Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Second Life Faces Open Source Challenges

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the war-on-two-fronts-is-never-good dept.

Role Playing (Games) 198

ruphus13 writes "Linden Labs has talked about Open Sourcing aspects of their platform for a while, but have not always followed through. Now, the OpenSimulator project has been gathering some solid momentum, and this was followed by an announcement by IBM that showed interoperability between OpenSimulator and Linden Servers. What this means is that you can use a Second Life client to log on to an OpenSim server. Beyond that, anyone can run their own server. 'Working with the protocols derived from the official Second Life client, and a knowledge of how Second Life works, these people have implemented their own compatible server code.' It is only a matter of time before users will be able to move profiles, virtual goods, and other elements of their 'second life' on to any server in a truly open world, thereby threatening Linden Labs' virtual world experience. With Google and Sun at the fringes of this space, things are going to get very interesting, virtually speaking."

cancel ×

198 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Does anyone actually use Second Life? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24188575)

If so, why?

I dunno (3, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188593)

I'm still working on my first one here. But I hear you can install a feline module to get 8 more.

obligatory: (4, Funny)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188679)

First Life [getafirstlife.com]

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (1, Interesting)

Robert1 (513674) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188745)

I knew someone who took an online class. The instructor sent out an email a few weeks before the start of "classes" giving detailed instructions for how to download and log into second life. Their "classroom" was in second life. The instructions went on to say that the virtual avatars had to be dressed properly in appropriate avatars, show up in the classroom on time, and not engage in private conversations. All lectures would be given via chatting through the game. I only found out because said friend had never heard of second life. I explained to him what it was all about.

Needless to say that individual quickly dropped from that class.

So to answer your question, under-qualified holders of worthless masters degrees use second life to (unsuccessfully) create a semblance of academic credibility in a futile attempt to mitigate their self-loathing by substituting a virtual classroom for the real one no accredited university would ever let these pretentious assholes have.

Honestly, how desperate for a power trip are such people as to force mid-to-late 20 year olds into a mockery of a traditional rule-centric "classroom" in a game primarily used for sexual gratification between human/animal hybrids.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (4, Informative)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188897)

You seem to make a lot of false assumptions about SL, and probably did your "friend" no favors with your description of "what it was all about" certainly If I thought what it was all about was sex between human/animal hybrids I would probably not be so interested in a class on the subject either.. (gratifying or not) However many schools are looking at SL as in inovative approach to learning. http://www.simteach.com/wiki/index.php?title=Second_Life:_Universities_and_Private_Islands [simteach.com] provides a small list of schools that have expressed interest. with Names on the list like Stanford and MIT i think you might want to rethink your estimation of what the potential is.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (3, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188905)

Are you sure it wasn't just an experiment in injecting a social element back into online courses? I'm not sure it's a great idea, but I can see this being a help to those people who work better when there is peer pressure from other students.

Frankly, even if it didn't work, you have an amazing amount of vitriol over what seems like a reasonable experiment in sociology. I'm reasonably certain the instructor wasn't going to dress in a furry suit and force students to have cybersex or something. The only major concern I have with the experiment is that Secondlife is buggy and requires a powerful machine, so technical problems could easily interfere with the class, especially if the students are running on lower end hardware.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (2, Informative)

Jasonjk74 (1104789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188975)

So to answer your question, under-qualified holders of worthless masters degrees use second life to (unsuccessfully) create a semblance of academic credibility in a futile attempt to mitigate their self-loathing by substituting a virtual classroom for the real one no accredited university would ever let these pretentious assholes have. Honestly, how desperate for a power trip are such people as to force mid-to-late 20 year olds into a mockery of a traditional rule-centric "classroom" in a game primarily used for sexual gratification between human/animal hybrids.

Is Harvard an unaccredited university? Someone needs to tell them that, since they've conducted class in Second Life.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (3, Interesting)

Kligat (1244968) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189245)

There are about thirty English language university campuses in Second Life. Most of them seem to be used as advertisements to get you to attend, with information about the buildings that they reproduced. There was one by the geology department of an Indiana university, I think. I didn't notice the ones I visited using them for class learning, though a few did have virtual classrooms that looked abandoned.

I noticed that Cisco helped make a virtual model of the planned Palomar Hospital, so that local residents could log into Second Life, go there, and offer criticism. NASA and NOAA, a U.S. government agency that studies the oceans and atmosphere, have virtual land in an area called the "SciLands," near the University of Denver Biology Department. An International Spaceflight Museum built by Second Life residents has scale models of rockets and missile technology like the Proton rockets. There's an attempt to simulate Google Earth in 3D going on, and a Mars terrain-based region there, too.

Second Life may have a lot of furries, flying penises, and the less renowned screaming goatse-textured cube mountains, but they tend to concentrate in the Welcome Areas, in clubs, and in areas where security functions aren't enabled. The people I meet in Second Life also use less Internet chat speak than the ones I see on IRC. I think that's because when you're in even a virtual simulation of face-to-face talk, using slang and emoticons feels awkward.

