRC cost of the copy is deducted from our NRC account. Not enough in our NRC account then no copy can be made.

the minimum NRC limit is to prevent people creating new accounts and combusting stuff for free

so how would a new account get NRC? The main methods are buy stuff for money and combust, buy NRC on the exchange, or the metaverse owner provides a NRC mining method. Linden Portal Park games for example are mining methods in this sense

i think the difference between NRC and L$ is that NRC is tied to resource consumption whereas L$ is not. Which is quite a fundamental difference, and I think would profoundly affect how such a metaverse would evolve, far more aligning with the real world

am not suggesting that SL ever go down this path. But I think Mr Rosedale, has touched on this fundamental difference

Edited by Mollymews
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1 hour ago, Mollymews said:

, I bet that the idea of sharing a finite set of things (as opposed to just building into infinity with infinite resources) is part of what will make them 'real'.

I'll take a hard pass on any virtual world creeping closer to RL.

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There are two questions here. 

1) Should resources and land be limited to make a virtual world closer to the real world?

2) How do we go about limiting resources?

 

I think most of us are going to stop at question 1 before thinking about question 2. Will limiting a virtual world benefit anyone? And how? I can’t think of a reason. It sounds like a way to introduce scarcity and inflate prices. 

 

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I think Mr Rosedale should have stuck with giving us the ability to reach out and "touch" someone with our avatars as that single act is the next thing needed on the progressive line towards realism. Realism is more bound to our ability to interact with each other than any particular economic system.

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3 hours ago, Bree Giffen said:

There are two questions here. 

1) Should resources and land be limited to make a virtual world closer to the real world?

2) How do we go about limiting resources?

I think most of us are going to stop at question 1 before thinking about question 2. Will limiting a virtual world benefit anyone? And how? I can’t think of a reason. It sounds like a way to introduce scarcity and inflate prices. 

 

 

as they are now virtual worlds are largely a form of escapism and entertainment for most of the players. Being so then players can log out from it at any time without it costing them anything materially over/above their RL discretionary spending limits.  No material losses other than those incurred by the relatively few content producers (relative to the playing population) who do rely on what they produce to meet real world ends in a resource-free virtual world

for these producers then I think they would do quite well in a virtual world where resources come at a cost

it could be seen that these producers would inflate their incomes, however I think that in resource cost-free worlds then producer incomes are deflated

 

 

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3 hours ago, Paul Hexem said:

I think you're overthinking a passing statement. 

Philip Rosedale has touched on this quite a few times over the years

SL started as a resource cost world. Prim tax

people didn't so much dislike prim taxes, as what was disliked was that prims could be banked. Banking that prevented others wanting prims to produce with, were denied the ability to do so

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2 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Philip's been wrong about a lot of things. I would add "manufactured scarcity of virtual resources" to that list.

 

it could also be argued that boundless virtual resources are also manufactured.  Manufactured in the sense that it is a deliberate decision to do this

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Two thoughts: The NRC idea is linked loosely to us in the real world; as in the shoe creator has to have funds to upload the required components, the buyer has to have funds to purchase, the inworld currency comes mostly from RL-money transferring .

 

I have seen a couple of RP-communities that tried to control the way players added to themselves, you couldn't just waltz in, rezz a big yacht in the harbour and live on cocktails and canapes, you would have to walk in and RP dealing chemicals or trading live-bodies to build up the (RP) funds to justify your opulence. It was too much like hard work for all but the really dedicated RPers.

 

And then we've got the Stephenson parallels to look at, in the Street your avatar reflects both the time and money you've put into your appearance and your means of connecting, so again the basis for the resources is linked back very strongly to RL. In Reamde there is something like bitcoin-mining which is a closer example to the limited resources you're thinking of.

 

There was a second thought but by the time I'd typed all this it had gone. In my world thoughts are becoming a limited resource.

