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« SheepBS | Main | Thoughts on Aspergers' »

March 01, 2007

Comments

Cocoanut Koala

Agreed.

(Though I think the SLAA is genuine.)

coco

Prokofy Neva

No one can verify it is genuine. It has no past history in SL. It doesn't fit the pattern of the usual griefers. It never attacks anything but these already-hyped and already-secure businesses that have gadzillion miles of press already and cannot be fazed by these "attacks".

Cory Edo even jokes with them and offers bounties to them for photos of making their hits. It all reeks of phoniness to me.

It's one of those things that if it didn't exist, you'd have to invent it. And that's why I think in fact it is invented.

Chill Moksung

Prof some good food for thought here. a lot of these issues are new to me and I've only glanced from the periphery. I will say information is always good for the community as is open conversation.

Corp Down

70 members.... and a few of those are alts so they can hide their already hidden identities. A psuedo terrorist group who never tell their rl identities to anyone - in case they are arrested for pig bombery... lol

Love the Red Stars on their HQ- a "left/communist" link to bring unsuspecting and unthinking Che fans on board - but demanding shares... sounds like they are trying to mop up as many supporters as possible to make Marshall Cahill the President a la Adams he wants to be.

What next on an SLLA HQ - Bush photos?

Polymorphous Projects

Seems to me, as long as a resident driven culture exists within SL at a significant level - and no I could not estimate the threshold for what that significant level would be - that the corporate influence will be dampened.

Come visit my place in Whinlatter sometime. No Prok, you won't like the BDSM mind-controlled atmosphere of some of it, but it is me. I have friends who, seeing my place for the first time, have said "Oh, this is so you".

And what I love about the places I love and go to in SL is that those places are a reflection of those friends. Their space, the embience, the "culture" if you will that surrounds them reflects who they are.

I used to live in Maryport. I even had the dubious honor of witnessing a "tub-girl" attack one night from my roof. I have friends who fish in Alston. So I am familiar with the Ravenglass properties and area. You can see part of you in that area, Prok. Good, bad or indifferent, I would assert that to be true.

I also suspect that those who come to SL and stay as residents, stay because of the personal connections to their own little cultural pocket within SL. Whether that is business, creating, sex in all manifestations, just plain friendships, or some combination, the resident culture - not the corporate culture - keeps SL residents returning.

In my opinion, most people object to the corporate presence out of fear - fear of the loss of the personal cultures that exist. I can understand that. SL would be a total drag if everything were Nissan and Nike. But isn't it up to the regular residents to maintain the resident driven culture? I suspect that one of the biggest risks to the SL that regular people love is that we will give in to the fears.

Prokofy Neva

I used to own a good chunk of Whinlatter before you were born, Polymorphouse *shrugs*. And I sold it because somebody parked a giant casino riverboat on water there and also a notoriously indifferent oldbie kept testing submarines and missiles and lagging the whole sim to a grinding halt. I was glad to sell and get out.

Maryport suffered one tub-girl attack, and Alston suffered one tub-girl attack, both of which were made possible by tenants who had inadvertently left their vendors on "share with group" making it able to be "deeded to group" using group tool exploits. I usually policed all those areas trying to get rid of anything with a mistake like that, but something would inevitably be missed.

These attacks were awful -- Ravenglass had 3 I think -- but eventually they were ended, and the people committing them were banned, main and alts. Of course, some alts persist and return but it's been free of particle attacks mainly because people use all the methods for preventing and mitigation.

Um, I have no idea what sort of crap is intended by a little manipulative remark like "there's good and bad" in these areas based on my persona, but certainally the tub-girl isn't something I've produced, it's produced by griefers.

And if you find the buildings tacky or too amateurish or not in sophisticated taste enough for you, well, like most of SL, it's at the discretion of the tenant. They chose nearly all the houses. And it's usually 90-100 percent full in those areas, so it works giving people the freedom to chose their own houses; it works less better to dictate taste.

Places can take on the culture of people and their friends when they build or arrange it, but sometimes they don't, and take on the culture of whoever made the prefab. People selecting the prefab

Yes, BDSM is noted for its mind-controlling culture which unfortunately they constantly spill out on to others, more and more. I see this all the time. Some arrogant weekend whipper who during the week is probably some insurance salesman with a RL vanilla wife gets demanding and domineering with me, ordering and bossing me around like he's a big deal with a big expense account -- the thousands of Lindens as a demarcation must make him feel that way.

