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06/25/2006

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Talon Lardner

Intriguing thoughts, Profky... Something I definatly want to look into more. SL is definatly changing, and it makes me wonder what it will be like in a month, much less a year into the future. Will it stagnate? Will it blossom? Will it crash? Will it stay the same? I don't know, but I want to be around to watch, for sure.

Gardner

You had me at Auden--and then Saint-Ex? Wondrous.

These are most provocative and insightful remarks. I understand about half and want to understand much more. The way in which SL plays out civilization in a time-lapse rapidity is fascinating. The way in which this SL engages the imagination in search of "imaginary gardens with real toads in them" is almost overwhelming.

Thank you for these thoughts, and this blog.

Vonn Neumann

As always, your post makes for fascinating reading. Simply taking it in is challenging enough, let alone commenting thoughtfully on all of it!

One thing I would like to comment on is your thoughts on avatars and our relationship with them.

From my perspective as a fairly new user of these types of worlds, I must say that I have a very strong affinity for my avatar. When the ID requirements were unlocked I considered a separate alt but in the end I felt it would be a disservice to my main avatar to do so. It doesn't even feel particularly odd to me that I would consider my avatar's feelings in making such a decision.

For me, my avatar -a fur- is much more than just a walking browser, he is both a subset and an extension of parts of my personality that cannot find expression in the real world. Strangely enough, this relationship extends outside the main grid to forum posts, even to reading the various blogs, which I in essence do through my avatar's eyes. In most respects I am able to leave the (very pleasant) real world behind and engage with the different world we are offered in SL. Whoever described SL as a 'lucid dream' has managed to capture the overall texture of the world for me.
Much like a pleasant dream, I resist the nagging draw of waking back into RL when I am engaged in SL. As when I read fiction, I consider myself fortunate to be able to fully realise the world that has been created for me. Even better, I get to share the world with others in a kind of consensual mass-hypnosis.

I realise that many people would scoff at my take on this but for me the avatar is much more than bytes floating across the grid, he is a symbol and a representation of part of my self which can't easily be expressed in the real world. And because I am able to integrate his experiences back into the 'real' me, I feel larger and more complete than if he did not exist.

I have no insight on what differentiates people like me from people who don't engage so deeply with their avatars. I think age is important, though. Once we get past the solipsism of youth perhaps we are more able to develop empathy for others not of ourselves. Or maybe it is having children, which come from us but are separate that is the differentiator?

Prokofy Neva

>he is a symbol and a representation of part of my self which can't easily be expressed in the real world. And because I am able to integrate his experiences back into the 'real' me, I feel larger and more complete than if he did not exist.

I support this absolutely. But I don't even think of him as somehow being "suppressed" in RL and "letting out his real self" in SL. I think he just *is*. You don't plan it, or think about it, he's just instantly there, and of course, you get to know him over time.

I have several very well-worked alts and some that don't feel as much "at home" to me but I still respect their identity. Erasing them is a tragedy. In fact, it bothers me that I've had to erase a few, including one whose name got messed up as I was trying to make him, bah, that's just awful.

I'd recommend also going outside the world of games and their blogs and look at some interesting writing on the "history of the self" such as this review here:
https://ssl.tnr.com/p/docsub.mhtml?i=20060619&s=larmore061906p

You can get a free 4 week trial.

Basically, he contrasts old and new, British and French philosophical views of the self. Adam Smith's view of the self being able to view others and itself impartially, the idea of a plurality of truths; or the French view of the disguised self in the society of the court. The ability to learn empathy and situate oneself in the viewpoint of another.

This same issue has a great blog by Lee Siegel, too, about the fascistic thuggishness of anonymous blog commentators. Sounds like the SL forums.

Prokofy Neva

It's also telling that the whole "web or world" discussion seems to hinge on the avatar. To the extent that you "invest this toy with consciousness" as Will Wright (creator of the Sims) said, you will want a world to situation that invested consciousness in. If he is just a browser, a placeholder, if you change him like scratch paper off a tablet or gloves, then he doesn't need a world.

