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Google Testing "My World" Second Life Rival?

CmdrTaco posted about 7 years ago | from the can't-be-less-useful dept.

Google 195

Tjeerd writes "Rumors of Google's plans to create a virtual world that rivals that of Second Life have popped up once again over the weekend. The company could now be collaborating with Arizona State University to test the 3D social network, which may be tied into Google's current applications of Google Earth and Google Maps."

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My World Museum Future Tour (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 7 years ago | (#20744501)

The year is 3007. A tour guide is moving people in futuristic suits along a wall containing ancient artifacts--some over 1000 years old.

Tour Guide: What you see before you on this wall is the registration page of "My World" which was a mediocre success from the once successful company Google ...
Tourist 1: You mean the religion Google?
Tour Guide: No, this is before Google was technically a religion, although leading theorists are still in hot debate over whether or not they ever exhibited non-religious behavior.
Tourist 2: So is this the "MySpace" that almost lead to the completely downfall and lack of productivity of the users?
Tour Guide: No, this is a sad an unfortunate result of the ignorant times of the beginning of the fourth millennium when companies copied each other in naming conventions. Unfortunately this lead to confusing statements such as "You can find it on my MySpace profile." or "I like your My World house." Remember this after the point in time when everything had an e- appended to the front of it to raise more money due to reasons not yet understood ... although this is before the time of the iCar, iHome, iWear & iMarthaStewartBedSheets.
Tourist 3: So pre-iGod era?
Tour Guide: That's right, prior to the death and rebirth of Steve Jobs.
Tourist 4: What's this ancient script here on this page?
Tour Guide: That is a dead dialect of someone criticising another user's "My World" and it reads as such, "J00 need a life, ur MW site is teh ghey." Scientists suspect this sort of talk was indicative of people who had experienced full frontal lobotomies or spent more than 10 minutes on a (now banned for obvious reasons) cell phone. The criticizing user is unimpressed with the amount of memory a plain "My World" consists of and seems to be demanding that more objects, backgrounds, dancing jesuses and flying toasters be added to the 'ghey' user's page.
Tourist 5: What was the point of all of this?
Tour Guide: Again, a much debated topic although the currently accepted belief is that these sites were often a strange mating ritual as many of the once private messages are now public and indicate that sex, hooking up or unspeakable acts were highly sought after from other users.
Tourist 6: I can't believe I evolved from one of these 'people.'
Tour Guide: Indeed, we have come a long way. It is too bad it took a thousand years and the complete eradication of all Microsoft products to return our productivity to nominal levels.

Re:My World Museum Future Tour (5, Funny)

omega_dk (1090143) | about 7 years ago | (#20744647)

Your precognition intrigue me, and I would like to know more. For example, are there holy wars between those who follow the great Google, and those who worship the iGod? Also, there are these private messages asking me for sex, hooking up, or unspeakable acts? Oh, right, I read slashdot. Well, I would still like to know about the religious dynamics of this world. Is there a subculture of people what worship Microsoft and wear red, blue, green, and yellow colored clothes? Is Ubuntu Christian Edition *really* what jesus would download? These are questions that need answering, man! I need to go ahead and start these religions now. I mean, hey - it worked for L. Ron Hubbard...

Re:My World Museum Future Tour (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 7 years ago | (#20744833)

are there holy wars between those who follow the great Google, and those who worship the iGod?
No, you're confusing the Grand Search-quisition with the great Appleing. The holy wars from the former involved people being held down while their name was searched for on the all knowing search engine of Google. If it was found that they had died or where traitors to any of Google's causes, they were executed as witches. Truly an unfortunate time for people with common names, hence the beginning of middle, post middle, pre middle and ultra middle names in the western world. The great Appleing involved a band of VW bugs driving around the country, finding leaders of Microsoft & Google and pummeling them to death with Apples. We're still unsure of who was behind that, the iGod claims he never used the term 'open season.'

Also, there are these private messages asking me for sex, hooking up, or unspeakable acts?
Just claim to be a football player in your My World and then post a picture you find online of one. If it doesn't work, add "shirtless" to the search.

Is there a subculture of people what worship Microsoft and wear red, blue, green, and yellow colored clothes?
There are rumors of a sect that still survives the purging of Microsoft however, those who have witnessed a meeting have never survived the chairs of death that soon follow when they are found out to not fully endorse every Microsoft product. Ever seen a grown man cry his way through trying to use Windows 4? Not a pretty site.

Is Ubuntu Christian Edition *really* what jesus would download?
No, the third coming was a joyous event. Christ quickly became a hit at parties in his conversion of dust and water to cocaine and coors lite. He doesn't download much these days as he spilled coors all over his only computer.

Re:My World Museum Future Tour (5, Funny)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | about 7 years ago | (#20747231)

Christ quickly became a hit at parties in his conversion of dust and water to cocaine and coors lite.
Coors Lite!? I knew there was a reason we killed that guy!