Edited by Profaitchikenz Haiku
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Prof, yes roleplaying to gain something that we can just buy is hardwork as you say

SL has resource limitations in regions and parcels. Limited LI/prims

where resource mining, to have materials to craft stuff, is integral to the world mechanics then probably the game Rust is the closest.  There is raiding in that game tho, can lose all your stuff to a raider, which I don't think would be something that would necessarily be integral to the game play of a metaverse set more in a more modern 1st world-like environment

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I find it fascinating that Philip has evolved his thinking on this. Some 15 years ago, he acted as if virtual worlds were the future as outer space was once the future and inner space was once the immediate past; that these big tall buildings in Manhattan would go empty and unused because no one would go to them anymore. And not because, as another author says in "Escape to the Virtual World," so many people will play video games that police will have to enter homes to haul workers to work to keep electricity and water running in cities or whatever (couldn't THAT be virtualized, too?! ok, well, to provide food and health care).

No, because everyone will work at home.

And guess what, that happened, but not for the reasons he thought -- SL becoming massive and ubiquitous -- but because of a pandemic.

OK, so what about forced scarcity?

I'm surprised you believe there is no actual scarcity in SL. There is. It is land and prims. Yes, you can always make one more copy of something and one more outfit and go one more place with no cost and seemingly endlessly, but land costs money and prims cost money.

And that isn't contrived; it's a direct correlation to real-world space, electricity, labour costs for servers.

PS OK, I see you wrote that as well but truly, it's not contrived. You don't need forced crafting when you have gatcha machines.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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Taking account of resource limitations is important if you are trying to model reality. Getting results that are applicable to the real world can be important, even critical. However, if your virtual reality is for entertainment purposes, resource limitations are strictly optional and should (arguably) be ignored.

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18 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Taking account of resource limitations is important if you are trying to model reality. Getting results that are applicable to the real world can be important, even critical. However, if your virtual reality is for entertainment purposes, resource limitations are strictly optional and should (arguably) be ignored.

Agreed.  Managing my toilet paper resources in RL has been stressful enough.  I'd hate to have similar stress when I log in to relax.

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I think it boils down to NRC being a limited virtual currency bought and sold using real money or NRC being a limited virtual resource bought and sold using linden dollars which is bought by real money. Either way this limited supply can be bought and hoarded by people who are not interested in creation or in buying items in a virtual world. Think of all the bit coin traders or banking role players manipulating this limited resource to raise the real money price of NRC. The game company can't correct this by issuing more NRC because NRC is limited. You can end up with a situation where new players enter the game and find that the price of NRC is prohibitively expensive. $US 5,000 for one NRC??? That's $US 100,000 for pair of virtual shoes! I can see why a game designer, who owns a lot of NRC, would want to create this kind of system.

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49 minutes ago, Bree Giffen said:

I think it boils down to NRC being a limited virtual currency bought and sold using real money or NRC being a limited virtual resource bought and sold using linden dollars which is bought by real money. Either way this limited supply can be bought and hoarded by people who are not interested in creation or in buying items in a virtual world. Think of all the bit coin traders or banking role players manipulating this limited resource to raise the real money price of NRC. The game company can't correct this by issuing more NRC because NRC is limited. You can end up with a situation where new players enter the game and find that the price of NRC is prohibitively expensive. $US 5,000 for one NRC??? That's $US 100,000 for pair of virtual shoes! I can see why a game designer, who owns a lot of NRC, would want to create this kind of system.

What if one individual could not possess any more than any other individual entering the game, and so there could be no hoarding?

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15 hours ago, Mollymews said:

it got me thinking

I like your title "Limited resources makes the real world 'real'"....to me this says "Death Makes The Real World Real".  We've seen all the grand plans for humankind to circumvent death and upload ourselves into some amazing technological utopia. Boys do grow up.

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8 hours ago, Mollymews said:

it could also be argued that boundless virtual resources are also manufactured.  Manufactured in the sense that it is a deliberate decision to do this

From a development perspective, as soon as a system is in place it is by default limitless to the extents of variable types (which for all practical purposes are large enough as to present no meaningful limitation). Limitations on virtual resources, space, altitudes, have to be coded in as additional features.

