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Virtual Fashion Thrives in Second Life

timothy posted more than 7 years ago | from the only-thing-weirder-than-real-life-fashion dept.

164

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "The game Second Life — a simulated world with more than 700,000 'residents,' or players, who sometimes refer to their offline existence as their 'first life' — is breeding a virtual world of fashion design, with the same complications as the real world of fashion, the Wall Street Journal reports: 'A continuing headache for many designers is the ease with which others can copy their creations, and several have discovered boutiques that sell knockoffs of their clothes. A well-known Second Life designer was recently accused of stealing skin textures and withdrew from Second Life after receiving harassing messages. Linden says it investigates accusations of design theft, and repeat offenders can have their online accounts closed. Some designers, like DE Designs' Mr. Hester, have taken steps to copyright their work.'"

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First Post to say... (1, Troll)

smithbp (1002301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188611)

If you're worried this much about your online clothes, there is this thing called the OUTSIDE!!!

Re:First Post to say... (5, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188679)

. . . there is this thing called the OUTSIDE!!!

But I'd have to put on clothes to go there.

KFG

Re:First Post to say... (1)

smithbp (1002301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188727)

Touche! That has to be the funniest thing I have heard all day. Thank you

Re:First Post to say... (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188749)

> > . . there is this thing called the OUTSIDE!!!
>
> But I'd have to put on clothes to go there.

Aight. I put on my robe and wizard hat.

Re:First Post to say... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189357)

> > > . . there is this thing called the OUTSIDE!!!
>
> > But I'd have to put on clothes to go there.
>
>Aight. I put on my robe and wizard hat.

Laugh it up, you insensitive clod, but a sweet young thing came upon me on a hiking trail awhile ago and blurted out, "Oh! It's Gandalf."

KFG

Re:First Post to say... (1)

kingsean (980135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16190123)

"bloodninja" logs [adamchance.com] (nsfw)

HARRRRRRRRRRRR!

Re:First Post to say... (1)

RhysTheElf (995560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188845)

Well, if you decide to forego the clothes, at least pick a

nice,

non-copyrighted,

skin texture!!!!

Re:First Post to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16188729)

If you're worried this much about your online clothes, there is this thing called the OUTSIDE!!!

Actually, if you're worried this much about fashion, PERIOD, stay home.

The outside world doesn't more fashion snobs; do the rest of us a favour, and leave us alone.

Re:First Post to say... (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16190351)

The outside world doesn't more fashion snobs; do the rest of us a favour, and leave us alone.

I couldn't agree more. In fact: I [yahoo.com] HATE [yahoo.com] FASHION [yahoo.com] .

Re:First Post to say... (1)

cyberbrown (764912) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189125)

Funny reading this from a first-poster.

Second Life (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16188617)

How can it be called 'Second Life' when the users generally do not have a life to start with?

btfa (4, Funny)

s388 (910768) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188649)

bypass TFA

"We found out pretty quickly that people loved owning things," Ms. Smith says.

there you have it folks.

Re:btfa (2, Insightful)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188743)

"We found out pretty quickly that people loved owning things," Ms. Smith says.
i can vouche for that. except, i like to have things that exist in the tangible universe.

Re:btfa (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16190023)

"We found out pretty quickly that people loved owning things," Ms. Smith says.


i can vouche for that. except, i like to have things that exist in the tangible universe.
Well then, Mister Anderson, it seems you have a choice before you...

Re:btfa (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16190799)

If they publish a paper on their findings in a peer-reviewed magazine they'll be sure to win the Nobel Prize!

There are no steps to copyright a work! (5, Informative)

nFriedly (628261) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188657)

some designers, like DE Designs' Mr. Hester, have taken steps to copyright their work.

Like what? Creating it. Because that's all it takes. Once you create a new work, it's copyrighted. Period. You can register the copyright which helps with enforcing it, but there are basicaly no steps to copyright a work.

Re:There are no steps to copyright a work! (1)

Marillion (33728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189417)

Because registering the copyright can be an important step in being able to defend a copyright claim in court because registering is a strong governmental acknowledgement of the work.

Bad choice of words? (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189453)

You can register the copyright which helps with enforcing it...

This is almost certainly a bad choice of words on the part of the author. The only real reason I can come up with for anyone to "take steps" to copyright their work (really, as you've said, to register the copyright) is to enforce it. Why would anyone bother to register their copyright unless they suspected they may need to prove that it was theirs? The author certainly intended to say that the designers have taken steps to prepare to enforce their copyright--which, to most people, is the same as actually copyrighting it.

I very much doubt the average person--maybe even the average journalist--knows much at all about copyright. I certainly don't.

Re:Bad choice of words? (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16191461)

Some else might duplicate it and sue YOU ?