Disliking and wishing to mitigate corporate culture isn't "fear" -- if anything the "fear" could arguably be seen in these corporations, who articulate the usual knee-jerk reactions to having to deal with furries, griefers, and sexual manifestations.

I just don't see why this is "better". It's not. Some idiots in suits holding a self-important seminar on their sales figures for pouring from the empty into the void don't impress me, and I suspect lots of people, even people who buy the products they sell.

If we're getting an ugly glimpse of sexual dysfunction and even criminality blown up very large in Second Life through its capacities -- and we sure are -- we're also getting a big amplification of greed and growth-for-growth's sake as an ethos. It's definitely an ugly picture. In fact, you could argue that the violence, sadism, and mind-control of BDSM is fed by, or even originates in, the culture of consumerism and domination represented by corporations.

Cocoanut Koala

"I also suspect that those who come to SL and stay as residents, stay because of the personal connections to their own little cultural pocket within SL. Whether that is business, creating, sex in all manifestations, just plain friendships, or some combination, the resident culture - not the corporate culture - keeps SL residents returning.

"In my opinion, most people object to the corporate presence out of fear - fear of the loss of the personal cultures that exist. I can understand that. SL would be a total drag if everything were Nissan and Nike. But isn't it up to the regular residents to maintain the resident driven culture? I suspect that one of the biggest risks to the SL that regular people love is that we will give in to the fears."

-----

Okay, the gestalt I've been getting lately - which is TOTALLY unscientific, biased, and all that, but maybe you know what I mean if you have played various online games and been in various online environments - is that SL as we knew it has peaked and is on the wane.

The revolving-door eyeballs are increasing tremendously. The people I meet lately are here just to see what the deal is, to find sex, or whatever - for the moment.

Nothing more than you would do if you visited any web site out of curiosity. Except they are doing it as avatars.

This is apparently what Philip wants. But it lacks what I call "involvement." These people aren't even entertaining the thought that SL might be a place to stay in for a while, like they would assume that for other online games and environments.

It feels like being a part of a freak show, with the revolving-door players being the audience.

It feels like one sort of game has peaked and another is now on the rise. And the one on the rise is apparently the one Philip wants - the 3D web, where people just come and go and mostly go.

I've gotten this gestalt of a sort of a peculiar deadness. Not just in friendship lists no longer lighting up, or the deadness of formerly vibrant forums, but within the game itself.

Now it's not ALL that, of course, and it isn't necessarily going to stay that way. But that is how it feels to me now.

But I do fear that it will grow more that way, rather than less. I don't think that fear is anything but realistic. "Not giving into the fear" (if such a thing were possible) would in no way stop it from happening.

In other words, I don't think this is something we can stop just by refusing to be afraid it will happen.

To me, it's all simply the natural result of the progression of SL to a place for real-world businesses to advertise (and for education, and all that, for prestige), rather than a place for ordinary people to play and create and enjoy.

I see two potential futures:

1. SL will grow more and more real-world-centric, with fewer but more coalesced, isolated sub-cultures, which exist somewhat as oddities. People will no longer think of SL as a place for regular, normal people to live in.

2. The real-world entities will eventually lose interest, and SL will be ours again.

Both those things will take time - particularly the second one. So I'm expecting a long, long time of (1), and by the time (2) ever happens, if it does, SL will probably be yesterday's news for everyone, really. Not even cool and hip for regular players. Ruined for us, essentially.

I sell houses, so I have a sort of pulse on the level of involvement of new people.

My impression (totally non-scientific) is that very little of the increase in sign-up numbers represents people who will become involved and stay.

It feels like, oh, used to be maybe 50 percent of people would hang around for a while, and get involved, but now it's more like 2 percent.

Whatever the numbers are, it seems to me a lower total number of people are becoming involved and staying than once did, despite the 4 million number.

coco

Polymorphous Projects

"You can see part of you in that area, Prok. Good, bad or indifferent, I would assert that to be true."

That's just a recognition of the truth. Some people will see you as "good", some as "bad", some don't care (indifferent). Regardless of what anybody thinks of you personally, you can be seen in your effects on the Ravenglass area and surrounding sims. Maybe not in details of builds themselves, but your personal management style affects the builds and how the area looks and feels. In fact, I've seen comment by those who do not like you personally who would recommend your properties because of what you bring to management of them. Personally, I think Ravenglass and surrounding sims are quite nice.

(Do you see an attack in every comment?)

Sounds like Whinlatter has improved much since you owned there. Most is owned by a few, regular SL residents, which seems to help a Sim greatly. It had been split into some First Land and some larger chunks for auction in late 2006, but much of that has been absorbed/consolidated now.

