PostHeaderIcon The Influence of that Second Life

Snapshot_019Wired magazine — a rag I rarely read through because they've gone so downhill over the last decade, (just my own opinion here,) sometimes produces interesting content that isn't agenda-biased.

One of the more interesting reads I've run across is their top ten 'vaporware, disappointments, false promises and plain old BS'. The first thing I hit when I go in for a quick scan is number 10:
"Home was originally announced in March 2007, but was repeatedly sidelined. And now that it’s kinda here, it's woefully incomplete. Promised features like video sharing are absent, Sony has removed voice chat until further notice, and users from different countries can't interact with one another — a major problem for an international platform."

I actually wouldn't have thought Sony Home would be on this list. But after reading through this 'winner', it all came back to me. It's amazing how much and how quickly humans forget the past.

And it caused me to reflect: when first announced, Sony Home was supposed to be the Second Life alternative. A Second Life-killer. Look, operate and otherwise just be better than second Life.

Problem number one: it can only be used on one OS: Sony Playstation. Windows, OS-X and Linux are all out.

It looks pretty based on all the screen shots I've seen. But a lot of entertainment on the Mac and PC, game consoles - even Hollywood movies all look 'pretty' with stunning graphics or special effects.

But in the end, it's not about the 'pretty-factor'. It's about content. In the case of a Hollywood movie, there have been many flops that look brilliant and beautiful. But the story just plain sucked. Even bad acting can be overlooked if the story is compelling enough. "Dances with Wolves" is a perfect example.

As for the many 'beautiful' games, graphic prettiness is just icing on the cake. It's about the game-play. How does the user interact and what can they do or not do. What is the code law? "Rainbow Six" was number one for years and the 'prettiness' of the graphics was laughable. it was about the way the user interacted.

So many newcomers and even 'olbie' virtual worlds always seem to be compared to Second Life and all have failed miserably in that comparison. In most cases, these comparisons are being made by people who have no idea what they're talking about. Usually destroying any credibility they might have possibly had with anyone who spends five-minutes of investigation.

These comparisons are surely based on content - not the prettiness of Second Life. They just don't realize it. Content is king. The reason Second Life is king is content.

It is the content of Second Life that keeps Second life on the top of the heap as the benchmark to compare all others.

Yes, a majority of the content is all crap because 90% of the creators don't know what they're doing or have no eye for aesthetic design and so on. But when I am allowed to create something, no matter how good or bad - it's mine. It's my baby.

I created it.

On top of that, if I manage to become good at creating, I can sell it and earn enough real money to have my game pay for itself. Some have even managed to make enough real money to actually supplement their real life incomes.

But it's not about that.

It's about the ever-changing, always morphing, user-created virtual world. User to user controversies, agendas, politics, the good, the bad and the ugly. all of it.

It's ours, not theirs.

via Wired
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