Friday, December 12, 2008
Sony's Home Launches
Location: Sony Playstation Home Web site
It's hard not to be excited when a major company rolls out a new virtual world. Sony's much-anticipated Home came out today from Beta-testing.
Home's greatest drawback is that Asian and European users will not be allowed on the same grid as US users. That was done, I understand, for legal reasons.
And that is awful. Home's graphics and avatars are promising...well, the guy in my pic is superbad..approaching my conception of Mojobox Kane, our OpenLife correspondent. The woman needs a stylist. That said, the lack of a worldwide community is a show-stopper for me.
One of Second Life's best draws is its international audience. My German class-mentors, Tenchi and Cynthia, could not collaborate with me in Home. I'm not even sure SL would still be around had its population been balkanized by region. The number of concurrent users is simply not large enough. Moreover, many of the language initiatives that educators are doing now in SL would be moot. Even my own students practiced their second languages this semester, and one of them interviewed two Germans involved in virtual soccer--in German and at length. Then he translated their remarks.
So for those reasons I'll pass Home by, even though Sony is giving it away to Playstation users. Since I don't own any consoles, I'm out of luck.
But I wish them well. The debut of Home marks another milestone in the attempt to bring virtual worlds into the mainstream.
Google's Lively has bombed. Will Home? It has an automatic user base and they, like some gamers who use SL for planning and socializing, may use Home to hang out between bouts of shooting stuff.