This week we discuss the status of Second Life, new research from virtual worlds, Valve’s Steam Box and more!

This week’s topics include:


Bernhard Drax (Draxtor Despres) is a musician, new media producer, and machinima journalist.

Karl Stiefvater (Qarl Fizz, formerly Qarl Linden) is visual effects artist, software developer, and interactive designer extraordinaire.

Thank you to our sponsors, Botgirl’s Digital Playground & AngelRED Couture

About Kim/Gianna

Kimberly Winnington (SL: Gianna Borgnine) is the Emmy nominated owner and CEO of Sand Castle Studios, LLC, a company dedicated to helping organizations maximize the full potential of virtual worlds and social media by creating interactive, social, and 3D experiences. For the last 5 years, Kimberly has helped SCS clients stay ahead of the curve and is a respected resource for information on current and developing trends, social media, and immersive experiences.
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14 Responses to Delusions

  1. Lexi Zelin says:

    So, I just wanted to say that I tried minecraft last week and I didn’t understand it like at ALL as far as it’s “cool factor”… I felt like I was playing a super Nintendo game on my computer and quickly left running and screaming back to my sim in SL. :D Also, Lindens… there is nothing wrong with the deformer, if y’all could release it NOW that’d be great k thanks. :D

  2. Jo Yardley says:

    Getting new people to understand SL and (thus) staying in SL for longer then a few minutes is still one of the most important things that need fixing.
    Because look at the rest of us, even though we know there is a lot about SL that isn’t working very well, we still love and use it.

    I’ve had a long think about how this part of (joining) SL could be improved and wrote a blog about it;

    But in short;
    I’d like to make new people learn a lot of the SL basics in flash games ON the SL website BEFORE they even go inworld.
    Build your avatar, learn to navigate, open stuff, use search, etc.

    Also, I think LL should get public relations person, someone who can talk to all the big Lindens but who is also in regular contact with the users of SL via all kinds of media.
    Someone to be the voice of LL.
    I am sure we could find someone to do that for free.
    Almost like a LL embedded journalist or inworld ambassador…

  3. Metacam Oh says:

    I don’t think Draxtor really cares if I called him delusional about Second Life, but I just want to state that I meant that in the most loving way Drax :) I really didn’t mean it maliciously. I have high respect for you and your work and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with being passionate about your work and the things that you are doing at all and I was not referring to that.

    I will have to go back at the last podcast and get the specific things you said that made me say that, and I will get back to you, but lets put it this way Drax. We are always wondering why Linden Lab can never find ways to show what Second Life is, and you, yourself are a prime example of a pioneer in the field of content creation using Second Life as a valid vision creator, whether its mixed reality with Flufee or your Drax Files or what have you, and where the hell is Linden Lab? You create professional stuff using their platform and they are no where to be found pointing to that or advertising that. This is my point about delusional, you give them too much credit, you give them a pass. They have millions of dollars to work with, probably experts in marketing or whatever, even expert Second Life users potentially at their grasp people doing insane things beyond the “3d chat room” bullshit they throw out there, and they are no where to be found.

    God think about if you could just run one fucking marketing campaign for them, showing people SL is not some 3d chat room where old men play women and people role play as vampires or retreat to some fantasy, that SL is not a place for zombie angry bird flicking morons, that its a place for people to invent and fulfill their own vision in numerous ways, film, game, or just a virtual space.

    Things are not perfect with the platform you’re right, but they have stopped evolving as a platform and have just “let it be”. They pontificate add-ons for their software like mesh deformer and letting third party people create “materials” that this shit takes years, it is fucking absurd. (BTW I said it when it happened that those people wasted 5000 dollars hiring Karl to build something that the Lab would drag their feet on for years.) You’re delusional because you cheer the palm palms for the status quo, when maybe as a well respected and listened to voice, you should be banging the drum on this bullshit.

  4. Metacam Oh says:

    BTW Drax, I know you have come around a little bit on Minecraft, but you do have that attitude about smacking down other platforms. It doesn’t help the SL cause. If Linden Lab were doing their job they would be making it so you could create/play a Minecraft, a Patterns, a Blockworld, IN SECOND LIFE. If the feature isnt available in Second Life, and outside developers wanted to mod the client to make new features possible, they shouldnt prevent that and look down at that, that policy is absolutely ridiculous and has slowed innovation to a halt.