Re:Bad choice of words? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16192121)

the cheapest way of being able to prove a copyright is copy the files to a sd card (or mini cd) and put it and a piece of paper with the md5 sum or sha hash in an envelope and then mail it to yourself (the trick is that tampering with the envelope is a FELONY and has a verifiable date stamp).

of course for the bigger stuff being able to use (r) is very handy

Copyright? (2, Insightful)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188663)

So real world copyright law will apply in the virtual world. Will real-world designers start to steal from the virtual one? Is that a copyright violation? Hmmm.

Re:Copyright? (2, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188761)

So real world copyright law will apply in the virtual world.

It always has. So has trademark law and a design my be protected as a mark as well as by copyright.

KFG

Re:Copyright? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16190379)

Will real-world designers start to steal from the virtual one? Is that a copyright violation?

Yes.

It's called a "derived work".

Same thing as one designer doing a sketch for a work in progress and another copying the sketch into cloth.

Fashion... (4, Funny)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188701)

...wants to be free!

Talk is cheap (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189739)

Now where's the torrent?

Re:Fashion... (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16191937)

I want to be free from fashion, but I suspect I'd be arrested if I let it all hang free.

If they really want this game to succeed (1)

Catamaran (106796) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188719)

sharing should be mandatory.

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (1)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188839)

second life has a huge economy. sharing goes against the very fabric of their business model - you can exchange real life dollars for second life money. people can and do form entire businesses in second life to make real life money. every time one of these echanges is made, the game's publisher takes a share. that's why people are pissed about their designs being copied - it's actually costing them profits.

second life is about creating an artificial that somewhat models real life - paying for shit with your money is a big part of the real world.

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189005)

Which makes me wonder... If nearly everybody is playing "Second Life" to generate money, who's putting all this money into the system?

I mean, say I'm an aspiring archetect, and I've decided to design and sell virtual homes on Second Life. The first thing I'd do is figure out how to look like a half-way respectible member of the virtual community while investing a minimum of my own money into it. If everybody in there takes that very sensible approach, nobody can possibly make much money.

The business model only works if you have a lot of people playing Second Life who only want to be consumers... and what could possibly be the draw of the game for them? If they want to build a social network, they can make a MySpace page. If they want to play dress-up with an online avatar, they can download Zwinky. If they want to socialize in a cute MMO, there's Ragnarok.

So I'd be a little surprised to find that this sort of career choice is working out very well for more than a small handful of individuals. (And the usual Chinese sweat-shop gold farms, obviously.)

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189209)

Creating in Second Life is hard.

It's very hard to be proficient at everything in it. I can think of maybe of one person who I know can build, create avatars, textures and script. Most people will specialize in one of those. So when a scripter wants a fancy home, they go to a builder.

I'd say that making a living in SL is noticeably harder than in real life. If you have decent computer skills you can get SOME kind of job fairly easily. Now, if you wanted to live on a SL business, you'd need to invest quite a lot of time into it, and even then it wouldn't pay very well. Anybody can sell something, but selling enough that the proceeds actually amount to something noticeable is very hard.

Say, creating an avatar that doesn't look like crap is a skill that can easily take weeks to develop. The monetary cost is low (you need to pay for texture uploads, but you could just use free ones), but the time cost is high, so paying $3 for an avatar turns out to make a lot sense.

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189265)

Say, creating an avatar that doesn't look like crap is a skill that can easily take weeks to develop. The monetary cost is low (you need to pay for texture uploads, but you could just use free ones), but the time cost is high, so paying $3 for an avatar turns out to make a lot sense.

Except, isn't one of the pleasures of the game supposed to be creating an Avatar for yourself? It was certainly the most-fun element of City of Heroes. The idea of paying somebody $3 to create a hero for me in that game would seem like utter insanity. How is Second Life different?

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (1)

Gwala (309968) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189513)

With City of Heroes - you only have so many combinations, AFAIK, it's not possible to upload a completely custom skin, right?

Same process - people buy parts, then mash them together. You can create your own parts if you want - but most people dont have the skill to be able to design say, a dress - since it requires a fairly decent amount of skill with Photoshop to get it seamless and looking good.

So, people buy the dress, then combine it with a shirt they have bought or made, etc etc.

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16189609)

Because not EVERYONE /wants/ too?

Because, believe it or not, not EVERYONE has the talent to do so? The texture work alone is very difficult to get to look great. Requires a lot of artistic skill.

Most avatars are customisable so you can buy a completly one as a great starting point then tweak it to fit your individual personality as you want.

Everyone is different and there are 100 ways to have fun in SL. Building your own avatar is just one and is not necessarily everyones cup of tea.

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189653)

$3 is for a ready made one, for example like this [luskwood.com] , a custom one will probably cost you several times that.

Well, more complete explanation: You can roll your own (human one) for free by adjusting sliders, but that only goes so far. You can get clothes and stuff for free, and you can buy that too. Now, if you want something truly fancy, you'll need some custom work. Looking like Neo is easy and can be done for free, looking like a dragon is going to take lots of time or paying for it because no slider combination is going to turn you into that. Something like a dragon is done by completely covering yourself with custom attachments.

