Dear Linden Labs, My name is Bash Quandry and I've been building in Second Life for roughly 6 years. For 5 of those I've been the proprietor of Quandry Industries, purveyor of space stations and scifi environmental role play systems. I've dedicated an extraordinary amount of time to content and service that provides the best possible experience for Second Life users. Needless to say I'm more than a casual builder and, as well as being a proud supporter of Second Life, I have a real-life stake in its success. I hope that bit of biography will lend some merit to the following, as I feel I do not only speak for myself but for other career content creators as well. Second Life has incredible potential as a creative platform, as I'm sure you're more than aware, however over the years I've regularly watched region after region of quality content struggle and drop off the grid. As well I've witnessed many very talented builders give up and move on. These losses to Second Life haven't been due to a flaw in concept but rather a failure to support the systems most valuable resource - the builders. Second Life is an environment built of user generated content. Therefore it goes without saying that the quality of builders in Second Life determines the quality of the experience for all users. Not only do skilled builders define the experience and directly affect resident retention through that experience, we set the baseline of quality for new users as they become content creators themselves. The following is a simple suggestion - and a some supporting points - for providing incentives to attract and retain skilled content developers. Bear in mind that while I'm only proposing a simple change in policy here, my full intent is to allude to a greater shift in focus that might guide Second Life to achieve its full potential and lead it towards being something more than a "let's play dress up" virtual world. Builders Tier The first thing that I think should be done is to make a distinction between Residents and Builders with the latter being an earned role. I'm not referring to casual builders but those that generate content on a scale that enhances, showcases the potential of, and makes Second Life the unique experience that it is. Once a distinction has been made, the quickest path to incentivizing developers and strengthening the community is to remove or, at least, reduce the barriers to their success. The most profound barrier being tier. As vital a role as the Builder plays in Second Life, those of us that are dedicated to creating the environments, that bring and keep people in SL, struggle to do so against the prohibitive cost of acquiring and maintaining land. It took me more than 3 years to build a sufficient profit base to finally become an official land owner without bringing in any outside cash, and still I can only justify the expense because I sublease a half of my SIM to another builder. By implementing some substantial discount to Builders you support the spread, scope, and viability of content in Second Life. This includes not only the building and showcasing of landscape, structures, vehicles, avatars, and all the accessories that go with them, but also supports the development of role play systems and original role play concepts. With this simple incentive you can bolster the creation of the environments that lend, not just novelty to the grid, but playability. Playability that works towards the future of the system. Role Play & Indie Gaming Without a doubt the primary function of Second Life to the average user is role play in some form or another. I believe with the popularity of Indie gaming and the accessibility of high end open source development tools, such as Blender, Second Life has the potential to attract and nurture enormous potential talent. What Wordpress is to web development, SL could be for indie-games. A ready-made platform to build and expand upon. This would put SL in a position to tap into millions of gamers hungry for original content. That said, the key factor in any successful open source system is in providing the means for the more advanced and skilled of its users to generate a viable income from the system. Second Life already has this foundation built-in, however it is a lucky minority of Builders that can hold on long enough to reach a point where they can offset the cost of land, and even fewer that can profit from their work in Second Life under the current model. So again, if it were made so that more Builders could not only support more land, but potentially make a living, Second Life could attract more and higher quality Builders. This in turn would attract players that would provide Linden Labs a more sustainable revenue structure. A Better Revenue Structure The current revenue structure of Second Life appears to be based heavily on land ownership. As I see it, the major issue with this model is that the success of the system is based on a $300 a month luxury expense well out of the range of most players. This places the burden of the system, and the future of Linden Labs, on the backs of a minority of the users. With a greater focus on content developers and making building and supporting role play environments more lucrative, thus attracting more talent, you open up substantial profit opportunities. Second Life can begin to attract gamers willing to pay monthly subscriptions to access, not just a single world, as with other MMORPGs, but a vast variety of creative and ever expanding worlds, with the added potential for them to create their own. In Closing The suggestion here is not to completely restructure Linden Labs and Second Life. Continue to offer land at a premium price to those that wish to have private islands. Certainly continue to provide players the ability to freely create to their imaginations whimsy. What I present here, in basic form, is simply a call to recognize the resource that are Builders, and to suggest a simple concession that would greatly expand our abilities to continue to build a better Second Life. I also hope that I have hinted at how more direct support of the content creators could set Second Life on a path that would fully realize the platforms creative potential.