I find your BDSM views amusingingly off base, but that's ok. I can accept that my views don't match yours and let you keep them.

If you were to visit and find me home, I would try to welcome you as I do with most. You'd probably see little if any direct evidence of BDSM. And that's what I think SL needs - more regular residents builing a welcoming SL - rather than worrying what corporate entities might be doing in SL.

Cocoanut, I agree. I call them "flash Avs" because they seem to come and go in a flash. And yes, I agree that LL policies seem to encourage rather than discourage that in ways. Which is why I personally want to create as stable a little corner as I can while I am there - to be a part of a resident culture rather than a part of a "flash" spectacle. That's the issue with fear - in what manner do we respond? Do we flee, or build solid fortress into the rock? Do we keep trying to build resident centered attractiveness to counter the shallowness of the corporate? I think these are question that, while maybe brought up by such fears, we can answer for ourselves.

Cocoanut Koala

Well, I'm just doing what I have always done, but we will be run over.

coco

Prokofy Neva

I'm glad you find the Ravenglass area nice. Again, this is probably 90 percent due to the people who themselves build or chose prefabs. I try to make it just so that they have clear viewlines and don't ruin the view with the obvious junk like spinning signs.

Yes, BDSM people like to extend their controlling and mind memes to others who disagree with them or refuse to bow to them or who won't role-play their RP. They like to *pretend* they obtain consent. They don't, however.

And an example of that is someone in BDSM who tells you that they are "finding your views amusing" or "finding your views are not liberal" or "finding your views are erroneous". In each and every act, they attempt to control, humiliate, vilify, as they do in their RP. But we didn't sign up for it. So we utterly reject and condemn and expose it.

Be amused all you like; your lifestyle is intellectually and morally indefensible and unacceptable : )

I'm sorry, I just don't feel the need to visit your home. I'm glad you have one and continue to defend your personality and your choices and that you even chose not to "make it all about BDSM" in your face as so many do. That's all welcome in SL. It's not enough to keep the water buffalo from draining the pond water, however.

Again, criticizing corporations or change doesn't me "Fear Uncertainty and Doubt"> Hardly. What is means is criticism of their Fear Uncertainty and Doubt if anything, which is manifested by the aggressiveness, rapaciousness, and inconsiderateness with which they carve out market share, media share, mind share, and labour share. People who are that aggressive and think only growth and profit are metrics for success are themselves the ones usually most seriously fearing loss, failure, lack of success, undercutting by competitors, etc.

Ace Albion

I've noticed the same as Cocoanut- that the people seem more obviously shallow, flighty, here today, gone tomorrow types. Yet the pancake continents seem to be being filled all the same, and they're all buying houses to put on them.

What's funny though, with all this increased "real world" influence, is that the money seems to be lagging behind the RL photos, companies, skype links etc etc. Like someone thinks they're being generous, rather than insulting when they toss me a 200L "tip" for taking time out just to be helpful because I felt like being helpful. Of course, the other side of it seems to be here in evidence- I had all kinds of demands made about changing my whole house system or else I "wasn't listening to my customers" all from one guy who never bought anything from me. It's wierd, I don't remember it being like that. Maybe it's just me, but I never, ever, went asking for a refund when I bought a skin by accident (two actually, 2500L I didn't mean to spend but I got use from them eventually) or if I saw something that wasn't quite what I wanted, I just shrugged and walked away. I never once thought I should begin harrassing creators to make changes to their products to suit me, or that I would be entitled to call on an hour's worth of personal service time for the sake of a $2 asset. I don't know, I guess that's how people are. The real/virtual slider seems to fluctuate precisely in accordance with the selfish desires of people.

It's only a game when it suits, and it's serious business when it suits, too.

Prokofy Neva

>It's only a game when it suits, and it's serious business when it suits, too.

I totally agree. People are in entertainment mode and casual and just chilling and hanging about "in a game," but as soon as they encounter a service, they sit up and bark and demand it to be a business with unimagineably high standards that they don't get in RL, especially not at those prices.

I've always accepted that they're playing a game and entertaining themselves, and I'm waiting on them. That's how it works. But what I don't do is wait on them *for their entertainment* to fuel their manipulative, power-hungry asshole fantasies. Sorry, they can find other people to torture with that game. There are limits, especially when the price tag on their entertainment involving me dancing attendance on them amounts to $1.50 US; even at $150 US, I don't play BDSM, no way.

