My Second Life Birthday Reflection

I think about negatives and positives of Second Life

My Second Life Birthday was on January 13th, 2007!! One year ago I signed up to this virtual world but I actually did nothing for a month until I found some interesting places. TD Goodliffe posted about his thoughts on his SL birthday so I thought it would be interesting for me to reflect on the past year. My experience is very different from his. I first started to find classes so I can learn as much as I can about the world. I learned about moving the camera around and different tricks to make my second life easier. Then I started learning how to make prims and tricks to make things easier. I also took a class on scripting but I already knew how to program so it wasn’t very hard for me. The hard part was thinking in 3D and learning to use vectors a lot more. That’s my weakness.

First couple of months I saw a huge potential for making money and having a good time creating stuff. But I also saw a lot of risk and was cautious. I didn’t have a lot of money that I can invest in something new so I only put in $10. I decided to stay a free member because I didn’t need a place of my own. Found sandboxes where I could make anything I wanted without needing to pay. The only way I could see myself making money would be creating something and selling it. I spent time testing and playing around with moving objects but didn’t come up with something that I thought would be interesting to others. I didn’t have a lot of time so I decided I would explore the world and see what others have done.

This opened my eyes to some very creative people making magnificent places and fun games. I played lot of games, attended some live events and visited wonderful places with beautiful scenes. Almost took my breath away seeing what people could make in this world. I gambled a bit but wasn’t happy to see my money disappear so quickly. I also tried the camping chairs but the money was too slow and too boring. I loved the games like slingo, tringo and dark life. I made a lot of money from some of these games. I also made money from attending the scriptschool radio program on Fridays.

At this time I have made over $100 US dollars in the world. The majority I put into a bank in Second Life which I know is a risky thing to do but that’s ok. I have never taken money out of the world and might not for awhile. I have introduced Second Life to my nephew who is on the teen world which he says is boring. My best friend also tried it but she only logged in twice and was never seen again. Everyone else just couldn’t understand the reason for it and looked too complicated.

Here are some of the problems I have with Second Life:
  1. The amount of people who can be in a sim at the same time is too low. For movie screening it might not be a problem as long as there are other places showing it at the same time. But if a sim is full it should direct people to other sims that are showing the same movie. For townhalls and big chatting events their needs to be a way of others to read and interact with the chat if it gets too full. For virtual events where everyone is watching a group of avatars moving around on stage or building something there needs to be a way of showing the event on screens in other sims. I remember attending interview chats in AOL where they had a group of people separated in different rooms but could all see the guest chatting and could send in questions. I still would rather have more people being able to be in the same sim at the same time. It’s a virtual world where we all want to see and chat with everyone else.
  2. The world is not stable enough to support business inside especially small businesses. Every hour the grid is down means less money for business. It’s not stable enough to support live events where time is a very important part. I wanted to attend a very special event once but the person who was doing it couldn’t login after the grid went down. This really gets frustrating. I see so many people complaining about new features being added and the bugs not being fixed. I understood all the programmers couldn’t work on the bugs all at the same time. But my opinions are changing. Adding new features will only bring in more bugs. Get it stable first then add more. I hope the open source will provide more stability. I personally have high hopes that this could help out a lot.
  3. SL viewer is slow on some computers. My fastest computer has an AMD athlon XP 2000+ CPU, 1 Gig RAM, nvidia GeForce FX 5200 Graphic card. My slower computer has an AMD Athlon XP 1800+ CPU, 640 MB RAM, Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4200 Graphic card. The weird thing is the faster computer runs Second Life slower then my slower computer. I have tried to duplicate the options on both computers. I have it working a bit better now but had to turn off a lot of options. This is a big problem with new users. It should be addressed before more users enter the world.
  4. The TOS scares me. Especially reading about what happened to the Furnation sims. There needs to be more rights for people inside Second Life. I hate hearing about good people losing money and all their hard work disappear for no good reason. Everyone who puts in so much time and hard work into the world needs to know they won’t be pushed out for bigger business or some scam. I see that all of us are partners in making this virtual world the best place on the Internet. This place is unique and can be very popular if we all work together. That also includes the lindens making sure that scammers get punished and not good people who follow all the rules.

I have to say I am very positive and willing to give every decision the benefit of the doubt. I can see that the lindens are trying their best to make the majority of people happy and also running their business for profit. There have been some decisions that I feel were not right like closing of the forums. The blog only gives the official news and updates. The comments are very hard to read and sort through. Some decisions were totally right and others I still don’t have an opinion about.

So this year I am going to be doing more building and working on some basic scripts. I will still look for those special live events I love! I also want to see a big game created in the world something like Dark Life but much bigger. I might not start my business in second life this year but I can always change my mind if things improve. Maybe I’ll get some inspiration and start a game of my own or put on a big event. You never know in this virtual world.

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