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Zuckerberg Comes for the Metaverse


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17 hours ago, animats said:

Microsoft's "metaverse" is out. Legless avatars again.

SL should use this as a marketing point. "Our avatars have legs!"

That's interesting, it's basically a rebranding of Microsoft Mesh. MS first showcased this tech in 2015, they have a solid lead over Meta.

For anyone interested, just search youtube for Microsoft Hololens or Microsoft Mesh.

If the ZuckerVerse is a success the real losers would be Amazon and Microsoft. The question now is how soon we'll see the PrimeVerse unveiled.

 

 

Edited by Mr Amore
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11 hours ago, Alazarin Mondrian said:

It might be a runner if all the rendering was done server-side and all the everyday user needs is an entry-level setup like the Google 'Cardboard' [remember that?] that runs on a mobile phone. Otherwise Zuckerberg's Metaverse will die a long, slow death as a niche environment for the affluent who can afford all the expensive gadgets just to get in the door.

Carmack touched on VR streaming in his recent talk, there's a timestamp a couple of comments down with some topics of interest.

 

 

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The Quest 2 is little more than a somewhat more powerful smartphone/tablet, running a customized Android OS.

It's not a gamechanger - at all.

A "gamechanger" would be a wholly stand alone HMD system with PC level GPU capability - meaning things like VR Chat or Neos would treat it as a "lower spec" PC (Custom Shaders, PC avatars, PC avatar items/effects and such being usable/viewable to users of such an HMD).

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29 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

The Quest 2 is little more than a somewhat more powerful smartphone/tablet, running a customized Android OS.

It's not a gamechanger - at all.

A "gamechanger" would be a wholly stand alone HMD system with PC level GPU capability - meaning things like VR Chat or Neos would treat it as a "lower spec" PC (Custom Shaders, PC avatars, PC avatar items/effects and such being usable/viewable to users of such an HMD).

Context is everything.
Alazarin said VR access was too expensive because one had to purchase a PC with high-end graphics card.
I said the new Quest was a gamechanger (meaning in terms of what the cost is for accessing VR now) -- the price of entry was way too high when one had to purchase a gaming PC and a headset, but now it only costs 299. 

Edited by Luna Bliss
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17 hours ago, Solar Legion said:

In no context is it a "gamechanger" - beginning and end.

All it is doing is offering a slightly upscaled experience to the "take your smartphone and toss it into an HMD" model used as the "bare bones" level.

That is not a "gamechanger" - at all.

It's a gamechanger for those who could not afford to get into VR but finally could after the cost of entry went down. 

If you think you have the right to define what a gamechanger is for everyone in the world, well, not much else I can say.

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I've said this in an interview once, In my opinion it is still too early for the metaverse or anything VR related. the vr sets are still too expensive for a normal family with a low or medium income, it's not like inventing facebook when everyone already had a PC.
The hardcore gamers that use VR , theres very little good VR games out there and even the good ones are ... debatable.. so they prefer going to VRchat and derp and troll around.
in regards to zuckers metaverse , his reputation has gone to ***** so bad.. i don't know if he can pull it off unless he does something COMPLETELY mind blowing wtfbbq holy ***** this is amazing out of this world.
not to mention that FB now is the home of grandpaws and meemaws , GEN Z is all up in tiktok and weird stuff .. metaverse is not enough to excite them.
the previous thing that got hyped was stadia and sure its handy but they made it seem like they invented the wheel or something

FB has tried a virtual worlds before i think 2 times even i also remember something called cloud or something , i mean look at sansar ..it was just too early.
stuff like VR needs to be optimized, the price needs to come down massivly for a good VRheadset, it should cost as much as a PS5 controller basically  before everyone will get one and they need some work, i got one at home and ive played a few games but it is such a pain in the ass just to set up, to put on your head , it weighs a *****in ton , the controls are mostly *****.. untill VR is completely user friendly and priced favourably only then can vr virtual worlds become an actual thing.

