Ars Technica’s Samuel Axon Returns To Second Life and Finds Plenty Of Life

Panic of Pumpkin In Okinawa_001

Samuel Axon over at Ars Technica has returned to Second Life and published a very good article on the hopes, fears, past and future of Second Life, Sansar and much more.

What makes this article so good is that Samuel has experience of Second Life, knows all about the past hype but in a very refreshing manner he points out that Second Life is still very much around, even if users have some concerns about Linden Lab’s focus on Sansar :

Believe it or not, the platform today enjoys a healthy community. Not only does it still exist, but if you ask Second Life’s creators, the platform may be thriving. Ask its users, on the other hand, and the picture gets a bit hazier.

The article covers an interesting aspect of Second Life, how the area of commerce has in many ways followed physical world patterns, with the online Marketplace thriving in many areas whilst inworld commerce struggles with its virtual bricks and mortar version in other areas.

The article also mentions the growth of virtual pets as a product, with Fennux creator Daemon Blackflag talking about how people breed virtual pets and sell them.

Storybrooke Gardens

The article features quotes from Second Life merchants, residents and Linden Lab employees, which all adds up to a very good overview of the platform from people who know about the platform, this is a refreshing change from a lot of Second Life articles.

Karsten Rutledge of Greedy Greedy fame talks about how the hype of past years such as 2007 was always a load of nonsense, but we also get a view of how technology developments can hamper the ambitions of platforms, when Second Life was full in its hype cycle Social Media wasn’t the thriving platform it is today.

Peter Gray, Linden Lab’s Senior Director of Communications (AKA Gray of the Lab from San Francisco) touches upon these developments :

Gray even ventured a theory for why the original narrative didn’t pan out. “I think it’s worth bearing in mind that a lot of those experiments were done before people were very familiar with social media,” he said. “In short, if people were to approach creating virtual experiences for those types of things now, whether it be a marketing outreach or that kind of thing, I think they might take a different approach to do it.”

This is worth bearing mind as Linden Lab’s Sansar finds its feet, the development of Virtual Reality and other technologies could completely change the direction Sansar takes, this is true of technological developments throughout history.

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Exploring The Well Ultimum

The Well Ultimum

As we’re in the horror season in Second Life I decided to take a look around Loki Eliot’s latest episode of The Well, or as it’s officially known this year, T H E W E L L : Ultimum.

The Well Ultimum Information

The blurb from The Destination Guide informs us :

Can you return to the horror of The Well, uncovering the secrets in the  surrounding woods without losing your sanity? The fourth and final chapter in The Well horror series places you where it all began sometime in the 1980s. To play, a pass will need purchasing.

The cost of the pass is L$200 and from what I’ve seen so far it’s pretty good value.

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A Visit To Maison de L’amitié In Second Life

Maison de L'amitie

Second Life is gearing up for Halloween, the destination guide has a haunted section and this week’s Highlights from the Second Life Destination Guide blog post is packed with spooky destinations.

Rowing Boats

However the destination guide also offers many more choices for those who aren’t yet ready to dive into the Halloween mood and I decided to take a look at the photogenic spots section, where I found the wonderfully serene Maison de L’amitié.

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Event For Maxwell Graf and Lyyric Fei Runs Until October 10th In Second Life

For Max Paths

Going To The Max, also known as For Max, a Second Life event for Second Life creators Maxwell Graf and Lyyric Fei opened on October 3rd and will run until October 10th.

For Max From Charlotte

The event was created after a Plurk post revealed that Maxwell and Lyyric had run into some very unexpected and serious problems outside the virtual world.

Max encouraged people to buy items from his Rustica store to help out with the unexpected situation but Second Life friends of Max decided to go a step further.

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AltspaceVR Appear To Be In The Right Place At The Right Time For Microsoft’s Purchase

AltspaceVR yesterday announced they would be joining Microsoft in a deal that looks to suit both parties. This is quite a turnaround in fortune for AltspaceVR, which bid the world a very sad goodbye on July 28th before announcing on August 15th that AltspaceVR is Back!

The new deal with Microsoft looks good for AltspaceVR :

AltspaceVR will stay AltspaceVR. Microsoft is most interested in preserving the current community that uses AltspaceVR to connect and interact with new and old friends. These first few months will focus on fostering our community and making sure AltspaceVR remains a friendly, welcoming and vibrant place to hang out in virtual reality.

Sometimes when a company gets purchased it gets incorporated in another company and we never really hear of it again. This isn’t the case with this deal and that’s good news.

I do not know why Microsoft have purchased AltspaceVR. but it’s fun to speculate and with my speculation hat on it looks to me as if AltspaceVR was in the right place at the right time to take advantages of developments in Software and Hardware that Microsoft are heavily involved with.

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