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (2, Interesting)

Unoti (731964) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189717)

isn't one of the pleasures of the game supposed to be creating an Avatar for yourself? It was certainly the most-fun element of City of Heroes. The idea of paying somebody $3 to create a hero for me in that game would seem like utter insanity. How is Second Life different?

I felt the same way you describe when I started SL, but feel totally different now. Here's why.

For weeks when I first started I never bought anything. I built and scriped everything I needed. It was a matter of principle, a matter of pride. I wouldn't dream of buying an avatar, not when I can make my own. I wouldn't dream of buying someone's car, because it's more fun to make my own.

Then I started selling what I made. I started being very successful selling what I made. Then one day someone wanted me to go to a wedding. I needed to look my best at this wedding. Technically I could spend a few hours working on a tuxedo, but my home-made tuxedo won't look at good as a top-notch one made my a specialist tuxedo maker. (Similarly, if that tuxedo guy wants an animated robot-loaded cannon or animated animal, there's no way he can compete with what I make.) So I could save L$500 and make a tuxedo myself over several hours. Or, I could buy a tuxedo for L$500, and spend those several hours doing work that I specialize in that will earn me far more than L$500.

So while the fun is in making things, there's just not enough hours in the day to make everything. And a single person isn't going to be able to make the best of everything.

The fun is making things, for some people. For other people, the fun is in entertaining guests, or cybersex, or gambling, or whatever.

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16189297)

Around 95% or so of the population are consumers.

There's a lot of people willing to put money into the game for a nice bit of virtual land or a good looking clothing item. It's mostly a social thing - having item X is a cool thing to have with friends around (talking points, etc).

There's also some things which are needed to be creative with - owning land is a nessecity if you plan on building anything, and usually quite a bit of it is needed for any substantial projects.

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (2, Interesting)

Unoti (731964) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189433)

The business model only works if you have a lot of people playing Second Life who only want to be consumers... and what could possibly be the draw of the game for them? If they want to build a social network, they can make a MySpace page.

There are a lot of people playing SL who are primarily consumers. More than content creators, in fact. Linden's CEO estimates about 75% of the players are primarily consumers. As for the comparison to MySpace: there's something special about having a virtual presence, an avatar, when talking with people. In SL you choose to be at a particlar location, with certain people. That presence makes a difference. As compared to Zwinky and Ragnarok, the possibilities of what you might do or see when socializing are far broader in SL. The user-created content allows for ultra-broad flexibility in self expression.

For example, you're never going to see someone burn themselves at the stake in Ragnarok, or dressed as undead being followed by a train of zombies in Zwinky.

- Unoti Quonset, the #1 scripter of animated animals in SL

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (3, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189599)

Second Life is two things basically. On one hand it is a sandbox for people who want to build/create/script/model/texture/whatever. But for a lot of other people, it's just a really fancy chat client. One where you are represented to other people by your customizable avatar. I think most people end up somewhere between the two extremes, it's fun to dabble in making your own clothes or whatever, and you'll learn faster and probably have more fun if you're at least a little bit social.

The neat thing about SL is that you get both of those aspects in one package, so you can sort of float between them at your lesiure. Then add in the fact that a basic, yet very capable SL account is free, and they've ended up with a decently sized userbase, and a solid in-game economy.

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (1)

Gospodin (547743) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189695)

The business model only works if you have a lot of people playing Second Life who only want to be consumers...

Why? In the real world most people aren't only consumers - they also sell their goods and services for money that they use to consume. The government skims a bit off the top of each transaction in taxes. This seems to be a viable business model.

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (1)

Catamaran (106796) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189059)

What I wonder is how much you can build on the work of others and how much involves reinventing the wheel / building from scratch. I guess I should play the game to get a feel for it.

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 7 years ago | (#16190471)

It's worth it. I'm not a great game player, my machine isn't up to playing SL really and I don;t have enough time to get sucked into an immersive game. However I found downloading the free client, reading the scripting guide and trolling about in the world for a few hours to be interesting and worthwhile.

Re:If they really want this game to succeed (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189533)

/sarcasm-on
Odd how this mimics real life. /sarcasm-off

Since designs are just intellectual property (both in this game and in the real world), what does it say about things in the real world that are IP, like OSS and music? Can the same 'arguments' be used for both? Example: The designers are just selling IP. If someone copies their work, how is that depriving them of anything?

preschool taught me not to share (1)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188971)

My preschool was arrainged in open activity stations. We were taught explicitly to enjoy one station as long as one would like and not share. There were plenty of stations, so if you waited your turn, you were free to use it as long as you wanted. If you got bored waiting, there were other things to do. The real reason to share is when you like someone and want them to be happy, not because you feel some social pressure.

The result was that the children did not bug each other or whine about not getting as much as they wanted. No one was hurried. Anyone who is hurried out of a restaurant after a long wait knows how frustrating being hurried out is.