Potentially, Second Life could be good for learning other languages. Did you know that the English speaking countries make up less than half of Second Life's active user base? Reuters [reuters.com] says 31% are American, 13% are French, 11% are German, 8% are British, 7% are Dutch.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189439)

> in a game primarily used for sexual gratification between human/animal hybrids.

SL actually has three primary user populations:

1. Perverts. I.e. people who stick with human avatars to simulate sex in perverted ways with other humans, or more often simulated children.

2. Furries. Not all furries are perverted, there appears to be a big effort to keep the furry and perverted furrys seperated. The non perverted furries are mentally unbalanced, duh, but want to do furry things with their avatars and construction projects.

3. Perverted furries. Nuff said.

I'm still waiting for someone to explain the attraction of SL. Looks like IRC meets the Sims. in that it seems to be a bunch of wankers building virtual homes and text chatting. And they actually PAY to be able to do this.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (4, Insightful)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188747)

Does anyone actually use ____? If so, why?

Now, replace the above blank with:

  • IRC
  • Sim City
  • Any computer game greater than 5 years old
  • whatever your little pet niche hobby is

I've played with SL a bit, and so far I haven't found that bit that snags me in as a regular user (I'm still working in the "novelty" stage), but that doesn't mean I can't understand that it may have an appeal to others.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (4, Insightful)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188825)

Folks are quick to criticize Second Life, which offers new technology, (many) interesting participants, a few anonymous cowards, and generally a whole lot of information. Meanwhile, the same critics spend time reading and posting on /.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (2, Funny)

Faylone (880739) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188947)

I think slashdot has less furries.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (1)

lupis42 (1048492) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189089)

YMBNH

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189601)

Fewer.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (4, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188933)

Except for the cybersex, I think the most popular feature about Secondlife is the ability to make something (art!), that will theoretically be seen by the masses. Of course the tools are crude and the service is slow, but the ability is there to make something cool and have it be explorable by people from all over the world.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (2, Funny)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188935)

Because I like virtual whores! Okay?! Satisfied?!

Don't you judge me!

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189293)

Yes, I do.

Every time I see something posted to Slashdot regarding Secondlife, its always the same.. "I can't believe anyone uses this..." or "I logged on for 10 mins and it was so laggy/lame/crap".

I use SL to chat to people, sure I could use an IM client, but quite frankly, I like being able to walk around things that people have created. Yes, theres a lot of crap out there, but theres also some great user content. I also make my own stuff, it gives me a little room to flex my creative muscle and share it too. Sure it can be laggy and crash, but let's not forget our favourite OS (linux of course) hasn't always been a dream to use, and I've been using it for 13 years.

There are obnoxious people in SL, and yes, obnoxious people use linux too! Shock! Horror! They exist outside of myspace and secondlife.

I guess my point here is, I don't mind that you don't like it, but there are people here that do, and dare I say it, enjoy logging in and exploring the SL universe. If you logged in for 10 minutes and then logged off you may just have missed out on actually enjoying playing a so called game without needing to frag something.

Of course, this is Slashdot, where people voice their opinions.

This was mine.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189807)

>If you logged in for 10 minutes and then logged off you may just have missed out on actually enjoying playing a so called game without
>needing to frag something.

On the other hand, when people who were in-game on a daily basis for six months or more decide to quit, I do appreciate hearing their reasons.

It takes weeks or even months before you even discover what the game has to offer. This is not possible to evaluate in "10 minutes", not least because it's not technical stuff, but participation. If you aren't creating something you aren't participating. (But many players are woefully stuck in a "consumer/spectator" mindset, and won't even consider being creative... I just ignore them, which means, yes, I ignore most of the players.)

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (1)

The Other White Meat (59114) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189381)

Second Life: For those who've already failed their first life.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189691)

Slashdot: For those who refuse to admit defeat.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189475)

If so, why?

Because it allows me, a 37 year old man, to make real world cash as a female "escort"...

Don't make a lot of cash, but 20 or 30 bucks a week for occasionally alt-tabbing and typing "ooh, yeah baby, I love it like that." isn't all that bad.

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (1)

unfunnyguy (1324217) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189733)

That's not a bad price. I pay $10 a month so I can have my /. comments occasionally interleaved with gay/scat porn and the occassional link to quality asshole porn. Maybe you could hang out with me on SL for a while at technology conventions pulling goatses?

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189663)

That cracked me up...
I'm as dorky and dweeby as anyone, but I never could see the point of Second Life. After building out my avatar and wandering around for a bit, I realized the p0rn was second rate, the graphics were klunky, and I couldn't shoot anyone. I did learn the graphics language and made some cool effects such as a floating eye that followed me around and a circular wall of mirrors that I could conjure with a hotkey..

Give me a game like Fallout3 and I'm there...

Re:Does anyone actually use Second Life? (2, Interesting)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189773)

Live music venue! As a musician, I find it quite an effective outlet because I can create an environment and perform in it.
Others give feedback, they enjoy it greatly as well.

Second Life? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24188595)

Does anyone care? I tried it for about 10 minutes but it was so very laggy, once I got past the lag (which I was told was 'normal) I was solidly bored.

