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Second Life Still Alive

I’ve been spending a lot of my time recently in Second Life. Mostly attending special events, clubs and some games. I sometimes will find a good club with a live DJ and just dance while I actually work in RL. Other times I’ll find a nice place to camp but getting $2L for 20 minutes with a maximum of $20L per day just isn’t worth the trouble. There are some camping out there which gives out a lot more but usually I find the same amounts as I described. I have sat on some of the camping chairs to get a free product. Sat for some shoes for 4 hours.

Second Life is still surviving after all these years and doing well

I recently found a blog post which describes a nielsen rating for March 2009 of Top PC Game Titles. Second Life came in at #2 with WOW at the very top. There is a big discussion going on in that post which I’ll leave for interested users to read. What the chart really says is that users of Second Life play it a lot more hours then users of the other games. There was also a correction post describing that SL was the 8th game in popularity in the nielsen ratings. In my opinion, Second Life, has a small amount of users but those users are dedicated and find many reasons to play for hours a day. I find the nielsen chart to be very interesting from my own personal experiences. I find myself wanting to find new places to explore, create new stuff and make new friends. SL is more a social place for many people I talk to. There is a wide amount of different communities for everything. I also find a lot more international people doing business inside SL.

I still think SL has some promises but there are some major competition coming up this and next year. I think Second Life will still be the best virtual world for user created content. Some of the upcoming virtual worlds may get more advertisers from big companies, though. That could get more users to their worlds and leave SL behind.

Revisiting Second Life

This year has been interesting with many changes in my life and online life. I played LOTRO for almost 2 years straight. Beginning of this year I stopped playing for many personal reasons. I went to Second Life to keep me entertained. I now have 4 avatars. All age verified. Each one for a different reason. Johnnyrs is my main and has the most money but stays clear of the adult stuff. The other 3 are free to have fun anywhere. All of my accounts are free and homeless at this time. This can change in the future if I can find something to make money from.

None of my accounts are there to lie or be very different from myself. All are aspects of my life that I like but don’t blend very well. That might not be clear but it feels comfortable to me. Each avatar has their own place and groups they like. One loves to dance at clubs with DJ’s. Johnnyrs plays zyngo and looks for games to make money. Another looks for fetish places to have fun. Then there’s the one who is usually found in an adult areas.

Two of my accounts can make money every day. Zyngo can bring in some good money daily if I’m lucky. Some people are making thousands of lindens a day. I don’t make that much. I am starting to use the profile picks camping system to make some money as well. Regular sim camping makes money too but the money is so small that I’d rather do something else now. Dance clubs, tipping and special contests are other ways I’m making money too. In the future I want to describe some of the different ways of making easy money in a future post.

Lot of money trees and other camping systems now check to see if you have credit info before paying. I found a few that will check to see if you have used that credit info to buy something yet or if you are a paying account before paying. I didn’t find any problems with this stuff. Age verification was easy for me. Soon SL will restrict access to adult areas using the age verification which could cause some problems with others. Right now it’s the owners job to restrict access.

The one thing I find different from LOTRO and SL is the community. For me at this time I like a community with very little drama and changes. LOTRO provided too much drama and changes that drove friendships to fall apart. I found some small issues ended up to be bigger then it should be. It also got boring after doing the same raid over and over again. In SL I am finding very little change and less drama with the groups I am hanging out with. Lot of support from groups for many issues which I needed. Something different to do when I want a change. I will go back to LOTRO one of these days but only when I’m ready. I resubscribed to runescape this month also for another form of entertainment. Lot of changes in that game which I’ll be posting about.

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.

Where Have I Been?

I haven’t been spending a lot of time in second life for awhile now. One of the major reasons is due to the change of allowing anyone to sign up without age verification. I thought at the time it was a bad decision and believed it might make security a problem in the grid. So I started only logging in for the radio shows from TD and Snail Races on Saturday. I had other projects in real life I wanted to finish up so this was a good thing because I was getting hooked on playing in second life for hours!

Around the time this change happened I was telling my nephew about Second Life. He’s underage so he had to sign up to the teen grid. At the time his parents weren’t too happy to give out a credit card number or a cell phone number so he wasn’t able to sign up. I kept on telling him about all the stuff people could create and he was very interested. Well a couple of weeks later the registration was changed. I told him about the change and he could sign up without any verification. My first concern was making sure he signed up only to the teen grid so I told his parents about this concern. He got signed up but his computer wasn’t powerful enough for SL. Well recently he got a new computer and is now on the teen grid having some fun. He’s a bit bored over there so I walked him through a simple script so he can make and sell stuff. I am hoping some of the stuff I showed him will help him create his own stuff and have fun in the teen grid.

I’ve finished lot of the projects I needed to do and have more time to give SL. I’ll be blogging more and spending more time exploring this virtual world. I’m still very interested in this world and I HAVE changed my mind about the verification changes. I understand that many people didn’t like giving out their credit numbers or might not have one. I also understand that verifying with a credit card or cell phone doesn’t necessarily verify the age. There are many web pages on the Internet that aren’t for teens and don’t verify age also. This all goes back to parents being responsible for their children. So by this change it would allow people from other countries easier access. A week ago I actually saw someone from Russia racing in the Snail Races. If Second Life can allow easier access and keep it secure then the change could be a good one. We will all have to wait and see what happens. I for one see many good things coming from SL.

First lawsuit against second life?

Read about a lawsuit filed against second life at Secretlair. You can also read some comments in the second life forums (Registration required). I’m not sure about all the details about it but it seems like this guy was using an unfair way of buying land. He says he “learned of a way” to purchase virtual land and linden labs didn’t stop the auctions to be created. Then SL terminated his account. It’s going to be interesting how this all ends up. To me it doesn’t have much weight but with something new like this we will just have to see. What lawsuit will be next?? Will gambling be next?