(Yes, this is Off Topic, but I could not resist a reply)

Copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16188723)

Doesn't exist in game

Re:Copyright (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 7 years ago | (#16190307)

Wrong! Game assets are copyright of their creator by default. This includes textures, models, maps, sounds, scripts, you name it. It doesn't matter if it was created in-game, it is still *yours*.

Re:Copyright (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16190505)

Copyright ... Doesn't exist in game

You mean copyright isn't ENFORCED by the GAME OPERATORS.

Copyright exists in the countries of the real world in which the game is embedded, and can be enforced on the players by the legal system of those countries' governments.

Exception would be if the players had explicitly contracted away their copyrights as a condition of participating. In which case copyright could STILL be enforced - but enforcement would only be of interest when somebody without the rights to waive entered a derivative of someone else's designs, or cloned it from another player who didn't have the rights to waive.

Examples would be a work derived from a non-player's copyrighted design, or (depending on the contract wording) a design that a player had created externally and had not inserted into the game.

(IANAL: This is just my understanding of the law.)

What if...? (2, Funny)

RhysTheElf (995560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188725)

What if I'm caught walking the streets in my "First Life" wearing, like, a skin texture that, like was created in "Second Life"? Will I be sued in my "First Life", or, like, in my "Second Life"?

I'm, like, totally confused! You know, like???

Re:What if...? (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189845)

Funny, but I'll bet it won't be too long before we see just that. But God help us if furry fashions catch on in First Life! That's just a joke, no really...

I hope nobody steals my fursuit design! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16188765)

My social paradigm would collapse on itself!

Re:I hope nobody steals my fursuit design! (1)

beckerist (985855) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189621)

...then some PETA member comes and MSPAINTS YOUR ASS! Do we get to sue!?!

Hold the Phone... (1)

general scruff (938598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188789)

Ok, if you want to make money, try putting some effort into something that is actually USEFUL! Virtual fashion design is not useful, its not even SANE!

Greed seems to have no limits, and no IQ requirments either...

Re:Hold the Phone... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189977)

Welcome to capitalism where everything has a value if someone is willing to pay for it, no matter how unproductive or insane it is.

free focus groups (5, Insightful)

neatfoote (951656) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188795)

Seems like real-world clothing manufacturers could easily take advantage of such a system to provide low-cost marketing data. Is someone trying to pitch a potentially risky line of avant-garde designs? Create a quickie virtual mock-up and see whether the Second-Lifers go for it. Overhead is reduced to essentially nil, and you have the added opportunity to create a built-in customer base if you ever do decide to sell the clothing in real life.

Representative focus groups? (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188917)

Are the people who play online virtual-life games the same who would buy real-life avant-garde fashions, even if they find such things suitable enough for their avatars?

Re:free focus groups (1)

atarione (601740) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188935)

yes that way they could gather valuable data on the fashion taste of big nerds that basically never go outside.

step 1:: gather data on the small percentage of population that REALLLLLY like MMORPGs step 2:: ???? step 3:: PROFIT

Re:free focus groups (1)

le0p (932717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188989)

An interesting idea although I'm not sure that nerdy MMO addicts are the peer group generally sought out by trendy fashion designers. Unless, of course, they're designing dirty t-shirts and boxers: The hottest trend in your moms basement!

Re:free focus groups (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189289)

Seems like real-world clothing manufacturers could easily take advantage of such a system to provide low-cost marketing data. Is someone trying to pitch a potentially risky line of avant-garde designs? Create a quickie virtual mock-up and see whether the Second-Lifers go for it.

That only proves whether or not the demographic that inhabits SL is open to your design. The question is whether or not that demographic is one that can be isolated and targeted in the real world.
 
An additional factor is that the clothing creating system in SL is *extremely* limited, and the skill set needed to create attractive and functional clothes in SL does not transfer well to creating attractive clothes in RL.

Re:free focus groups (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189493)

I don't think SL fashion translates very well to the real world. To begin with, SL is entirely free of real world comfort, realism and materials cost constraints.

Things you see in SL: People carrying katanas and various other weapons, robots, furries, very non-western clothes, people with more jewelry than Mr. T, strange things like a fish that swims circles above your head, hair styles that'd take lots of time and money to do in reality...

but...do you REALLY want their input? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189651)

Fashion designers, having taken a clue from the digital world, have recently decided to use survey results from trial marketing data floated in a number of MMOGs, for example "Second Life".

2007 fashions, as a result, are predicted to consist entirely of micro bikinis, Robotech suits, and "Furry" costumes with gender-appropriate orifices/prostheses.

Re:but...do you REALLY want their input? (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16190869)

I'm still waiting for Nike to release their new collection of epic shoes. They give you a +5 to trendiness.

Re:free focus groups (2, Funny)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189901)

You are assuming that people who play Second Life are normal.

(I kid, I kid!)