    Some people will never get or like Minecraft, but to not see these variations of virtual worlds as helping people understand what SL is, is missing the boat. Imagine if you could load up Patterns from a location in SL, play together, and come back to the sim in your Patterns avatars or whatever. They market like they OWN everything in SL, like because people roleplay as vampires they get to ‘own’ that, but they don’t own that, people own that, some people choose to build their virtual space and roleplay as vampires, some people choose to do whatever the hell they please with Second Life, they fail to iterate that (well and back that up with actually allowing you technically ‘own’ a 3d object) They don’t make it known at all that when you go from one piece of land or one region to another that they are going to one real live persons virtual world to another. One persons vision to another, they give the impression that SL is just one solidly owned ambiguous virtual world limited to what cheap gimmick SL is marketing that day.

    What SL is, is humanity. People doing whatever the fuck they want in whatever fucking way they want. One cluster fuck to another, never knowing what some crazy eyed human has dreamt up for me to arrive to. Tha’ts the appeal, or it was for me.

    That’s why Ive never liked the name Second Life, it cheapens it, and it just has helped permeate the view that SL is a place for freaks who have no real life. SL to me was just an extension of real life. Something I was always looking for but never realized it until I saw people doing whatever they wanted in SL.

    When I was a kid I used to mod Duke Nukem in my spare time, trying to recreate my high school and baseball fields etc so that perhaps one day I could convince my friends to play Duke Nukem online and be in a shared virtual experience. I went out and bought a new computer to play the Matrix Online obviously I was looking for something, a shared experience, and then came SL, I could do whatever I wanted. Did I want to recreate my High School for example, did I want to build this, do this, do that, the possibilities still remain endless. You always say, sometimes it isn’t for the people who get bored, like you, I don’t understand boredom, if you can’t think of one thing to do to occupy your time you’re in an idiot in my opinion. I need to live 3000+ years to live out all the things I could possibly create and do in a virtual world, in an ever evolving with the times Second Life. This bond of creation and vision and possibilities is probably the very key to what links all of the people that fall in love with SL.

    But what the hell is the point of doing that in a vacuum. A tree falling in a forest with no one around. I sure as hell don’t want to pay 295 a month for a virtual space that will never make its money back unless I am trying to run a business and appeal to the current population (dwindling population) – You keep saying Drax that people are successful out there and make great sims and such and that is true, but you also said people will find it, which is also not true. You can market Facebook, Twitter, New World Notes, Metareality Podcast, etc etc til the cows come home but your marketing to a closed audience of limited SL active users, and even then you are only getting in touch with a very small percent of them (English speaking users for example alone, and not everyone of SL English speaking users is in the Facebook Twitter network or listens to this podcast, get me? And should I have to pander to what the SL population is buying or spending money on just to have my own virtual space for god sakes? Are you kidding me? I can lease a brand new Cadillac or I can spend 295 a month fulfilling my own visions as a hobby IF I can afford it. Unfortunately I cant afford it Drax, i got bills to pay, and what once could possibly be justified as an investment into the future of SL, can’t be justified any longer. Everyone shouldnt have to design fashion clothing or spend full time or even have the best sim just to have your own virtual space and you know that. And please dont’ tell me Linden homes and 500 square meter plots. If that’s your idea of virtual space and the dream, I really have feel you have been drinking too much of the Labs milk.

    The problem with your theory is that no matter what great thing someone does in SL they are limited to the SL userbase. I have been banging the drum for years on this issue that they have made no effort to make it easy for someone or even a guest to sign up to SL without going through the whole rigamarole of signing up to SL immediately, going through their web page and portal. So even if you do come up with a great idea in SL and want to market it to a decent sized audience, you are going to waste your money because the SL name is plastered everywhere you need to go through SL. Without going into my ideas on what should be done, the point remains that you cannot run a location in SL and involve the outside world because they get in the way. Peoples content needs to be king and Second Life needs to be in little bold miniscule letters. They need to be able to get people into their location how they see fit, not how Linden Lab sees fit.

    I’m done babbling.

  5. loki Eliot says:

    Im really enjoying your podcasts, perfect monday morning listening.

    Have three things i’d like to say…

    1st is regarding what you guys said about retention and newbies being linked to top notch experiences. For a while now i’ve be wishing LL did something more with destination guide. I’ve felt the potential was there to make it more dynamic with more options for those submitting places to rate their places as being for news, competent users and experienced oldbies. I want to be able to channel users to experiences suited to them and i want the destination guide to recognise users based on the time they have spent in SL. I also think they could make destination guide more of a gaming experience if one chooses to partake in visiting places and collecting their destinations in a travel log.

    2nd is about SL potential. Im often dreaming up new ‘potential’ features i’d like to see tried out. As a user i am constantly trying out new things, my time in SL is mostly trying out new building and scripting and experimenting with user manipulation during experiences. I often wonder how much LL staff are experimenting with new ideas, how much of that do we hear or see about it?

    3rd is for Karl, I am totally into building with mesh now and part of that transfer was a complete abandonment of Sculpties which i have grown to believe are a terrible mutants that causes lag. If i remember right Karl invented the Sculpty prim so i was wondering if he could confirm that sculpties now are an inefficient tool for creation in SL?

