Last Wednesday at the Basilique Chat Salon we hosted a discussion asking participants how they are responding to the news that Linden Lab has confirmed that they are working on the next generation of virtual worlds, dubbed SL 2.0.
In my introductory post on the matter, I summarised three camps in which I categorise people’s reactions to the news:
Unlike the blogs, comments, forums and social media reaction, our discussion was decidedly more optimistic. If you’re looking for some (cautiously) optimistic bouys bobbing in a sea of doomsaying, here are the highlights of what they had to say.
It’s just the pragmatic thing to do
For starters, I’ll express my opinion as to what I expect from SL 2.0, hoping that the powers that be will listen. I don’t consider myself really important, but if some of my ideas are listened to, I’ll be glad.
Yes, I will stick around in SL even after the new virtual world is launched, for as long as it makes sense for me. If I have any builds or whatnot that depends on SL-compatible tech, I’ll also put it on Kitely or an OpenSim grid. Who knows, I might even do some professional work on these platforms.
But if/when SL 1.0 dies and SL 2.0 is really the way forward, then I’ll migrate to SL 2.0 and keep any OpenSim grid I might make, in order to fulfil whatever obligations may occur. For instance, if I make an OpenSim grid for an RL client and they don’t want/care about SL 2.0, I’ll keep it running and collect the money. It’s just the pragmatic thing to do. Virtual worlds of SL’s style (i.e. shared creative spaces) are both platforms and products. They have a shelf life.
As for all the idiotic screaming, yelling, conspiracy theories and the prokanoia in the forums, blogs etc… For sod’s sake. People need to get a grip. We’ve had too much keyboard masturbation in the forums.
I am curious
OK, like I said and commented on Becky’s post, I have ploughed through epic threads on fora, blogs and whatnot the past days, not surprised by the endless doomsayers.
Anyway, about me! I am not a creator, I have not built ‘things’ inworld, but I have built relationships and made friends. I am convinced those will stay with me anyway. My inventory, pfff. I, for one, am curious and maybe even looking forward to a migration. I have some ‘nice to haves’ on my list, although I am aware I am not entitled to anything.
For one, I would love to be able to be Caitlin Tobias ‘overthere’… it’s my name for 7 yrs now and I am kind of attached to it. Also, well, my blog has its domain called like that. I have mainland here in SL, but I wouldn’t cry over losing it. I pay for premium and tier for 6 yrs and it was and is well spent. I still enjoy it and if it ends here, I will indeed pack up and move like I did in rl after divorces…?
I hope, and think, a new world – would be nice for Caitlin and her blog and her pics. All the rest…is materials, virtual even, and my friends..I know how to find them anyway. So yes, the only thing I would appreciate (is) if I could be Caitlin Tobias there as well and I am not planning on leaving SL now or before I know how the new world is and before I am settled there. I don’t think I would have two second lives though at some point, I would indeed migrate.
I will peek
I will stay in SL as long as possible, maybe forever if they let me, but I will peek at the new world just like I have peeked at other VR Worlds but its so hard to match the momentum and advances.
SL has made especially the community so I would like to keep or be able to easily translate my, scripted devices, my look, and my name….which is not as big of a thing.
4 years of work into my devices …to have to start over would be crushing. But rumor has it that there will be an advanced scripting language so may be able to leverage that advancement as it relates to re-development time.
I do foresee attempts to corner asset markets like and, sex-engines, casinos, sex-trades, shoes and skins, so hope there will be controls in place espescially someone who attempts to buy up all the land and then set a price and I suspect we will have 3D glasses as well.”
First of all, LL says they’re in the process of hiring 40-50 positions, but all their job listings are in San Francisco. From a personal standpoint, since that is relevant for my family, I’m disappointed that a virtual world company insists on physical office presence. It seems like they should drink a bit of their own Kool-Aid, and maybe that disconnect is part of the problem some of us have felt for years.
As for the less meta view, I see it this way: an asteroid is approaching my planet, but there is plenty of time to find a new planet and encourage my friends to jump on the same ship, but I’m probably going to lose all my stuff. That’s a bummer, but my stuff isn’t what is most important to me.
Will I move to SL 2.0? We’ll see. If I’m not far off, Ebbe suggested or said he was saying this now for competitive reasons. If there is non-Linden competition that is better, why would I stay loyal to a Linden product? I say that as someone with an avatar that hits the 9 year mark next month… I’m loyal….. but not forever, without reason…..
The first thing I did when this came out was to discuss it with my loved ones. We agreed to investigate and move together. So, that’s that. Final thought: as an anthropologist, this is a bonanza of possible study opportunities. Woo-hoo! :)
I can’t see Day 1
I was surprised at how the announcement was done. I feel for Ebbe, he seems to have heart and cares about SL. I wonder just how it will be done.
I joined in 2007 so there was a lot of things to see and wear and do . And us noobs then pounded down the doors and made even more stuff. I do see WHY Linden knows it needs a new backroom. But I have trouble seeing day 1, when all the systems work– group bans, friends list etc. If a new drugstore moves across the street to a new store– they restock it and make it all fresh and clean. But SL is for thing we make. (Excluding the Linden homes) and some moles things.
So Day 1– I guess we pop on new library clothes shape etc and what is there to see and do?
If Linden hires people to make some areas– there will be charges of insiders and pets and frankly some glossy malls aren’t the lovely hand picked and crafted places we see here.