My biggest problem with Second Life... (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188629)

and I don't know if open sourcing it will fix it- is when the graphics are slow to load, there are no placeholders for walls, doors, etc. so I am constantly walking into them. That alone would make the SL experience far, far better. Is that something this new open sourcing would make possible?

Re:My biggest problem with Second Life... (2, Informative)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188711)

you might try different regions. I've found the building standards in some sims are far lower than others..Also some regions are laggyier than others, Primary due to uneeded topheavy scripts running or extreamly high primative counts. While it takes a minute or two to fully rez a good sim, once your in things run pretty smooth. True I am running a system that was built from the ground up for FPS gamming. If you on a out of the box home class Dell your results may vary. Also people tend to want to set their banwidth settings to high. Even with cable a setting of 500 seems to give the best results.

Re:My biggest problem with Second Life... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188977)

"Also some regions are laggyier than others, Primary due to uneeded topheavy scripts running or extreamly high primative counts."

Nope. more often than not it's multiple sims running on an underpowered server. Most people buy the cheap-o option which is like a quad-core opteron with 24 other sims running on it.

Other servers won't matter (3, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188663)

One glitch in the summary: it don't work that way. Being able to have your own SL server doesn't get you access to Linden's grid. And that's what people want: to be on the grid with everybody else they know. If most of their friends are on the Linden grid, they'll want to be on it too and not off in some alternate grid where their friends aren't. And any alternate servers will have to get past the hurdle of establishing a big enough community to attract people or they won't last long.

It's MUCKs all over again. SL has better graphics and a different programming language, but at it's heart it's a MUCK and MUCK social dynamics applies.

Re:Other servers won't matter (3, Insightful)

peipas (809350) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188701)

I reckon if Linden's servers cost money and other servers don't, other servers will matter fairly quickly.

Re:Other servers won't matter (2, Informative)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188775)

Lindens servers don't cost money though, Not unless you looking to own land. If your looking to run a specialized Sim I could easily see poeple renting some billboard room on the linden grid directing interested parties to an "off grid" server. Certainly if the ease to connect to these servers is there it will happen.

Re:Other servers won't matter (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188881)

And there's one of the rubs: it's not just connecting to those servers. It's all the avatar appearance and clothing and objects you own and places you've built. If those don't move transparently, then it becomes a huge headache for users to maintain multiple virtual existences. And they likely won't move transparently.

Re:Other servers won't matter (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189819)

> It's all the avatar appearance and clothing and objects you own
> and places you've built.

Nah, having the places be fixed isn't that bad. Not being able to move your avatar would be close to fatal but since the client has to pretty much have that stored within it is only a matter of someone adding a way to save all of the details and get it recreated on another server.

Objects will require some sort of central repository for portable objects because they can be scripted and the scripts stay on the server. But once the notion of world hopping becomes established any objects not being kept in artificial scarcity (i.e. sold) will migrate to whatever portable object format ends up becoming the standard.

Those are solvable. Portability of the Linden is a whole other kettle of fish. And that is where Linden sees longterm profits, in being bankers to the virtual universe. Not sure if they have realized yet they will need to be able to serve a multiverse and become so established that they become the next PayPal if they hope to prosper.

Re:Other servers won't matter (1)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188899)

I agree with you -- Second Life is, in the most general sense, free. But *everything* costs something, and so users are deluged with advertisements in Second Life, just like anywhere else. Billboards everywhere, corporation's names in the Search menus of the Second Life client app. Perhaps some of these smaller, low-cost metaverses will provide ad-free environments for those willing to pay enough? Course, that'd be a rather elite (and IMO, probably a very dull) group...

Re:Other servers won't matter (4, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188807)

Metcalfe's Law: the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users.

Google's Law (which I just made up): the cost to run a network increases much less steeply than that.

Linden's servers cost money, but their value is much much greater than your brother Ted's private server which he lets you on for free. That's because there's the potential for hot cybersex on Linden's server, but Ted's server has nobody but Ted, and ... ew.

If Ted's private server gets enough people on it that hot cyber becomes a possibility, he's going to have to pay for it somehow... and then it's no longer a free server.

Re:Other servers won't matter (1)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 6 years ago | (#24190863)

Interesting. But where does peer-to-peer technology fit in?

Re:Other servers won't matter (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189881)

People seem to not realize just *how much* Linden sims cost. There is a $1600 US setup fee, and a $295 US charge *per month* for a standard sim. I know of one group who has 44 of these (!). There are dealerships selling Eurpoean sedans with lower overhead.

Re:Other servers won't matter (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189929)

I know of one group who has 44 of these (!).

Caledon you mean?

Re:Other servers won't matter (1)

eggstasy (458692) | more than 6 years ago | (#24190703)

Firstly, your prices are outdated, it's only $1000 these days.
Secondly, Second Life has been in development for almost ten years, and is distributed free of charge.
You seem to not realize that Linden Lab has over 200 employees. Someone has to pay for the software development.

Re:Other servers won't matter (1)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24190815)

It hasn't worked with WoW.