    Im aware and grateful that the sculpty prim in its day changed EVERYTHING in SL. I also remember the excitement and mystery surrounding viral websites with little eyes that lead some of us in circles trying to work out what they were about, then the final big reveal that blew us away ‘PRIMS THAT CAN BE SCULPTED??? WTF!” those were the days :) would love to hear from Karl where the idea to do that viral introduction came from?

    • qarl says:

      hey loki -

      despite the fact that i love the sculpties like my own children – i’d have to mostly agree with your assessment. i think there are situations where you might still wish to use sculpties – but those situations are obscure and bizarre and barely worth mentioning.

      like you said – they served their purpose at the time – but that time has passed.

      the viral thing was entirely the work of Cube Linden – without ANY input or direction from higher management. looking back, it seems really odd that it played out that way. management really never had anything to do with sculpties – in any way shape or form.

      although in the end, they did give me a $100 bonus for them.


      • Medhue says:

        You would not believe the bashlash I got from sculpty makers on the SL forums, when I tried to encourage creators to abandon sculpties for mesh. I pointed out all the problems and lag associated to how people were using sculpties, and told them that mesh was the perfect tools to achieve those looks with a fraction of the data. All the sculpty makers and others cared about was the prim count. LL massively screwed up with the whole Land Impact thing. I’d love to know who’s idea that was.

        Now, with the deformer, they are screwing up again. It’s almost like they are so arrogant that they won’t listen to reason. Plus, it’s ridiculous that they don’t have any1 on staff that can make a mesh to test out the deformer. The proper way to test it is to make the dang mesh. Testing some1 else’s mesh is only testing the mesh, not the deformer. It’s just crazy they don’t even know the proper way to test it. 200 plus employees in a company that makes 3d worlds and no1 can make a complex mesh.

        • Lexi Zelin says:

          I’m very confused about the deformer mesh and why it has not been released to the main viewer… I know on the podcast it was said that some people feel there are still issues to be fixed with the deformer buuuttt I’ve been releasing deformer meshes for about 2 months now. I don’t do the technical stuff, my rigger handles that but she taught herself how to create it and I have uploaded them myself and made a few videos aswell to show customers what exactly the deformer mesh does and everyone is excited about it. Now, who needs a mesh to test? Cause I’ll be happy to throw a linden some of our deformer meshes if that means it will be released any sooner cause as Qarl said, the people saying there are issues are most likely expecting it to do more than it’s supposed to do in the first place. I have had no issues with our deformer meshes AT ALL. All ours move just fine with the body, there’s some texture stretching which is to be expected but it does what it was created to do so I see no issues and I personally think LL should ask people who KNOW what they are doing rather than the entire populous of people who expect pigs to fly because they really don’t know what the deformer mesh is, how to create it, how to use it etc etc. >.< But, yeah someone tell whoever needs deformer meshes we've got a pair of jeans, a skirt, a dress and I think a shirt out now all with the deformer mesh included in the full perm packs sooo it's not like NO ONE is creating these because I believe RedPoly is too and Redgrave said they were going to as non full perm I don't know if they actually have yet though.

    • Medhue says:

      Just the reduction of textures alone, because of UV maps, save tons of data compared to a complex sculpty build. Many creators started combining dozens, if not hundreds of sculpties together to create complex things. Some of the sculpty avatars are near 100 sculpties. Each 1 of those sculpties needs their own texture too.

      With a mesh, you can make the whole avatar, or whole object and only use 1 texture. I’ve even made whole sets of objects that some1 would use together, like a set of silverware, and all the parts use the same texture. Like I said, just the texture savings alone warrants using a mesh.

  6. Loki Eliot says:

    Oh and another thing, this idea about having huds auto attach giving creators the perms needed to give users easier better experiences is called the ‘Experience Permission System’ and was in development until some guy called ‘Gez Linden’ mysteriously left the lab causing the development to fall flat. Ive been trying to find out more details about it for MONTHS because i want to do what is shown in Linden Realms. Hwere is my blog post about it

  7. Pam Broviak says:

    I really appreciate the feedback on the virtual real estate market post. And I think it would be so much fun to be on the show! Hopefully we can arrange it some time. In the meantime, I’ll be listening in every week for all your insights and news.

  8. Lexi Zelin says:

    Okay, so after getting LL’s 10L valentine’s day gift I finally took a moment to ‘actually’ blog, which I don’t do often unless something just really fluffs my feathers! Here’s the link for anyone who cares, it’s mainly my theory of what LL could be doing to better accommodate new players and keep them coming back rather than straying to another game. :P Hope it all makes sense lol

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