Ok, I know, I’m shallow, I care about the visual aspect of interviews, not just what is being said.
So when I saw this interview, I immediately liked it.
The interview was made for a website called Upload VR and takes place in front of a lovely old fashioned fireplace, both gentlemen are having an alcoholic (?) drink, there are books on shelves and dogs walking around.
Before you get too excited, no this is not Ebbe’s home or a corner at Linden Lab.
Of course it could be better.
Both gentlemen should be wearing 3 piece suits, smoking a pipe and of course refrain from wearing a hat indoors!
Anyway, so far the super-visual part of this blog.
What is being said?
Not much exciting news that we didn’t know yet, but interesting nevertheless;
Sansar is still a few weeks away from letting testers in.
First half of next year more people will be allowed in and maybe by the end of 2016 a public version may be released.
Ebbe mentions something very important; that if you want to create an interactive VR experience today you have to be an engineer, it is very complicated to do but not so in SL.
We all know that of course, but I think you can’t repeat this enough.
The alpha testers for Maya will download Sansar and it will have an add-on for Maya, the software SL is using to build it.
This explains why LL is looking for Maya users to start testing Sansar, you may not even be able to get into Sansar without it, for now.
However, once you “publish” your Sansar VR experience, you can share a link to it with your friends and everyone can come and explore it.
The idea being, I think, that Sansar will be extremely easy to use and share.
I hope to one day be able to share a link to 1920s Berlin with RL friends and have them explore the sim in minutes with no or almost no installing of viewers and no or almost no instructions.
I think Ebbe is right in promoting SL/Sansar as a place where we can all experience and create VR without the skills needed to do this in any other way.
Ebbe says that SL has experienced a slow and steady decline, from just above 1 million monthly users at its peak, it is now just below.
But SL is still very strong and people cashed out 60 million dollars last year alone.
Ebbe describes Sansar as a “parallel universe” to Second Life.
I wonder if perhaps there is a good name for this world in there somewhere.
It is going to be less world focused, it will be more like several platforms.
This has been touched upon before and I think people will be sad to see the idea of living in a virtual world together change so drastically.
Some of us enjoy just exploring, running around, flying from one sim to another not knowing what they’ll bump into.
With Sansar, it seems, you’ll have to actively choose your destination before you can go there.
That is why LL prefers to compare Sansar to a virtual version of WordPress, and not a world.
Tier is also brought up, land is very expensive in Second Life but this will change in Sansar.
Land in Sansar will be much bigger, much cheaper and, Ebbe said with a smile, much more beautiful.
To be able to afford this there will be a sales tax on the Gross Domestic Product.
In short, property taxes go down, sales taxes go up.
Right now in world transactions are tax free (which I sure hope they will stay!) and marketplace taxes are 5% which is very low, 30% is the norm.
By doing this LL hopes that Sansar becomes appealing to many more users to start creating content, to build things and experiences.
Ebbe also shares a few examples of how SL is used, the musician who can afford to have his RL record published because of SL concerts, the fashion designer who made over a million bucks selling SL clothes, the man who make an income selling jeans, etc.
These kinds of stories appeal to people, it may be a bit daft, but fact is that when people hear that you make virtual goods for some virtual world they may think it is a bit silly but when they hear you can make a living out of it they are often suddenly very interested.
But also the many other wonderful things people do in SL get mentioned, lots of different ‘use cases’ that I think will give outsiders a real good idea of what SL is all about.
And even that crazy woman from Holland who build 1929s Berlin gets mentioned again.
You can enjoy the full interview here;