Thursday, December 25, 2008

Under the Tree: A New Page from Linden Lab

Location: New SL Home Page

Merry Christmas, ya'll.

I must admit that I consider the new SL home-page quite a Christmas Present. It's slick and, despite the sniffs from design-prima-donas ("Puh-leeze! Black backgrounds are sooo 2001") I think it showcases the variety of SL experiences well. To wit:

  • Despite the paucity of non-human avatars on the page, the avatars pictured are not merely blingtards and shopaholics furnishing their Barbie Dreamhomes.
  • Some standout content appears alongside the pictures of avatars: Mexican pyramids and other worthwhile builds. Not one image of Svarga, by the way--sour grapes by Linden Lab that its creator is selling the property?
  • An admission that some residents to come to SL for sex. The language is coy, under the "pixel perfect romance" window: "dating, flirting, dancing and more." Read that "more" in any way you please.
  • Photos of real people who do not look like Dilbert. I think that marketing ploy will convince potential residents that SL is more like the Sims. That may not be great for older residents, who do not view SL as a game, but it's good for marketing because it positions the product as less creepy and more familiar to a mainstream demographic (who may just build Barbie be it).
  • Emphasis on "gaming within the world." I think that may be counterproductive, since roleplay and not video-game-style action is the hallmark of SL. Right now, it cannot complete with gaming because of lag and graphics, though that may improve.
What else strikes the eye, other than the complete absence of virtual hillbillies?

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