This would be of limited value (1)

MythoBeast (54294) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189963)

If you've spent any time in second life, you'd know that the clothing strongly ignores practicality and sensibility. Part of it is that virtual clothes weigh nothing and are indestructable, so you can make any shape or size of outfit you want (even including costumes like Ed-209, and people can wear them with about as much effort as a bikini without having to worry about getting into a car, or even about ever having to wash it. A second lost consideration is fabric. In real life, the difference between satin and cheap cotton is horribly obvious to anyone. In second life, you have to go through a lot of effort to even make that kind of thing noticable, and even then there's no way to make a difference in stiffness. A look at walks down some of the fashion show runways gives people a clue what designers would produce if practicality were meaningless, and second life is an order of magnitude worse than that.

Re:This would be of limited value (1)

archen (447353) | more than 7 years ago | (#16192217)

Exactly. If you want proof of how hard non real fashion is to duplicate in real life, then just look at any costumes made up for anime cons. Not only that but when you stick real people in those costumes the results can be less than flattering. Not that I'm against cosplay or anything, it's just that... well most of us aren't as aestheticly pleasing as anime characters...

Get A Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16188847)

Sounds like 700,000 users seriously need to get a life.

Dead end job (2, Funny)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188855)

By April of this year, though, Ms. LaRoche no longer had that day job. Her online design business had become full time, aided by the success of her fashions and other contract work, such as helping American Apparel launch a store inside Second Life.

So when the game eventually ends or goes under because no one is playing any more not only will Ms. LaRoche not have a job she won't have any marketable skills either.

Interviewer: So, I see you have been working for yourself for the past 2 years. What business are you in?
LaRoche: I designed clothes for characters in Second Life.
Interviewe: Thank you I've heard enough. Don't call us, we'll call you.

Re:Dead end job (1)

Dargoth_Rejuv (1002142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188921)

Sounds alot like when I used to raid in World of Warcraft to get all this sweet gear that, now that I've quit, is just some bytes taking up space on some server somewhere for a few more years before they shut it down and call it quits.

Re:Dead end job (2, Interesting)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188961)

Maybe.... but to play devil's advocate, people who quit their jobs to start website based businesses 10 years ago were also encouraged to "get serious about life" and go do something real. Some of those guys ended up making millions because they got in on the ground floor. There's no guarentee of success in any business, but there ARE opportunities and they aren't always obvious.

As silly as it seems right now, the succesful Second Life clothier might be the metaverse-based tycoon of the future.... or homeless. We just don't know yet, so it's probably prudent to avoid all encompassing "you won't have marketable skills" statements.

Just a thought.

Re:Dead end job (1)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189915)

Lets see... if she actually presents this properly, this job would demonstrate some business skills, a willingness to take risks and do something different and 'outside the box', not to mention the types of design and programming skills required by her Second Life job, which have a proven marketability (and, if she's primarily interested in design, they're also probably fairly portable to other sorts of "real life" design jobs).

Admittedly it's quite likely that an interviewer for most positions will simply adopt your opinion and think she spent 2 years playing a game, but if the employer is even a little open minded, I'd say there are much much worse things you could spend a year or two doing, from an employabilty point of view.

Re:Dead end job (1)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16191991)

Have you played Second Life? Are you aware of their system for creating objects in the game?

You "interact" with 3-D objects in the game and modify them using the system Second Life developers made. You are not coding, you are not doing sophisticated 3-D modelling with industry accepted applications. Its a game, it is not work. Any more than people buying and selling in-game items on E-bay is work. I guess everyone here would argue that the person using E-bay is developing their retail and marketing skills.

Re: Who wants a job anyway? (1)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16191515)

she won't have any marketable skills either

Fashion design isn't a marketable skill? Huh?

Thank you I've heard enough. Don't call us, we'll call you

And there you have it folks. The fuckitude of the workplace in 11 words. Now let's all sing the company song while our "interviewers" wait for a Nobel-Prize-winning astronaut with four PhDs and an Olympic Gold Medal to respond to our ad for a "self-starter with a winning personality" to work 12/7 for $15 an hour while some phone-flipping crouton-stuffing fuck tells them how their education doesn't have anything to do with the real world.

Re:Dead end job (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16191537)

So when the game eventually ends or goes under because no one is playing any more not only will Ms. LaRoche not have a job she won't have any marketable skills either.

Um, whatever. At the very least she will have skills doing 3D design. Creating models and skins for someone else's game for free (in this case, a Quake mod) was how one of my friends launched a career in the gaming industry doing 3D modelling and such. It's definitely a marketable skill. Not saying she's got a golden ticket or anything, but it certainly isn't useless experience.

FEMALE fashion in Second Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16188867)

What the article doesn't say is that female fashion is what prevails in Second Life. I played for 2 weeks as a male avatar, and I had a difficult time finding clothes for my character. However, I had no problem finding places selling/giving away dresses, skirts, tanktops, lingerie, etc.

It would be curious to see the true male to female ratio of players in Second Life. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it's males driving the fashion, even if they're dressed as women.

That place creeped me out, so I closed my account.