SL is what it is, people that join SL and its not their thing, they will leave.. but i have noticed if people stay .. holy crap do they stay.. not just a month, but they stay for years. and that is something i rarely see in a "game", its like GTA5 online where a community just stays when they join and enjoy it... they just stick around.
SL also has the one thing that people come back to once they get into it and it's the adult section, once that goes , yes SL might die..
weither you like it or not, sex is a great seller.. i sell stuff and people go for the risk-ay , outrageous and adult items before they will go for the "boring" stuff.( if only the 18+ tiktokkers would know because they would run into this place like crazy they like to be controversial and rebelious which is exactly what they can do in SL but no one is catering to them )
In this facebook metaverse sex and adult stuff wouldnt be a thing unless they have a direct teleport to the pornhub VR zone... which.. yeah /me doubts lol.
SL is from what i can tell , owning a bussiness not dying out (YET), sales  ,new (and returning) customers had actually gone up a lot in the past 2 years due to the covid pandemic. For me personally 2007-2008 , 2013-2016, 2020-2021 were the sudden peaks for SL.
if SL is smart about it they will try and keep working at it to optimize this place and cater to different audiences. But i do fear it will reach a form of death at some point in the next 10/15 years

Just my two cents on the Metaverse Facebook hype

all in all i do think some cool stuff is coming it will just take some more time.. maybe 10 years orso..
it's  not like in the 80s/90s where technology went at lightning speed all of the sudden. .. which was pretty epic to witness




 

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On 11/4/2021 at 11:36 AM, Jaimy Hancroft said:

SL is what it is, people that join SL and its not their thing, they will leave.. but i have noticed if people stay .. holy crap do they stay.. not just a month, but they stay for years

Second that emotion. Now, look at this from the "not-really-shedding-light-on-anything" department...

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/04/opinion/sway-kara-swisher-casey-newton.html?showTranscript=1

"I think that we see over and over again in Silicon Valley is that people try things, and they don’t work. And then they try things and they don’t work. And then someone tries it for the third or fourth or fifth time, and all of a sudden, it works, right? And so I think a lot of people are bringing in the scar tissue that has been building up since the ‘90s, when people were first building up their visions of V.R. And they’re saying, well, it didn’t work in Second Life. Why would it work today?"

The media appears to write off Second Life as a failure but we know that there are aspects of Second Life that ARE the keys to somebody's future... or at least on a chain of keys. <fill in here the list of stuff that doesn't exist or needs to work better>

Zuckerberg may have just been in the right place at the right time in 2005. FB insisted you to use your real life identity, unlike MySpace. There was a viral vibe associated with it being restricted to college campuses. There was "triadic closure"... A knows/trusts B, B knows/trusts C... so A is connected to C. The iPhone showed up in 2007 and FB went mobile, riding the back of global smart phone growth. Networks get more valuable the bigger they are... game, set, and match.

This historical path is unlikely to be repeated for Meta and the metaverse.

Cue Majel Barrett saying "Insufficient information to predict the future with a reasonable degree of accuracy"

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35 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Meta's TV adverts are kicking in, tag line "This is going to be fun."

 

There are many awful things in that video that I will leave Twitter to point out.

But those of us in SL know that we already have this in SL. We already have Van Gogh's paintings which you can climb into, and artists at Grab By the Horns which make art works you get into and move around in and which move you.

Any child playing Roblox or Fortnite will ask why that Metaverse is so choppy and flat looking.

And adults will shrug and say the don't want a thing on their face that makes them nauseous.

But it will come through and be everywhere just like Facebook itself has. So now is the time to work on the governance and economics pieces of it rather than ranting about tech and graphics.

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A clever person flushed with cash would have a few VC firms fully capitalized and in his/her back pocket, to act as proxies in efforts to move into competitive markets, or quell any potential conflicts that might otherwise arise simply by co-opting them though third-party acquisition. 

Anyone remember the old days, when that mightily funded VC firm funded by Paul Allen, or some such, pumped $135,000,000 into that failing Canadian software company Corel, to make it's anti-competitive complaints go quietly away amidst the Fed's ongoing antitrust litigation?

Just tossing around a few ideas.

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On 11/9/2021 at 8:15 PM, Prokofy Neva said:

So now is the time to work on the governance and economics pieces of it rather than ranting about tech and graphics.

Strawberry Linden should be on the Sunday talk shows explaining how SL governs the Metaverse. Everybody making public pronouncements is assuming that the Metaverse will be very authoritarian and require armies of censors. That's how Roblox and Facebook do it, right? That's not how SL does it, and right now would be a good time to get the word out on that.