Re:Other servers won't matter (2, Interesting)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188851)

if the free servers set up some way of portaling to and from each other, even if it isn't a continuous world, perhapse more like zone lines in everquest, they could easily grow to rival the official world, especially with unrestricted content (other than that which is illegal) on private servers

Re:Other servers won't matter (3, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188879)

Being able to have your own SL server doesn't get you access to Linden's grid. And that's what people want: to be on the grid with everybody else they know.

You could link the non-linden grids together so you can jump from one to another or at least communicate between servers or even patch the linden client so that jumping between Linden and non-Linden without trouble.

You could go as far as to have the ability (with a patched Linden client) to receive messages from people on 3rd party servers.

Suffice to say, for those more concerned about free real estate rather than chatting, it would be logical that people could create their own servers and just have URLs linking them so that you could just look them up in the open DNS and you can pop on their web server and look at whatever they've got going on as well as whoever else happens to be there as well.

Imagine is Slashdot ran their own open source SL server where we could all stand around and post comments... Actually maybe that isn't the best mental image.

Still, the idea of a 3d world without centralization is pretty nifty. Kind of like the old world wide web.

Re:Other servers won't matter (1)

jejones (115979) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189137)

Well... there are some controversial things that Linden Lab has done, e.g. the notorious statement about what is "broadly offensive", or restraining everyone on SL because of laws in a country where SL wants a presence--that may well drive a sufficient number of people to alternate grids.

Re:Other servers won't matter (2, Informative)

Gwala (309968) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189249)

There's actually a few alternative grids with a reasonable number of users.

osgrid.org [osgrid.org] is one of them, and is run on sponsored hardware (disclaimer: my company helps in sponsoring boxes for it), it's free to use and has a reasonable amount of content appearing.

Re:Other servers won't matter (2, Informative)

merreborn (853723) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189269)

One glitch in the summary: it don't work that way. Being able to have your own SL server doesn't get you access to Linden's grid. And that's what people want: to be on the grid with everybody else they know

There's some truth to that, but with the hundreds of third-party Ragnarok Online servers [xtremetop100.com] out there, it's pretty clear that there are plenty of people who are perfectly happy to be "off the grid".

RO, for those unfamiliar with it, is a relatively unremarkable Korean MMORPG. Someone wrote a server emulator, and it spread like wildfire. The slashdot crowd may be more familiar with this in the form of Ultimate Online shards [wikipedia.org]

You're right, people do want community, but by and large, many are satisfied with, or even prefer, smaller communities, the likes of which can be found on 'private servers' or 'shards'.

If anything, SL is *more* susceptible to this problem, as the main game world doesn't really have anything scarce that can't be had on a shard.

Certainly not a first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24188717)

Text MUDs were doing this about 17 years ago. (See: UberMUD).

How is simply teleporting a default avatar any different than what was already done, so very long ago? How can they call this a "first"?

Re:Certainly not a first... (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#24190739)

Yeah, really. My 2 cents: there is a function in our lpc-based mudlib called when a player dies, which takes away some experience, prints some messages, writes to appropriate logs, etc. Its name is second_life().

What's really going on... (5, Interesting)

gmezero (4448) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188733)

The reality is far from what the submitter is claiming. Open sim has always used the SL client for access, and there are no plans for anytime in the future to allow people to transfer content on/off the SL grid to an Open Sim system.

The IBM test involved a single OpenSim setup where bridge software IBM is working (with Sun) allowed a person to exit SL, and simultaneously login to a OpenSim system. NOTHING was transfered, the avatar shows up in OpenSim in Ruth form.

Linden Labs has clarified that this was a proof of concept test, and that they would like to expand it in the future, but those goals are a good bit off.

What IBM and Sun are working on is a handshake/system protocol for a transient user ID which online systems will recognize and auto negotiate log-in, and if you don't have an account, make you a default account on the new system. eg, you cross over from SL to WOW and if you don't have a WOW account, you start out in a default configuration based on some personality preferences you have preset.

Calm down people, nothing to see here, move along.

Re:What's really going on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189007)

That's hardly nothing.

Re:What's really going on... (1)

gmezero (4448) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189379)

Nothing for the common user. I should have been more specific.

Re:What's really going on... (1)

Gwala (309968) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189261)

Actually, that's not true -

One of the goals of the Architecture Working Group (which has members from IBM, OpenSim, Linden Lab, and others) is working on the inter operable protocols for removing centralization from the infrastructure (so it's more like IP: anyone can connect to anyone)

This test was a test of the first draft of the teleport mechanism defined by the AWG standard.

Link to the AWG group: here [secondlife.com]

Re:What's really going on... (1)

gmezero (4448) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189411)

Yes, but the IBM project that this is related to is more about Virtual Worlds in general. The SL effort is low-hanging fruit because they already have a sizable commitment to both SL and OpenSim running internally, but the end goal is to develop a protocol for all Virtual Worlds to recognize.

OpenID? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189297)

Could we make it a bit more portable, though?

For instance: If I buy clothing in Second Life, or pets in World of Warcraft, why not allow them to cross over? (Subject, of course, to filters/censorship of the target server -- giant walking penises are generally frowned upon.)