Re:FEMALE fashion in Second Life (2, Interesting)

Erbo (384) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189969)

I've done my share of lamenting the state of masculine fashion in SL. Most of the clothes out there are for women, and most of the stuff that is available for men, I wouldn't be caught dead in.

Still, there are decent clothes to be found. The best suits in SL (complete with flexiprim ties!) come from Blaze, and they also sell good casual menswear. I found more decent menswear at Swell Second Life, including khaki pants and a polo shirt. Blaze is also good for formal wear, and Simone sells a high-class tux that is top-notch. SIMWEAR Menswear is a good location for relatively inexpensive stuff, including suits and tuxes, and also has a good line of shoes, hats, and accessories. Another good shoe retailer is D2TK, where I've bought a couple pairs of brown nubuck leather shoes that look good and wear well. And I have a couple of outfits from Vitamin Ci that also look nice, as well as a pair of Victorian suits from Silver Rose Designs in Caledon that are quite well done. As for hair, I've found decent men's hair designs at both Pazazz and GuRL 6.

Suffice it to say, there are options for the male avatar out there, if you know where to look. "'Cos every girl crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man..."

Re:FEMALE fashion in Second Life (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 7 years ago | (#16190759)

leather shoes that look good and wear well
Sorry, I haven't played it before, but this caught my attention. Do bought goods in SL actually degrade and wear out, forcing you to buy more?

Re:FEMALE fashion in Second Life (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 7 years ago | (#16192247)

No they don't wear out.

"Wearing well" probably means something akin to "no weird graphical/color glitches, and that it works well with your own shape. (some items don't work very well depending on shape)

Re:FEMALE fashion in Second Life (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 7 years ago | (#16192225)

You forgot Barnes Boutique. There's also an new place called 1-900-Bettie that has some retro "snappy men's suits"

And there's that new SL men's fashion blog under the Second Style banner, can't remember the name of it right now. Second man or something.

Re:FEMALE fashion in Second Life (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 7 years ago | (#16192189)

Last I read LL esitmates the number of female SL players at between 40 and 50%. It's much higher thany any other online game I've played.

And while female fashion does predominate, there's plenty of places to find good men's clothes. Just read the SL fashoin blogs. Yes, I know, fashion blogs about virtual fashion. But that's practically the only way to keep track of stuff.

fashion, or fashionistas? (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188895)

The game Second Life -- a simulated world with more than 700,000 'residents,' or players, who sometimes refer to their offline existence as their 'first life' -- is breeding a virtual world of fashion design

And right along with that is the herds of fashionistas, strutting and posing. It's ironic that despite being a "virtual" world, Second life is one of the most shallow, materialistic communities I've ever experienced.

Re:fashion, or fashionistas? (1)

Unoti (731964) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189903)

Second life is one of the most shallow, materialistic communities I've ever experienced.

There are lots of sub-communities. They're not all materialistic (is virtual materialism really materialism?) Certainly there's a big contengent of preening avatar appearance whores running around. But there's tons of other people doing tons of other things, too. Look at boat racing, miniature golf, or investigate becomming a dragon for glimpses of less self-absorbed community.

Re:fashion, or fashionistas? (1)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16190395)

Sure, if "shallow" means "interested in different things than me."

much like real life knockoffs (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16188945)

I don't see why people should get so upset, its just like the corner street knockoffs. Make your brand famous and people will come to you, especially if you continue to innovate. You're only wasting your money and time trying to knockout the knockoffs... hmm this sounds a lot like the DMCA debate...

much like real life [physical] knockoffs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16189345)

*sigh* And as usual slashdot forgets the digital realm isn't like the real one. That's why analogies break down.

Re:much like real life knockoffs (2, Insightful)

Overloadplanetunreal (603019) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189467)

I believe there is a big difference in the Second Life setting.

In the real world, they're cheap knockoffs. They're made from substandard materials and I'm sure the craftsmanship is not as good. But in a game like Second Life, stealing a texture to use on your own outfit has the SAME quality as the original, so there's no reason for a potential buyer to get the knockoff as opposed to the original.

Second life demographics... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189027)

Last time I saw a Second Life article on /. (a few months ago) I decided to try it, met a few persons, all in there recently for 2 or three weeks. I wonder how many people spend more than 3 months in Second Life (yes, I only logged in two times, I didn't like their creation methods)

Second Life Clothing Market (3, Insightful)

RembrandtX (240864) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189215)

Well, I have to say it. Not only does second life irritate the CRAP out of me, but its whole 'system' is a mess.

I honestly played second life for like 2 days, to see what all the fuss was about. Not only was the game slow, and unresponsive, but it was dull as shit too.

It was basically a giant SHOPPING MALL. you could go to remote islands, and shop. You could go to the desert, and shop. All the while spending 'real' money for virtual clothes, so other people could watch you 'shop' in style. [As an added bonus, you could sell your virtual life $$ for 'real' money, allowing chinese etc. money laundering and farming.]