SL doesn't need that much governance. The governance team is tiny. Why does this work?

  • Space keeps everything from being in the same place. Jerks in SL can only annoy about a hundred meter radius, and SL is the size of Greater London. So it's a hyper-local problem. Just like the real world. Unlike text-type social media, being a jerk in SL doesn't scale. There's no "sharing" or "following" to amplify jerks.
  • Property rights. If you own land in Second Life, you can ban people from it or kick them out. Most of the cool places are private, and the owners will ban people if necessary, usually after talking to them first. Just like clubs in real life.
  • Yes, SL has sex. So what? So does the real world. There are General areas, which are teen-safe, Moderate areas, where you can do sexual stuff on your own property, and Adult areas, which are quite permissive. Even so, people tend not to overdo it in public in Adult areas, because there are social norms.
  • Linden Lab acts like a municipal government. Their job is mostly to keep the infrastructure running. There's even a Linden Department of Public Works. They don't try to micro-manage the world. They don't intervene in resident disputes. This hands-off attitude keeps operating costs down.
  • You can't hurt an avatar or damage the property of others. So that's just not a problem. It's possible to litter by leaving objects around in some areas. Those are quickly cleaned up, often automatically.

Second Life really is a virtual world, not a game. It has landlords, tenants, property rights, property taxes, evictions, neighbor problems, noise problems, littering problems, and zoning issues. Just like the real world. They get resolved, more or less. Just like the real world.

It would be good for SL's image to get this out there.

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I've brought a Playstation VR to a few parties and kids took to the VR party games immediately. The older kids liked playing Beat Saber because of the music. They didn't have a problem with low-end graphics, a narrow field of view, or even that they had to wear a big headset. No complaints whatsoever. I think the younger generations, once they grow up, will jump into VR enthusiastically if the price is right and the content is good.

Side note: Kids should not play VR regularly because it will affect their vision development. A few hours in a year should be fine.

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52 minutes ago, animats said:

Strawberry Linden should be on the Sunday talk shows explaining how SL governs the Metaverse. Everybody making public pronouncements is assuming that the Metaverse will be very authoritarian and require armies of censors. That's how Roblox and Facebook do it, right? That's not how SL does it, and right now would be a good time to get the word out on that.

SL doesn't need that much governance. The governance team is tiny. Why does this work?

  • Space keeps everything from being in the same place. Jerks in SL can only annoy about a hundred meter radius, and SL is the size of Greater London. So it's a hyper-local problem. Just like the real world. Unlike text-type social media, being a jerk in SL doesn't scale. There's no "sharing" or "following" to amplify jerks.
  • Property rights. If you own land in Second Life, you can ban people from it or kick them out. Most of the cool places are private, and the owners will ban people if necessary, usually after talking to them first. Just like clubs in real life.
  • Yes, SL has sex. So what? So does the real world. There are General areas, which are teen-safe, Moderate areas, where you can do sexual stuff on your own property, and Adult areas, which are quite permissive. Even so, people tend not to overdo it in public in Adult areas, because there are social norms.
  • Linden Lab acts like a municipal government. Their job is mostly to keep the infrastructure running. There's even a Linden Department of Public Works. They don't try to micro-manage the world. They don't intervene in resident disputes. This hands-off attitude keeps operating costs down.
  • You can't hurt an avatar or damage the property of others. So that's just not a problem. It's possible to litter by leaving objects around in some areas. Those are quickly cleaned up, often automatically.

Second Life really is a virtual world, not a game. It has landlords, tenants, property rights, property taxes, evictions, neighbor problems, noise problems, littering problems, and zoning issues. Just like the real world. They get resolved, more or less. Just like the real world.

It would be good for SL's image to get this out there.

 

By comparison with game worlds, sure, SL's governance is more liberal. Not by comparison with social media, especially Twitter, but then many blue checks would be happy for Twitter to silence anyone whose views they don't like. 

SL's governance seemingly works if you don't own very much land, or have grand plans for other people's land. Basically, however, it doesn't work very well. It works well enough, but certainly nothing like any country except Russia or China -- not Greater London. Russia prints currency because it is tied to world oil prices; the Lindens print currency as well -- Supply Linden prints more Lindens whenever the rate seems to disfavour the illusion of being rich.

