Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Too busy with First Life sorry

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  • BenWilson,

    When I saw Second Life I thought "How cool - for the owners". Otherwise, it's a chat room. If I'm going to chat, I'll do it for free thx.

    I suspect the question was a joke.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Second Life, like much else, I just don't get -- how awesomely shitty is your first life if that's a more desirable alternative?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Melchior,

    I think some of the appeal of Second Life is that it reminds people of the cool 80s/90s cyberpunk novels that were a lot of people’s first encounter with the idea of virtual spaces. Second Life, however imperfectly, is the closest thing around to the network in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash for example. Other than that, I think it’s sort of for people who like the idea of socialising online, but are too ‘mature’ to play World of Warcraft of something similar. It’s like a game, but isn’t. These are just assumptions mind, I haven’t ever messed around with SL (and only briefly played WOW) so I don’t know.

    I worked for AIM Proximity for 6 months a number of years ago. I have rarely been so bored.

    Melbourne • Since Nov 2006 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Second Life, however imperfectly, is the closest thing around to the network in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash for example

    and seems to be what it's designed to emulate.

    otherwise... so dull that you can guarantee only adults will be on there.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • KevinHicks,

    I feel much better now after discovering that, at least for once, we can laugh at another country's stupidity.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2007 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    To add to the Second Life scepticism, there's this article from about a year ago. The author wonders why Second Life is getting so much hype.

    The tech beat is an intake valve for the young. Most reporters don’t remember that anyone has ever wrongly predicted a bright future for immersive worlds or flythrough 3D spaces in the past, so they have no skepticism triggered by the historical failure of things like LambdaMOO or VRML. Instead, they hear of a marvelous thing — A virtual world! Where you have an avatar that travels around! And talks to other avatars! — which they then see with their very own eyes. How cool is that? You’d have to be a pretty crotchety old skeptic not to want to believe.

    Yeah, all that virtual reality stuff from the mid '90s now seems about as cutting edge as a fax machine.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Second Life is ugly, high on bandwidth costs, and full of the kind of people who will willingly pay real money to exchange for virtual money to buy unrealistic virtual genitals. And Russell's right - compared to the rest of the net there is bugger-all going on in there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Ron Wilson,

    Come on it is certainly not necessary to spend any money in SL unless you wnat to have land or buildings. It is perfectly possible to carry out all manner of activities without spending a cent. There are some amazing groups that have regular discussions in Real Time and friendships do develop out of the contacty with like minded people. It is also possible to learn scripting and building items to sell or exchange or even give away.
    Try looking at the work Victoria University are doing in second life or IBM with its virtual help desk. Orsome of the live band events that you wopuld never see outside of SL

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    The technology for 3d virtual worlds just ain't there - there's simply nothing you can do in 'Second Life' that you can't do using some other superior technology. Want to have an online meeting? Use an access grid. Want to watch a band you can't see in the real world? Go find 'em on YouTube.

    In the next few decades we'll probably have nanobots that can interface directly with our brains and produce truly immersive virtual reality. Then we'll be able to do cool stuff like attend real time concerts and meetings - but of course, everyone will just use it for the amazing real time shooters and spectacular pornographic possibilities.

    In the meantime . . . Get a First Life

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    I was interested to see that one of the questions asked of Michael Cullen this morning after his keynote speech suggested New Zealand should follow Sweden and establish an embassy in Second Life.

    Can someone clarify: did Cullen suggest opening an embassy, or just the questioner?

    What was his response, if it's the latter?

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Darryn Melrose,

    Thanks for the feedback Russell.

    Unfortunately the earlier presentation ran over in time, and mine was cut short without warning, so I didn't get to provide the conclusion- why there is a big gap between consumer expectations and what NZ businesses provide. I'll provide some detail on this over the coming days on my blog http://www.thedigitaledge.co.nz/.

    Note that the presentation was aimed at business leaders who may not have much of an understanding of technology.

    Since Nov 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I remember reading somewhere that one of the best ways to make real money in Second Life was to be one of those people that help real world organisations set up. Besides this two years of fanboyish media interest has surely set up Second Life for the media scare story phase, especially given how much sexual role playing apparently goes on there.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Second Life, however imperfectly, is the closest thing around to the network in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash for example

    and seems to be what it's designed to emulate.

    otherwise... so dull that you can guarantee only adults will be on there.

    I do know someone who, while mainly a WoW player, mucks around in Second Life occasionally specifically to take the piss out of other players. This includes doing stuff like turning up to a western-themed sim as an eight-foot tall werewolf wearing cowboy hat and saying 'howdy' a lot. Or making a flotilla of 50-foot flying hotdogs and flying them over furry sims while playing Flight of the Valkyries. It's a sandbox. It doesn't appeal to me, but I can see how it appeals to others. I like some structure.