Simple solution: OpenID and friends (XFN, etc). Allow a person to store their avatar, possessions, etc, on their own server (or on a free one, or a paid-for Linden one). If you want to allow commerce (selling clothing), require a signature.

I suspect that for some time, it would function the way nations do today -- there would be import/export restrictions, but it would still be possible to bring more than just a username from one server to another. Eventually, it would flatten into something more like the Internet, with too many sites for all of them to arrange explicit deals with each other -- maybe moderation would play a larger role...

Ah, well. Pure speculation and wishful thinking. I wonder if they'll even use OpenID for logins...

Re:What's really going on... (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189955)

Ruth? The old Ruth or the new cloud thing?

This may all end in tears... (1)

Mal-2 (675116) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188759)

If people can run their own servers, perhaps Linden will be more inclined to shout down the "undesirables", such as the BDSM and Dolcett clubs, telling them "you can run your own damn server, get off of ours". While that may not be so bad in the short term as the existing users migrate, it would be bad for their sustainability as other people who might be so inclined can no longer find them over the SL servers.

And who is to say when YOU will be one of the "undesirables"?

Mal-2

Re:This may all end in tears... (2, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188859)

Not likely. Keep in mind that Linden makes a profit off all transactions, and that fetish communities tend to involve a lot of obscure props in order to live up to their convincingness. Linden Labs is way too Libertarian to start developing any kind of paternalist tendencies, sort of like how ISPs should be.

Re:This may all end in tears... (1)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188965)

They *did* get rid of the casinos, though, didn't they? And casinos was a significant source of funding for Linden Labs, wasn't it?

Re:This may all end in tears... (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189365)

I'm pretty sure that's because, like child porn, forms of online gambling not dependent on skill are illegal in the United States, where the Linden servers are hosted, and until recently, online gambling was not legal at all: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_gambling#United_States [wikipedia.org]

Re:This may all end in tears... (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188925)

Not really, as mentioned before, it's all about the server content. Why turn anyone away? Sure it doesn't look good, but most technology companies profit from non-PC aspects they'd rather dust under a rug.

Re:This may all end in tears... (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188969)

Does LL even consider those activities "undesirable"? From what I've seen, the only thing they dislike is people ignoring the age ratings of the region they are in or crashing the server.

Re:This may all end in tears... (1)

isomeme (177414) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189605)

LL's caught in the same bind Las Vegas got itself into a few years ago. For years, Vegas was the glitzy-slease capital of the world; people went there to sin and have a good time doing it. Then some bright marketing person decided they should market to families, too. Trouble is, you can't have Sin City and Disneyland superimposed without annoying both audiences. Recently, Vegas bought a clue, as evidenced by the sudden shift to the "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" ad campaign.

SL desperately wants to be "mainstream", with wholesome people going to wholesome corporate outpost, all suitable for wooing bigger corporate investment. But the bulk of SL's users go there to have kinky, violent, socially unacceptable, scare-the-normals fun. LL wants the latter group's money, but would prefer they'd stay off-camera. As in the Vegas case, this is annoying both the weirdos and the normals.

Re:This may all end in tears... (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189017)

I think you'll find the more likely scenario is Linden Labs will stand up a special server, b-ark.secondlife.com, for both users that want an "undesirable"-free SL experience and the rest of the population can get on with whatever it was they were doing.

For all the media hype about flying penises and furry sex, you have to go out of your way to actually find any. Maybe if you stopped searching for "BDSM" and "Dolcett" (whatever that is - an Italian motor scooter?), the "problem" would solve itself.

Re:This may all end in tears... (1)

Erbo (384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189311)

I wrote something about this recently where I came to the same conclusion: The Coming Disneyfication of Second Life [wordpress.com]

Will Linden Labs Cannibalize their own Profit? (1)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188765)

Linden Labs has kept to many of their promises to users -- for example, allowing users to build and then retain the objects they create in Second Life. After all, without the users doing all this building, there wouldn't be a Second Life (or at least one worth visiting). Linden Labs has also promised -- or at least, expressed on many occasions -- a commitment to open-operability, and this is being demonstrated with their experiments with IBM and OpenSim. Yet wouldn't they be potentially cannibalizing their profits by actually *releasing* this feature to users? I mean, if users can transport their avatars and all of their assets from Second Life to other metaverses, they'll lose users. At the same time, it can be argued that this very commitment to open-operability will attract more users in much the same way that other proprietary software/service developers attract more users once they "open up" a portion of their services. (Read: Sun.) What do you think?

Resources (3, Insightful)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188769)

Running MMOs can take a lot of resources depending on what kind of functionality you want to provide. While in theory "anyone" could run their own server, logistically it won't happen.

And that's of course on top of the whole community issue. There needs to be enough flexibility so that my server has something different to offer than their server.

Re:Resources (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188915)

Running MMOs can take a lot of resources depending on what kind of functionality you want to provide. While in theory "anyone" could run their own server, logistically it won't happen.

