PostHeaderIcon You Don't "Invest", You Pay to Play

FailureI get so tired of people who proclaim they have "invested real life money" in Second Life. These people are seriously misguided or delusional or both. I don't mean this as a slight. What I do mean is that people really need to get their bearings straight.

Linden Lab does not promise anything to you other than access, and even that is revokable at any time for any reason. So anyone who puts real money into the system and expects anything other than that should perhaps take a finance 101 lesson from someone. Anyone. because anyone and everyone whose feet and mind are planted in reality knows full well that anything you put into the virtual world is a black hole by all expectation.

The fact that you can actually make a return on any of it is more or less an exploitation of tools and services provided, which could disappear without warning or explanation at any time and for no reason.

Simply because it is not promised.

A common theme among people who protest the new policies on bots and camping for gaming traffic or the new search-filtering or any other change Linden lab makes to the grid that might affect "in-world pretend play business":
Comment by "Haaron":

"I thank Linden Lab for ruining my business. They just don't realise they are playing with people's RL money. I invested 1500 US$ to get started. And don't anyone dare to tell me it is my own fault. I had a quality residential sim. But as I said, quality doesn't count in SL, only traffic does, because LL itself makes it important."

And my reply to this specific statement, which also is directed at anyone who takes this mindset regarding Linden lab and anything they do in and to the Second Life grid follows...

With cordial respect I will say to you and all others who make similar claims are you are ridiculously misguided.

You "invested" nothing.
What you did do is "pay to play".

You paid for entertainment. You did not make an investment. Investing would mean you hold a stake in Linden Lab itself, not a virtual parcel in a digital environment. It is not "real estate".

Your misunderstanding or misinterpretation of what you were and are doing and trying to do is at the root of your dismay. Allow me to set you and all others thinking and feeling as you do straight: what you pay for is entertainment. For "hosting". For a privilege, not a right.

You got everything you paid for and nothing less.

I have done all this, too. Since my first coming into SL I have owned... (counts fingers and contemplates) ... five private regions (sims) - not all at once of course. But I have owned them. I have done what you are doing now - the land sales/rentals. I have created a role play sim (still going strong fortunately) and so on and so forth.

However, I clearly understand my "place" in it. That being that I am paying Linden Lab to give me specific and complete control of a tiny part of their system and nothing else. That's it. Nothing more.

I do not now nor ever expect a "return" on my "investment" because not only is it not promised, Linden Lab doesn't even so much as imply such a thing is possible. In other words, what I do and how I do it using the tools and services currently but perhaps not permanently available I do on my own at my own behest and risk, knowing full well anything can change for the better or worse at the drop of a hat.

So, again with respect, I take the words of anyone who proclaims they have spent money and are thus "losing" money with a serious grain of salt, loud chortle and approach it with tongue-in-cheek. Second Life is not billed as any kind of money-making enterprise or investment venue for it's users.

If you spend money on a movie ticket at the cinema, do you realistically expect to get any kind of return on that money, save for the screening itself? No. You are paying for the privilege of seeing the screening and nothing else. Just as any money you spend in Second Life is paying for the privilege of using whatever you are using, be it a private region or a pair of digital shoes for your avatar.

In my mind, anyone who complains that they spent money and are not getting what they have paid for need a serious realignment of what Second Life really is: a virtual world for entertainment purposes. Anything and everything above and beyond that is simply a "fluke" of the system that you and I and all others are exploiting.

So before you whine and complain and bad-mouth Linden Lab, get your own priorities and reality under control and understand of your place in the world and in Linden Lab's servers.

And manage your real life money better. Even with a crappy economy, the real life stock exchanges will be a far safer bet than throwing money into a company for nothing but access and use of their systems, and not getting any stake in said company at all.

That's the shame of the "entitlement attitude": the expectation of getting something for nothing. In my mind, it is simply a disgraceful mindset and no wonder why so many people rely on the welfare check every month from their government. They throw their money at ideas and wants without any solid foundational understanding of just what it is they are purchasing.
blog comments powered by Disqus