You are given an allowance of Lydon(sp) dollars every week. and my first (and only) $250 went to buy a t-shirt that said 'you all suck' on it, of course, I didn't get that .. I instead got a big 'box' hat that covered my little character and said 'sucker' on all sides.

So not only can you SHOP online, but you can get ripped off online too.

The company is just biding its time trying to get series-A funding. Something to drive the price up so the CEO can retire, or sell to warner brothers or something.

Now, its also well known that Second Life has a HUGE gay following, its like .. the video game for folks who are/were/might be coming out soon. So maybe that has something to do with the endless fashion parade. Really, in the end of the day though, not only is this story moot, but second life is moot. Its a failed experiment, pumped up by marketing PR, hoping to last long enough so that the folks who own it don't need to get real jobs. The Sims online, has a larger marketshare, and sony called that game a failure.

Re:Second Life Clothing Market (1)

Maian (887886) | more than 7 years ago | (#16190477)

"Dull as shit" is just your opinion, and I suspect my opinion would be the same. But that doesn't mean the game is shit. It may be shit for you and me, but not to the people the game is targeted for, which is definitely not us. It's like saying, all chick flicks suck, when clearly some people just love em. Or something more game-related: some think PvP is da shit, and others think PvP is shit.

Re:Second Life Clothing Market (4, Interesting)

AdamTrace (255409) | more than 7 years ago | (#16190917)

"I instead got a big 'box' hat that covered my little character and said 'sucker' on all sides."

For what it's worth, the T-shirt was probably inside the box... Putting stuff in boxes is a pretty typical way to sell things. Not that you care, but just FYI.

I signed up for Second Life months ago. I was never interested in actually "playing" it (meaning, I suppose, meeting people, making friends, wearing furry costumes, having virtual sex, etc), but instead, I had a great time making and scripting objects, and subsequently selling them.

Seriously, tell me one other place where you can make your very own casino game, rent floor space, and make (or lose) real US dollars by having people play your game? Not everyone can make and sell clothing for real money, but you can in SL. There's something to be said for that.

Myself, I've made a few casino/dance club type games, as well as some treasure hunt type stuff, and have made a couple hundred bucks over the summer. Nothing to retire on, but, on some level, more rewarding than the time I spent playing WoW...

Adman

Re:Second Life Clothing Market (1)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16191333)

The Sims online, has a larger marketshare, and sony called that game a failure.

If a golden blimp the size of metropolitan Minneapolis emerged from Mount Vesuvius by the light of a silver sunrise and floated gently to Sony Headquarters, then hovered momentarily over the front parking lot before a gigantic sphincter parted from within the blimp and disgorged a pile of cash that blotted out the sun so completely that it caused an ice age for 100 years, Sony would probably call it a failure.

 

Re:Second Life Clothing Market (1)

dlim (928138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16191529)

So not only can you SHOP online, but you can get ripped off online too.
You don't need a Second Life to get ripped off online. I never did see the $10 million I was promised from Dr (Mrs.) Mariam Abacha, wife of the late Nigerian head of state, General Sani Abacha.

Re:Second Life Clothing Market (1)

eyeball (17206) | more than 7 years ago | (#16191847)

I highly suggest you take a look at this presentation [google.com] from Philip Rosedale to get a better idea of what their vision is. The founders aren't going anywhere.

Also, it's painfully obvious that a large part of the SL grid is devoted to shopping, but look around -- it's a reflection of the real world. I would guess that the spending ratios between things like clothing, toys, gadgets, education, real estate, and investment may be very similar between the two worlds.

And the spending reflects the amount of activities as well. It's easy to walk around NYC for the first time and think all people do is eat and shop, but after a little time, knowing where to look, you can find serious things to do that don't involve shopping. Same with Second Life - coffee shop listening to live streaming music with others, discussion groups, classes (both SL-related and not), art shows, poetry..

Oh and that "You Suck" shirt costed roughly $1 real-life money. 250L is a pretty high price for what sounds like a cheap T-shirt, so you were kind of ripped off.

Re:Second Life Clothing Market (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 7 years ago | (#16192045)

Actually, non-subscribing players don't get a weekly stipend any more. If you shell out a tenner a month, you do get a certain amount of L$ per week, but not enough that you could cash it out to recoup your ten dollars at the end of the month.

Inventory management and transferring objects is still a huge fucking mess. As someone else said, the shirt you bought was probably in the box that you ended up wearing on your chest. Unfortunately, there's no way to move objects from a box in your inventory to another part of your inventory... you've got to put the box out in the world somewhere (I've taken to attaching it to my HUD, so nobody sees it) and interact with it from there. It's counterintuitive, to say the least.

The Sims Online was a massive failure for EA, not Sony. It had none of the attractions of the standalone game (like playing "house" with multiple households), and worse the only way to do anything revolved around stupid mini-games. The average Sims enthusiast wanted to play with their dolls, not pretend to be one of those dolls.