There is no Constitution or independent judiciary. These things that techs making the Metaverse dismiss as archaic or don't even consider are really, really important for freedom, justice, and the protection of property. In real-life, rules for advertising or nuisances or noise in RL are governed by democratic systems, laws legislated by democratically-elected governments or agencies they appoint. Obviously only one company does this undemocratically, enabled by techs scornfully crying that "a company isn't a democracy". LL is way ahead on RL issues like racism, immigration, sexism and puts its fellow Silicon Valley companies to shame. In its game world, however, these values don't apply, as capture roleplay and all kinds of crazy racist and sexist RP is allowed. You can argue whether it should be; but in RL, a picture of your blackface at a party 30 years ago costs you your job. Many of the oppressive leftist sectarian agendas would be untenable even for SL's leftist sectarians. But none of this is a reason not to have RL values on the Internet as in virtual worlds. After all, they have people, not magic unicorns populating them.

It's simply not true that LL is not authoritarian -- it is, look at the forums, where posts are routinely hidden, deleted, or people criticizing specific businesses -- a very much needed function in a liberal democratic society with capitalism -- are given warnings or permabanned. That's wrong.

Facebook is far, far more free than LL's forums -- I can not only criticize RL governments, local and national, I can criticize game companies and companies within SL that commit fraud or deceive people, without any penalty. That's important. That's just the forums. I could go on and on. In real life, if I deal with some official or some individual in the public realm, and record their speech, in New York State, one-party consent prevails and I can publish that conversation. I cannot in SL. Etc. Etc. 

LL does not act like a municipal government. It acts like a slumlord. Certain groups have placed ugly obelisks even claiming to promote "good neighbour" rules or have lights beaming up way into the sky like in some sort of TV space program which are genuine public nuisances. They deliberately devalue land; when people abandon land around these nuisances, their owners or their alts swoop in and ask for that abandoned land and re-sell it at a high price. The Lindens feel they have no way to ban these nuisances or reason to reject abandoned land requests from thugs who forced other people off their land. Anyone in the land business or who lives on certain continents knows these facts; the Lindens can't act supposedly, under their own TOS, but that's ridiculous. They have a basic concept of banning "for any reason or no reason" under a TOS dubbed "unconscionable" by one judge as a "contract of adherence" (you must accept it to enter the world). They can look at the overall picture of what is going on, and ban the individuals and their alts and stop the chronic devaluation of land.

By the same token they could ban land barons that endlessly cut land down to 256 m or even smaller and set it at either very low prices of $0.2 or very high prices at 250 per meter to "encourage a sale". Sometimes they work in teams, one devalues the land, the other sets dirt-cheap plots to "bring people to the sim" and the third sets lousy land to high prices so that the people already on that sim pay extortionists to keep their view free from ad farmers and clubs seeking cheap land that lag the sim or take up all its avatar spaces.

The Lindens claim they are helpless "under their TOS" but they can make it say anything. And it used to have a very good section called "2C" which I used to reference as "to see" given that it involved "the view". And it said "no one can interfere with the enjoyment of SL by another resident". That way they could capture idiots who hop from one parcel to another and then to Linden Land to keep stalking and harassing people who were only able to ban them on their own parcel; that way they could capture people who put ad farms in the middle of pristine waterfront -- although they didn't use it for that. It took four long years of constant meetings with Jack Linden by a group of us, endless arguments and case histories and appeals to reason, to finally get a policy on land cutting and ad farming -- which is unevenly enforced today.

The Lindens could tomorrow click on two items on the assert server and remove and deprecate ugly obelisks and warn their owners that the party of land devaluation is over, and the hijacking of thousands of people's views is done. Essentially this is what they did with the Bush Guy back in the day when they finally grasped that this wasn't about really impeaching Bush but about land extortion.

And it's not about "how can I harness the Lindens' innate authoritarianism for my own agenda". A world in which the Lindens prevent one person or business from hijacking the view or the value or the functioning of any part of the land or economy is a world that is more free and fair for everybody. Section 2C was really very good, and any lawyer who claimed it was "overbroad" certainly didn't review the gatcha policy or a host of other policies not perceived as overbroad but as "discretionary" -- because one private company. 2C should be brought back, and it need not literally be brought back for the Lindens to make rulings on such long-standing vexing situations.

