Sansar Springs Closer

Sansar Screenshot 2

Linden Lab’s Sansar is said to be heading for an Open Beta spring release, this has been exemplified by a new video (which I will embed at the end of this post) and a slew of articles on the subject.

The articles show some of the hopes, aspirations and excitement surrounding Sansar. We also see that some people appreciate the work done by Linden Lab and its community when it comes to Second Life, as well as pointing out that Second Life got some things wrong.

Ben Lang over at Road To VR writes : New ‘Sansar’ Video Glimpses More Virtual Worlds Made on the Social VR Platform. The article starts with Second Life, which is a very good place to start :

There’s no denying that Linden Lab did some things right with Second Life, a $500 million GDP in 2016 is a testament to that. But they also did some things wrong, even Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg will admit.

“Between the Creator and the Consumer, Second Life never really settled on which was our primary customer,” Altberg told Road to VR in an interview at the company’s San Francisco headquarters in January.

The article also touches upon something that will feel different to Second Life users, which the eagle eyed may notice in the video. Visting Sansar experiences looks like it will be a case of visiting individual experiences, in a similar manner to High Fidelity and back in the day, Cloud Party.

Unlike with Second Life, the Linden Lab is shifting away from having a single massive virtual world, choosing instead to set itself up as an enabler of creators by making Sansar a platform, rather than an all encompassing virtual landscape.

This will feel different to Second Life users initially, but a lot of Second Life is already similar to this model with Islands that can only be reached via teleport. The lack of a contiguous mainland may disappoint but I’m sure people will soon get over that if the experiences are engaging.

Red Door

This difference of expectations is touched upon by Alice Bonasio in an article over at UploadVR : New Linden Lab Video Promises Sansar Open Beta this Spring.

The other thought that immediately followed was that I could practically hear the sound of collective outrage emanating from the faithful Second Life community as they heard Sansar described as something “unlike anything the world has ever seen before.” Not that it will stop most of them from being first in line to sign up for it, of course. Not only do those million or so SL users still put the platform to all sorts of creative uses, in fact, but many in the community were also chosen to join the highly skilled first batch of creators selected to put the closed version of the platform through its paces.

Sansar will be different in many ways, but it will also have some of the foundations that made Second Life so engaging. There will be engaging experiences, social opportunities, hopefully a Fantasy Faire or two, ways to monetise content and more.

Sansar Screenshot 4

Over at Tom’s Hardware Kevin Carbotte writes : Sansar Trailer Teases High-Fidelity VR Social Experiences, Open Beta Starts This Spring.

Nearly two years ago, Linden Lab started building a product for the future. The company created Second Life more than 13 years ago, and its virtual social experience is still going strong, but the technology powering its backend is outdated and not well-suited for emerging technologies such as VR. Sansar is Linden Lab’s answer to the shortcomings of Second Life’s antiquated platform.

This is the sort of sensible analysis of where we are that I like to read. Second Life is still very much around, but the technology is old and moving forward, Sansar provides an alternative, but not yet a replacement and with Second Life still going strong, there’s no need for people to see Sansar as the end of the Second Life road.

An interesting perspective on the future comes from Tasos Lazarides at TouchArcade, who writes : Social VR Platform ‘Sansar’ Is What I Hope VR Will Become.

I like the idea of VR quite a bit, but I never saw the point of building games rather than experiences around the platform. So, when Sansar was announced, I was quite excited, and judging from the new trailer, I was probably right to be.

So much is talked of regarding VR and gaming but there are plenty of people who will buy into experiences too.

I feel that the direction Sansar looks to be heading in is a sensible one, Sansar will be the technology but the experience will be grabbing the eyeballs. The way it looks to me is that people won’t go to Sansar the way they go to Second Life, instead they will go to an experience running on Sansar technology.

As I’ve said, this is a different perspective to Second Life and many will probably feel that there’s a chance that the community feeling will be lost, but I feel there’s the potential for it to thrive, as long as Sansar is managed with a view from Linden Lab that there’s power in communities.

Linden Lab have experience of communities from Second Life, so I do trust that they are fully aware of the importance of community.

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