Bad press?


As some of you know, I've been spending a lot - too much? - time in Second Life the past three months. This virtual world with virtual currency was my new playground, and pretty much allowed me to do and be whatever I wanted to be. It was a sunny world, with lots of positive energy and limitless opportunities to prosper, but the past two weeks the complete world has been covered in thick black clouds. The fun is over, the ship could be sinking and avatars are panicking.

I'm not one to easily panic or to jump ship - I rather sit out the ride when the roller coaster goes down, and I wait for it to go up again. But let's take a look at some of the recent happenings in Second Life, shall we? I'm too lazy to come up with an exact time line and data, so if I put one thing before another, excuse me. You too are responsible for doing your homework, I'm just pointing at some recent occurrences.

- Land prices are constantly rising and virtual land is a hot asset.

- Linden Lab floods the market with tens of new sims a week, and these sims often are auctioned off between USD2,500 and USD3,000 a piece.

- Land prices drop hard, and people are getting stuck with a pretty much negative ROI.

- LL announces a new continent to be formed soon : which means more land in the world

- LL bans all advertising for gambling related games and businesses through their central search directory and classifieds.

- LL bans all gambling (for the specific rules and words, check the SL blog) effective immediately, invalidating the investment (both financially as well as emotionally) of thousands of virtual entrepreneurs in SL.

- One of the largest virtual stock exchanges for SL suffers a loss of L$3.2 million (about USD12,000) in what could be considered theft. Details remain rather unclear, but this stock exchange which had 75 companies listed has remained closed for the past days. During the closure, the ATM's were offline for several days, trading has been halted, recommenced and halted again effectively freezing the assets of several companies, and the investments of hundreds of investors. As I write this, trading should be open again at 12PM PDT today. Earlier deadlines have been extended several times before, so I don't see anyone meeting this one to be honest.

- Some people are investigating some of the - unregulated - banks in Second Life, claiming there may be a scam going on. On the other hand, it could also be a result of the current economic panic that's happening which people trying to recoup as much as they can. Who knows.

- Servers go down, virtual goods and creations disappear and they can often not be recovered. This happens mostly during weekends when the load is high. Wednesday are "update days" when the grid goes down for several hours and everyone eagerly waits to see what's been borked in the newest release. Teleporting is impossible or rather flaky at best, if you can log in, you don't gain access to your L$ balance (which means no purchases or sales) yet the official blog happily states : all issues resolved!

My conclusion : in this virtual world nothing is safe and nothing is set in stone. Rules change and are changed by the Upper Deity (in this case LL) as they see fit, and businesses are unregulated, virtual and possibly fraudulent. Is an investment in a virtual world a game? Is it real and should it comply with real world rules and regulations? I for sure don't know where it'll all be heading, but I know that it will be an interesting path to travel.


OK. I'm just a tad bit confused... do you spend REAL money on this game? Or just virtual money? Seems to me that it's just a game, so if it's not fun, don't play?

you know I don't get that? There are thousands of gamble games on the internet (some for real cash, some for fun and virtual cash). Why can't 2L just keep their gambling games? Are they afraid it will turn people into addicts? What a load of crap! oh peleeaassee... that's like saying our son will turn into a carjacker because he's tried out GTA on PS2. Or the other extreme: he will become the best soccer player in the world cause he's been playing it for years now!
It's FOR FUN, people! Stop holding this death grip on what you call "morals" and squeezing the fun out of everything and enjoy life (even if it's your second life ;-) )!
and now the discussion on influence of violence in computer games starts???)

ServMe, I'm sorry if I've rambled all over your blog but I just had to say something cause it's so frustrating

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by ServMe published on July 30, 2007 11:52 AM.

Contributing to the hype was the previous entry in this blog.

Is it a game, or is it not? is the next entry in this blog.

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