Re:My World Museum Future Tour (3, Funny)

sepluv (641107) | about 7 years ago | (#20744819)

Tour Guide:Research suggests that the origin of this, as well as many other phenomena designed to cause confusion, was a software company called Microsoft.

Tourist:You mean the satanic religion that worshiped the one known as Bob?

Tour Guide:No, this is before Microsoft was technically a Satanic religion, although leading theorists are still in hot debate over whether or not they ever exhibited non-Satanic behavior. They produced operating systems, of which Bob was one that had a very short life after no one bought it. Anyway, following the demise of Bob, Microsoft caught on to the idea of forcing all new computers to come with their new window-based operating system (known confusingly as "Windows") which caused hours of torment by doing the opposite to the user's wishes and constantly succumbing to what was known as the Blue Screen of Death.

In order to patronise and confuse their users (or The Used as Microsoft worshipers preferred to call them), they labeled everything in their operating system with the prefix, "My" (e.g.: My Documents, My Computer), thus causing many suicides in tech support call centres after the staff tried to explain to callers what they meant by "Can you open your My computer on your computer's desktop?"

Re:My World Museum Future Tour (5, Funny)

Selfbain (624722) | about 7 years ago | (#20746211)

Bob was a false prophet. Clippy was our true savior.

won't work (2, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | about 7 years ago | (#20744541)

Everyone will put down that they live at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, and the servers will asplode!

Hmmm... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 7 years ago | (#20744763)

now that we talk about streets, I'd choose 221-B Baker S... WHAT THE HECK AM I TALKING ABOUT!!! *Jumps out the window*

[System status: Sanity regained.]

Whew, that was close.

Re:Hmmm... (2)

GuyinVA (707456) | about 7 years ago | (#20745763)

Not me. I live at 472 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield.

Re:Hmmm... (3, Funny)

glindsey (73730) | about 7 years ago | (#20746061)

So, that would be right down the street from 742 Evergreen Terrace, then.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

GuyinVA (707456) | about 7 years ago | (#20746319)

Yep, just a couple of blocks. (doh) me and my dumb fingers...

Re:Hmmm... (3, Insightful)

glindsey (73730) | about 7 years ago | (#20747685)

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist... and I shouldn't talk, as I've made plenty of embarrassing tyops myself.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 7 years ago | (#20747371)

Well, isn't it a small world? I pass by there all the time on my way home to 1313 Mockinbird Lane.

Re:won't work (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 7 years ago | (#20744851)

Not me. My home address is 1060 West Addison.

Re:won't work (1)

mzs (595629) | about 7 years ago | (#20746163)

"I hate Illinois Nazis."

Re:won't work (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 7 years ago | (#20746819)

"I've always loved you."

Re:won't work (1)

genner (694963) | about 7 years ago | (#20745265)

I wouldn't. I heard there's a real jerk living in that area.

Re:won't work (1)

Eponymous Bastard (1143615) | about 7 years ago | (#20746239)

Everyone will put down that they live at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, and the servers will asplode!
I wouldn't. Some clueless idiot at AT&T will sniff my connection and think I'm "hacking" a server at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and send the DHS/FBI/CIA/MIB for me.

My server stays at 1313 Mockingbird lane for now.

Why? (5, Interesting)

eln (21727) | about 7 years ago | (#20744567)

Is there some sort of shortage of virtual flying penises or something?

Second Life is useless other than an entity for journalists to write stories about so they can look "plugged in" to the Internet culture. Many companies have attempted to maintain a presence there, but they usually don't last because they don't really get anything out of it. Why would Google's offering be any different? Just because they're Google, so everything they do is automatically better?

Maybe Google is looking for an entry into the burgeoning banking scam or furry porn industries.

Re:Why? (1, Interesting)

MarkToronto (1145669) | about 7 years ago | (#20744633)

I agree. There is absolutely NOTHING of interest in Second Life (other than socializing with complete strangers, who you somehow don't realize are old guys with Cheetoz stained T-shirts on [and that's it]). Second Life (although interesting to tour through to see what people have created) severely lacks any kind of interesting "game play". I know it's not supposed to be a game (per se), but at least give people something to accomplish, instead of lying on beach matts gaining .001 of a dollar every 10 minutes for "camping". *yawn* I'm bored. Meet you in SecondLife!

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | about 7 years ago | (#20745931)

Camping's created entirely by the users... it'll die as soon as the traffic algorithm is fixed so camping is not longer needed to try and boost people's traffic. Camping is just really basic Search Engine Optimisation.
SL is entirely creative and consumptive. There are no goals, just creators and consumers and a whole lot of chat inbetween.
I find the socialising comfortable enough in the areas I hang out, and I love being able to script and manipulate objects 'live' with others. Great collaborative opportunities.

Re:Why? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 7 years ago | (#20744635)

Second Life was big because it had potential that was killed by trolls and the ability to change the world too much. If google can make a good version, it's possible that it'll succeed and be something worth looking at. Not likely, but possible.

