Online Gaming Needs Channels

I like blogging on a Friday, not sure why, anyway one for the road here which isn’t really Second Life related but more online gaming related. However, having said at that, one area where Second Life has been ahead of the bell curve is in offering a free to play option, I don’t want to get into an “It’s not a game” argument here, the free to play option has been available in Second Life for a number of years now.

During this time I’ve watch Lord Of The Rings Online go free to play, Champions Online go free to play, Star Trek Online is rumoured to be heading free to play. The Daddy of them all, World of Warcraft, isn’t going free to play anytime soon, nor should it. However, if I could pay a reasonable amount a month to play Lord Of The Rings Online, Champions Online and Star Trek Online, I would do so, give me a channel I can subscribe to and a choice of games and I’ll pay.

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New Profile Options Coming And Media Pondering

This is a bit of a rambling post on a varitety of subjects, the lack of official music channels in Second Life, a new messaging feature via web profiles and some strange claims by Linden Lab over premium features, I’m blaming the hottest end of September since 1895 for this rambling!

As some of you may have noticed, I’m a bit miffed about the whole Spotify now requiring new users to have a Facebook account, largely because I think this is absolutely ridiculous. However where I do think Spotify have made a sensible choice is in making their offerings available to Facebook users. This may sound contrary, but it really isn’t, my criticisms of Linden Lab pushing Facebook have been due to Linden Lab seeming to push Facebook our side, pushing Second Life Facebook side makes perfect sense.

However the deal does raise the concept of media, Second Life is a place that is ripe for media, music, videos, live performances, they are all popular within Second Life and for bands looking to make a cheap promotion, Second Life seems a reasonable cost solution and yet, we don’t see much of it. However this brings me to another gripe, which is the lack of a decent API for advertising events, I love the showcase widgets we can create, I’d love to do the same for Events or get a  feed of some sort of events strream with a nice level of richness, but it’s not available.

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The Wonder Of You

TechRadar has a fairly balanced article regarding what happened to Second Life and where it’s heading, which you can read here. What I like about this article is that it doesn’t end by saying Second Life is going nowhere, it also has quotes from people like Tateru Nino and current Linden Lab CEO RodVilla Humble.

The article is realistic, there was too much hype, big brands thought they could come in, build something and people would come. I have long maintained that the big brands should have intergrated more, I understand that this is tricky in a user generated content world, they lose some control and maybe didn’t want their brand side by side with a store with a huge phallus on the top of the building (I saw stores like this when I first arrived and they made me cringe). However brands should have been looking to sponsor more gigs, sponsor art galleries, plant adverts in sims, generally engage with the Second Life public.

Then there’s the issue of the learning curve and whereas more experienced Second Life users find it hard to understand that the learning curve is steep, it simply is for many people. I joined Eve-Online earlier in the year for a while, they have superb tutorials, they email you with more tips when you’re new, Eve-Online has a steep learning curve too but they do try harder to keep new users engaged with those tutorials but in a user generated world where Linden Lab have less control than the creators of a world like Eve-Online, it’s harder to guide people.

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Stroker Pulls Out

Stroker Serpentine today confirmed rumours about his departure from Second Life, releasing his Sexgen V5 base as a full perms model for free in the process, you can pick the package up from his island, get them whilst they’re hot.

Cindy Claveau shared the news over at SLUniverse with a copy of a post to the Eros group inworld:

It’s true I am leaving Second Life. I have made many friends here and I hope that we’ll all be together in the Third Life. I am placing the SexGen base full perm to any who would like to use it in their builds. I’ll be closing the groups and returning my sim soon, so come and get it quick. Feel free to share it. It’s been a grand adventure and I wish you all the naughty fun you can have with it. Until then, be good to each other.

I personally didn’t know Stroker Serpentine, I know of him but I can’t say I’ve ever had any real dealings with him. However when I arrived in Second Life Sexgen was a big thing, which was reflected in news articles and documentaries over the years. There were controversial elements to the Stroker Serpentine Story, a dispute with Corsi Mousehold of furnation, a lawsuit with a copybotter and more recently a dispute with Linden Lab which has since been resolved. However love him or loathe him Stroker Serpentine generated a lot of publicity for Second Life.

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The Function Creep Gains Pace – Spotify Join The Evil Empire

When people ask why people are concerned about real names rather than pseudonyms or talk of people not having to use a service, it’s all well and good, but as I’ve stated before there’s an underlying function creep going on and into that murky water comes Spotify.

The free music site recently struck a deal with Facebook, first of all this means more piddling about with Facebook settings, but there’s something really bad about this deal, if you’re not a Facebook user you won’t be able to signup for Spotify. No new accounts can be created unless you have a Facebook account.

Ah well what’s the problem, it’s free? Well no, you can pay for extra services with Spotify and even if you want to become a premium subscriber, you will still need a Facebook account to signup, which quite frankly is an absurd requirement.

Spotify aren’t the only people to have gone down this route, the virtual world Kitely still has the ridiculous Facebook requirement, whereas TechCrunch, the tech blog, still have Facebook comments. However at least on Facebook people can comment via AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo accounts, although still not via Twitter. TechCrunch really should know better.

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