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The Creative Power of Second Life 50

Posted by Zonk
from the i-made-a-piggy-his-name-is-victor dept.
Alice, over at Kotaku, has a post up looking at what Second Life means to the Web 2.0 crowd. Cory Ondrejka gave a presentation at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference about what 2L is about, and dropped some interesting statistics on the audience. From the article: "Here's Cory's killer factoid, just announced here: Over 70% of Second Life residents have created an artifact - from scratch - in this past week. That's one crazy level of output. To give you a bit of perspective, that's approximately 23,000 human hours of play-work per day. Cory points out that this would cost Linden Labs over $400m a year to produce centrally, clearly not a viable business prospect. "
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The Creative Power of Second Life

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  • That's like a few WoWseconds. OMG!
  • by emj (15659) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:26PM (#14886961) Homepage Journal
    From the article:
    last year I met a guy who sells genitals in Second Life. Yup - stick-on genitals, because the default avatar has none.


    He he! with all these in game terminals and AIM api being free, soon you will get "get larger" IMs and mails in game as well as in real life.
  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:32PM (#14887000) Homepage
    Created an "artifact"? What qualifies? If I take one of Second Life's "prims" and just place a sphere somewhere in space, does that count? I think the statistics are... overrated.

    And how on Earth does he come up with the hour figure exactly?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The official site [secondlife.com] claims about 156,000 users. 70% of 156K = 109,200. 109.2K divided by 23K hours = about 4.75 hours of work to create an artifact.

      Conclusion: People are stupid.
    • Created an "artifact"? What qualifies? If I take one of Second Life's "prims" and just place a sphere somewhere in space, does that count?
      If you listen to the original interviews, yes - that does count.
  • 99% of it is shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:34PM (#14887019) Homepage Journal
    And therefore it would only cost Linden Labs about $4m a year to produce work with more significant quality. It's kinda stupid to do this kind of analysis anyway. The whole point of Second Life is that it is different. Comparing Second Life with, oh, I don't know, WoW, is like comparing apples and oranges. You can like both, it's ok.
  • If only... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by C10H14N2 (640033) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:35PM (#14887023)
    ...the graphics in Second Life weren't oh-so-1995--and yeah, everyone is making stuff. Well, that's just great. Kind of like the last time I was at a county fair and realized the same thing...and not only didn't want any of it, but wanted to get as far away from it as humanly possible.
    • Just because YOU don't want any of the junk people make (and nor do I, particlarly), there IS a market for it.
    • ...the graphics in Second Life weren't oh-so-1995--

      Thats harsh... Quake I didn't come out til 1997.

      Secondly, the only online games by 1997 was Ultima Online, M59 and muds. I don't think they can compare at all in graphics.

      If you said "oh-so-2000" then I'd agree.
  • Creative my ass (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I went and downloaded the linux 'alpha' client, read about how wonderful Second Life was on the forums, read how an initial registration for a single new user account was free, and thought that was wonderful.

    Then, on page 2 of the registration process, after having already picked out a name and given an email address I find out they need a credit card number for 'age verification'. That is, if you are in a country that they cant send a verifying SMS message to a mobile, as was my situation.

    The only other in
    • Re:Creative my ass (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AdamTrace (255409) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:09PM (#14887246)
      My friend and I both submitted our cards. I didn't have any problem, and doubt I'll see any fruadulent charges (or ANY charges).

      My friend, however, had his credit card company call him with a "suspicious charge". Apparently LL charges $1 to the card, and then credits it back (I guess to verify that it's a real card?!) Sounds kinda weird.

      I don't have a problem with it, but obviously YMMV.

      As for Second Life... I started it up just as a lark. I'm a coder, and I liked the idea of creating and scripting objects for fun. And it's been a lot of fun. I answered a couple want-ads, looking for scripters, and have actually gotten paid to create some casino games.

