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The Problem with Second Life


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I recently travelled and met some interesting people who I wanted to keep in touch with but the only option was Facebook.  There was only one person who I tried to introduce to SL, like this:

"This might sound strange but I hope you have an open mind.  I am a member of a virtual world where you can have your own avatar.  It's really interesting and you can keep in touch with friends all over the world by using it. "

She said that she might consider it.  I would have been too embarrassed to suggest it to the other persons based on the professional circumstances under which we met.

This is the basic problem of SL.  It would be a wonderful 3D tool to keep in touch with friends all over the world but it's just too strange for most people.  This is my main concern, SL is being advertised for people who want to RP vampires or raise virtual animals, which makes it even more difficult to introduce people to the world.

The "strangeness" of SL attracted me to use it in the first place.  Unfortunately, most people think "strange" is strange.

 

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it really doesn't sound like sl has the problem..

it just sounds like a lot of people may not understand it or we think they won't..ya just never know how much a closet case someone is  until ya really know them..and then still maybe not even then..

for all you know that other person is going home to their wife and dressing up llike a pig and  the wife a farmer and playing old mcdonald had a good time lol

people front a lot..everyone has a little freaky in them ..some may just not have found it yet or just feel the same way you do about thinking everyone else will think their thing is too strange..

hehehehe

it's a strange world and getting  less strange in that sense all the time hehehehe *Winks*

 

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I don't see this as a problem. I like SL the way it is -- pretty strange, sometimes outright weird, often kinky, occasionally shocking, and overall not entirely politically correct and presentable. I'm here exactly because SL is a place where I don't run into (m)any of the humdrum, petty bourgeois that I might meet in RL. Should SL ever imitate Facebook a bit too closely, or become any more tame and mundane than it currently is, I'll take my money elsewhere.

I'm pretty sure that the majority of SL residents feel the same way. At the same time, the millions of people who currently use 2D social networking sites wouldn't touch SL with a ten-foot pole no matter how tame and ordinary it becomes, because there is a certain infantile playfulness inherent in the concept behind SL. The user plays dress up with a little 3D doll and steers it through virtual doll houses in a game-like environment. That alone is usually considered pretty strange by most adult people.

Which means that SL will only ever appeal to a relatively small niche audience. LL can only loose the current target group of geeks, nerds, weirdos, and reality escapists if they change SL too much, without having the slightest chance to attract the millions of Facebook users, who are perfectly happy where they currently are.

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 My partner and I joined to have a place to hang out and keep in touch since we have extended distance between us, and the "strange" is what's made it so much more fun than we'd anticipated. 

I don't know that strange is what's wrong with SL, it sounds more like SL isn't the ideal platform for keeping in touch with some folks. The learning curve alone can be daunting, I don't know that I'd have stuck it out if I hadn't been so highly motivated to be able to hang out with the guy I love. :) 

Strange is a relative term.  I don't even use the word much, I think of things more in terms of being curious, interesting, and fascinating, though what I consider merely interesting might be another person's scarypsychofreakzone. 

And I totally agree with what Ceka said about closet cases, that subject can get extremely fascinating. 

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I use second life mainly to meet my partner (we both travel a lot for business in real life) and rl friends, it is therefore a perfect tool to stay in touch with friends and less boring than using 2D tools as facebook, messenger, ...here at least you can go to a party or a venue or do other fun things like shopping (hey I cannot go every week to IBIZA in real life :matte-motes-dead:). The reason why it is difficult to introduce people to this 'strange' platform is due to the name itself 'second life', it is still associated with all the evil in the world and the 'life' part makes people believe that it is some kind of real life you can live here, this associated with all the drama involved. It scares people away, as hard I have tried to convince people to join, most were rolling their eyes instantly.... and the ones that took the chance stayed and enjoyed it, but this is rather 1-2 %.

Second life was nothing else than a clever branding idea to sell people an 'illusional happy life' meant to generate cash & profit, this business idea feeds on shortcomings found everywhere in the society, whatever the reason may be; medical, relational, sexual, mental, and much more.. I think this is also the main reason why people are not so keen to join second life and why they feel this world is 'strange'.

So as long if they don't start rebranding it and get rid of the 'life' part, I don't see any further growth moving forward, second life is for me personal not a life, nor will it ever be, but just a 3D-tool I use to connect with my partner and friends ....  *meows*

edited: oh yes it is also a LEGO for adults :smileyvery-happy:

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If only Google had kept Lively running. They would have integrated it into their new Google+ social network. The Xbox live community has avatars but I don't see any way they could use SL as it is. The only way I see SL to catch fire again is a brand new world with the same easy creation tools but with content heavily restricted to avoid all the embarassing stuff. Then you tie that to a social community like Facebook, Google+, or Myspace. Maybe with a straight-laced cousin in the mainstream, SL could return to it's wild and hedonistic ways.

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Any large real-life city has areas that are "strange", "sexy" or have "too much sexual content". That doesn't prevent businesses from conducting perfectly straight business in those cities.

SL has a lot of places that are certainly "not safe for work". But it has a lot of other places that are perfectly straight and work safe. 

