Streaming games to Youtube is big business.
People all over the world broadcast their game playing online and some make a pretty good living out of it.
Millions of viewers enjoy seeing someone else play a game and in many cases it can entice them into buying the actual game, so game publishers are very happy with all this free advertising.
Game videos have now gotten so big that Youtube now has its special gaming channel.
Second Life also gets a lot of attention on Youtube as well but unfortunately most of these videos are far from good publicity for our virtual world.
Some are meant well but completely alienating to most outsiders (try and explain having a baby in virtual reality) and others just enjoy using Second Life to annoy and harass others and create grieving videos.
The latter apparently being very funny to a huge audience as those seem to get the most attention.
It clearly is important for Second Life to improve its reputation, at least on youtube.
Many people watch these videos and I doubt it makes them want to try SL.
So today I decided to try and stream a bit of SL myself.
For the record, I was using my early 2015 model Macbook Pro and Firestorm on a wireless connection, broadcasting trough Wirecast.
I did not bother to tweak the settings or look into many options, it was just a simple first try.
And I must say that it worked rather well but it can be quite a hassle.
The thing is, you need to tweak bit rate and CPU and keep an eye on all sorts of settings before you find the perfect balance between making it look good and broadcast smoothly.
My CPU pretty much went to the max right away.
SL runs pretty decent on my 2015 Macbook Pro but when the region is laggy and there is a crowd, things slow down and using shadows and such is pretty much out of the question in such situations.
Even people with very good computers often set their viewers only on ultra for making pictures.
But if you can’t show SL at its very best, it is sometimes better to not show it at all.
Spending a lot of time figuring out how to best set everything up is something which many users will not be willing to do or they may not even be able to.
In short, there is no plug & play option.
No “Lets just click broadcast and we’re fine” possibility.
And this is something where LL could perhaps offer their users a really cool service.
One that I’d love to see in Second Life but sort of expect to see in Sansar.
First of all why should LL bother?
As I mentioned, I think it is important to ‘flood’ the media with great images and videos of Second Life, with the best possible quality.
There is no better antidote to the idea that a lot of people still have about SL having bad graphics and has abandoned ugly old sims than showing people how SL can look like.
If LL gets one of the famous youtube gamers to try out SL, they could reach an audience of millions.
Something you’ll pay a fortune for in advertising money.
Also, LL is always trying to get people to become premium members and to be fair, besides getting extra groups, so far they have not offered amazing extras that people got really excited about.
The added option to create or even broadcast video directly from the viewer could be a wonderful incentive for people to become a premium member.
In short; it is in LL’s interest to get lots of good looking and interesting footage out there.
Now, I am not very technical and have no idea what is happening inside Linden Lab, unlike some people seem to think, I am not a regular visitor there, I do not have my own luxury suite and they found all the bugs I hid there.
So my following ideas may be daft or completely impossible.
But, in my perfect world, Linden Lab adds a ‘record’ and/or ‘stream’ button to their viewer that, just like the ‘upload to flickr’ function will allow us to very simply and directly record a video or stream it on youtube.
It would also be nice to have an option to hide the interface but only on the video, not on the actual screen so you can still use the buttons and options but this will not end up op the actual video or stream.
You also have this option in the photo making tool, you tell it to hide the interface on the picture, but you still see it on your screen.
As simple as that.
Of course this may be quite tricky, or even hellish for LL to implement, but I reckon it might be worth it as it would flood the internet with SL videos.
And if only LL could help out the Bright Canopy team or bring the former SL Go team on board and sort out a cheap streaming service for all… then we could start broadcasting amazing high quality videos and show the world what Second Life can look like.