Monthly Archives: June 2014

Yes, I know the hot topic of the week is the news of Linden Lab’s development work on a next-generation virtual world, and I must say I barely resisted writing something about it. I opted to keep my thoughts in draft form for the time being while the dust settles, along with my frustration and anger at Second Life’s self-absorbed user base, which is rife with people exhibiting how widespread the Dunning-Kruger effect truly is.

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Deep in thought...

Perhaps you were expecting me to write about the recent noisefest that surrounds the confirmation of Linden Lab’s ongoing work for a next-generation virtual world (let’s call it SL 2.0 and be done with it). Truth be told, I was tempted to do so, but decided to resist. After all, Inara Pey has been doing a great job covering the whole issue, and Nalates Urriah pushed out an extremely poignant post on the subject. Today’s topic is different. It has to do with pompously-announced, ambitious virtual reality projects that miss the point and potential of virtual reality completely.

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It all started some months ago, when I read Webspelunker Ghostraven’s post about Naked, a nudist resort/sex sim in Second Life. In my early SL days, I used to frequent all sorts of such places, like many other people did and do.

What sets Naked apart, though, is its design and direction: Architecturally, there are references to classical antiquity; as far as its direction is concerned, while flirting and sex are encouraged, in my visits there I haven’t suffered the onslaught of obnoxious “flirting” that creeps many women out in other sims. Obviously, Cat (catredivivus, formerly known as Cat Lassally), the sim owner, runs a pretty tight ship.

But that’s not what really brought me to write this post. The Naked Regions are also home to various galleries that host (mostly erotic and sensual) exhibits by several SL artists. As a matter of fact, even the region dedicated to D/s play, Naked Bondage, is inspired by the writings of Anaïs Nin rather than the cookie-cutter bondage porn you’ll encounter on the internet.

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Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab's CEO.

Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab’s CEO.

As I’ve already reported, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg (in-world name: Ebbe Linden) dropped by at the TPV developer meeting this Friday (June 20, 2014) and mentioned that the Lab is working on a new, next-generation virtual world.

Please note that TPV meetings are held in a combination of voice and real-time text chat. Besides the next-generation virtual world news, important developments for Second Life itself were discussed, and this prolonged the meeting greatly – two full hours.

Important updates were provided by Oz Linden, Jessica Lyon (of the Firestorm Team), Dolphin Linden and others. To listen to Ebbe Linden, skip to 0:51:19 (51’19”) in the video. For the latest reactions to the next-gen viewer news, skip to 1:39:00 (1hr 39′). You can watch the video after the break:

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ebbe-altbergAs I wrote yesterday, Latif Khalifa reported on the SL Universe forums that Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg confirmed in an “oh, by the way” manner during the TPV developer meeting of Friday 20th that the Lab is working on a new, next-generation virtual world. The story was reported by Ciaran Laval, and Inara Pey blogged on it in far greater detail (complete with an excerpt of her audio recording of the meeting) – and I hope her reports might help (to whatever extent) do away with the FUD that started circulating shortly after Latif made his post on the SLU forums. In the meantime, the story was picked up by various blogs and commentary platforms of varying reliability and credibility.

What will follow will be the details I gathered from the initial posts, from Inara’s post, and from Ebbe Altberg’s replies on  the forum and on Twitter, and also I’m going to give my own thoughts on the matter.

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