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

discord5 (798235) | about 7 years ago | (#20745077)

it had potential that was killed by trolls

Welcome to the Internet.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | about 7 years ago | (#20744691)

Second Life is really 3D IRC, with a much poorer frame rate than the old-skool IRC.

Re:Why? (1)

BigDumbAnimal (532071) | about 7 years ago | (#20745481)

So... Second Life is just VRML from like 10 years ago?

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

eno2001 (527078) | about 7 years ago | (#20746739)

Yep. When I first saw Second Life I was reminded of my forays into VRML sites (usually Java based) back between 1995 and 1997. I can't see what the difference is other than the client, more CPU and GPU power and higher bandwidth. Beyond that it's basically IRC with a 3D environment that passes for a GUI. The way I see it, Second Life is a lot like going through real life with the use of one eye, one ear and one finger. Hmmm... sounds kinda like a dalek. Anyway, I think I'll be more interested in something like Second Life when the environment is fully immersive. By that, I mean, I should feel like I'm somewhere else and have full function of my entire body. I shouldn't see the room I'm sitting in. And physical actions in the space should correlate to certain real things in real life. Being that the kind of technology to pull that off is probably 75-100 years off, I don't think I'll be seeing it.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20745591)

And when you hit the Home key to correct something at the beginning of a line, you start flying.

Oblig Bash Quote (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20746797)

And as we all know, IRC is just a multiplayer notepad ;)

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20745067)

Just because they're Google, so everything they do is automatically better?

Welcome to SlashDot!

Please observe local customs.

Re:Why? (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | about 7 years ago | (#20745883)

Why would Google's offering be any different?

I don't think there's any chance that google actually is going to be doing something like this at the present time, but there's a lot of reasons to think they could do it better than second life. The primary reason would be that they've got a huge amount of failures from SL to learn from. Additionally, they could probably do it with a better revenue source and more up to date infrastructure. If they built it up to a point where the average user could create a FPS fairly easily, and make it feel native instead of something hacked into a platform which never intended something like it to exist, I could see a lot of potential. Just as much if they allowed users access to real programming languages ingame. Personally, I'd hoped second life would be a good platform for playing around with alife. Being forced into an underpowered, underperforming scripting language or dealing with a crippled and latency ridden connection to a program running offserver made it more an exercise in tedium than entertainment. If someone could implement all that, and had the presence to get word of it out, I could see it doing much better than second life.

Re:Why? (-1, Offtopic)

GroeFaZ (850443) | about 7 years ago | (#20745921)

Is there some sort of shortage of MP3 players/mobile phones or something?

The iPod/iPhone is useless other than an entity for journalists to write stories about so they can look "plugged in" to the mobile music player/phones market. Many companies have attempted to maintain a presence there, but they usually don't last because the market is already over-saturated. Why would Apple's offering be any different? Just because they're Apple, so everything they do is automatically better?

Maybe Apple is looking for an entry into the burgeoning over-priced gadget market.

Criticizing Google for an no-even-announced product is fine and dandy, but like with Apple, it would be foolish to underestimate them at making a large impact at a market that seems to be divided up and settled already.

Not news (1, Funny)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 7 years ago | (#20744569)

What does any of this have to do with the iPhone? If I want non iPhone news I'll ask for it!

Ahh, Rumors (4, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | about 7 years ago | (#20744577)

I love rumors. Rumors make me believe everything will be better and just the way I like it. Google -might- create a new second life, Microsoft is -poised- to buy stock in Facebook, there have been -talks- that Mac OS X won't run on 800 MHz machines.

Now facts... facts I have no time for. Facts are depressing, facts are cruel and heartless, and facts are used by people such as Jack Thompson. Or, rumor has it that he uses facts, so I suppose in truth he's rumored to have certainty -- which shakes me to the core.

Also, rumors tell companies like Google what to do next. "Hmm, what will we do tomorrow? Let's see what we're rumored to do? A new Second Life and a puppy-reselling website? We'll need some more Ajax scripters!"

Oh, rumors, is there anything you can't allude to?

(not a dig at /., just feeling a little jokey today)

Re:Ahh, Rumors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20745033)

Rumors are definitely rumors.

However, there are MANY flyers posted around ASU advertising creating your new Google Online Avatar.

Too bad that when you attend a university with ~47,000 students you learn to ignore anything and everything that is handed to you or posted on a wall/bulletin board.

Re:Ahh, Rumors (1)

pokerdad (1124121) | about 7 years ago | (#20745583)

"Hmm, what will we do tomorrow? Let's see what we're rumored to do?

Isn't that how the iphone came about?

Re:Ahh, Rumors (1)

techpawn (969834) | about 7 years ago | (#20745793)

Slashdot: All the truthiness you need!

Another VWorld? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20744581)

They should make a meta virtual world, some way to interconnect the different virtual worlds.