People their own 50+ player count gaming server all the time. They tend to be FPS games or Ultima "Offline" servers, but the technology is there for those who want to pay for the bandwidth and CPU cycles.

MySpace 3D (4, Funny)

halsver (885120) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188783)

Coming soon to a tacky interweb near you!

future of virtual worlds (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188813)

After seeing Wall-E, I'm thinking we need to make sure virtual worlds remain only a tool to cross distances and not the destination in itself. It can save on gas and enable us to live and learn in distant locations, but the idea of Virtual living is the beginning of a downward spiral.

Re:future of virtual worlds (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189039)

1) Wall-E had nothing to do with virtual worlds.

2) One shouldn't base real-world hopes or fears on unrealistic movie plot elements.

Re:future of virtual worlds (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189553)

1) Wall-E had nothing to do with virtual worlds.

Err...did you see the movie? People were so wrapped up in their video-fed lives they didn't even know there was a pool or, in fact, that they were using their "monitor" to talk to the person right next to them on their "virtual vacation".

2) One shouldn't base real-world hopes or fears on unrealistic movie plot elements.

I wake up, shower, sit to check my email and news at home on the laptop, sit to drive to work, sit at work staring at my monitor, sit to drive home, sit to eat dinner, showcase my mad tennis skillz for 2 hours, sit and watch TV or use the computer until I lie down to go to sleep.

I think I'm only one-and-a-half activities away from the humans in Wall-E. Unrealistic indeed.

Re:future of virtual worlds (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 6 years ago | (#24190623)

Err...did you see the movie?

I did see the movie. The humans were not immersed in virtual worlds; video-conferencing is not VR. There was nothing to suggest that they were involved in a three-dimensional interactive environment like SL. Unless you want to consider any kind of live conversation -- e.g. talking on the telephone -- a "virtual world"?

I think I'm only one-and-a-half activities away from the humans in Wall-E. Unrealistic indeed.

I wasn't referring to mere lack of physical activity, although that part was also difficult to believe. I was referring to the complete absence of creativity and curiosity, and the way that the members of this society inexplicably failed to adjust their plans when their 5-year "vacation" mutated into a 700-year generational voyage. The first-generation passengers and crew could not have been unaware of the inevitable consequences of such prolonged purposelessness.

The "human" characters in the story, both on the ship and earlier, on Earth, acted more like mindless automatons than real human beings. That's fine, because the movie isn't really about them; it's about Wall-E and Eve. The plot essentially presumes that the human race takes the least rational choice at every opportunity, though, and that I find incredibly unrealistic.

I don't get the virtual world stuff (1, Insightful)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188821)

I tried second life but the physics are anything but real (flying through the air, walking through walls, etc) The graphics are poorly done (if this were the early 90's I wouldn't complain.) Why not just setup a Quake server (or whatever the most popular FPS is these days) and invite friends? I bet that virtual experience blows away second life

Re:I don't get the virtual world stuff (1)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 6 years ago | (#24188941)

Because then you would have some griefer blowing you off a platform every five seconds. No fun for anyone wishing to simply hang out and chat/communicate in a somewhat-stable/safe environment, which is generally what Second Life (and similar metaverses) are all about.

Re:I don't get the virtual world stuff (3, Insightful)

Barny (103770) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189031)

You young whipper snappers.

In my day, we used IRC.

Now, GIT OFFA MUH LAWN!

all a matter of personal taste (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189019)

I was into quakeworld a long long time before I got into SL and although I use openarena now I can say I do both. In fact I've run padman and openarena servers and invited my SL friends in. I don't even consider the two comparable.

Before you dismiss SL entirely try a live music show. I'd suggest a Komuso Tokugawa concert as a starting point.

Another thing to look at (if you can stand alpha quality software) is the RealXtend mods to SL and opensim.

Re:I don't get the virtual world stuff (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189055)

A game environment doesn't limit you to a natural human's walking speed? The horror! Of all of the things to complain about with SL (the enormous resources required to run it, the chunky AI, the furries), you actually managed to latch on to the things that are probably good for the game. Being able to fly is the only reason anybody can get anywhere in the game, since vehicles are so dodgy and walking is so slow.

The basic graphics do look pretty bad, which is why it is so impressive when someone does make something that looks good.

Re:I don't get the virtual world stuff (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189375)

Because most popular FPSes these days don't allow custom avatars, as that would make it trivial to cheat (create an avatar of a flea, say, or an invisible man).

Because, a VoyagerRadio says, you'd have griefers blowing you off a platform every five seconds.

Because the interactions in SecondLife are not limited to "Shoot", "Punch", "Cheer", and "Pelvic Thrust".

Because games don't generally allow completely custom scripts to run, especially server-side.

Because SecondLife is open source, which, again, would be an invitation for cheaters.

Because currency in FPSes has, to date, been more annoying than fun -- and it's even worse when it's some sort of pseudo-global-economy. (Ever played Counter-Strike on a server which left dynamic pricing on? Compare that to, say, gungame mod. Tell me which is more fun.)

Need I go on?