What I tell people when I talk about SL to friends that are unfamiliar with it is "It's a virtual world, where what you can do is limited only by your imagination, and the constraints of current technology. For example, I build college campuses that can be accessed from anywhere on the Internet, with detailed recreations of the buildings and architecture. I can be in Texas, and can meet with someone from Canada and with someone else from France, I can give them a tour of a campus that is in New Jersey, and we can talk about virtually anything that is legal. Like any real place, having "the freedom to do anything" means there is also freedom to express oneself sexually, and many people do, in Second Life. But it isn't at all required that you hang out in areas where that is going on."

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You are absolutely correct, this is something I have been working to change for a few years now with limited success.

I build simulations for real world companies and universities as well as facilitate and teach Virtual Emergency Exercises in SL and the biggest draw back I have is not selling my abilities to prospective customers but explaining what SL actually is and what it is not. If the businesses and universities that have already entered SL actually used it on a continuous basis this could improve the image of SL dramatically, this could take SL to a whole other level of respect that I know it deserves but the world is clueless to. Unfortunately there is usually only one person per company or school that run their simulations on behave of their company or school and they are already employed full time so they do not have the time or the 'know how' to use the system on a daily basis.

I feel it is this lack of 'know how' that is hurting SL the most. The user interface was not complicated in the past it just had a lot of tools to learn... however now the interface has become too complicated with the multi path clicking that has to be done for any and every one action one wishes to do, (professionals don't have time for this). It is this plus cost that is making many leave SL for other simplified platforms. Instead of simplifying the system for professionals SL had chosen to try to become a social network no doubt influenced by the massive user base facebook has gained.

As for facebook, customizing your avatar is done by changing one picture, your page is free and you fill in the blanks to express who you are and what you do... now compared that to customizing your avatar in SL and buying land and building an entire simulation on an empty lot. In facebook this would take a few minutes, in SL this would take weeks possibly even months. Then again you can not host a class on facebook, you can not have a lecture nor learn what to do in an emergency situation.

Besides if you really wanted to be friends you would exchange telephone numbers or email addresses not find each other on facebook.

facebook is a way of saying lets stay in touch but I really don't care if we do.

SL is way of interacting, experiencing, learning and socialize in real time.

 

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Amie Kaestner wrote:

It'll be all well and good until she sees the busty furries in dominatrix outfits and n00bs with giant flexi dongs.

if she reacts like me she will be fine..

i thougth it was funny at first until i figured out they were serious hehehe

i just saw it as people goofing around..i didn't know they were like that all the time in sl..i never really even knew what furries were until i got here hehehe

 

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I think the problem with inviting people to SL is not SL itself because there all kinds of things to do here, some G rated, some PG rated, some just pretty things to look at and quite normal.  I think the problem with SL for some people is that it is too time consuming for them to make an avatar and learn all these things, whereas Facebook or Twitter, it's just plain and simple, easier/faster/quicker; no avatars to make or clothes to buy, etc.  So I think it depends on how much time the person has, along with how much patience they have, but I don't see any reason to not invite them based on SL's "strangeness" because a lot of SL is quite tame or mild really; it just depends where u go. 

I already know a lot of my family would not have the patience for SL, not to mention I'd be helping constantly and may never have a SL myself.   My family would just say no, go to Facebook or Twitter instead 'cuz it's easier for them. 

 

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To address the OP again:  You could put something about secondlife.com in your Facebook profile.  And then when people see secondlife.com in your Facebook profile, they may join, then send something to your Facebook area that they have joined SL thanks to you and are having a great time, and then perhaps you will meet them in SL? 

I really don't think SL is a question of "strangeness"... I think it's a question of time in each person's 24-day.   Some people would frankly prefer to use their time doing something else; reading, painting, writing music, etc....etc....

But what about just putting secondlife.com on your Facebook page, or does that seem strange to you to do that? 

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Phil Deakins wrote:

Email is a good way of keeping in touch with people. Do a search on the web to learn about it
;)

Ooo you smarty pants! But yes you're right  ;p

Telling people about SL is like sharing your personal toe nail clipping theories o.O

Btw, I just did mine, want to hear all about it? *gigglez

I do think SL's time will come again. Things go in cycles u know. Like.... ^^  yo yo's No, I dont mean home boys saying hello to a crowd *rolls eyes, I mean those round spinning top things on strings that go "around the world" and umm.... umm.. :matte-motes-confused:

oh forget it...:smileysad: lillol 

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  • 3 months later...

I absolutely loved what Ceka wrote! There are quite a few people who are busty for fun, but also some like me who are full-time busty. (In my case I just find it really interesting how people respond to my pressence, especially when they do it in character and double especially if they are not flirting yet curious.)

 

Anyway, I too think it's not mainly the weirdness but also the complex tools. The tools are mind blowing at first, in a bad way, it took me months to figure out how to link prims. (I mostly tried instead of ask for help back then.) I also noticed that when new people come in, they seem to expect assignments/missions/quests like most games do and are disappointed when they do not find any. The newby sims are dull, and right next door may be a funny 'lolwut?' moment going on but they are in the wrong sim already giving up. What I mean is is that I think that the wild variety of sims also may be an issue, and it's hard to point new people into the right direction.

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