Wagner James Au, over at NWN, eavesdrops in Here’s an interesting discussion in Reddit’s Second Life group , picking out this question, “So…what do you actually do in Second Life?” And the general consensus is that SL has become “a 3D chat room with naughty stuff …” WJA, “calls out for a new, sharply dramatic change that will inspire people like this to revisit, and explore deeper beyond 3D chatting.”
All in all though, SL is more than a 3D chat room; for many people SL is their life. And not just SL – InWorldZ and other OpenSim Grids are truly a way of life for a great many people. Of course they chat, but they also create, dance and listen to music, gather in groups large and small to just hangout and be together as these residents admit. And there are ever more instances of virtual education tools bringing richer opportunities to more people everyday. If you look closely at RL in the same way, you could say RL is just a Tactile Chat Planet with naughty stuff. We are social animals, we socialize wherever we are in any way we can.
What we are waiting for is the fully immersive experience. That is what is going to “dramatically inspire” beyond what we have now. Even advances in graphics cards and perhaps 3D holographic images on tablets, or goggles, or whatever – all of these devices still leave us at arms length from the more sharply defined experience. But in the meantime, this is what we have and LL strives to improve what it can.
There have been some criticisms about the things LL thinks we want or need. The recent Communications Hub is a good example. It is too much and will not make communications easier or better, just more complicated. Who is this improvement for? The noobie? LL would have received more good press if they had simply lowered tier by 2%.
Then again, the people who complain should spend some of their time thinking about what they can do for their virtual reality and not what their virtual reality can do for them. Yes, that is a terrible overuse of a well-turned phrase and this discussion is helpful in that it gets the mental juices flowing.
Fortunately, most of the residents of SL and other virtual worlds pay about as much attention to the people who complain as people in RL pay attention to politicians and the people who run our governments. Most of us just live our lives, as these folks do, Running our businesses, happy to see our friends, getting excited about going to listen to one of our favorite musicians, dance a little, romance a little, and, if we are lucky, get naughty later.