To get or not to get it

6 08 2006

Lots of discussion was going on recently about people getting or not getting it. Speaking of course of Second Life. So here’s another one who first thought he’s too old to eventually “get it”. (actually I don’t care that much about whether people get it or not.. Some do not get chatting or blogging and in Germany only few get it anyway😉
I am speaking of John Lam and his blog post which I just discovered. He was hanging around with Miguel de Icaza (of Gnome and Mono fame) and Jim Purbrick. Now Jim Purbrick is better known to Second Lifers as Babbage Linden and thus he tried to explain the idea behind SL. John also listened to a talk by Cory Ondreyka/Linden which eventually made him get it. The key points in this talk quoted from the post are:

  • It is not a ‘game’, because games have objectives, winners and losers, ‘leveling’ etc.
  • A virtual world where computing resources are represented by a land ‘proxy’. More land equals more CPU resources in Second Life.
  • More land equals more money that you pay per month. This lets people pay for more power.
  • Vibrant and growing internal economy – $1.3M USD exchanged hands in July.
  • 140,000 residents in July sold 380,000 items
  • You have intellectual property rights to things you create in Second Life. Case of Tringo which has been licensed for distribution in the ‘real world’.
  • Whereas only 3% of web users have ever created any content, 65% of Second Life have created content. That translates into 36,000 hours of content creation per day. Currently that’s 23TB worth of user-created data.
  • 15% of their users have written code in Linden Scripting Language.
  • 350,000 residents in Second Life, growing at a rate of 15% per month.
  • Median age of 32 years (there goes my ‘too old to get it’ argument).
  • Gender neutral by hours of use.

He also mentioned the Beyond Broadcast Conference at the Berkman Center at Harvard (I just did some video shooting for them btw🙂 ) and the by now famous photo by Steve Garfield. It also seems that good keeps happening as results of that conference, the last one being “The Infinite Mind” being inspired to do stuff in Second Life.

So he’s hooked and I hope he will tell us how his SL explorations work out.

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7 08 2006
Tao’s Thoughts on Second Life » Bits and Pieces

[…] From a post by Babbage Linden on the Second Life Blog he talks about his side of the meeting with John Lam about whom I talked in my previous post. Apparently he now is looking into doing the next RubyConf as mixed media event in Second Life (I should propose that to the EuroPython or Plone Conference guys, too). […]

8 08 2006
Baba

Scoble brought up the same topic in his blog post On not getting Second Life. ;0 I followed up with Don’t get it? You don’t have to… Yet

13 08 2006
Prokofy Neva

Tao, the concept of “getting it” is one that the technorati are always throwing around casually, and often with a real sort of aggressiveness and arrogance I find, and it’s humorous to me because “getting it” is a hugely emotional, bonding/tribal ritual thing, not some logical, scientific process that one can make accessible to others — which you would think that these tekkies, being scientists, would engage in. Instead, they think others are supposed to have this near-religious epiphany — and if they don’t they must be feebs and chodes. It’s silly. Especially when you examine the religious doctrine involved in having to “get it” without any criticism:

Let’s take it apart:

> * It is not a ‘game’, because games have objectives, winners and losers, ‘leveling’ etc.

MANY MANY MANY people in SL view it as a video game. With the same “laws of nature” of video games like shooting and making guilds and collecting goad. Having “an objective” doesn’t mean it isn’t *like a video game* for many people who *treat it like one* with all the bad behaviour you’d expect. And in fact, while not “a game” in this definition, SL *is* play. Games can be things like throwing a ball of knitting to your kitten, they don’t have to have an objective or a winner, they are just *play*. The idea that learning the skills of SL, whether buiding or acquiring Linden calling cards, is someone not “leveling” — well, hmm, what could I say, Tao except “you don’t get it”. See, how silly that sort of expression is?

> * A virtual world where computing resources are represented by a land ‘proxy’. More land equals more CPU resources in Second Life.

> * More land equals more money that you pay per month. This lets people pay for more power.

A very big phallacy. The people with the most power are content makers and programmers, not landholders. If you need a tutorial on that I can give you one. Hint: pay attention to what gets developed in the platform, and what gets harmed in the world.

> * Vibrant and growing internal economy – $1.3M USD exchanged hands in July.

Did we ever figure out if this includes pouring back and forth on the Lindex itself? I worry about that.

> * 140,000 residents in July sold 380,000 items

Tao, in July, I kid you not, I probably had 300 TVs sold to me for $0, I sold them back for $0, and also sold some land back and forth to move it to myself for $0.

> * You have intellectual property rights to things you create in Second Life. Case of Tringo which has been licensed for distribution in the ‘real world’.

Uh…you know? I’m not the right one to give this tutorial, but I think some of the many people screaming about texture thefts would be the ones to do that. Please cite one single other thing created in SL and sold in RL (beside the architect’s prototype of a RL house, which she had sold anyway without SL).

> * Whereas only 3% of web users have ever created any content, 65% of Second Life have created content. That translates into 36,000 hours of content creation per day. Currently that’s 23TB worth of user-created data.

Tao, Tao, Tao. Would you like to see my cubes I sit on to avoid being shot or to hold my avatar while trying to clear prims in towers, my foundations for houses covered with stone from the library, my lovely pair of leopard boxers, and the many other lovely pieces of um original and exciting content I make very week?

> * 15% of their users have written code in Linden Scripting Language.

It may actually scare you to find out that I have done this, too, by cutting and pasting stuff and forcing it together until it works.

> * 350,000 residents in Second Life, growing at a rate of 15% per month.

Erm… we had some better numbers the other day — 225,000 have logged in once during the last 60 days. Would now be a good time to tell you about my alts?

> * Median age of 32 years (there goes my ‘too old to get it’ argument).

Geez, Tao, don’t tell me you think people are “too old” to get SL? Huh? Or are those of us spending as much as 40 hours a week in SL getting a *different* SL than you and your friends?

> * Gender neutral by hours of use.

Because like the old saying goes, SL is the place where the men are men…and so are a lot of the women.

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