Re:Another VWorld? (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | about 7 years ago | (#20744847)

Or maybe an online version of the old BBC game Elite. Then you could fly between worlds shooting pirates and trading Second Life goods for WOW goods.

Re:Another VWorld? (1)

CelestialDog (1161909) | about 7 years ago | (#20745287)

I personally thought second life was a complete waste of time. I dunno maybe i'm getting old, but after 30 minutes of wandering around it got so boring i uninstalled it. I can understand that there are a lot of people out there that get something from second life, but me personally I think life is too short to watch a graphical version of yourself wandering a computer generated landscape.

Re:Another VWorld? (1)

mikael (484) | about 7 years ago | (#20745925)

Maybe it depends on the neighborhood you are in. Where I am, the pubs and restaurants are just 10 minutes walk or a 2 minute bus ride away. Other parts of the city, I wouldn't want to go out of my door for fear of the drunk yobs wandering around. Alternatively, being out in a rural or suburban area, travelling down to the nearest entertainment venue might require a car or taxi.

I thought it was mainly art students who liked Second Life, so that they could demonstrate virtual versions of their creations.

re: meta virtual world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20744887)

They should make a meta virtual world, some way to interconnect the different virtual worlds.
That would be kinda sweet. Though my CoH hero would have an unfair advantage compared to the wussy characters in other games.

Re: meta virtual world (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 7 years ago | (#20745237)

Anything for the ability for me to pilot Ryu Hayabusa through a killing spree over a few MMORPGs.

Rivaling Second Life? (4, Interesting)

hibiki_r (649814) | about 7 years ago | (#20744585)

Second Life has a good PR team, but that's all they have. They really don't matter. Claiming that they plan to rival Second Life is like claiming that they'll develop an OS that will rival BeOS in market share.

It's trivial to rival second life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20746531)

Second life has zero scalability.

When they started you could get 40 avatars in a zone.

Now they have 100 times as many subscribers yet you still can't get many more people in a zone for a popular event. A few bigger machines can take double that, but that's the limit. It's totally destroyed second life's ability to host anything interesting.

And here's the kicker: they have no interest in fixing it, because their income is based on keeping people in their home sims.

Crap system, no concept of good engineering.

Rock on Google.

Yes, the PR is masking the reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20747049)

This is coming from a different angle to your point, but it's still relevant to PR.

The "vision" of Second Life as described by their CEO was very strongly about Second Life != First Life ... in other words, Second Life was to be a new experience, where you could create new worlds beyond the constraints of First Life, where communities would be free to lay down their own social rules. Philip Rosedale often used the word "metaverse" .... Second Life was going to be the start of that metaverse concept.

Unfortunately, only the PR has remained from that nice vision. Second Life is now just First Life in disguise, full of lawyer crap and draconian Terms of Service and uncaring customer relations and the rule of political correctness. And they can't even get the technology right, it's falling apart and doesn't scale.

So, the dream has gone, and only the PR is left. Google might as well take over.

Re:Rivaling Second Life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20747313)

I can tell you that's more or less it, it's a money trap where linden labs reaps huge chunks of profit for doing virtually nothing. (pun intended)

I play it for comedic value (and as a result, I'm in a group that is largely hated in SL >:D)
there are over 200 "lindens" on SL, however, give or take, about only 10 of them are online on the main grid (the one everyone is on) at any given time, at the MOST. and there are usually like 50 or so online, the rest are hanging out on the beta grid thinking they're cool because they're game gods and sit and oooh and aaah at windlight all damn day, you go to the beta grid and try to talk to them, they'll hardware ban you from the game and leave it at that (basically permaban)

Others enjoy fucking with users and banning them if they complain. Some cyber sex with certain groups on the game, giving said groups the same level of power as the supposed game gods themselves (vigilante groups who get people banned as they see fit, and have access to linden tools to hide and spy on people (despite being a ToS violation. then again LL basically states in the TOS that the ToS isnt really valid and they can ban you for anything anyway, and they're not liable if you suddenly lose $2000 out of your IRL bank account because they had a "billing error."

So yeah, you're right. great marketing team, they make virtual real estate sound like an untapped resource that everyone must have, but when you take off the rose colored glass you see you're more or less renting a piece of a gaming server for your own whims and entertainment that they and they alone own and can strip you of if they're feeling bored or one of the previously mentioned groups wants you gone from the game because you made fun of them for being dressed like super heroes.

and what whims? for your virtual house that you'll never see much of, for your fake TV, or your little e-business that makes millions of dollars in fake money, which is the equivalent to maybe $500 or $1,000 in real money. EXCITING.

Which leaves people to find entertainment in the form of trolling and harassing people who have been suckered in.
My group has bought land, but more or less when we're done with it, we're selling it off, and converting the money we invested into it back into real money and being done with it.

I don't understand. (-1, Troll)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 7 years ago | (#20744655)

I don't understand how virtual realities like this have become popular. Do people's real lives suck so badly that they need to frivolously spend money to create their own little world where things don't suck?

