Thursday, February 11, 2010

wild, 'cos I would do anything to tear you off your precious fence

There's a Myst Online? Don't get me wrong, Myst was an amazing game, but...mostly? In all honesty? I wandered around. I don't think I ever finished the game, it ended up being a meditative exercise, like The Path--something to do for the pretty. (Though I did end up finishing The Path, finishing the epilogue, resetting the game...and haven't really 'solved' the game since, just wandered and listened to the music.)

Burning Man has some interesting clauses on their tickets now. Save they're not on the tickets, precisely...and therein lies the problem.

Someone's thought way too much about Lady Gaga, the "Monarch Project", and the Illuminati. Backing away slowly now...

Runes of Magic is introducing the next chapter of their game in May, bringing with it a new continent, new spells and abilities, new items, new instances, a child king, and a level cap to 60.

We all know what this means: more attempts at game balancing, more bitching, more striations between high-level player and new ones. Still, I'll be interested in seeing what the new section of the world looks like, at least.

So, the mania starts over on Bill Gurley's blog, and if you're like me, and don't know who that is, I'm thinking first, we can perhaps be forgiven, for our concern is the Lindens, not the board members behind Linden Labs, true?

But second, I'm thinking perhaps I should be paying more attention to the sayings of the Powers Behind the Lindens....especially if they're going to be spouting such inane, clearly refutable drabble as that particular blog entry.

Let me make this clear: I have no problem with the rental model, for games. Runes of Magic, my fading-but-still-current MMO love, works on the rental model. I want extra backpack space? I pay for it. I want seed to grow? I pay for it. I want the current festival ingredients, to make niftier things down the line? I pay for them, and I know they have finite lifespans, so I'll need to hurry along with my plans.

This would not work in SL. For one, many of us, if not most of us, already engage in rental practices. I know I do: I rent two small portions of Morgaine, one at L$950 per week, one at L$475 per week, for a total of L$1425 per week, every week, for over two years now in the case of the larger Morgaine parcel. And I have rented in other places, while I lived in those sims; I have rented shop space in Caledon and out of it; and all of us are comfortable with this model, buy into it, pay into it, because we know it helps the world go round.

The same cannot be said of a sofa, for example. I, for one, presented with a sofa that would happily expire and erase itself from my inventory in seven days, would not buy that sofa. Shown an outfit that would only be glittering and lovely during the holiday season, I would politely decline. Shown a thirty-day skybox, a charming little getaway for the next month only...I'd choose to make my own.

Because the alternative? Is ridiculous. If I buy a tree, I want to know that tree is mine. If I throw that tree away, then I no longer own it. If I search for that tree in my inventory, and have to sigh, and contemplate either duplicating my efforts, and buying another tree, or moving to a new tree entirely...which may have the same stupid coding in its makeup...well, then: why am I bothering?

Sooner or later, it is bound to occur, Mr. Gurley: why on earth are we spending time in the game that came up with such a ridiculous idea? And then off to Blue Mars, or Home, or whatever else arises, until Second Life is a footnote in virtual history.

Do you want that? I don't want that. And shame on you for abusing your brain in such a fashion. Go drink something and lie down for two weeks, you'll feel better.

Honestly. Some people's children.

In the meantime, Prokovy Neva takes on this board member, and states in no uncertain terms why he's so very very wrong. Believe me, I--as others--believe the world's in a very frightening place when Prokovy makes sense, but--I can't discount it here. There is rightness and truth in those words, and Mr. Gurley, you really, really, should listen. Because if the board is pushing for these big changes, from social media integration on up to temporary frocks and skyboxen, then you're heading in the direction that will leave you all sitting around a table in a building that's about to be repossessed, wondering where all the money went.

I kid you not, this is exactly where these changes are taking you.

And if you just fixated on the shiny keen Korean models because of their shiny keen ability to rake in tons of cash, keep in mind that Korea's consumer culture is big and temporary on its own. Everything people spend millions for now becomes worthless over time as the Korean population jumps for the next big thing. And they will keep doing this. This isn't wrong, but again, adopt this model with the expectation of big cash dividends--and at the end of the month, when SL is hopelessly unhip, you're again sitting in that board room that removalists are demolishing around you.

If it's not you, Mr. Gurley, if it's M Linden and the people he brought in--then, for the love of all gods, Bill, go out with him, have a drink, get him laid if you have to, but dissuade him from this lunacy. He is merrily chipping away at the foundation of what keeps Second Life functional and upright. It's just a matter of time, now, before he chops through something vital. STOP. HIM.

Meanwhile, in other news, Time Magazine lists "SyFy" as one of the top ten worst corporate name changes. Personally, I think they should have been all ten, but then, I loathe the choice of "SyFy" because they didn't want to be "associated" with geeks in basements.

RAT. BASTARDS. BURN, you....*coughs* Anyway. You want to know how far "SyFy" of the stupid name has come, from their glory days? Here's part one, part two and part three of the original 1992 USA special on the introduction of the network, and what it meant to the men and women who worked in speculative fiction of all types.

Pfff. Some people. They forego substance for the gloss, squeal over the shiny surface and never ever care what it contains. Or, as a user on the i09 mention said, "SyFy: Because 'Ghosts & Wrassling' would take up too much room in the corner of your screen."


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