Second Life

I tried to search for this, but I keep getting an error. Anyway, everytime I see something about this “game” I’m intrigued. It seems like it allows you to do almost anything. You can start a business, build your dream home, whatever. It offers a free version, too. Does anyone around here play this game. Is it a game at all, or just a virtual simulation of life?

You serious? Number one on a Google search for “second life” for me -

It’s a pretty shit game. A good idea, but a very poor implementation.

I’m pretty convinced it’s just a way for fat ugly people to dance and flirt in nightclubs.

He means he searched here.

There are too many results for “life” for it to not error out.

Reading about Second Life is infinitely more interesting than playing it.

Yes, I know where the website is, but I can’t tell much about it from that. It presents it as a fantastic tool for creating your own world. Ok…

It’s not a game, it’s a shared virtual world thing, only you buy your way in with real world dollars. If WoW/Everquest/etc are DikuMUDs, SL is a MUSH, but maybe not a very well put together one. People have made “games” in it using their scripting engines, but from the reports I’ve read they generally suck – concise example: “I spent $1 on a samurai sword, walked up some stairs and fell through the world”. Most of what actually seems to go on there is people having cybersex in virtual fursuits.

If you ask me, the whole direct money for SL dollars thing has most of the hallmarks of a pyramid scheme.

As an aside, I recommend Clay Shirky’s articles on the insane Second Life PR machine:

Shirky’s criticism of SL bears a lot of resemblance to his writing on VRML a number of years ago ( ), I think the efforts to make a virtual sandbox like Second Life into a “virtual real world” with stores and museums are just as doomed to failure as VRML was.

I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea to do a good graphical MUSH, but I don’t think Second Life is it.

I think that it would be much more successful if the tech didn’t suck so badly. Play it and you’ll know what I mean, it’s beyond painful after having dealt with mature 3d engines and games. Hell, it makes NWN2 look like a polished 3d engine.

Not saying that it’s overly ugly (it is, but that’s not what I meant) - it’s just clunky as hell.

Side note: They have apparently just open-sourced the viewer –

Second Life?


You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. That being said, Lum has been posting some stuff on it recently at his blog (mostly links to other blogs).

If you like buying things to make your avater anatomicaly correct, it might be the game for you.

Mark’s right, might as well cut to the meat of what you’re checking out and download Furcadia.

You also might be looking for Sociolotron, that’s assuming non-PVP servers count rape as a form of PVP.

Current Second Life news sensation is digital pseudo-mogul Anshe Chung getting Youtube to takedown a video of her avatar being assailed by digital cocks on DMCA grounds.

As someone has pointed out, this is like Armani suing for someone taking a photo of one of their suits, but I guess Youtube wanted to play safe.

It’s not a game, it’s a place.

I log in to listen to a lecture a couple times a month. There seems to be an insanely high percentage of PHDs on Second life, but maybe it’s just the events I pick. Some of the art pieces/exhibitions are rad too, animated and scripted so way better than a regular sculpture.

The games suck, I barely tried any. A turn based one might work, but there’s way too much latency for anything else.

Also it was super cool when someone wrote a virus that made these giant replicating rings, and they crashed the event that I was at. Just like a ‘grey goo’ nano attack!

Anyway, I don’t spend any money or buy anything really, just use it as a rich chat client for events. Haven’t seen the furry sex or whatever, but I’m sure if I wondered around I’d find it. You can pretty much just check out an event and teleport directly to it – you don’t need to walk anywhere like in a game.

Also, SL won’t be very much fun if you’re not willing to learn a little scripting and 3D modeling. You don’t really need prior experience, but if you aren’t willing to learn a little bit it’ll be a pretty boring place.

Everything old is new again.

It’s time to create the next video sharing/search page, which will quickly rise to profitability and popularity in the year before it goes legit and then sell it for a huge payday. Who’s with me?

There are good games in Second Life, they are tricky to find tho.

I started a wiki, which has since been moved here:

It includes some of the better games and I recommend having a look-see. In SL I’ve played the team sports games, the Unreal level (when it was out) and some other dinky games and while some were rubbish, many were pretty clever and fun.

For the puzzle fans - tringo (a weird combination of bingo and tetris) stands up well next to any web game out there. The sports games are all quite a laugh, there’s a Nintendo-style fishing game which is very popular and the game I developed with a mate, DarkLife is particularly well known as a pretty simple but fun Diablo-like experience.

There’s great content in SL - you just have to find it. And damn I have to get around to updating DarkLife - we have a whole pile of new code to go in, just need to find some skilled builders to redo our sim (32 acre plot). That’s very very hard. Even offering $600us to do the damn job.

Aka. Pirate Cotton

I worked on some Second Life projects back in the beta days. (They paid us to do some starter content.)

To me it’s predicated on two basic concepts:

  1. Virtual Sex
  2. Everybody secretly wants to be a programmer.

They done a good job marketing it, and it really is something unique. I’m surprised how far they’ve managed to go with it, and I think it’s a testament to the quality of the engine behind it.

I’m not really sure how far it can go, but I’m happy to be surprised.

They’ve been good at guerrilla marketing. They’ve probably gotten more mainstream press coverage than WoW through their PR efforts. I always get a kick out of the “made a million dollars in second life” or “biggest virtual real estate transaction” type stories that SL and Project Entropia manage to pawn off on journalists.

Despite the gimicky stories that do come out there are some pretty interesting things that go on there that are worthy of genuine press.

Eg, there’s the island designed as a community for people with Aspergers Syndrome (spelling?). The community is sort of designed as a self-help place where those involved can practice a lot of things Aspergers folks find hard (socialising, especially in groups), but do so in a comfortable way (in a techy environment).

I remember meeting the guy who set it up, a professional medical chap working in aftercare, and he was recounting some pretty interesting success stories with folks finding more confidence that the practice they conducted in SL gave them.

Then there are those who experiment with code and ideas. The Tringo guy is a Kiwi programmer in Australia and he earned around $10,000us in in-game sales and then sold web rights to a web game developer for $10,000us + royalties. That’s pretty cool :)

There’s also the whacky advertising and other things going on. I have two friends whose FULL TIME jobs are to build structures and environments for the advertising company Rivers Run Red, who do SL work as an adjunct to their usual marketing shtick. I guess it provides a point of difference for them when they are pitching to companies who want to be cool and hip.

Other neat stuff: SL makes a great place for Machinima, something the community is starting to explore. And wild sex toys. mmmm… toys.

Anyway, as a pure game, it’s not really what you lot would be interested in. But as a ‘place’, there are merits to visiting and looking at what’s going on. I guess :)