This just underscores problems with society at large. Instead of meeting people the old fashioned way (face to face) many prefer to meet new people by electronic means. When they can do so, they can mask how badly their lives really suck and make them at least virtually interesting. Many people out there just need to get laid. It's a lot cheaper than spending money and getting nothing to show for it.

Re:I don't understand. (2, Insightful)

Library Spoff (582122) | about 7 years ago | (#20744711)

I don't know why people spend money on books or movies - is life so bad they need to escape into an alternative reality?

Re:I don't understand. (1)

sepluv (641107) | about 7 years ago | (#20744925)

Uhhh...Yes. That usually is the reason why people read or watch fictional books and films: modern life is pretty boring.

Re:I don't understand. (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | about 7 years ago | (#20745675)

hmm .. some even read or watch REAL books and films, with fictional stories. Though I guess the more enlightened you are, the less you have to rely on material property ;)

Re:I don't understand. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20745399)

You are probably the pathetic slop that he was talikn about. FATSO. Get off your ass and do something. Apple Fanbois are the biggest pussys. they invent so many reasons to not go out. they even invent excuses to why they are so hermet like. At least BE GAY or soemthing.. dont just parade around on you pussy ass game like your fukkin cool.. i wouls slap you across your bitch ass face if you were here in front of me... COWARD

Because coding the universe is fun. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20745973)

Well, on second life, I can create matter, teleport, and invent new and fantastic things to do limited only by my coding abilities.

All real life has going for it is better graphics and a more realistic physics engine.

Re:Because coding the universe is fun. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20746897)

You can't brag that being able to create matter and teleport is a plus and then praise real lifes more realistic physics engine.

Re:I don't understand. (1)

GroeFaZ (850443) | about 7 years ago | (#20746073)

Fight or Flight are the natural responses to things we don't like. Some fight (especially if they have no realistic possibility to evade), others prefer to stay away from the whole mess and try to divert the mind with other things. Books, movies, alternate realities can really just be other words for the Flight response. Besides, even if you are perfectly fine with the state of things, then after you have hunted and gathered the proverbial food for the day, you can often choose to goof off. But unless you put yourself into a drug-induced coma (I won't even go into the sex thing here), our mind wants to be busy, because that's what it was designed for.

NEWSFLASH! (2, Insightful)

gbutler69 (910166) | about 7 years ago | (#20744945)

Most people's lives suck! They work boring jobs with no future. They live mostly just above the poverty line. Things like television, video games, movies, books, irc, MySpace, and SecondLife give their boring existences something stimulating.

Choose your poison: Religion, Sex, Drugs, Sports, Music, Books, Movies, TV, IRC, MySpace, SecondLife, SLASHDOT.

Whatever will get your brain to release some Oxytocin and/or other Endorphines. And don't think for a minute any of the options is *better* than any of the others. The only thing *good* is what is *good* for the individual in this context.

It would be nice if everyone were pleased and stimulated by thoughtful and intellectual pursuits; unfortunately, most are not.

Heck, as long as it's not self-destructive, who cares? Everything in moderation and everything will be fine.

Kind Regards,

Gerry B.


trongey (21550) | about 7 years ago | (#20746985)

Actually, most people's lives don't suck. It's just that you mostly hear from the ones whose lives do suck. The rest are quietly going along enjoying their non-sucky lives; and not posting on /..

Re:I don't understand. (5, Funny)

king-manic (409855) | about 7 years ago | (#20745031)

I don't understand how virtual realities like this have become popular. Do people's real lives suck so badly that they need to frivolously spend money to create their own little world where things don't suck?

some people knit. Some people have sex. Others create intricate simulated worlds... where they knit and have sex.

Re:I don't understand. (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | about 7 years ago | (#20745047)

I'm quite well hooked on it.

For me it's something like the ultimate combination of a chat and a development platform. My development interests (reputation systems, moderation) also happen to require being part of something that has a decent userbase.

Re:I don't understand. (1)

Yold (473518) | about 7 years ago | (#20745141)

Maybe think about it in terms of why The Sims is so popular. I actually remember reading about this guy a few weeks ago in News of The Weird that is a super-stud in Second Life, it was rather comical because he had a virtual marriage, and it sounded like he committed a lot of time to it.

Yes, some people's lives suck that badly. Others just don't like reality, and still some do it just for fun. Its like drugs maybe? It is the reason people get addicted to WoW.

It isn't about not meeting people people face-to-face, its the reason why I think people are drawn into WoW, Second Life, and some drugs (pot in particular), it is a social experience. You share a common interest with someone, and it acts a medium for social interaction.

Re:I don't understand. (1)

geeknado (1117395) | about 7 years ago | (#20745315)

I think different people interact with places like SL for different reasons. While I personally don't find it engaging at all, several of my artier friends find it an interesting medium for expression...One, who makes in-game wings, has actually made several thousand dollars doing so, so I suppose that's another reason it's appealing to some-- commerce.