A simple example would be a function to add two numbers, if you required it only add numbers under 67, that would need to be added after the creation of the base functional.

The amount of work involved imposing limitations (especially to something like SL) can be significant and complex, often requiring more work than the original feature.

Setting vales for limitations can be extremely complicated, in the absence of data to make an informed choice based on modelling then likely the developer on the day will pluck a number from their butt and move on. Complex limitations for data rich systems are almost impossible to correctly balance without creating weird / exploitable edge cases.

This is why there are no limitations on what mesh can be uploaded into SL.

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6 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

OK, so what about forced scarcity?

I'm surprised you believe there is no actual scarcity in SL. There is. It is land and prims. Yes, you can always make one more copy of something and one more outfit and go one more place with no cost and seemingly endlessly, but land costs money and prims cost money.

And that isn't contrived; it's a direct correlation to real-world space, electricity, labour costs for servers.

PS OK, I see you wrote that as well but truly, it's not contrived. You don't need forced crafting when you have gatcha machines.

yes there are already resource limits in SL as you say. Another limited (or maybe more accurately, constrained) thing are scripts. Scripts are constrained by spacetime, which is necessarily done so that all the scripts get an opportunity to function. Some script functions are further time-constrained, built in time delays so as not to overburden the physical spacetime available

gatcha is as you also say a form of resource constraint. In that most gatcha are No-Copy Transfer permissions, there can only be one copy in the possession of the buyer. Want another copy then buy again

there is no further resource cost to the seller tho in this case as SL is. Once made, unlimited copies of No-Copy items can be sold/transferred. In a simulation that mimics the real world this would not be possible

Edited by Mollymews
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5 hours ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Taking account of resource limitations is important if you are trying to model reality. Getting results that are applicable to the real world can be important, even critical. However, if your virtual reality is for entertainment purposes, resource limitations are strictly optional and should (arguably) be ignored.

 

5 hours ago, Rowan Amore said:

Agreed.  Managing my toilet paper resources in RL has been stressful enough.  I'd hate to have similar stress when I log in to relax.

yes this is true for most people. Virtual worlds/games/experiences as they are now are primarily a form of entertainment with a fairly important social connectivity aspect to them. And as such they do fulfil a need. We don't need the social aspects of our lives over-complicated by the world simulation provider

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4 hours ago, Bree Giffen said:

I think it boils down to NRC being a limited virtual currency bought and sold using real money or NRC being a limited virtual resource bought and sold using linden dollars which is bought by real money. Either way this limited supply can be bought and hoarded by people who are not interested in creation or in buying items in a virtual world. Think of all the bit coin traders or banking role players manipulating this limited resource to raise the real money price of NRC. The game company can't correct this by issuing more NRC because NRC is limited. You can end up with a situation where new players enter the game and find that the price of NRC is prohibitively expensive. $US 5,000 for one NRC??? That's $US 100,000 for pair of virtual shoes! I can see why a game designer, who owns a lot of NRC, would want to create this kind of system.

a way to address this is NRC quantitative easing by the simulation provider.  The mechanics is the same as Supply Linden who prints L$ to keep the quantity of L$ in circulation relative to resident transactional activity

the NRC sink would be resident inventory. People generally prefer to hold on to their stuff, for all the various reasons personal to them

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26 minutes ago, Mollymews said:

 

yes there are already resource limits in SL as you say. Another limited (or maybe more accurately, constrained) thing are scripts. Scripts are constrained by spacetime, which is necessarily done so that all the scripts get an opportunity to function. Some script functions are further time-constrained, built in time delays so as not to overburden the physical spacetime available

gatcha is as you also say a form of resource constraint. In that most gatcha are No-Copy Transfer permissions, there can only be one copy in the possession of the buyer. Want another copy then buy again

there is no further resource cost to the seller tho in this case as SL is. Once made, unlimited copies of No-Copy items can be sold/transferred. In a simulation that mimics the real world this would not be possible