Linden Labs, on the other hand, is appealing to their users' greed by allowing them the opportunity to cash out in-game earnings-- with a tiny bit taken off the top for the service, of course. They also allow people to buy in-game currency with real-world money (there's even a hard-coded button that fires up the currency conversion web-page in the client). There are groups that shell out hundreds of dollars a month to the Lindens in virtual land fees, which indubitably keeps the company flush with money. You might be angry and frustrated with Linden Labs (and there's no shortage of reasons to be angry with them), but they do have a tidy little racket going on right now.

This just in... (1)

plexium_nerd (724461) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189237)

It's official, Second Life now sucks just as much as real life.

The one thing nobody talks about... (1)

xx01dk (191137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189245)

...is the bloody horrible LAG in this game. It has nothing to do with your hardware; I can only stumble around at about 5-10 FPS in moderately populated areas with my dual-core, 7900GT machine with 2gb ram. I want to like this game so much but when you're used to playing other huge MMO's like WoW at smooth-as-glass framerates, walking around as if you are trapped in a slideshow is unbearable.

I hope they upgrade their hardware soon, because I'm willing to give it another go.

Re:The one thing nobody talks about... (0, Offtopic)

Gwala (309968) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189385)

Let me guess - dual core machine?

Set processor affinity to a single core - that will fix it. SL likes jumping between cores at every opportunity which absolutely kills the performance on high end machines. (That being said, performance still isnt brilliant - user created content tends to lead to unoptimised areas)

Another tip is to lower your draw distance if performance still sucks - preferences -> graphics -> draw distance - set to 64 (Default is 128), worst case that will give you a good framerate.

So much for that experiment... (1, Interesting)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16189719)

(somehow /. stuck this in the PS3 article....)

What I find so amusing/ironic/sad is that Linden Labs had built 2nd Life on a kind of cool idea - a pseudo-utopian experiment where they were going to build the world and, as I understood it, essentially keep their hands off, letting the social systems and communities grow organically.

Until something doesn't fit their PC-vision of what utopia should be, apparently.

Like utopian socialists whose Pollyanna ideals of "from each...to each..." don't quite survive their impact with the real world, they then turn to despotism to FORCE people to conform to (what they think) is best. The Lindens don't seem to hesitate to employ a mechanistic "hand of god" when it suits them.

Hint: Tyranny for a good reason is still tyranny. It's their world, their money (mostly), and they can ultimately do what they like, of course.

But what value is a 'virtual' version of Biosphere II, if the irresistable, implacable Hand of God can come in and magically set things right?

I was peripherally involved in the "Jesse War" so many ages ago, and I was saddened then as I'm saddened now. They have chosen once AGAIN to insinuate themselves directly in world-affairs and thus taint the entire experiment.

Wouldn't it have been MORE interesting to see how the community might have handled this WITHIN the bounds of the tools available to the avatars in-game? It might have provided a creative insight to our real-world issues of IP, patent, and copyright infringement.

Experiments are worthless if it's impossible for them to go wrong. If they can only travel down the pre-planned course, that's not an experiment, that's NARRATIVE. How do you study how the human animal behaves in the wild, if every misbehaving member of the study group is removed? What sort of valid result will that leave you?

But no, unless we have the magic Hand of God who can fix things in real life for us, too?

Re:So much for that experiment... (1)

reed (19777) | more than 7 years ago | (#16191671)

The problem is that the tools are really limited. Can you hack Second Life to digitally sign clothes that you're selling? Can I get the server source code, add a feature, and send a patch to Linden Labs? :)

2nd Life fashion better protected than 1st life? (2, Informative)

KiahZero (610862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16190403)

Interestingly, because fashion designs in Second Life fall within the bounds of copyright, they are more protected than fashion designs in real life. Because real life designs are considered a "useful article," they fall under patent law rather than copyright law. Since patent law moves so slowly, designs wouldn't be protected under patents until after they're no longer worth protecting. Because computer code is not held to be a "useful article" (I have no idea why clothes are and software isn't... *shrug*) fashion designers who design virtual clothes can copyright their designs and sue infringers. I'd be kind of curious to find out what would happen if a real life designer started creating copies of their own work in Second Life and then attacking other real life copiers for making derivative works from their virtual copyright. The outcome would likely be the court deciding that the Second Life designs were similar to paper designs, making no difference to the current regulatory scheme. It's an interesting question nonetheless. (If you're interested in the topic, there's a paper on the topic here: http://www.law.virginia.edu/pdf/faculty/sprigman_p iracy.pdf [virginia.edu] )

This just in (1)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16191179)

Person who uses computer for work wants to buy food. Controversy erupts. Film at 11.

Real designer clothes are just as virtual (1)

nidarus (240160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16191543)

The cost of the fabric and the salary of the third-worlders that actually make the clothes are just a fraction of the price people pay for designer clothes. What do people pay for then? Well, design - i.e. intellectual property.

I mean, these "virtual" clothes even perform the same function as their real-world counterparts: to be aesthetically pleasing.

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