Seriously, though, what's the difference between play on Second Life and any other form of escapism? Many people around the world spend a large quantity of time staring at a television...Are their lives inherently pathetic? What about people who put up various styles of vanity web pages(blogs, fan forums, etc)-- do their lives necessarily "suck"?

I think that's the conceit that bothers me in what you're saying, the presumption that interacting with people socially in an online setting == a stunted real life. The two don't necessarily equate, as I'm sure you'd have to agree understanding that you're taking the time to comment /about/ such people's lives on an inherently geektastic online forum.

Re:I don't understand. (4, Insightful)

superpulpsicle (533373) | about 7 years ago | (#20745625)

This whole post is opinionated. Is like saying:

- People's lives suck so much, they wish they were fighting wars. Hence the millions playing CoD, battlefield, quake online.

- People are so unathletic, they are playing sports games online.

Oh really...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20745889)

"...spending money and getting nothing to show for it."

That's what happens when they try to get laid.

Re:I don't understand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20745961)

I don't understand.

You shouldn't be expected to, much in the same way that boomers don't understand computers or the generation before has trouble with answering machines and VCRs.

Re:I don't understand. (1)

drydirt (1161445) | about 7 years ago | (#20745977)

I don't understand how virtual realities like this have become popular. Do people's real lives suck so badly that they need to frivolously spend money to create their own little world where things don't suck?

I don't think it's that "real life sucks." I think it's that real life is difficult and uncertain. It's a hell of a lot of work and there's no guarantees it's all for nothing. These virtual worlds create a place where if you learn the rules of the game and put in your time you are guaranteed to accomplish... Whatever makes you stand out as better than the other "noob". In Second Life it's generating or buying cash to make and buy better stuff, in Warcraft it's grinding for gear to put others to shame... Whatever.

Of course putting that effort into improving your real life is much more rewarding, but that feeling of pride because you accomplished something is much more difficult to attain. In these virtual worlds it's handed out like candy (or maybe like crack cocaine.) Sad as that may be.

Re:I don't understand. (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 7 years ago | (#20746879)

Do people's real lives suck so badly

Mine does. :(

that they need to frivolously spend money to create their own little world where things don't suck?

Ah, but that's where the idea falls apart. The little virtual worlds suck, too.

Many people out there just need to get laid. It's a lot cheaper than spending money...

Ha ha ha ha ha!!!! Oh, wait, you weren't kidding!

By now, it doesn't matter (1)

fridgemagnet (638413) | about 7 years ago | (#20747183)

There are these sort of comments on everything involving There, Second Life, the Sims, WoW, games generally, Myspace, blogs or hell, just the internet, and the same thing applies in each case.

It doesn't matter that you don't get activity X and say it's crap and come up with some sort of pop sociology reason for it. People like it and have fun with it and they don't care that you don't.

If you actually want to know, it might be an idea not to phrase your question as "tell me why you suck", and if you don't, why are you on the internet and not out there getting laid?

Re:I don't understand. (1)

droopy16 (1041336) | about 7 years ago | (#20747421)

why are you sitting in front of your computer typing original message and reading this message is a question I'd like to hear answer to. :)

Ah, great.... (4, Funny)

dr_labrat (15478) | about 7 years ago | (#20744657)

If it ties up with google maps and earth, then I can only assume that given where I live my avatar will be really, really blurry and be wearing flares.

virtual inc (5, Interesting)

kurtis25 (909650) | about 7 years ago | (#20744661)

This could be more of a tool for companies and others to organize their data on a map in a new way (Google has been doing more for companies on their maps lately). What if you could drive or walk down the road to the local pizza shop and order your pizza or ask an question to the automated worker. Google has much of that information already they just need a way to pass things around (grandcentral, gmail). Flat text on a map isn't always the best. If you have a picture of the front of my shop why not put me in my virtual shop and let me help real life customers. They can virutally watch me cook a pizza and send my driver out and a few minutes later the real driver shows up at the door. It's all about organizing the worlds data in a way people will interact with it.

Home (3, Informative)

KyoMamoru (985449) | about 7 years ago | (#20744695)

Don't forget that Sony is also launching 'Home' for the PS3 in the coming months. []

Re:Home (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | about 7 years ago | (#20745673)

Yeah, DEFINITELY don't forget about that. As you can see in the link, they trademarked "Home", so if you're going to talk to people about real-world "homes", you'll just have to find another noun. Might I recommend: domicile, dwelling, hab(itat), pad, crib, and estate.

Integration With Google Maps? (5, Interesting)

incer (1071224) | about 7 years ago | (#20744717)

Cool... So you would be able to travel all over the place using a virtual alter-ego! Imagine, you could meet your friends over the internet and go to places you usually go, only it's virtual! Isn't that absolutely cool? Wait, even better! Imagine if you could carry with you a GPS device that would allow you to be tracked all over the earth and show your avatar in the client? Wait, even better, let's make that device able to connect to the virtual world and exchange messages... You could use it to meet people near you! I mean, imagine if you could just bring out your gPhone MyWorld Edition and use it to talk to the pretty girl at the other table! Wouldn't that be absolutely cool and bring incredible improvement in personal interaction? You could see all the people near you on this device and you could use it to meet them! (I hope no one takes this seriously....)