    I wrote on it when it first came out, and I am astounded to see that there's been very little improvement in its UI or graphics since then. But I'm also boggled as to why the media seems to fixate on Second Life so much more than any other MMORPG.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Yeah well - I was really into Crowther/Woods Adventure when I was 18. For about a month - then I got bored and found/decoded the data file that drove it.

    Can you start a terrorist gang in Second Life and blow up the Swedish Embassy with home made napalm and very pistols bought off TradeMe? And outwit virtual cops by sending txt messages in secret Te Reo code e.g.
    30163: "gotta go mackas for some kai, bro"
    I understand this is a reference to the popular family restaurant, McDonalds, which has been the target of terrorist attack in the past.
    Our interpreter advised that the word kai could be used to mean either food or home made plastic explosives.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Knightly,

    While Second Life may often be empty and boring, I have had a few constructive private business meetings there. They have mostly been international company meetings with the CEO announcing a new strategy, etc. But having 20 countries come together in a virtual world creates a much better sense of 'prescence' and team interaction than a group conference call, even video conferencing, would.

    We could do private IMs, exchange URLs and documents during the presentation - ie, multitask. On a conference call you feel guilty if you're not listening, but in SL it can be encouraged.

    I watched the Summit via SL (out of curiosity) for 30 mins this morning. During Sean MDougall's presentation some of the SL participants contributed extra info (like a hyperlink to the Future Problem Solving programme that Rod Oram mentioned). So, we received additional info (and could check it out without being rude) that real world participants didn't.

    SL ain't perfect, but it has occassionally added to the experience - when there is a proper purpose for using it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    On the other hand, South Koreans do seem to pay vastly more per head for porn than the citizens of any other nation. But almost all internet porn is American. Go figure.

    So here's a question for which someone must have done a PhD to figure out the answer and then published on the web.

    What percentage of the USA's GDP does porn make up?

    Is porn bigger than corn? Is it bigger than Hollywood? Or bigger than big oil?

    Really anyone got any info on it I'm curious. About the economics not the porn (the porn is even more boring than second life).

    cheers
    Bart

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Can you start a terrorist gang in Second Life and blow up the Swedish Embassy with home made napalm and very pistols bought off TradeMe?

    There was a 'virtual riot' on Second Life earlier this year between the French National Front and anti-racist activists. Quite enterprising really, especially when the weapons of choice are exploding pigs.

    French bring virtual riots to Second Life

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5439 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Bart asked:

    What percentage of the USA's GDP does porn make up?

    Is porn bigger than corn? Is it bigger than Hollywood? Or bigger than big oil?

    Good questions. There is a parallel with the contribution illicit drugs (marijuana in particular) can make to local economies. e.g., Is marijuana worth more to Northland than dairying? Is marijuana worth more to British Columbia than forestry?

    My hunch would be it's bigger than corn but smaller than big oil in the US. Unfortunately, perhaps, the corn lobby seems more influential in Congress etc. than the porn lobby.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Porn doesn't need a lobby any more than a tidal wave does.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm wondering if in a mixed metaphor we could see Hollywood as a tidal wave of corn.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    What percentage of the USA's GDP does porn make up?

    Is porn bigger than corn? Is it bigger than Hollywood? Or bigger than big oil?

    Check out Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market by Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation).

    It's three essays cover the economic role of marijuana, porn, and illegal migrant labour in the USA. It's a good start.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 264 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Re Second Life, I'm sure there are some useful applications, but it just doesn't seem that good, and the way it's been hyped for corporate marketing is just farcical.

    And I'm dubious about going so far in orientating education resources around the commercial product of a single company.

    At the summit yesterday, there were two giant screens with it running in the conference room. Most of the chat seemed to be of the order of "I can't hear anything!". It seemed to be a lot of effort to go to watch a bad, jerky version of the live webcast was on the internet anyway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Mark pointed to Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market by Eric Schlosser which was published in 2003.

    From the review of the book in The Guardian It seems that in 2003 Porn was as big as Holywood at around US$10 billion and about half as big as corn at US$19b

    And that was 4 years ago!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • poveyjo,

    Instead of Second Life, I'd like to see a beefed up Google Earth world.... basically a Second Life style copy of the real world, where I can join you in a 3D copy of your actual office on the other side of the world.

    Then on top of that, if you wished, you could add experimental fantasy world 'layers'. But a 3D VR (and very accurate) representation of the real world should be the first priority I think.

    Since Nov 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • paul mckessar,

    i just watched that clip of russian rug and it takes me back to being a 15 year-old lying on my bedroom floor playing the bilder' schwimmen in der see 7" on the family radiogram (one speaker model). that song was the very first i ever heard to clue me into the freakpower nature of music and i've never looked back since. i wish i could join you at the masonic, russell, but the new boy has finally arrived this week. in 15 years' time i will be sure to lie him on the floor and see if it can provoke the same reaction in him.

    aukolofa • Since Jul 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

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