I see that people are getting more and more rude and entitlement-happy, it could be that because more and more casual entertainment types are coming in who aren't as "high-minded" about creating, or it could be that the overall performance of SL frustrates people so much that they lash out at service providers.

I wonder perhaps I'm just wearing thin on all the really rude fucks I've had to deal with lately, but when I check my records of a year ago, I see there are simply less of them; I even see some of the same repeat customers that have become even more rude now than they were when they refunded in spite a year ago lol -- how quickly they forget.

I'm going to rant just a bit on this.

I get a guy twice putting out a security orb, despite having it removed (they are banned under the lease except above 250 m on islands), even when warned specifically over and over -- making it impossible for an entire island of people unable to return to their own homes they paid for for hours, or for me even to fly into my own property. I evict him, tell him to pick up his things, and I still get his little friends whining that something unfair has happened to them.

I get some nitwit spewing particles throughout a building disturbing all the other tenants, despite being told that it is not allowed and being asked to put it away twice, and when they are evicted and refunded, their boyfriend says, hey, you refunded to my girlfriend and not to me -- even though she paid the box (the realities of this situation is VERY common, the girls pay for a LOT of the sex nests, not the cheap-ass boys).

I just had someone who first claimed that "on her other rental" she was able to change "PG" to "M" at a whim as a renter (false) and then began to berate me because the parcel she just rented was PG and residential and not M and commercial. She kept haranguing me for 20 minutes, claiming I advertised the parcel as M and commercial, when the ad clearly stated, as did the lease, what the terms were.

In my general ad, I have the word "commercial" but it was explained that this was for clearly-marked store rentals, and this person felt entitled to keep haranguing me and demanding me to convert a lot for her, because of a general store ad about all the kinds of parcels available.

I constantly get people demanding to have build rights so they can change house textures (I send them to you to BUY the houses Ace lol); to place their house for them (which I can't do, it's their object) (I provide lots of help cards and assistance to how to do that); to concern myself with policing their sex nests so that no one ever walks in their door 24/7, etc. etc.

I marvel at how very often, they think they can expect this at...$1.50 *US* PER MONTH. Not $150 US or $195 or $295 PER MONTH US which is what an entire hidden island able to be completely unavailable to any outsider, but...$1.50 US, $200 a week Lindens.

I find that the less people pay, the more entitlement happy people get.

I now can usually tell that if a person IMs once asking the answer to the obvious question already on their lease, that I can expect probably 50 more similar questions -- and they ask the questions not because they are new, but because they want to be manipulative and feel they have concierge service.

I find that the same feature that makes people send food back in restaurants and behave arrogantly like pricks with service people clicks on when they go on to SL. They are spending a grand total of $1.50 to $6.66 US. But because it is denominated in the thousands, they feel like Big Spenders.

Where once, these stories were limited to a few times *a month* I now find them a few times *a day*. I'm constantly revising cards and leases to try to make things even more abundantly clear for such people, so they never have a problem in the first place, but if I load up any more information on these things, it just won't be read. I can't start writing stuff like "I can't place your house for you because it's your object" when they haven't grasped this about permissions yet quite possibly.

With my apartment buildings now, after absorbing hours -- days -- of abusive rants from people demanding tours (of a building they can fly around? that has all identical floors) or instant access (hello? when they didn't pay yet? lol) or full money-back returns after they've stayed one day (cancellation fees are there for a reason, to prevent joy-riding), that I've had to become absolutely hard-nosed and put out a sign that says exactly this:

YOU MUST HAVE A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA AND READ AT A 12-YEAR-OLD'S LEVEL TO RENT AT THIS APARTMENT BUILDING.

I spell out the self-service terms brutally, telling them to rez a cube, break in, pay and join the group on their own and only IM me when they have a floor number and are willing to stay.

I've cut the bullshit down by 75 percent since I did that. I have every building filled with high-school graduates now. Those who didn't graduate can find another landlord to torture.

Tenzin Tuque

Prok, thanks again for posting this. Second Life is the place where fashion journalism, public relations and technology reporting are converging -- New World Notes is the prime example of this. Thing is, technology writers can't or won't admit to how much their trade has become like fashion journalism: beholden to new product and large companies, wrapped in the thin guise of fetish and justified under the pretense of innovation and creativity. It's not like Second Life is solving homelessnes or anything. Yet some people speak of this game with kind of the faux-gravitas that fashion writers regard this year's haute couture. That any self-respecting journalist would embrace this, as well as gleefully blur lines between public relations, corporate interests and independent reporting, is beyond me. But yet I cannot look away, such a spectacle it has become!

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