Re:Integration With Google Maps? (4, Funny)

Kelbear (870538) | about 7 years ago | (#20745131)

I'm ashamed to admit that the idea excites me.

Re:Integration With Google Maps? (2, Funny)

incer (1071224) | about 7 years ago | (#20745285)

And I've also been modded intresting.... My God.....

Re:Integration With Google Maps? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 7 years ago | (#20746533)

My God.....

That's rather what you were describing, yes? A God-like no-sparrow-shall-fall interface between the real world and a simulated one.

Just avoid recursive things and you should be fine. What could go wrong?

Re:Integration With Google Maps? (3, Funny)

skeevy (926052) | about 7 years ago | (#20745553)

I would have my virtual avatar use its virtual gPhone to call the pretty girl's virtual avatar's virtual gPhone. Then my virtual avatar would virtually chat up her virtual avatar, and both our avatars would virtually go out to play "virtual virtual ski-ball" (it's just like virtual ski-ball!)

Re:Integration With Google Maps? (1)

nevermore94 (789194) | about 7 years ago | (#20746099)

Oddly, I have actually played virtual ski-ball in SL ...

Re:Integration With Google Maps? (1)

dodobh (65811) | about 7 years ago | (#20746861)

Until you get snow on your screen.

new Google rumor (2, Funny)

khallow (566160) | about 7 years ago | (#20744733)

I hear that Google is going to make this awesome search engine and make $$$ from the sale of relevant text ads using search engineer queries. Pretty clever!

This is just in. (5, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 7 years ago | (#20744829)

It has been confirmed that Google will create a subsidiary named "The CC Company" and that their virtual environment will be called "The World". The project will be lead by Dr. Harold Hewick, an expert in A.I.

Rumours of beta-testers suddenly falling in coma after entering "the World" are completely unfounded.

For those who modded me informative... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 7 years ago | (#20747341)

it was a joke. (just google for "harold hewick" and you'll see what i mean)

Re:This is just in. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20747397)

Why is this modded informative? It's a joking reference to the .hack franchise, not founded in reality.

Jesus H. Titty-fucking Christ (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20744913)

Can we PLEASE be done with the "OMG teh google rumour!!!1" stories already? They're making a cellphone. They're not making a cellphone. They're buying a spectrum license. They're buying Facebook. They're building a rival to Second Life.

Who gives a shit? Seriously? I'll tell you who.. no one. Is this "news for nerds, stuff that matters" or is it "rumours for pathetic douchebags, stuff that nobody gives a shot about because even an idiot can see it's not true"?

I thought so.

Thoughts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20744935)

In the past, it's seemed to me like Google's successful services have largely focused on information, in collecting and organizing resource, and setting a higher standard for internet services (like webmail).

But until now, all of their design decision were straightforward. I mean, if I decided I wanted to create a map of the Earth, I'd do it in a style similar to Google Earth. I can't say I'm too confident in their expertise when it comes to social networks.

Sure, there's a lot of social activity on Second Life and MMOs like World of Warcraft, and sites like Facebook and MySpace are very popular, but a combination of virtual worlds and social sites isn't as simple as a cross between the two. I can see this becoming Facebook+GMail with 3D decorations, or another IMVU but with way too many features...

3D social network? (3, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about 7 years ago | (#20745029)

What do they mean by "3D social network"? People aren't 3D. They are flat, made up of pixels, usually with a resolution of 1280x1024. At least that's all I've seen of them since the last time I came out of my parents basement.

Re:3D social network? (1)

everphilski (877346) | about 7 years ago | (#20745569)

see, lets say you and I are friends, and I have a friend named Jane (I know, no geek has a female friend, but lets just say) And you are friends with Jane too. And lets say Jane has a friend named Teresa (try not to get too excited, she's really a guy, all girls online are). And Teresa is friends with all of us. Now if we connect the lines we can draw lines from friend to friend without intersection on a 2D screen. But now theres Don. Don is friends with all of us too. Woah, now we need a third dimension to draw all those lines without crossing. That's why we need a 3D social network, man.

Re:3D social network? (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about 7 years ago | (#20747527)

You can connect four points on a 2D surface without intersection:

|      O
|     /|\
|    / | \
|   /  |  \
|  |   O   |
|  |  / \  |
|  | /   \ |
|  O-------O

(Imagine this isn't ASCII and the left and right sides are straight line segments.)