The Lindens decided to throw up their hands at governance on Mainland which mainly affects view and "enjoyment" issues, and throw up their hands at islands governance which mainly consists of dealing with inter-resident disputes or absentee or completely missing landlords who didn't pay their bills, and created Bellisseria, "Linden Assisted Living" where the premise from the start was a contract with numerous rules that say things like you can't even keep your Christmas decorations out past a certain date (does it capture Orthodox Christmas and Old New Year, January 13? I should check).

The Linden Department of Public Works is not the equivalent of a municipal entity not only because it isn't democratically controlled, but because it now builds roads as well as moderates the forums. . I'm not aware of any New York City entity that says one tour group can take their buses to city historical sites and get a souvenir but another tour group can't. That's the equivalent of what happened with various stamp games. I'm not aware that the 311 offices now come and moderate Next Door for us. It's no good saying "but this is a virtual world, it has to be different" because you can always say "Why?". There's no reason for it to be different or endlessly recite the idea that "customer service doesn't scale," or "the customer service state can't scale" as one Metaverse guru Edward Castronova has said in his books, explaining the anarchy and abuses in game worlds. Make it scale, and hire all those people your Metaverse put out of a job in RL, you know? Make ANY kind of customer service work, so that I can call a Google rep or Metaverse platform rep live on the phone and complain about their product, the way I can about my telephone or washing machine. The Internet needs to cease being special. It's not. Treating it as special has brought us the meglomaniac Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, a kind of Mr. Lee's Hong Kong as in Snowcrash.

The idea that "space keeps everything from being in the same place" isn't even true of RL. Jerks can't just operate in a 96 radius when they use a 16m parcel with autoreturn at 0, or which they own, to launch a particle attack of an entire sim, or a self-replicating "grey goo" attack that crashes the sim or returns objects to inventory before it's done. Jerks can invade groups and spam them with obscenities and lies, pretending to be a bot of a well-known landlord and spamming racist craziness to shower hundreds of hate IMs on that landlord, who doesn't have bots and voted for Obama and Biden. Etc. The capacity is endless. Simon Linden said that anything that doesn't have limits is a vector for griefing, but this wonderful mantra even has its own limits. You can make group land like a bunker, not allowing any rezzing of guests, not allowing open groups for people's convenience, putting "access only" etc but you succeed in making a public nuisance for everyone else trying to boat or fly around it or even just visit a friend.

Zoning, littering, noise etc. are not resolved most of the time. Only if you imagine that you can start renting the top floor of GTFO ghost buildings could you conceive of this. For one, media-on-a-prim does not obey the option on the land to restrict sound to that parcel. It travels outside the parcel until someone can find it and block it -- but that means every guest that visits them has to find and block it -- like de-rendering, it's not the perfect solution everyone imagines. Zoning is absent on the Mainland, although it could have been put in at the dawn of SL very easily and lightly without creating armies of staff to police it. After all, the Lindens, like games, have an abuse report system. That works far from perfectly but it's a start to handling the zoning issue. Obviously in Bellisseria, when residents report that their neighbours are using security orbs that TP people home instead of eject them a few meters, as is the Belli covenant and regulation, why the Moles come runninng.

Ask any Mole, poorly paid by US or even global standards for the intricate coding and design work they do, in part because of their "foundational story" of being animals digging underground, what exactly they do all day. They are run off their tiny mole feet doing many things, some not really in their job description. They do it for love of the world; sometimes they were residents before they became Moles. 

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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1 hour ago, Bree Giffen said:

They didn't have a problem with low-end graphics, a narrow field of view, or even that they had to wear a big headset. No complaints whatsoever. I think the younger generations, once they grow up, will jump into VR enthusiastically if the price is right and the content is good.

I liked using Kinect when it first came out, but wow, it was a workout. Young people may take to VR, but I suspect they will hit the wall same as the rest of us once they approach their 40s. There will need to be a seniors version of VR then, catering for our eyesight and stamina 😁

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On 11/3/2021 at 10:11 AM, Mr Amore said:

That's interesting, it's basically a rebranding of Microsoft Mesh. MS first showcased this tech in 2015, they have a solid lead over Meta.