I was admiring this room, there are things from a number of shops and places. Linden can’t do that Day 1. I wish they had made a continent attached to SL somehow a portal and then people could port over and see the new stuff. I wish Linden had thought how we would react– they are betting the Farm and I can’t see day 1 , that bothers me – can they ?
And, last note, my inventory is my look, my homes, my memories of friends long gone. A blanket and cup of soup at the door to SL 2 is not being home and won’t be for a long time.
We can help make it work
First of all, Im really glad LL is doing this. Its the fact that SL enables us to create, that makes it so special and I would worry about any other new major endeavour doing that, so I really want this to succeed. The way they implement this is crucial, and this discussion makes that really clear.
I’m glad that Ebbe is here now, he seems to be sensible, and grounded in the user and community experience… a lot of the LL’ers now are, and see themselves, as technicians and they will see this as a technical project, which it is. But we know it’s more than that; the technical has to succeed, but the transition does too.
So… keeping the positive energy and constructive approach going like how we can help them understand the kinds of things we have just been talking about… and how to position this as an extension of SL and not a replacement or competitor. How to make it so that success or failure doesn’t come on day 1, that we can work through the initial stages and build it all up together so give them ideas on how they can make it easy and not all added expense for people like us to be in both places for the first year
So as for me, I’m optimistic. SL has kept me involved and excited for 7 years, and a lot of people the same, so I’m here for the long haul. SL 1 or 2, whatever works, and we can help make work.”
I want them to understand how we use Second Life
I’m going to remain optimistic so… I believe that LL will be as cutting edge as possible with what they ultimately release. I believe, that with over a decade of experience with what works and does not work in a virtual world, we’ll see improvements in processes and abilities.
I want to keep my avatar name. And I believe that porting our names will be relatively easy for them to do. I hope, but am not entirely certain, that LL fully grasps the myriad ways in which SL 1.0 has become meaningful to each of us– how we use SL. We are not all here for the same reasons (though I’ve met many who claim if you’re in SL, you’re here for sex). I want them to understand how we use Second Life — I want questions asked and answered.
And ultimately, it’s their product and if they have any business acumen at all, they recognize the value of a ready made client base– those of us who are already in their SL 1.0 version.
Finally, where do I sign up for alpha/beta testing? I’m waiting with ‘bated breath. I’m good at breaking things.”
I’ll stick it out
I really appreciate this conversation and this optimistic viewpoint, because frankly the news hit me pretty hard. Ultimately I accept that SL 1 can’t help but wind down. I wouldn’t be opposed to migrating to a new platform, and I might even be excited by the potential, if the Lindens weren’t forsaking backwards compatibility and open source.
But under the circumstances, my initial thought was to commit to keeping the existing SL profitable if that’s a realistic possibility, as Jessica Lyon has proposed.
I’m not a techie and I’m not a significant content creator, but I sure am a content collector. :) So the thought of losing the last four years’ worth of accumulated stuff is pretty distressing.
I’m less concerned about losing my immediate community, because I have connections with most of those people outworld. But there will inevitably be some fragmentation as people scatter, which is a shame.
I do wonder about the logistics of my personal migration, since I can’t really afford the time or the cost to maintain a presence in both places.
If I have to let go of all the old before I embrace the new, I doubt that I’ll do that until my hand is forced by SL 1′s closing, and I imagine there are many like me. So I wonder what the implications of that phenomenon are for SL 2.
I have a sim and would hope to again. I’ll desperately hope for some sort of content-duplicator-thingies. I’ll try to keep my name and my look, and no doubt I’ll soon be spending too much of the new virtual currency. So one way or another, I’m a lifer.
But I don’t think SL2 will feel like home for a while, and I’ll have to do some grieving first. It’s important enough to me that I’ll stick it out. But I really hope there are enough others who feel that way to make SL 2 viable.
I’ll go where my friends are
I’ve lived through a lot of these things: old products going away that I’ve invested in somehow. Change is scary! But more than anything, I think the lesson I’ve learned is that reimagining a platform can reinvigorate an old one so even if the new effort fails, I think that a lot of good will come of it.
For me personally however the important lesson I’m going to draw from is an experience I shared nearly two years ago with you, Becky.
One day we decided to check out Cloud Party so we logged in and we were stood there inventory-less in shapes that were foreign to us, in a world that was very bland in comparison to the one we live in and it all seemed very strange until we started talking and at that point, none of the “things” mattered.
We could have logged pretty quickly and come back to SL but we didn’t we stayed a while and played and chatted just as we always do and I think that reinforces my view that it’s the people that matter not the things.
Another experience I’ve had lately, well in the last year is one that you touched on earlier Becky. I basically moved over an ocean in RL and threw most of the trappings of my life away. They’re called trappings for a reason; they stop us thinking in new ways and looking at life differently. So I see a “new SL” as an opportunity, not a threat and certainly not something to be feared.
I’ll go where my friends are and it won’t matter a jot what’s in my inventory because frankly by this point it’s such a mess I can’t find anything anyway ;)
I decided, this time around, to let the commenters speak for themselves. Who am I to question what they themselves might do when SL 2.0 arrives? I still have more to say on the subject but I’ll leave my personal views on what I see as a credible, but possibly alarming, scenario that we might see in the future, for another post.