Archive for Metaverse

Response To MetaReality’s – No One’s Driving This Ship PodCast

Posted in Op/Ed with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2012 by Valiant Westland

Proactive Communication, Collaboration and Effective Leadership Are Key!

Let me start by saying I agree 100% with Draxtor’s call for an “Adult” approach to the future of Virtual Worlds and specifically Second Life. It’s a huge challenge though, as these spaces are populated with a vocal group of people who tend towards emotionalism, rather than reason and feel strongly that whatever they “believe” has more weight and validity than any facts that may exist.

I also agree that Second Life has been horribly undersold. This ties into the first topic, as anyone who would otherwise consider doing business in Second Life, is put off by all of the whining, griping and constant predictions of doom & gloom.

Esbee’s and Charlar’s departure will remain a puzzle, without a clear road map by the Lap regarding their future product strategy. People leave companies every day, due to changes in the market and the company’s needs.

Proactive, positive communication is the key to this and most of LL’s other challenges. Whether or not SL is “dying,” LL pulling back from reporting SL Stats sends the wrong message to the user community. If things are bad, let’s hear some inspiring communication about how we can ALL make things better. If things are good, let’s hear more about the wonders and successes in-world and what LL is going to do to facilitate future opportunity and success for everyone!

As pro Second Life & Virtual Worlds as I am, I share the opinion that neither the platform nor the community are ready for a huge influx of people. One of these “not ready for prime time” issues is certainly user names.

Rod Humble’s Decision on Last Names is frankly, puzzling. In my opinion, the BEST thing that could happen would be for LL to assign each verified user with a “permanent” account number and allow people to choose BOTH a First AND Last Names. If people want to share a last name with someone else, let them voluntarily choose the same last name! If someone wants to be called “DufusIAm Stupid,” let them.

Relating to user accounts, what I WANT to see is shared user accounts, where machine ID’s / MAC Addresses are used to uniquely identify users and multiple “Alts” can share inventory. I believe this would be something that would be a tremendous improvement for both uses and vendors. I would like to see this discussed in an upcoming segment of Metareality.

Second Life truly is a beautifully chaotic world. However, as someone who is a Master Citizen Planner, Charrette Planner/Facilitator and two term Elected Official, and has 20+ years of IT planning experience, I have seen first hand the benefits of effective strategic planning, zoning and communication. My experience has taught me that almost every challenge, that is not engaged proactively, with community-driven citizen and stakeholder participation, ends up costing far more money/time than it should have!



Posted in Guides, Real Life, RL, SecondLife® with tags , , , , on December 29, 2008 by Prad


Thousands of people in Second Life are lying about their age, gender, race, social backgrounds, occupations and heaven knows what else. Such is the power of a virtual identity – it allows us to be whoever we wish to be.

And wouldn’t you wish to be who you want to be, rather than who you are?

What happens when you prefer the virtual identity you’ve created because it’s more appealing than the real one? What happens when you decide to live virtually?

I’ll put my hand up and say that I spend a considerable amount of time in virtual worlds, but that’s primarily because it’s a viable source of income to me, and secondly because it’s an enjoyable experience.

Developing such close contacts with other people in this metaverse allows me to find varying levels of how much people tell about their real identities, and how they react to other people as well their issue with trust in a virtual world. My experience tells me that the people who are the most secretive are the ones who find it hardest to trust others.

On a recent blogpost, someone commented that a large proportion of SL users will have socio-dysfunctional issues, and will henceforth be unable to interact in the real world as well as they do within the anonymity of Second Life.

There is something very enticing about this alternative life that allows us to transform our identity, particularly for people who are dissatisfied with their first lives. I know the reason for me is that I want recognition and satisfaction for my architectural designs, but in real life I lack the age and experience.. my downfall is patience in this respect. I know that someday I’ll be designing in the real world, but I want that experience now – and the virtual world offers that. For other people, the reasons will be different.

Virtual worlds are designed to draw you in and be addictive by nature, at the expense of your first life happiness. The prospect of living a happier, alternate existance where you have more control over who you are is essentially more attractive.

Millions of people in various online worlds are whiling the hours away, and the vast majority are making a conscious choice to live their lives this way. I don’t think it’s something that we should pass judgement on, but the fact is there – we’re SLaddicts. Some with deny this, others will accept it and state “So what.. I’m happy.”

The majority will say they don’t want to quit, and have no intention of doing so. I appreiciate that some people will be on Second Life from dawn to dusk, and that can have a cost to first life – it can be hard to hold down a job, socially interact in the real world and maintain physical health when you’re sat in front of the computer.

Second Life is no less real to the First Life, for the prescence of Love and Money in the virtual world make it feel very real. But there certainly does need to be a balance between the two, and with the New Year approaching, it may be a good time for some people to re-evaluate their priorities.

Me? I’m going to live both lives to the max.

May you have a prosperous 2009.