      I'm not going to retire off it, but I don't remember making money or particularly using my brain (Fireball, Scorch, Scorch, Scorch, Frost Nova, repeat) in WoW... so it's been fun.

      The furries, however... they scare me a little. :)

      • Re:Creative my ass (Score:3, Informative)

        by vadim_t (324782)
        The $1 thing seems to be done by Amazon as well, at least they did it with me. I was quite surprised at first, but came to the conclusion that it must be some kind of test, as it was refunded.

        I don't know why the furries scare you though. Luskwood seems to be full of geeks, it's great.
        • But the geeky furries are the most dangerous kind - you of all people should know that! ;-)
        • I've seen it done a lot at "pay-at-the-pump" gas stations, as well. Some of them pre-verify the CC with a quick $1 yo-yo charge before they let you pump gas.
        • Being one of thoose furries, I can say that ehh.... some of the charcther models might want me to stay around as human at first. The models dosen't look realistic at all (It makes me think on first generation N64 graphics, just smoother).

          Meh, I check it out. At least it's one of the few "MMO" (yes i'm aware it's not really a MMO, more like a 3D online chat thingy) that don't require you to make a "private server" just to have custom scripting possible. Though it makes me wonder if the freedom been too mu
          • Quality varies, but the Luskwood avatars are really good. I'd say that overall the graphics quality probably has a lot to do with it being so dynamic. You can't optimize it like Quake by manually tweaking until it's perfect and precalculating things.

            Yes, there are malicious items, but in my experience, Linden Labs deals very swiftly with abusers. The client logs people who for instance push you, and allows to easily report abuse if it happens.

          • Secondlife doesn't require you to buy a "private server" to have scripting. I've seem some rather realistic models, far better than some games I've seen on Secondlife. Remember the avatars tend to be as good as the creator, if it's someone creating a avatar and has little knowledge on the theories of creating 3d modeling, don't expect their avatars to look great (The theories and understanding isn't required to create stuff on Second life, however one can plainly see that those that do have the knowledge, a
    • You're not missing much. There is no such thing as free speech in SL, and if your work of art offends a good majority of the playerbase, you will be booted out of there.
      • Re:Creative my ass (Score:3, Interesting)

        by QuantumG (50515)
        Sure you are. You're missing the most horrific example available today of what DRM on physical objects will be like in the not too distant future. I'd love to teach a class where I justify the right of creators to control how people use their creative works, then set the students loose in Second Life and see how long it takes them to come to the conclusion that being dominated by the arbitary whims of others is not a good thing.
      • Re:Creative my ass (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The only speech that is limited is extremely intolerant hate speech (ie Nazi propaganda, racism, etc). SL has a lot of content that would go well beyond most people's acceptance threshold, and it is allowed to persist in the Mature regions without much incident.

        However, I have a feeling this isn't the "work of art" you're talking about. I've seen this complaint time and time again.

        Often people who register complaints like yours seem to think that "speech" or "art" includes using a scripted weapon designed
        • Re:Creative my ass (Score:3, Interesting)

          by AlexMax2742 (602517)
          I personally don't create things. An acquantince of mine got banned for making a 'fetus cannon' as a joke. Also, a good number of other acquantinces got banned over similarly silly shit. Apparently being offensive is all right as long as you're one of the 'accepted offensive' standards.

          I might be a bit biased, because I was a member of the W-Hat group. I assume I still am, but last I checked the old land plot we used to own all of and build shit on is a shadow of what it once was, and since I felt lik

          • Re:Creative my ass (Score:2, Insightful)

            by EZLeeAmused (869996)
            Pissing people off isn't a crime, but your friend wasn't put in jail. Granted some people either have thin skins or what they consider offensive is strongly related to political correctness. Some people need to get a sense of humor. Second Life isn't life, it's an opt-in entertainment venue. But on the other hand:
            Say you're a member of a club, one that has a physical building (health club, Elks club, whatever). You can do and say a lot of things inside that building. But not very many such places wou
            • Actually, I have never seen Lindenlabs tell people they can't have certain content inside buildings, private sims etc. The issues you were probably talking about, most likely conflict with the 'fly-by rule' as some put it (where, objectional content shouldn't be in plain sight, but they can be say in a club, private sim).

