SL user concurrency

Linden Lab is the company that everybody who uses its virtual world platform, Second Life, loves to hate. Just have a quick look around the forums and blogs: They’re always rife with whining and conspiracy theories about how it exists only to piss off its customers, “steal their content” etc. Personally, I’ve lost count of all the incidents that have been met with overly dramatic responses from many vocal parts of the user community.

As for the media’s perception of the Lab, Second Life and its users? If you believe the pundits, the Lab is a failed company, Second Life is dead and its (remaining) users are – at best – a mix of maladjusted losers, ranging from perverted zoophiles to /b/tarded script kiddies and from wannabe mall cop/superheroes to obese, basement-dwelling men dressing up their avatars with various versions of the Skank-O-Matic 2000™ uniform.

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Yes, yes, I know what you think: “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” was first uttered by Benjamin Disraeli – a common misconception, but really it seems that Mark Twain was actually the person responsible for this phrase. Now, let’s talk about the subject at hand. In my previous post, I said that most of the ToS debate amounts to masturbation.

Every so often, certain people tend to pull out concurrency and virtual land ownership statistics and, without even the slightest trace element of evidence, attempt to correlate them to events concerning Second Life (from the Copybot scare to the introduction of the V2 viewer and from the introduction of mesh to the recent ToS change). Incidentally, someone needs to finally learn a few things about history, because his misuse of the term “Draconian” has contributed a lot to my frequent facepalming: This term comes from the Athenian lawgiver Draco, who made liberal use of the death penalty even for insignificant offences. Ergo, this term simply cannot be used to describe LL’s ToS. Over-reaching is a far more accurate term. But I digress.

It is precisely the ToS that I’m going to talk about – again. Someone (I won’t name names, simply to protect the guilty) took the user concurrency statistics from this year, compared them to last year’s and proclaimed that the new ToS didn’t affect SL user concurrency. Well, duh. The new ToS really affects only a certain category of content creators: artists.

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