Re:3D social network? (1)

riffzifnab (449869) | about 7 years ago | (#20746195)

You need a new monitor, wide screen is a whole new world and those extra lines make all the difference. d:

Re:3D social network? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20747413)

That's what I used to think too, back when all the girls I knew were related (they all had the same last name; Jpg. Some people have the weirdest names!). Now, I'm glad to say I know better - I finally took the initiative to get out of the house, to go out into the Real World (so to speak), went down to the closest mall, and discovered that yes, people are three-dimensional! They have feelings, emotions, complicated social interactions and needs and desires beyond just the Internet, beyond just computers and programming and Star Trek! And all it took was six hours playing The Sims! I can't wait to see what I find out next - some of my characters are getting all fat and pukey all of a sudden, wonder what that's all about ...

First Person Shopper? First Person Person? (4, Interesting)

stoicfaux (466273) | about 7 years ago | (#20745207)

Normally I consider a Neuromancer type cyberspace to be completely useless way to locate and process data. Functionality > cool factor.

However, combining it with Google Earth to enable "avatars being able to walk around on actual streets and enter real buildings to check out what's inside and socialize with other avatars" might almost vaguely be a good idea. It's one thing to shop online with a traditional web interface, but it's quite another 'enter' a store and talk in real time with other customers or store personnel. It changes online shopping from a 'research item, browse for lowest price, and buy online' task into a First Person Shopping experience. I find it disturbingly appealing for some reason.

Combining a generic, omnipresent (i.e. non-Microsoft) video/3D conferencing network would be useful. Instant messaging is great but it's still just text. Video conferencing isn't ubiquitous enough to be useful. (The unwashed IM masses do not use it.) Upgrading instant messaging or chatrooms to a 'First Person Person' experience might take group communication and organization to a new level. Imagine what you could do with political meetings or neighborhood meetings.

I'm not saying that actual face to face human interaction should be tossed out. A 'First Person' 3D avatar Google Earth could make it easier to attend tedious or 'mandatory' social organizing events such as neighborhood meetings to get petitions signed for new stop signs. Instead of having to rush home after work and fight traffic to make a 7pm neighborhood meeting (which discourages you from participating,) you can just login and participate. Sure you lose some of the social interaction (quality,) but you make up for it with quantity (more people can make it.)

Re:First Person Shopper? First Person Person? (1)

dodobh (65811) | about 7 years ago | (#20747041)

s/Neuromancer/Snowcrash/. Then rethink your comment.

Only A Matter Of Time (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 7 years ago | (#20745529)

It's only a matter of time before SL-type worlds interoperate, and there are bridges/portals/stargates to let your avatar travel between all of them.

google pages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20745547)

I for one would appreciate it more if google ALLOWED(see? I'm not making it compulsory for your grandma) people to edit the HTML of their "google pages" instead of giving them a fixed layout and the ability to edit the html WITHIN the layout.

Ok, here's the plan (1)

renrutal (872592) | about 7 years ago | (#20745745)

Phase 1: Build Google Earth

Phase 2: Build My World on top of Google Earth

Phase 3: Let the users create content that replicates the data in the World , take pictures, erect buildings, etc.

Phase 4: When sufficiently advanced, advertise My World as World 2.0.

Phase 5: Move the users to World 2.0. Plug cables in their heads, keep them fed with red liquids.

Phase 6: Advertise more Green Computing, have the users donate their bodies to generate energy to feed the system.

Phase 7: Sell virtual black leather and black shades.

Phase n: ???

Phase n +1: Profit? Google needs no stinkin' profit.

A virtual interface to the real world (1)

iabervon (1971) | about 7 years ago | (#20745819)

I can just see it: a virtual world as the unifying interface for information about the real world, with news searchable by location and marked on the map. And current satellite images projected onto the virtual ground, allowing users to observe the real world in places they aren't physically located. And, above it all, bloggers looking down from their dirigibles, identifiable by their avatars' red capes and aviator goggles...

First I've heard of it (1)

jstomel (985001) | about 7 years ago | (#20745849)

I'm at ASU and I haven't heard of any collaborations involving this. If it's true they're keeping it under tight wrap.

The order of things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20746569)

First post
Second Life
Third teeth

And Why exactly did Adobe kill Atmosphere?? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 7 years ago | (#20746627)

if adobe had kept going with Atmo we could have had actual decent "worlds" going by now (and horror of horrors it was built to allow running your own server!!)

It's overcomplicating a concept. (1)

Aslan72 (647654) | about 7 years ago | (#20747167)

What makes facebook hot right now and the whole social networking scene on is that it allows people simple access to information they want. What makes SL hot is that it's entertaining. People aren't looking, necessairly, for information as much as they are for entertainment. Combinbing those two concepts and you get a world that is too public to be private in (who would want to escape in SL if they knew you were a 35 year old father of two?) and a social network that is too complex to just get information from. End Result? nominal flop.

metaverse (1)

N1ck0 (803359) | about 7 years ago | (#20747585)

I swear for the past several years google has been taking its product strategy right out of the pages of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash [] .

I call dibs on creating the black sun.
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