              Or, possibly having objectional content in a PG-rated simulator.

              You can also get booted for harassing other players etc. which members from w-hat have been known to perform on occasion.
            • Say you're a member of a club, one that has a physical building (health club, Elks club, whatever). You can do and say a lot of things inside that building. But not very many such places would let you paint graffiti on the walls, even if they could clean it off easily. Second Life doesn't want graffiti on their walls.

              Right then. But how can they say that...say...furry porn should be tolerated while fetus cannons shouldn't? How can you say which one is more offensive than the other?

              I think it's more o

      • > You're not missing much. There is no such thing as free speech in SL, and if your work of art offends a good majority of the playerbase, you will be booted out of there.

        Bullshit, people complain about the impeach bush signs almost everyday, and the creator still hasn't been booted for it.
  • by greenreaper (205818) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:13PM (#14887294) Homepage Journal
    Places like The Forest [wikicities.com], FurNation Worlds [wikicities.com] and Luskwood [wikicities.com] are brimming with user-created stuff. Not all of it is very good [luskwood.com], but there's certainly a market for it - or at least a lot of people willing to create stuff in the hope that they can sell it.
  • You know the saying, and probably some variations thereof. "An infinite number of monkeys typing at an infinite number of typewriter will eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare." My favorite is actually monkeys, shotguns, stopsigns, and the works of Shakespeare in Braille. But I digress..

    As pointed out by others, a lot of this 'content' that LL didn't have to produce isn't all that great. It's amateur, not professionally developed 'content'. (Yes, the quote marks are indicating sarcasm, or tha
    • I know this is kinda an old story, but I'm just getting around to it.

      I agree, it's a huge world and probably 90% of it is pretty crappy.

      I think it's more like 90/10 than 99/1 though, one thing about secondlife is that first impressions can easily be wrong. It's a huge world and it takes weeks to even see a small part of it. As a newb it's easy to mostly see the crappy parts.

      That upper 10% is great, and I don't mean places listed on the "popular" list, those are mostly clubs with camping chairs (yes I thin
  • Player-created content is great and it seems to be a good fit for Second Life. However, I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea because I think it appeals to developers as a cost-cutting measure, not as a way of creating a dynamic world.

    Imagine paying a monthly subscription fee and on top of that having to produce your own content to keep the game going. And I hate to say it but more often than not player content and mods are subpar.

    What I'd like to see is a union of the two where the developers create
    • User-created content is great and it seems to be a good fit for the WWW. However, I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea because I think it appeals to developers as a cost-cutting measure, not as a way of creating a dynamic world.

      Imagine paying a monthly subscription fee to your ISP and on top of that having to produce your own content to keep the WWW going. And I hate to say it but more often than not user content and pagers are subpar.
  • ... is that players LOVE to be enabled to create and share new content.

    I read an article about the early days of the Internet. No one really predicted that if you give someone a web browser, and show them how to write HTML and create a page, that everyone would start producing stuff FOR FREE. In a world dominated by cable-companies selling TV channels, no one could have known that people were so willing to share information just for the sake of doing it. Yes, most of it were pages dedicated to their cats
  • Doesn't this prove some sort of flaw in Marx's whole separation of labor theory? Maybe we should be talking about this! This is potentially huge!
  • A girl friend of mine puts in 1/2 those hours just by herself.

    Obviously, thats not totally true. But she is, imho, to the point of addiction. Her entire schedule is dictated by what she will be doing in secondlife. She even cut back on working in RL by 1 day less (from 2) just so she had more time in game.

    I'll admit, she does make about $1K USD every month from her creativity used within the game. Thats nice but her hourly rate has got to be way below minimum wage.

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