For anyone interested, just search youtube for Microsoft Hololens or Microsoft Mesh.

If the ZuckerVerse is a success the real losers would be Amazon and Microsoft. The question now is how soon we'll see the PrimeVerse unveiled.

 

 

Not getting why, technically, you can make hands move around and be expressive, and have a ping pong game, but you can't move legs or make them fold when you sit down.

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I'm not sure if this has been shared already, but definitely worth a view; regardless how you feel about either of the personalities involved.

Particularly interesting from an SL perspective is the discussion around opportunities for content creation.

 

Edited by QwiQ
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7 hours ago, animats said:

Strawberry Linden should be on the Sunday talk shows explaining how SL governs the Metaverse. Everybody making public pronouncements is assuming that the Metaverse will be very authoritarian and require armies of censors. That's how Roblox and Facebook do it, right? That's not how SL does it, and right now would be a good time to get the word out on that.

SL doesn't need that much governance. The governance team is tiny. Why does this work?

  • Space keeps everything from being in the same place. Jerks in SL can only annoy about a hundred meter radius, and SL is the size of Greater London. So it's a hyper-local problem. Just like the real world. Unlike text-type social media, being a jerk in SL doesn't scale. There's no "sharing" or "following" to amplify jerks.
  • Property rights. If you own land in Second Life, you can ban people from it or kick them out. Most of the cool places are private, and the owners will ban people if necessary, usually after talking to them first. Just like clubs in real life.
  • Yes, SL has sex. So what? So does the real world. There are General areas, which are teen-safe, Moderate areas, where you can do sexual stuff on your own property, and Adult areas, which are quite permissive. Even so, people tend not to overdo it in public in Adult areas, because there are social norms.
  • Linden Lab acts like a municipal government. Their job is mostly to keep the infrastructure running. There's even a Linden Department of Public Works. They don't try to micro-manage the world. They don't intervene in resident disputes. This hands-off attitude keeps operating costs down.
  • You can't hurt an avatar or damage the property of others. So that's just not a problem. It's possible to litter by leaving objects around in some areas. Those are quickly cleaned up, often automatically.

Second Life really is a virtual world, not a game. It has landlords, tenants, property rights, property taxes, evictions, neighbor problems, noise problems, littering problems, and zoning issues. Just like the real world. They get resolved, more or less. Just like the real world.

It would be good for SL's image to get this out there.

Prok is right -- governance in SL generally falls somewhere between awful and non-existent. 

There are no protections for consumers whatsoever. That simply isn't going to fly on a really large commercial platform where the sums of cash involved are in the hundreds of millions.

Individual landowners can function as petty tinpot dictators here. Most of them are benevolent -- some are saints -- but the lack of standards, rights, and responsibilities won't cut it in a metaverse that seeks to parallel the real world.

SL is rife with appalling content -- racist, misogynist, homophobic, and a dozen or so other "ists" -- that often violates LL's own TOS, and that the governance team seems incapable or unwilling to do anything about. The TOS itself is crudely inadequate and simply not built to deal with the complexities of civil society on any appreciable scale. Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms are besieged by demands that they police themselves; LL barely even tries. A really large scale metaverse is simply going to have to do better, or it will be legislated to do so by real world governments.

SL mostly flies under the radar; the media no longer pays us much attention, and there aren't enough of us to produce the critical mass at which a really elaborate system of governance becomes necessary. A really large scale metaverse might well prove to be as ungovernable as the internet has proven to be -- but it will demand that strenuous and continuous attempts be made to at least maintain the illusion that it's not merely about sheer anarchy.

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It's worth noting, failures of moderation in Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter are leading to real world violence and riots. These platforms are enabling a rise in extremist views across the boards.

When SL fails to moderate the consequences are far less severe than angry mobs storming government buildings.

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When some random dude can gather 70.000+ people who simply watch him on Twitch play Elden Ring and at the same time the currently logged in to SL are only 35.000 (probably more than half are bots) and most DJ's struggle to gather more than 15 people.. well there's no need to analyze it more. SL is just a very tiny part of the Internet. 

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