>I feel larger and more complete than if he did not exist.

I suppose it is this sensation that keeps us coming back. It makes it intellectually and emotionally compelling. Philip Linden said that if this world was more intellectually compelling, people would stay in in for long periods of time.

Brace

Another great post Prokofy! Will have to read it again and again for sure.

What I wanted to comment on was when I kept reading about this concept of worlds, I just kept harking back to the 2 years I spend in Active Worlds.

It seems strange that those who when discussions of competitors or similar applications to SL, always discount AW as anything worth taking notice of.

Then you have all this new info coming down the pipes that seems to want to create the types of experience that AW has been doing since the mid 90's.

I'm able to keep tabs on AW through my Partner Ariel, who has still maintained her account there, and has a world of her own that she builds in/on and works on. (I think I snapped a pic of of her wonderful waterfalls - will be on my blog soon enuff)

So is SL sort of turning around backwards and taking their technology back to the future? Using their high-end whatevers to recreate a (better?) version of the concept AW has had from the get go?

I've always imagined an application that blended the best of SL (in my view that's simply the tremendous avatar customization ability), with the best of Active Worlds (in a nutshell - the building capabilities are simple and easy to learn; they already have web on a "prim" type dealy; and the option to own and control your world from your own server/computer).

Oh well some very interesting thoughts, and questions. You always get me thinking! HUGGS :D

Prokofy Neva

Perhaps it's that squat, scrurrying little avatar of AW that puts you off at the beginning. I couldn't seem to find my way around AW and get used to moving, etc. It's like SL in that respect, unless you have a friend to walk you through it, it can be rough. I've noticed from some of my tenants who are good builders that they were in AW. Yes, they were first in the host-your-own area.

Stan Pomeray

I tried AW for the first time about 2 weeks ago. It does seem quite difficult to find your way around, but thats probably just because I couldn't work out where things like maps were located.

Considering the levels of graphic detail it certainly seemed a lot less laggy than SL.

I was always under the impression that it was a bit of relic and that not many people used it, but thats probably just hype from other virtual world package creators.

Alec Carson

> Sims on the auction bring them only $1000, and private islands bring them $1250, so they have no incentive to sell sims that then produce many owners on them as they are sold off.

I agree that LL gets less on a sim auction than an island to "buy" the server. But, tier of many small owners on a sim adds up to more than $195 for an island to "maintain" the server. Plus, each one of these little owners has a premium account that they pal LL for, whereas paypal island renters go basic. So even a simfull of firstlanders who pay no tier per se will bring LL more US$ ongoing then an island.

Longterm, by keeping up the sheer number of landowners many of whom are sitting on small lots, LL will have greater flexibility with making adjustments to the tier system or whatever they think of next. If they create an environment where mainland's dead, LL will have to deal with large(r) US$ paying island owners. Sure, it'll just trickle down to the small island renters, but seems to me that LL leaves itself more longterm options open by having lots of small payments coming in each month, than a few Anshe sized ones.

Prokofy Neva

Alec, open up the map of Second Life and see all the land for sale on the mainland. That tells you how much tier LL really collects. There is an estimate that more tha a third of the servers on the mainland, all told, are for sale. Now, you could say, but hey, that person still pays tier even if they have land for sale, and then LL collects twice -- but...so much of it actually gets abandoned, and /or flipped on the trading tier of several dozen medium-sized land barons who end up mainly selling to each other and keeping portfolios of land that they sell some of, but usually not most of. There are no end of new people trying this idea out and discovering it's a losing proposition. So it's not a recipe for a healthy society.

The Lindens would simply rather sell islands. They do everything to drive customers to islands. Islands have set-up fees, give them $1250 all at once and $195 tier, and then only one customer to deal with, not 16 or 32 as on the mainland. All that billing and complaints and such is all off-loaded to wholesalers like Anshe.

When I talk about islands, I mean the wholesalers who buy 25-50-100 of them and pay tier, not the basics who rent on them.

by keeping up the sheer number of landowners many of whom are sitting on small lots, LL will have greater flexibility with making adjustments to the tier system or whatever they think of next.

