Re: Anders Sandberg in Second Life on converging cognitive enhancement, uvvy island in SL, May 23 2007 10am PST

From: BillK (
Date: Sat May 12 2007 - 05:09:07 MDT

On 5/12/07, asgromo wrote:
> The psychological aspects of walking around a big shared mutable 3D
> landscape are great, but I hesitate to believe they're especially
> conducive to a lecture or conversation. That Second Life as a piece of
> software just isn't very good at being a big shared mutable 3D landscape
> is my larger problem besides.

There are plenty of articles available, both supporting Second Life
and tearing the experience to pieces.

Boing Boing linked to this one:

The wind whistles through the brick canyons of Welles City. You strain
to pick up more sounds, but there's nothing. Ten-storey buildings with
no one in them. An empty church. Apartment blocks, one after the
other, with no sign of life. It reminds you of 1980s documentaries
about the neutron bomb, that would kill all organic life but leave all
the buildings standing. Streets with no people.

The lights still burn in Darkside. You can pick out the great vaulted
arches of its beautiful walkways from their glow. In the sunken
gardens, pools of water glitter among the polished rocks. There's no
human life to disturb the scene. You feel like you might be walking
through a diorama, kept on a high shelf somewhere out of sight.

Spindrift echoes with the sense that you're in an evacuated Russian
science city, or an abandoned Los Alamos. Spindrift's rocket gantries
are silent and unattended. You catch yourself looking for a blanket of
dust on its gorgeous experimental devices and mechanical

But you're in Second Life. There is no dust. Everything is preserved
in chill digital vacuum, waiting for someone to find it.

As I write this, there are more than forty thousand people inworld.
And yet, everywhere I go is empty. All the streets I walk down recall
the opening act of 28 DAYS LATER. I find myself wondering where the
zombies are.

Lots of people have had lots to say about the recent hype surrounding
Second Life, but very few have addressed the basic experience of the
world — that you're incredibly alone there. You can spend eighty
percent of your time walking through immense, labyrinthine castles
that no one lives in. Visit a seemingly endless string of shops with
no customers.



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