I actually don't play Second Life at all -- never have. It has, so far, been entirely too closed for my tastes -- I'd much rather use IRC, which at least has many mature open source clients, servers, and bots, and pretty much no commercialization attempted (so far). Or, if I'm going to play a game, I'd rather play a game.

But I do get the appeal.

Re:I don't get the virtual world stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189435)

The graphics vary greatly depending on both the content creator and your personal settings, but you have to have a machine with the recommended hardware for the good settings to work anywhere approaching well. Settings are adjustable at the client level; it's the usual performance vs. quality tradeoff, although Windlight made some improvements.

Supposedly, the physics will get *much* better once the update to Havok4 is complete, but I have to say, flying through the air and walking through walls are two of the *intentional* violations of physics - it is very easy to build walls that cannot easily be walked through. (Well, unless you sit in a corner and then stand on the other side, but I'd hate for that to go away -- sitting is a main defense against griefers with drop cages.)

But the answer to your question is that for most people who use Second Life, the experience is largely about exploring things that other people have created, creating your own builds in world for people to explore/look at/purchase, and communicating with a wider group of people. So you'd have a great time with your friends on your own server, but you'd miss out on seeing the cool/weird/absolutely ridiculous stuff that other people came up with.

Re:I don't get the virtual world stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189741)

It's generally the social aspects, not the realism of the physical world, that keep people in SL after the initial attraction.

The "economy" is one of the problems though. Too many people are stuck in the folly of trying to "make money" in-world.
They work at this with more time and effort than they would put into a job, and end up earning far less, and not sustainably,
than they would in a minimum-wage job for the same effort. And then they continue into this cycle until they burn out, insisting
that not only can SL be a primary source of income, but that it's commonplace for it to be. It's sad to watch, particularly when
cognitive dissonance takes over all reason.

Then the experience is polluted by players from all over the world who are interested only in the most depraved acts of animated sex.
Never mind that pretty much all the female avatars are male players.

Even among the people who are not complete and total whack jobs, most of them seek a pretty boring experience. They teleport to this club or that. They don't make anything. They don't even bother to look "up", most of them.

Through this noise, you do meet the occasional genuinely interesting person, and the experience just shines as a result. And it's that, rare as it may be, that keeps me in the game.

Check this out!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189025)

Check out http://www.sauerbraten.org

They have a "Kick ass" world generator already, with full internet protocol. It's all open source, has a pretty good development community. But is this the same as OpenSimulator?

It uses OpenGL (which I presume a lot of others do as well).

j

Re:Check this out!!! (1)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189087)

I can tell at first glance that Sauerkraut is alot different. For one thing, Second Life isn't considered a game -- at least, not in the traditional sense. It's first and foremost a community, and there aren't many built-in gameplaying elements (unless you consider the act of dressing and customizing your avatar to be a game). I mean, you "play" there, but it's not a place where your first concern is FPS or "Does it have Coop mode?"

Re:Check this out!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189259)

Where do they keep the jews?

Obligiatory (0, Redundant)

ya really (1257084) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189133)

Don't Secondlife users need a first life before they start on a second?

It's time for a third life (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189169)

I lost all interest in SL when they started catering to all of the "think of the children" demands. First they were banning child avatars. Then they were banning avatars that were adults but could possibly be perceived as underage (i.e. anyone under 6' tall). Then linden labs started required age verification (credit card, etc) to enter into "adult" areas of the world (but of course you still couldn't have short characters there). Pedo-hysteria was running wild throughout SL, and then they banned gambling. What is the point of a virtual, complete fantasy "second-life" when you have to abide by the rules of your first-life?

If two adults want to have furry child characters bumping virtual uglies on SL, where's the harm?

Re:It's time for a third life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189367)

I always was thinking of the children.

Re:It's time for a third life (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189625)

> Pedo-hysteria was running wild throughout SL, and then they banned gambling.

Because Linden Labs is based in a civilized country. Unless they totally relocate to some third world pesthole where they can just bribe people to look the other way (and good luck getting good connectivity and clearing credit cards) they have to live by meatspace laws. That leaves the kiddie fuckers banned pretty much everywhere. And since they are in the US they can't run online casinos either. Just sticking the word 'virtual' in front doesn't make it any less a casino than a webpage based online casino. Anybody with two working brain cells knew that wasn't going to last long.

It doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189317)

Nobody uses any of this stuff.

ha (0, Troll)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189385)

Maybe open source game developers can't come up with competition for World of Warcraft, but a clunky, laggy game with horrible graphics? Those are open source game developers' specialties! Second Life, you are in trouble.

Game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189397)

Why is this story tagged with RPG? SL is NOT an rpg, and it barely qualifies as a game.

Second Life is a VR social networking site, and it is not any more of a 'game' than facebook or myspace.
And don't try and tell me "it's a game because they have games inside SL"; there are games on most social sites.