I wish this were true, and I even used to think it: now I know better after more than a year and a half working in this business. They want people to become island customers. The Concierge doesn't even answer the emails or IMs of the mainland owners even if they have 10 or 20 sims. They are created almost exclusively for island customers. Islands is the future they want. They don't want a hundred people spread across 10 or 20 sims that sit empty much of the time and take up space and personell on their part to run. They want people to herd on to the more efficient and more high-paying islands. It's sad, but there it is, it's a management and business issue for them.

There is nothing for them, scale-wise, in keeping hundreds of often fussy and unhappy customers on small plots on the mainland -- they want Anshe or Adam or Hiro to deal with them or even Prok. It's just not to their advantage as they move to the million mark.

Your premise seems to be based on the idea that Anshe, as a big wholesaler, is a risk to LL if she pulls out. But she won't. She's addicted. It's a two-way addiction. If she does, in the inimitable words of Kenny Linden, "there's always another guy to buy the island." And trust me, there is.

Look at the map, Alec. Just look at the map. That tells the story. MORE islands sold than mainland sims. MORE green dots on them. MORE dead space on the mainland. MORE land for sale=unhappy people who may even just abandon their land.

FlipperPA

Once again, you're full of lies. I never threatened with a lawyer, and pointed out that the part of the ToS which was copied verbatim was probably "just an oversite". In fact, I was very friendly and personable and wished the best of luck.

Still, it is obvious Prokofy is an intellectual property thief: I'm fairly sure Prokofy did NOT receive permission to reprint artwork from the classic novel, "The Little Prince", just like he did not get my permission to use the "FIC Logo" designed by my friend (to which I have been given the IP rights) that appeared in this same blog a few weeks ago. Keep on fighting the good fight while committing actual crimes Prokofy: it really falls in line perfectly with your dispicable image.

By the way, did you pay an attorney $325 an hour to review the legal language in your notecards? Of course not, because you're nothing but a scourge to SL who is insanely jealous of those who are more talented than you. I guess I should know better than to expect you to check your facts or let the truth get in the way of your insane paranoia in inane ramblings.

Alec Carson

haha Flipper, did you see the 3pointD's post on IP rights violations?

http://www.3pointd.com/20060626/surreal-ip-rights-issues-at-slboutique/

The best part was the image in the post which is the subject of the violation itself. Gotta say, it kinda pales your FIC logo.

Prokofy Neva

1. Indeed you DID threaten that fellow MYSL with the barest of thinly-veiled threats by talking about lawyers examining TOS language. It was the typical sort of thuggish threat-mongering that you and other ESC types like Hiro Pendragon are known for (member of ESC group, regardless of whether he is technically "paid" by the group). It's really nasty stuff, and it does not bode well for your company.

2. The Little Prince cover is everywhere on the Internet, in Google images, and there is a concept called "referencing" which indeed my use of this picture is. I haven't referenced it for profit, and no one is giving me any take-down notices -- you're the only one trying to threaten over this perfectly innocent reference.

3. Your FIC art is copyable and in the public domain as I've already stated. You have it out in world, on copy/transfer. It is, again, a *reference* to another site. A review, like a book review, which can cite 250 words out of a passage of a book. Go ahead, Flipper, try out your lawyers on this one. No crime has been committed except in your addled brain -- like the "crime" of holding yard sales in SL.

4. This recurring fallacy that I am "jealous" of those "more talented than me" lets me know the universe you live in -- one in which you are all jealous of each other and worry about who is talented and who isn't. I'm not even in this race, I don't care about being a merchant of PSP images swiped from the Internet and reworked for sale as "original intellectual property" in SL -- like your site's featured Dali painting. Honestly, you're absurd.

5. Why would I pay an attorney $325 when I could find one pro-bono, but why would I have a lawyer look at a routine contract for rental? It has all the basic terms that people need to safely and fairly transact business. You're insane.

Kyrah Abattoir

oho, so now prokofy you decided to elevate yourself to a jamie bergman ish level?
lets call that improvement, from crap filled "i know everything better than everybody" mind to IP violator.

Honestly, to me and most peoples that had the time to read you, you are just some kind of reject, hiding under your kilometric rethoric, trying to impose your world vision by drowning your non arguments into dense pile of words.

Still, reference or not, the artist who made this artwork from the "petit prince" belong to its author, aswall as all the som tastefully chosen images and photos you use week after week to feed your little speech space.

As useual you stay close to yoursel:

lieing, libel filled , self centered, bitter human typewriter

Show some respect to those that are worth one million of time your poor little self.
Respect, Me , Alec , FLipper and all the others that created this wonderfull world you are leeching on.

Now lets see if you are able to stay on track when answering, if you go again in one of your hallucinating ego masturbation , you will owe me 100L$.

Cocoanut

Oh, for God's sake, Kyrah.

coco

Brace

good lord Kyrah 0_0

put that drink DOWN sistah gurl!

"Respect, Me , Alec , FLipper and all the others that created this wonderfull world you are leeching on."

0_0

what in the hell are you smoking? Dint nobody create nothin cept philly creating Second Life for you me and whoever to do what they like, how they like in it.

And what's all this "respect" stuff. Prokofy is FAR from being the only one - MYSELF INCLUDED - who saw exactly what Flip was doing on his so called "helpful and friendly" post.

And someone was good enuff to call him on it - TWICE.

As for all the artwork hullabaloo Prok isn't running around selling Le Petit Prince tshirts and whats not. OK? Get it??

Its a little bit scary how yall can't even see the difference.

You might as well go bitch up on Tony Walsh's blog for "stealing" pics of the technology and games he writes about.

Gimme a huge break.

and Flip dear heart - love ya man - but even YOU gotta be able to step back and realize that that post was as about as friendly as a congratulatory pat on the back with a spiked gauntlet.

ESPECIALLY coming from YOU. Its not like you haven't popped a forhead vein in other arenas when competition rears its head.

Some folks are just tired of seeing it. Free country. You keep on keepin on with ya friendly posts, and me and a lot of others will keep on keepin on callin ya out on em.

What exactly is it yer so scared of anyways? And if yer NOT running scared, then you might wanna check yaself - cuz thats exactly what it looks like.

(Did I cuss on this post? I was seriously tryin to hold back.)

I'm just a little - ok SERIOUSLY - miffed at little miz Kyrah - and yer damn lucky I'm not up in SL hardly anymore, chica.

What the damn hell you did that you think is so gosh darn special that we all gotta toss you some "respect"?

so you gotta buncha stores.

Yay YOU.

But why should me or anyone else make that a basis for respecting you? Cuz if that's the case then respect goes to every dang body else - including me - who's got stuff out in SL for sale.

???

After you sober up or come down or whatever it is you got going on - I'd appreciate an explanation.

You had the ovaries to bust out with it - so have em to explain just what you meant.

Because you know, maybe I DID miss out on who's butt I'm supposed to be kissing. Oh wait sorry - feet was it?

Stan Pomeray

"insane paranoia in inane ramblings."

Hmmm considering how paranoid and inane they are supposed to be, its strange how they seem to antagonise people so much isn't it.

If it really is that inane, why worry about it?

Unless...........

Stan Pomeray

"Respect, Me , Alec , FLipper and all the others that created this wonderfull world you are leeching on."

Is this a wind-up? Its got to be a wind-up, surely. Or else someone's just mutated into Eric Cartman.

Jeez.

Prokofy Neva

But I'm not "leeching on" any world. I pay for it. And I help create it, too. I don't owe anybody a thing. This is creator-fascism at its ugliest.

Kyrah Abattoir

if i remember you are forum banned for a reason, nobody want a parasit like you prok

Kyrah Abattoir

if it was just depending of me you would already be banned Prok

Brace

Still waiting for an explanation on what you've done that is supposed to demand our respect, Kyrah.

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