Monday, April 12, 2010

Lindens Market Suburban Life With Fake Kid

Fake Kid Included
Location: Torpid State of Smoldering Discontent

So this vision is the best that Linden Lab can do for us today? This is pretty far from what creative residents have built on Linden Lab's infrastructure. The Lab currently seems to be casting about, wildly, for customers. The campaigns flail back and forth, from the far slicker and interesting "put some steam in your punk" images that ran a couple of weeks back to...this.

It's The Sims. Uh, yeah.

As a wag at the Alphaville Herald put it, soon we freaks may have a stark choice: we can look elsewhere for the artists and creators or "be here and have a nice life that looks just like your real life. While in SL, you can watch (at 8fps) your avatar mow your virtual lawn and chat with the other seven people with active accounts."

While the Lab has segregated the new 'hoods into themed areas, they don't seem to have learned the trick for their advertising. If you want us all to continue to live in SL, Mark Kingdon, you had best learn some real-life demographic facts and pitch ads like this in venues likely to attract the right eyes, not the scoffers like me who equate "suburban" with "boring and resource-piggish and soon-to-collapse."

Linden Lab makes a big mistake if they think that the fake suburbanites can live on the same continent with the cool freaks and geeks. Linden Lab used to pitch to this crowd, not so long ago (in the Rosedale era).
These Are MY People

Yes, these are my people.

Boring and cool folks don't mix too often in real life, either. Some very rich hipsters and society types mingle downtown with the pierced and inked around here, especially on gallery nights, but you just don't see the boring class of business clones who swam upstream to spawn in the the cul-de-sacs "venturing downtown," as they put it.

Thank God. I don't want to hear about their homes or their trips to the Outer Banks or their TV shows or their kids. And in SL, I consider child avatars really creepy, even if they are just playing "kid" to some fake mom and dad.

Am I too cruel? Perhaps a fake house in a fake utopia will be a way to relive the glory-days of suburban bliss when Peak Oil puts the lie to that living arrangement, forever.

Linden Lab, you've lost your soul. Get back to images like the following from your old days, so you look cool and not lame-o-max-o, ya'll.

Older SL Image
My wife, giving me her opinion, dislikes the "man boobs" in the last image, but she agrees that either Projects Mayhem or Gangsta look better than Project Mow-the-Lawn.

I need to go play Pharaoh in Heritage Key now. At least those 'burbs are stylin'.


Lalo Telling said...

The folks over at SLUniverse forum have had some fun with this (caution: there's the inevitable derails into the 'child avatar' arguments).

Notwithstanding that the happy family don't look like Second Life avatars (at least, they don't look like a SL screen capture), and were Photoshopped drastically out-of-scale into the picture of the house... and one third of the empty house itself is floating above its foundation (did they do that to make it look like a split-level?)...

It strikes me that, rather than Nascera, the Linden Home continent should have been named Stepford.

Dio said...

it is rather suggestive of something I have always suspected about the Lindens--even back in the "Philip" era.

The people at the company simply don't "get" the majority of us. It is not just that they don't understand or appreciative the diverse majority of their customer base--they seem to be downright embarrassed by us. They may even be a little bit afraid of us. Otherwise, I believe they would would followed a strategy encouraging their staff to more aggressively engage with the residents on their own turf rather than from the safety of "office" hours.

Yes, back in Rosedale days, someone at the lab had a more sincere appreciation for a certain element of the artsy-freaksy cool creator class people, but they still seemed confused, unsettled and uncertain with regards to the rest of us loonies, especially in the historical/literary/rp based communities. They certainly weren't terribly supportive of us, and certainly never acknowledged us.

So is this new focus on marketing to "norms" all that different from the days when they focused on celebrating and recognizing (they really didn't do marketing in those days) to a different particular limited class of people?

I think I feel a Dio Rant coming on.

Viv Trafalgar said...

The tools in OpenSim and SL are some powerful things - and they're available to all to use for any creative purpose under the sun. What they're best for in my mind is making the impossible possible - bringing things and people that are far away close, creating reversals of scale, depicting literature and history in real time, and bringing new things into the public consciousness that have never been tried before. When I think of the visionary places I love in SL, I think of Svarga, of the Bogon Flux; the giant robot Tiny Tin rising from the sea in New Babbage; Horace Moody's molecule rezzer at Drexel Island; the planet-leaping sky-diving tour at Spaceport Alpha, along with the amazing work done by educators and groups like NASA and NOAA and - lord, there's so much. There's even more beyond SL's boundaries in Heritage Key, Rezzable Grid, Science Grid, Reaction Grid.

Amazingly, none of it includes lawn-mowing. I can do that without a computer. Well written Iggy.

Iggy O said...

Dio, not all rants are ranted into the void. Rant on, ma'am.

Thanks to you all for reading this. My blood pressure is lower already.

For the record: I love cutting grass (I often do so from the seat of an antique tractor). I love gardening. I just don't feel a burning need to mow grass in SL unless I can be King's "Lawnmower Man" as an avatar.

Tenchi Morigi said...

Another kick between the legs of those who dare to be different and experiment.
With evere new piece of news like that I read, the less I want to come back. Where is the sense in a grid like that? I mean apart from the fact that do my weekly virtual grocery shopping at the virtual local wallmart and then slump in front of my virtual TV and enjoy some virtual sitcoms before going down to the basement and whip the crap out of my shemale wife .... hmm maybe its not too late.

Honestly LL ... we are by far not that creepy like you might think ... and the group that you are aiming at will surely not come to the grid, since they will continue to play the sims. Like it or not, you have to rely on free spirits, weird thinkers and deviants as your prime customers.


Iggy O said...

Tenchi, fat chance of their understanding THAT under Mark Kingdon's rulership.

I don't know--Philip Rosedale was correct when he predicted that the "Burning Man Era" was over in SL.

Shame: the metaphor I use is that SL is like an artistic district that gets overrun by money-happy new people. The creative types are forced or priced out :(

Tenchi Morigi said...

Is it really so Iggy?
I didn´t have the feeling lately that a substantial group of new users appeared on the grid. At the same time LL tightens the grip around SLX Sellers and drains more money from them. Combined with all the other changes from the time on King P stepped down to his successor this all had more of a sell out then a transformation.

A transformation on the other hand would have been ok ... disappointing but ok. It would have given folks like us a niche to retire and follow the ideas as we always did. But with SL coming along as Sims with crappier graphics this all looks to me more like lashing out to all directions to mow the money whereever you can find it as long as you are making a plus before shutting down.