Location: Watching the Horizon
It's not wonderful to have your own misgivings seconded by a major news source.
"What happened to Second Life?" considers how the coverage of the virtual world has waned since the hype-days of 2007, when I came in world.
Amid the consternation, even fury, caused by several Linden Lab decisions, such as the ending of the mentors program and the new fees for users of the Linden's online market, Xstreetsl.com, there's a broader story.
We in SL spend too much time in our little universe to see that the world beyond has just moved on. This may be why almost none of my students or colleagues even know what SL is.
Points in the BBC story:
- Return on investment was about zero for most businesses that came into SL during the hype era. My reading: they had bad business plans, but they also came away with a desire "never to do THAT again." And they spread the word.
- SL does not work well on low-end systems and not at all on hand-held devices. Small and portable computing, not Alienware desktops, are the devices of choice of the future.
- The experience for newcomers has been awful and they don't return. As one commenter put it, about her experience of wandering aimlessly, then quitting after a few days: "It was a great idea but just didn't work in practice. Shame, really."
I'm pleased by one thing: I'm active in other virtual worlds. I don't feel confident for the future of Linden Lab.