Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Exodus From Second LIfe?

Location: Reading Chair

While reading over a student's final project on racial identity in Second Life, I looked up the profile of Erika Therian, made famous when she switched race and was treated harshly as a dark-skinned woman. This greeted me:

“Since I can no longer find the heart to recommend SL to new ppl I am relinquishing my mentor status”

Therian has been in-world since 2004, and it bothers me greatly that she'd write this. Moreover, she's not alone in claiming there is a problem in the metaverse. Tenchi's recent column discusses the ongoing issues that have led her to drop her premium membership (and sell me her land).

Then, more ominously than all of us "little people," there is Svarga.

Read Wagner James Au's post on this, but in short: the wonderland of SL is for sale, because its creator, Laukosargas Svarog, feels that the expenses are too great and promised performance increases for SL are too slow in coming.

Then there's Sidewinder Linden, a coder of note who has just left Linden Lab. He brought the contentious Havoc 4 "physics engine" to Second Life, and that has changed our experiences in-world (some curse it, others cheer it, 'nuff said).

One wonders...what is Linden Lab planning? At a recent meeting, one employee of the company reacted quickly when a participant asked "Is Second Life dying?" Company Line: NO.

For the rest of us, it's just an uneasy time to invest time in this fake world.

No comments: