The SL website sadly has no Press section, this is maybe something LL should add there because they too know that journalists are sometimes too lazy or dim to visit the LL website as well.
With the media you should never assume that the person who picks you as their subject is one who is dedicated to their job and doesn’t mind doing a little extra work.
But once a good journalist does visit the LL website, they can easily find the press section and find the recent press releases.
And it was a very good idea to make that so called infographic and publish it there together with some snappy PR.
Journalists love this kind of stuff, it works.
And if they look a little further they can find a link to the LL flickr set with SL pictures they can use for their article.
These promotional images are not bad and also pretty recent, uploaded just a month ago.
Of course we can debate and disagree on the kind of images they have chosen and maybe we should because I can think of more interesting pictures, but at least the material is available!
This update on the Press section of LL (I don’t know if they offered images to be used by the press before last month) does seem to work.
Have a look at this article for instance; San Francisco interview with Rod Humble. It uses one of the press package images and the journalists clearly read the press release and based his questions on it.
Some important websites also found (or were send) the press release and made good use of it.
They both pretty much copy the LL press release and use the infographic or other up to date decent screenshots.
In contrast, here is an article that came out just before LL uploaded some free to use screenshots. It was written for PCgamesN, not a very big website, but in the world of PR, every bit of publicity counts.
You can visit the article here and you will see this horrendous illustration being used;
I’ve managed to track this picture down to 2007, but it could be even older. Even though this article was made just a few days before LL put free to use pictures on the internet, it still shows some lazy ‘journalism’. It may come as a shock but many reporters can’t be bothered to spend much more then a few seconds on google to do their ‘research’.
Anyway, regardless of your opinions about Second Life and Linden Lab, there is no excuse for sloppy work, so I felt I had to at least complain to that website via twitter about them using such an old screenshot.
Showing that with an article about Second Life in 2013 is unfair, wrong and it just not cricket.
But alas, it is not just a problem you can have with sloppy journalists from small websites.
The once holy BBC, broadcaster of all broadcasters, recently made this little video that does pretty much everything wrong it could do wrong and as such a big tv station, it causes lots of damage.
The title ‘Whatever happened to Second Life’, is already negative, it almost suggests that we should expect that it died years ago.
In the video we first see a backroom band that has a monthly gig in Second Life, not a bad start, but what does it have to do with the story and why does the footage of the band inworld seem to be rather old and simplistic?
40 seconds out of 2 minutes of precious airtime, we’re being told about this band, why they enjoy using it followed by more ancient footage. Nice but what does that say about 10 years of SL? One would almost think that the reporter used the 10th anniversary as an excuse to tell something about the band.
Then a bit of negative history about how SL had a hype that it didn’t live up to, true but not that important really because most big companies just didn’t get Second Life.
Yes this is an article in the business section so it is understandable that they look at the big companies that came and left. But that is old news, they should have looked at LL as a company, had they bothered to visit the LL press section and found the press release they would have realised that that would be rather interesting a subject as well. Even for people just interested in business, it is rather remarkable that LL has managed to keep SL going for over a decade, how much money it still makes, how it survived the leaving of all those big companies, how huge its virtual economy is, etc, etc.
So sometimes, it does not matter what you do as a company, there will always be reporters and journalists who are too inexperienced, lazy or dim to find their way to your press package.
They will use old screenshots and ignore your view of things.
There is very little you can do about it.
Luckily in todays world, we as users can step in now and then.
If you see a website that is writing about Second Life and being overly negative, unfair, unbalanced or even tells lies, share it with your friends and tell them to share their thoughts.
Go on, find the BBC on twitter or facebook, check out pcgamesn, trace down other websites, and tell them what they are doing wrong.
The media doesn’t have to love Second Life, they don’t have to blindly copy the story Linden Lab gives them, they can be critical or even hate it. But they least they should do is pick up some up to date information and screenshots!
The San Francisco Chronicle posted a rather interesting interview with Rod Humble on its site today.
You can read all of it by following this link, but I’m sharing a few extra interesting bits here;
We are continuing to invest in Second Life and also other future virtual worlds, which will be next generation. I do think virtual worlds are going to enjoy significant growth again in the future. You don’t have that level of consistent response over time unless there’s something there.
I don’t think, in principle, there’s any barrier to it becoming very, very large. Whether it will ever be as large as a social-networking site like Facebook, I don’t know, but I certainly think there’s a lot of room for growth.
With “The Sims,” we definitely discovered that people love watching people. When we were working on it, we used to call “The Sims” hamsters with jobs because they didn’t speak English. It’s very much a similar vibe. The No. 1 best-seller within Second Life is hair. The number one best-seller always in “The Sims” was hair.
The past couple of years, we’ve made it a lot easier to use. We’ve just released a significant improvement in performance. It used to be pretty laggy, and that’s gotten dramatically better, and there’s more improvements coming this year. It doesn’t sound sexy, but it’s really important.
Q:Is there going to be a Second Life 2?
A: It’s not going to be for a few years, but it’ll be something next gen. What we’ll call it, I don’t know. The fundamental aim is to make sure that everybody who wanted to love Second Life will love our future products.
There’s an awful lot of people who tried Second Life and for whatever reason, it didn’t resonate for them. That number is 36 million. That’s a lot of people who tried it and said “eh,” for whatever reason. My aim is to get those people (back).
Every indication is that Second Life will continue to thrive. I do think that virtual worlds and this ability for everybody to make their own place is going to grow significantly.
Recently the biggest user created online virtual world Second Life celebrated its 10th anniversary!
This is quite a big deal, how many online games or worlds stay around for a decade and still do so well?
Yes Second Life is doing well, and to illustrate that it is far from dead Linden Lab, the company behind ‘SL’, published a press release with a so called ‘infographic’ full of facts and figures.
It is shocking and rather sad that there are a lot of people out there, even in the tech community, who don’t even know Second Life is still around.
A huge online virtual world where everything you see is build by its users, that supports a massive economy and lots of communities, is the biggest in its kind and still at the forefront of this kind of technology, should be something every writer in the game and computer business should keep an eye on.
Just because the hype has passed (years ago) does not mean it is no longer important.
With the Oculus Rift about to change the world of gaming and immersion, virtual reality will get a huge boost and Second Life will be part of that.
But I will let the infographic talk for itself.And to the SL users and inhabitants I say; spread this picture as much as you can, share it trough social media, paste it on forums, glue it to walls, leave prints on the train.Lets tell the world we’re still here, remind them how special Second Life is.
The Oculus Rift and Second Life can become a marriage made in heaven.
What is more fun then exploring and immersing yourself in a world created by some game designer… exactly, immersing yourself in a world created by YOU. Second Life offers that.
Recently I got a chance to try the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset at a Virtual Reality meetup here in the Netherlands.
As a 40 year old woman who wears 1940s clothing I stood out a bit amongst all the hip young nerdy geeky guys and as I never go to such events, I found it quite an entertaining experience.
I was the very last person to arrive at this place and was given number 63, given that everyone there would be allowed about 5 minutes on one of the two Oculus Rift sets, you can imagine how long it would take before it was my turn.
Luckily they also had a third setup where you could try the rollercoaster demo and as all the waiting people had a go on that before they got to try the official ones, eventually they had all had had their turn and I could try it.
I have to say that at first I was a little disappointed, simply because I had expected so much of it and we’re spoiled with amazing graphics in other games.
And to me the Oculus Rift is only interesting for certain purposes so sitting on a roller-coaster racing around with very low resolution made it a bit hard to see past that and imagine what it would be like in Second Life and with better quality.
Luckily I was eventually able to look beyond that when I remembered that I was just using one the first devkits, a very basic version.
I already knew that a sharper, better version had came out that very day, MUCH improved from the previous one.
Being a bit of a (polite) rebel I decided to convince the organisors to run the Tuscan villa demo on the third Oculus set in stead of that Roller-coaster.
This demo made me a lot more enthousiastic, because it was very easy to try and imagine this as being a place in Second Life.
And again, it made me realise that the Oculus Rift and Second Life can become a marriage made in heaven, that they are perfect together and that Second Life could be the Oasis as mentioned in the book ‘Ready player one‘ by Ernest Cline.
Once I made myself look past the low level graphics and the rather dodgy steering, I realised how this could, would and should change Second Life, gaming and even Real Life for ever.
THIS was immersion like I’ve never experienced it before, and I have been one of the lucky people who got to try Virtual Reality over 20 years ago.
You FEEL depth, when you look down you actually feel like you’re looking down, when you stand on something, you will experience that as standing on something.
Looking over the edge of a cliff will make you want to step back and perhaps a bit dizzy, being inside a little room will make you feel claustrophobic, in short; you are INSIDE the 3D environment.
Experiencing such strong feelings while the headset is still at such an early stage of its development, and with rather bad steering, makes it clear how awesome it will be once we get a little further down the line.
Of course the steering is not up to the Oculus Rift developers, they just make the screens we look at.
So racing like mad trough a Tuscan villa, almost as if I’m floating and with no body, felt very odd.
It took a lot away from the experience and made it clear that game designers (including Linden Lab) need to take a really good look at this.
To make it work in SL we will not just need a much better mouse-view display but someone needs to go and experience what it is like to walk trough a sim while using your head to look around in stead of your mouse and how it feels and looks to walk, how we show our body, etc, etc.
But even with the way it is today and before having tried the new improved version (already twice the resolution compared to the one I tried and that is not even the commercial version) it already gave me a glimpse of how amazing all this is going to be and how big the role Second Life can play in it could be.
At the very base of it lies one very simple fact; the headset creates the illusion of 3D and it does this very well.
It is based on the century old idea of Stereoscopy and simply puts two pictures in front of your eyes and gives you the idea of depth.
It works much better then wearing 3D glasses and staring at a tv screen, the headset blocks out the rest of the real world and the head tracking is superb.
At this moment it is not perfect, it still needs lots of work both from hard- and software designers. But you have to be blind not to see its enormous potential.
Unfortunately at the moment the people at Oculus Rift and others in the technical business are only looking at its possibilities in the world of games, mostly shoot-em-up games.
But the BEST thing about the Oculus Rift and virtual reality in general is the magic word; IMMERSION.
A good headset like the Oculus Rift will give you the idea of being inside the virtual surroundings.
And even with all its shortcomings, Second Life DOES give you the ability to immerse yourself in a more diverse virtual location then any other game or software out there.
Furthermore, it ads social interaction that you won’t find in any game.
And what is more fun then exploring and immersing yourself in a world created by some game designer… exactly, immersing yourself in a world created by YOU. Second Life offers that.
I have seen a few kickstarters and demos out there that offer certain experiences for the Oculus Rift… game designers want money to develop software for you to experience virtual diving, visiting museums, going to the cinema… But all these things are already possible in Second Life!
If Linden Lab realises the potential of their virtual world and manages to convince Oculus Rift and its users that they can offer all what they want and more, they will reach a huge potential market.
Yes the SL-viewer does need some work before they reach that point, but once they do, they should do whatever it takes to let the world know that Second Life could be THE place where virtually everything is possible.
Forget about just using the Oculus Rift for running about shooting at each other, virtual reality is suitable for so much more.
Let me sketch you my vision of the future;
I predict a time when most households will own a virtual reality headset and use it regularly.
It will be a very normal thing to use for all kinds of things.
We will visit the cinema together with friends living in another part of the world or just with our own family, watching something together again in stead of each doing something different on our own screen in another part of the home… something already possible in Second Life!
We will go shopping on the internet, being able to see something in 3d, examining it from all sides, try clothes on our avatar or simply visit a 3d supermarket for the daily shopping we’ll have delivered, just because it is more fun and less scary for some, then ordering via a regular website.
Schools will use it for education, imagine a history lesson about… oh I don’t know, 1920s Berlin… everyone put on their VR headset and woosh, here we go to virtual 1920s Berlin, the entire class together, no train tickets needed, no permission from the parents, no risks, no costs.
Police, medics, firemen and the army can use it to train people all time time without having to set up expensive real world exercises.
And combined with perhaps an Omnidirectional treadmill such as the Virtuix Omni people will use it for something many of us are obsessed with; exercise!
Imagine going jogging on a treadmill in a 3d created reality, in stead of seeing the boring neighbourhood you see every day in reality… you get to jog underwater, trough the streets of 14th century Venice, all over 1940s New York, on the moon, etc, etc.
The market for ‘Exergaming’ is huge, in 2009 such games were generating revenues of $2 billion.
And I’m not even talking about all the medical possibilities such as Physical rehabilitation, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder treatment, or simply making your stay at the hospital ward as a patient a little less boring.
Most of the options mentioned above could work in Second Life and would bring a LOT of new people to our virtual world.
Many people who are not at all interested in what Second Life has to offer at the moment, would flock to it if it had the added option of exploring virtual reality with a VR headset.
Of course, we’re not there yet.
But it is just around the corner, I can almost taste it and after trying the Oculus Rift myself I know that gaming, computers, virtual reality and even our day to day real lives are about to change drastically.
I just hope that the people behind Oculus Rift see that they can sell it just as well and as a tool for immersion and all kinds of virtual experiences, not just for gaming.
I know and understand that gaming is a big market, full of people ready to throw their money at the screen, but I think that the market for other kinds of uses may be even bigger.
And more importantly to us people who live in the Second Life world, I hope that Linden Lab realises the huge potential here and makes sure it gets in on the action as soon as possible.
Get in contact with the Oculus Rift people, stay in contact, invite them over to come and try Second Life and discuss some of the options.
And work on a viewer that will work with the Oculus Rift.
This will make mouseview properly functional for everyone, even without virtual headsets, but when the Oculus Rift launches its first proper public version and goes global (and it will), it is the duty of Linden Lab AND us, the users, to try and make the world realise how amazing it will be together with Second Life.
I know, there will be people out there who are sceptical of all this, I want to ask them to wait till they can actually try it, then sit down for a few minutes and imagine it working with Second Life.
Without actually trying it, it is very hard to judge.
Finally I want to end by sharing a video with you, it is an old one but to me this is what one day Second Life could be like and with the Oculus Rift, this virtual reality has gotten a lot closer;
Luckey: It’s about being inside the virtual world, not caring about the real one. Mitchell: You could put your Glass on in the virtual space. Luckey: We could do that! We could simulate Glass… It’s not that hard. You just have a tiny heads-up display floating there. A really tiny one. Mitchell: I like it.
“OK, Rift, take a picture. OK, Rift, record a video…”
Luckey: There’s actually Second Life mods like that. People sell heads-up displays that you can buy. Mitchell: Really? Luckey: And they put information in there like distance to waypoints and stuff. Mitchell: Oh, that’s cool! Luckey: Yeah, they overlay it on the screen when your character’s wearing it.
I never really “got” Second Life. Minecraft, I can wrap my head around quickly. But Second Life…
Luckey: It’s very difficult to get into. There’s a steep learning curve. The last time I went into Second Life was to buy bitcoins from a crazy guy who was selling them below market value, but you had to go into Second Life to meet with him. Mitchell: The underbelly of the Internet. Luckey: They’re actually working on Oculus Rift support, though. The kind of people who make games like Second Life definitely see the potential for virtual reality — being able to step into your virtual life.
It is of course a shame that the interviewer does not get Second Life, that Palmer Luckey hasn’t used it since he bought some bitcoins and that Nate Mitchell calls it “The underbelly of the internet’.
It is great that they know that Linden Lab is working on Rift support.
But it seems that most of the participants in the interview still only know about the adult and weird side of Second Life.
And that is of course sad!
Second Life is all about creating worlds, virtual surroundings and immersion!
To me it seems even more suitable to the Oculus Rift then any shoot-em-up game out there.
What could be more fun then exploring a virtual location… exploring a virtual location you’ve created yourself!
Hereby I invite both Luckey Palmer and Nate Mitchell to give Second Life another try and join me for a special tour of 1920s Berlin, the city I build.
I hope this will make them realise the huge potential Second Life has, especially for the Oculus Rift.
Drax Files about me and 1920s Berlin, to give you a taste of what Second Life has to offer besides all the icky stuff the press always seems to be obsessed with;
Because not everything made it into the video, Draxtor was kind enough to let me listen to the interview so I could write it all down and share it with you here.
Rod Humble interview:
On the current status of Second Life;
I think it’s an amazing thing that after 10 years we have a million people active every month, we have 400.000-odd people sign up every month.
And I think, at least from my background, I come from the world of computer games, that never happens.
Usually it’s a sequel at that point, that you’re making a franchise.
I think the reason why is pretty clear, which is, it’s this wonderful creative platform and I think that being able to see this avenue where people can make whatever they want and they can share it and they can sell it and they can socialise, I just think it is a tremendous thing and I am very pleased with it.
Second Life is ahead of its generation, but very traditional in the fact that it enables creativity and I believe that that is the most powerful form of interactivity and entertainment.
I think that children immediately are drawn to things that they can make and play with.
And they are not drawn to fixed experiences that are linear.
And my kids are the same, my son loves Minecraft, he loves Second Life, he loves being able to make things.
And my daughter is the same, she is five, she can’t quite understand Second Life yet but she plays with paint programs and Creatorverse, a program that we just did.
And I think that is more traditional, I think that people are naturally drawn to being able to play rather than follow somebody else’s fixed path.
We may look back on the video-game business from the 80s up to 2000 as something of a historical anomaly.
Adding that spacial dimension and also your sense of identity is a large factor.
I don’t have all of the answers, I don’t know why it’s magic, but it is.
A visit to Bay city.
On being in-world;
When I am in-world, I feel the same way.
Wow this is different, I am not sure why it’s different.
I think that some of it has to do with that I know I have this self expression which is my avatar and I know that I am in a space that I can move around and I know that it’s been made by somebody.
And it is more engaging and the conversations become different in-world
I am a great believer that the tools and rules of any interactive experience govern the kinds of things that come out of it.
I think it is no accident that for example on twitter, which is part of the reason I kind of stopped using it, is that limit on characters really does force a trivial and snarky kind of conversation.
For example, I’ve dealt with a lot of communities.
i think that the Second Life community is clearly about creativity and when I’m on first person shooter game communities, the communities there are very different because there is one activity that it is focused around.
Again I don’t think there is anything new here.
The tone of the conversations at a chess club are going to be different then the conversations at a sewing circle.
Because of the kinds of things that you’re doing, the activity is the central conversation and all the other conversations emerge around it, kind of like a coral.
I think that the ability for you to have a certain kind of identity in certain situations within Second Life is much more traditional then today.
I am very uncomfortable with the lack of privacy and ability to choose the persona I put forward, more and more.
With social media, everyone knows who you are.
That doesn’t feel comfortable to me, sometimes I want to choose.
The you that goes to church is different then the you that goes to the pub or the tavern which is different then the you that goes to work or is at home or is in a club.
And I think increasingly today those lines are getting eroded.
And I think they are important.
It is tremendously empowering for people to go into Second Life and say; “Here is my persona.”
And I love flying around with my alts, sometimes I’m a spaceship, sometimes I’m dressed as a greek philosopher, sometimes I’m dressed as an animal, I mean, it’s great!
And each one of those personas, you can fully engage in a community in a way you that you can’t when everybody knows it’s Rod Humble who’s chatting to you.
When I go in-world, I answer some messages, I give out bears.
Some of the most enjoyable things I’ve done, flying planes, riding railroads, I like to go sailing.
I love building on my island, which is secret so you won’t get to see that but I enjoy it a lot.
What did I make?
I made some little virtual pet thing, I like programming in LSL.
There was a bunch of art galleries I just thought they were fabulous.
There’s a lot of activities that I really enjoy within Second Life.
I would say that, if you browse in-world or you browse the marketplace or you just look at images from Second Life.
There will be a point when you see something and you will say; “Ah I would like to be that in-world.”
And that is the best I can give, I think there is something for everybody and it is magical when it happens.
I remember when I saw a spaceship fighter and I was like “Hey that would be a cool avatar!” and it really clicked.
So I think you just have to look around and I think some people are just not comfortable with it at all and they certainly shouldn’t do it.
But I have this hunch that there is an avatar for everybody.
A visit to 1920s Berlin for some lukewarm beer in Jo Yardley’s Keller Tanzlokal.
It is very hard for us to figure out what you will find appealing within Second Life, within this universe of creativity.
And so I think a lot of people come to it and are like ‘Well it is not for me, I’ve seen what it is like and it is not for me.”
And then if if you take them by the hand and you say; “Well by the way are you into quilting? Because I can show you a place in Second Life where there are these wonderful communities who are making carpets and fabrics and all of these wonderful things.
Or are you into aircraft?”.
I remember, I was showing a CEO of another company, he was just looking at Second Life and we were chatting about business.
And I was like; “Oh this is one of my favorite places” and he was genuinely unimpressed.
Right up to I said “Oh and this is one of my favorite areas” and I took him to this airport where there were all these aircraft recreated within Second Life and he just flipped his lid.
He was like; “This is amazing! And I can fly these?”
It is discoverability and I wish I had the answer to that but I don’t.
On Second Life and the tech world;
There is a mindset within the tech business which is ‘rinse and repeat’.
And it’s if something is older then a year it is clearly on its way down and I just don’t believe that at all.
Creative platforms should be tremendously long lived and I, nobody is really talking about changing canvasses for painting.
And I think that you can make things better and better but fundamentally I think that creative platforms, the longer they are around the better.
There is definitely short term thinking in the Bay area.
And I think it is a mistake because I think that there are businesses that you build over time.
I am astonished, before I worked here, I worked on a game called “The Sims”, where you control little people and Second Life is similar.
And I am astonished that there has no been no significant competition to Second Life and by significant I am not trying to be disrespectful to our other competitors right now, but no large company has come in and said; “We’re going to spend 50 million dollars building a Second Life competitor.”
And that is astonishing.
And nobody did it with the Sims either and I think a lot of it is they don’t get it.
How do you compete with something you don’t understand, how do you build it?
On Second Life performance;
We are about, I would say 30 to 40% trough, I am not even sure that the 30 to 40% is live yet.
But late last year I mentioned it in passing that we were investing in performance and it has been a huge effort.
And it has been a problem that the company as a whole, we didn’t really address for years and years and we spend over a year now on it and the rest of the performance improvements should be out this summer, I think a big one should be out for SL10B.
And my hope is that people just notice, as you have.
But you ain’t seen nothing yet, there’s going to be some really significant ones that are coming and it is just going to be great for everybody.
And that is an investment that isn’t immediately apparent to people and its not very sexy but it is very much appreciated.
When Danger Linden, Don a friend of mine, he joined Second Life and he is now heading a production on it.
He just came into my office after the first week and said; “Rod there is this elephant in the room. You do know how just slow everything works? And it just ruins the immersion.”
And so we put a real focus on it.
So thank you, I’m glad you noticed, it is gonna get better.
Trying to explain something technical to Jo Yardley.
For the pas year or so, we’ve been working under the hood to improve performance.
A lot of those performance improvements are rolling out this quarter and next quarter and I think people will be delighted by them.
We’ve added mesh, we’ve added pathfinding, we recently added CHUI which is a flexible user interface.
All of these things have made Second Life look more and more nextgen and some of the works are just beautiful and we continue to add new features.
I think with mesh there is a dramatic transformation between older creations and ones that you can make with current generation tools and upload within Second Life.
And if you just look side by side with the same creator of what they could make two years ago and what they can make today with mesh, it is absolutely stunning.
And I am so pleased to see the results.
I do think that Second Life enables people with isolation issues, disabilities or they just have different ways of wanting to interact with other people.
And it is extremely empowering and I found that myself.
And I find that a key feature for Second Life.
One of the businesses and the areas of enjoyment within Second Life is breedables, so pathfinding has helped there.
And there are so many different kinds of pets and animals that you can purchase and raise within Second Life, from horses to these wonderful fantasy creatures.
It’s amazingly enjoyable and having a pet is very addictive as well.
Yeah everything that you see in Second Life is created by the users for the users.
And what emerges are these wonderful communities and lines of business and they rise and fall and rise and it’s wonderful.
And I do think that is a misconception; Linden Lab, we don’t make the things you see in Second Life, it is all community driven.
On Second Life’s reputation; I think that we try every day, I think that with SL, with the 10 year anniversary, there is another opportunity to position Second Life correctly.
I was actually on stage last weekend and I got asked about the biggest misconception about Second Life and my answer is; We have the same amount of interest in adult content as Google does but you don’t think of Google as the Adult search engine, which it is!
We’re very broad and that’s when you have people able to create whatever they want, they will create whatever they want and that will be interests of all kinds.
And I embrace that, I think it takes a lot for people to understand that because they believe one company is making all the content and therefor is making all the content.
I also think it is rather childish, you know, from particularly, myself in England, living in the States.
There is this rather childish cultural obsession with sex, it’s like, really?!
I mean, it is interesting, but you know it’s normal as well, it’s kind of a healthy thing, why are you guys so obsessed by this?
I think it is because video games, at least in the UK and United States, it’s always been very taboo.
It’s okay to have genocide, blowing people’s heads off, but heaven forbid you show an act of love.
Checking facebook while inworld.
On the Second Life economy;
Yeah it is actually amazing.
It is round about half a billion US dollars a year transactions within Second Life.
And so far it has been 2.3 billion USD and actually it is increasing.
So the amount of land right now is going down, slightly, but the economy is increasing, which is astonishing.
Yeah and it goes in cycles.
It is always amazing to me as a businessman seeing the way that the Second Life business evolves and it is so driven by the users, it changes in ways you wouldn’t expect.
I am still absolutely amazed at just how robust it is.
A million Monthly Active Users for an online experience that’s ten years old is unheard off within the video game business and this isn’t a video game and I think it is because of that, it’s a creative platform.
On Oculus Rift;
We’re working internally on integrating Oculus Rift and VR headsets, which I’m really exciting about.
I can’t wait, it’s already great.
It is actually trivial to get it up and working so you can look around, what isn’t trivial is you absolutely need to now convert all of your user interface because when you’re looking around you can’t track around with your mouse, it doesn’t feel right anymore.
So you have to make that UI helped with where you’re looking.
Which is astonishing, we wouldn’t have predicted that but it’s really really necessary.
We have the Oculus Rift working within Second Life and we are working to make it a triple A experience particularly round the user interface.
On the future; We are working on not only large features for Second Life but also we have a very very large virtual world investment that we haven’t announced yet and that is still a few years out but I think that’s going to really excite people.
I think that Virtual Reality, things like the Oculus Rift are very important.
And I also think that one of the biggest multipliers that will happen within virtual worlds is creation tools getting easier and easier.
And that’s going to be a huge bonus.
We’ve been having a lot of fun and as I said, our largest product it is virtual world related and for Second Life Users, I think people are going to be excited.
But that is a few years out.
We do some programs where we support the arts by donating land and we do that trough a committee of residents.
It combines architecture with drawing with programming, it’s an amazing thing.
On Linden Lab;
At Linden Lab we have about 176 employees, we’ve got offices in Sweden, England, Virginia, Boston, San Francisco is the main office, we’ve got one in Seattle as well, so we diversify.
I will say that productivity more and more is increasing because of tools and I also think that there are modern methods of engineering which help.
Over the past two years we have gone from becoming a minority engineering organisation to a majority.
So the majority of our employees now are programmers who actually make things, which I think is healthy.
I think that we remain very much under the radar for most people, I will say that recruiting is remarkably easy.
And I think that that’s changed particularly over the past 18 months, it’s got a lot easier.
And I think people are seeing what we are doing and that we have interesting engineering problems.
But in general I think that most people in Silicon Valley have no idea that Second Life still exists.
Which is interesting in and of itself.
On the Second Life community;
But I think when it comes to the community, you mentioned the community, I love the Second Life community.
And I think the Second Life community gives itself a bad rep.
If you ask the Second Life community they will tell you ‘Oh you know, we’re so negative and we’re so drama obsessed’.
And it’s just not true.
I come from gaming communities, where I was running a gaming community, I received three death threats in a day!
I’ve never received three death threats in a day from Second Life users, I’ve only received only one death threat here.
And that was from a guy who got banned, you know, he was angry.
I actually regard the Second Life community as far more polite and less vitriolic then many video game communities I’ve managed, maybe it’s just my experience but for me it’s a step up.