Well, in real life, you can't ctr-shift and pull out one potholder after another for free instantly; you have to sit and crotchet them, you have to market them and sell them, you have to pay for your storage and your living needs. But...the cost of tier and land and even labour are rough equivalents, such that it seems silly to manufacture these online in simulations. To what end?  Philip's idea about virtuality, which I fully endorse, is that it creates simulated pixelated world parallel to the atom world that you can manipulate, whereas the real world, you can't manipulate without a lot of time, labour, money etc. I can move my shrub in SL in a second; at my housing complex, the manager will come out and yell if I try to dig up a shrub and move it. 

Manipulation of atoms/pixels is important. I think it replaces TV. I think it could make health care or entertainment work better etc etc. We all know that. Except...it didn't. People don't avatarize very well. People don't like manipulating pixels. They want things done for them. The people who brought the first Venetian blue beads to North America 13,000 years liked the blue beads; there was nothing blue in the environment directly around them, not counting the sky and maybe a berry now and then. But they didn't want to make the beads; they wanted the beads, and they didn't buy and fetch them from Venice; they were brought in stages and exchanged through many hands before they wound up here in America. 

I don't know where I'm going with this, but my point is that the things that make up real life aren't so easily simulated at the end of the day, or replaced, as Philip thought, and I think he's less idealistic about this now. He mainly wants it to sound realistic these days, and that is enough of a project, truly.

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51 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Well, in real life, you can't ctr-shift and pull out one potholder after another for free instantly; you have to sit and crotchet them, you have to market them and sell them, you have to pay for your storage and your living needs. But...the cost of tier and land and even labour are rough equivalents, such that it seems silly to manufacture these online in simulations. To what end?  Philip's idea about virtuality, which I fully endorse, is that it creates simulated pixelated world parallel to the atom world that you can manipulate, whereas the real world, you can't manipulate without a lot of time, labour, money etc. I can move my shrub in SL in a second; at my housing complex, the manager will come out and yell if I try to dig up a shrub and move it. 

Manipulation of atoms/pixels is important. I think it replaces TV. I think it could make health care or entertainment work better etc etc. We all know that. Except...it didn't. People don't avatarize very well. People don't like manipulating pixels. They want things done for them. The people who brought the first Venetian blue beads to North America 13,000 years liked the blue beads; there was nothing blue in the environment directly around them, not counting the sky and maybe a berry now and then. But they didn't want to make the beads; they wanted the beads, and they didn't buy and fetch them from Venice; they were brought in stages and exchanged through many hands before they wound up here in America. 

 

 

from an operational pov. I think that Copy in this simulation is the manufacturing process, once a product has been designed and built. In SL the cost of manufacturing is directly paid by Marketplace sale price commissions. Inworld indirectly thru tier

with a sale pricing cost model then the resource cost of a sold product can sometimes have no relationship to the sale price. Which can in some cases lead to selling freely gained high cost/impact resources for minimal financial cost to the seller

on the wider point, for buyers in such a simulation then the impact of NRC is a whole lot less than it would be for the sellers. The buyer gains NRC from the seller. NRC that the buyer paid for with money thru the purchase of the product

 

Edited by Mollymews
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3 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Setting vales for limitations can be extremely complicated, in the absence of data to make an informed choice based on modelling then likely the developer on the day will pluck a number from their butt and move on. Complex limitations for data rich systems are almost impossible to correctly balance without creating weird / exploitable edge cases.

This is why there are no limitations on what mesh can be uploaded into SL.

on this part

for sure, is definitely a calculation that has a lot of parameters that have to be taken into consideration when trying to find a reasonable balance.  With mesh uploads Linden do try to address this by equating a L$ cost to the resource cost/impact of the uploaded item

NRC attempts to address the the resource cost to the uploader when the item (or copy of) is transferred to another person

 

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