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Monday, June 24, 2013

The Ebb and Flow of Second Life - Lacy Muircastle reporting ....


As the dust settles on SLB 10, I thought I would reflect on what has been an outstanding week of celebration and which has highlighted the fact that Second Life is in pretty good shape despite what the naysayers have had to say.

The exhibits on display were phenomenal, and the amount of time and effort put into the multitude of stands was clear for all to see.  Granted there was drama around some of the exhibits, particularly the one by Bryn Oh - but hey this is SL and there is always a bit of drama going on somewhere.  Nevertheless the creativity and enthusiasm of some of our fellow residents is truly mind boggling and quite honestly you should never be able to say you are bored in SL , as the opportunities for things to do seem endless.  

There are those who say that SL could “become what the LP or cassette tape was to the music industry. It lead the way to mainstream usage of 3D environments, but it wasn’t the endpoint for development” Bob Cameron.  I am no technological fundi and certainly I don’t have any insight into what makes something like SL a success or not, I just have an opinion based on being resident in SL for 5 years.  I do understand that SL has to be profitable to Linden Labs otherwise there would be no point to them offering us the platform in first place, but I think that the fact that it offers so many people across the world, opportunities of being creative in any number of ways, and the advancements it has made in making the virtual as close to reality as they have and continue to do so, in my mind means they are doing something right.  As long as the powers that be within Linden Labs keep in mind that SL is a community that ebbs and flows and that it is mostly based on the creativity of those who have chosen to be part of it, and that if they keep on talking to those creative elements, then there should be no reason why SL can’t continue to the mutual benefit of both its residents and the Linden Labs that make it possible for many years to come.


Over and above the technological and the profitability issues, Second Life as with most things has its pro and cons.

Pros include “a real-time, immersive social space for people with physical or mental disabilities that impair their first lives, who often find comfort and security interacting through anonymous avatars. Indeed, some academics believe using Second Life might even help improve motor ability for people with Parkinson’s.”  Wagner James Au.  One, Fran Serenade, is a case in point for making inroads into keeping Parkinson’s at bay.  This sprightly 86 year old lady is now able to do things that Parkinson’s had taken away from her, all from watching her avatar move about on SL.

Cons include as my esteemed fellow SL writer/blogger  Huckleberry Hax, pointed out in his blog “What the Huck”, addiction …. SL can and does in many instances become an addiction, an addiction that for some wears off after a few years and for others not so much.  Also it has been the reason a number of marriages have gone south and not forgetting the opportunity it presents to those who just want to cause mischief.  Another rather ugly ‘reality’ that presents itself in SL is that of over inflated Ego’s, I guess that emphasises the fact that there are very definitely humans behind the pixels! 


Don’t fret if you missed the main SLB 10 celebrations as the sims and exhibits will remain in place until the 29th June.  Take this opportunity to see what is happening in our wonderful virtual world of Second Life.


Congratulations to all those residents who made SLB 10 the fantastic event it was and here’s to many more Second Life Birthday celebrations.


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