DevGuru (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24189507)

Forgot the 3rd big opensource platform emerging .... mentioned Opensim, & Wonderland (SUN), did not mention the Cobalt Metaverse at Duke University

====

OpenSim grids (2, Informative)

ckrinke (1325905) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189575)

There are a number of grids using OpenSim. DeepGrid and OSGrid have been in existing for over a year. Others less then that. The common OpenSim grids in order of their appearance are DeepGrid (http://deepgrid.com), OSGrid (http://osgrid.org), OpenLifeGrid (http://openlifegrid.com) and CentralGrid (http://centralgrid.com). There are several thousand users. Not large by SecondLife standards, but growing rapidly. And some of these grids encourage individuals, companies and universities to attach their sims at no charge as part of building a community and helping to develop the OpenSim software. Refer to http://opensimulator.org/ [opensimulator.org] for a complete list and the FreeNode IRC channel #opensim for a discussion on configuration and use including interop work between various grids, including, the SecondLife maingrid.

1998 wants it's graphics back (4, Insightful)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189595)

I've used Second Life several times over the years and every time I look, it's like being transported back into 1998. Perhaps some of the dire graphics can be blamed on user generated content, but even the areas created by Linden Labs look terrible. There are plenty of good game engines about and I am sure they could be adapted.

Then there is the issue of the build tools. So much of the Second Life experience is supposed to be about building things, so why are the build tools so awful? Why after all these years is there still no ability to just upload a simple .obj file which is pretty much a standard in the 3D Graphics community?

The Second Life client is also a complete memory monster. On a 2 Gig system it will happily chew up over 600 megs, and completely unnecessarily since minimizing the app seems to kick in some garbage collection which slashes memory usage dramatically. The memory usage then rapidly starts to build up again.

Second Life also has some serious DRM issues. It seems to be quite common for creators of content to make their goods non-Transferable. So if you ever want to leave Second Life, you will have to just kiss goodbye to much of the money you have spent, because you won't be able to resell many of your purchases.

Before too long, some people who actually know what they are doing are going to come along and blow Second Life (and it's 1998 graphics) right out of the water. It will hopefully have a client that has simple off-line build tools which behave just like other 3D apps but also support import of standard formats such as .obj. The build tools should help you build things, not hinder you like the tools (and 10 meter object Restrictions) in Second Life.

Re:1998 wants it's graphics back (1)

Darkk (1296127) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189789)

I believe part of the reason for the 1998 graphics as you put it is to appeal SL to wider audience with older hardware. Remember Asheron's Call before they finally upgraded their graphics engine? Took them long enough but the main reason they didn't upgrade it is to keep subscribers with less powerful hardware while rest of us with decent broadband and good hardware suffer. The game was interesting enough to keep playing for a couple of years before I finally quit.

Re:1998 wants it's graphics back (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#24190381)

No the reason for the 1998 graphics is that, unlike almost every other game, all the content has to be streamed from the server, and it can barely handle the current load, let alone what they would see with higher quality graphics. I've played many games that looked much better and performed better on older hardware than Second Life.

Re:1998 wants it's graphics back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24190421)

As someone who has multiple generations of video cards here, and just recently upgraded from AGP to PCIe, I can tell you that secondlife is well nigh unplayable on a Radeon HD3650, nevermind attempting it with any intel integrated gfx, a Radeon 9800, and I'm pretty sure they don't even officially support anything older! Why this is, I have no idea, but the quality of gfx even against mmorpgs from a few years ago is nuts. Esp comparing the performance.

Re:1998 wants it's graphics back (1)

eggstasy (458692) | more than 6 years ago | (#24190903)

Did your 1998 computer have a "NASA" or "DoD" sticker?
Let's have a contest! Which of the following pictures depict a 1998 game character and which is from a Second Life avatar? :)
See if you can guess!

http://www.fpsteam.it/img2006/sin/sin_elexis_bathroom_04.jpg [fpsteam.it]

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3246/2670018726_c289810160.jpg?v=0 [flickr.com]

(There is no such thing as Linden content, if you mean the Welcome Area, it was built like 4 years ago by a friend of mine, as a contractor... when SL had a completely different engine... and there was essentially nobody doing it professionally)

All I can say to those Second Life users is... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24189967)

Get a First Life!

Without rights restrictions SL has little value. (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24190391)

SL is an artificial economy. If you can copy items and easily add new 'land', then those things have no value.

Replacements for SL will have trouble attracting creators as SL has or those items having any "status" or "$$" value.

Put another way-- I can play EQ on a simulated server and give myself anything. But what would the point be?

Re:Without rights restrictions SL has little value (1)

kumanopuusan (698669) | more than 6 years ago | (#24190895)

Yes, anything you can get without cost has no economic value (no one will trade for it). Saying freely copyable things are without value is taking economics too seriously. By your argument, air to breathe has no value. Of course there is a utility, but no one will pay for it until they feel a shortage.

So, no one will pay for a copy of an existing item because they can copy it for free. New, unique objects can't simply be copied from old objects, so the first copy does have a value. This means designers and artists can profit, but there's no need for factory owners or publishers to copy originals anymore. Doesn't this increase the profit for, and lower the barriers to entry to, creation?

The objects that are created in SL are essentially software. If objects can be freely copied, then it's very close to BSD or MIT licensed software. Software with those licenses gets produced outside the context of virtual worlds.

fuCker (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24190909)

Are She had ta4en
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>