Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fantasising about a Second Life Ecosystem #SL


Taking a break from my mesh clothing to write about one of my other favourite subjects 'Second Life's Future'. This has become such a fun subject since Rodvik arrived on the scene. 

It was said that Linden Lab would be looking hard into getting on the mobile market. Just how they may plan to do this is fun to speculate.

I've already had a go at conceptualising a mobile app for SL. I think it's generally accepted that you can not have the full SL Grid experience on an Tablet or Smart Phone. A year or so ago i wrote somewhere that if LL were going to do a mobile version of SL then it would need to think outside the SL box and focus on something related to SL that benefits its users.


The Avatar is most important.
Especially now as we head towards a Multi-situated Second Life. What i mean is that right now we have our beloved avatars which we create, learn to customise and grow to cherish, but we are stuck on the Main Grid. If we look at SL another way we could separate the Market place and avatar customisation from the exploring of the Main Grid and list them as two different situations of Second Life. Now we also have the SL Social profiles which are pretty much a third Second Life Situation. Looking at SL this way makes it easier to envision new Second Life situations such as mobile apps.


There have been recent announcements such as 'Shaker' that claim to be like Second Life (but is not), allowing people on Facebook to enter a 3D immersive chatroom bar (more like IMVU perhaps) and discover new Facebook friends while meeting up with same old friends. While i probably won't use such a thing, i can't help but wish i could with my SL avatar. And this is where my mind exploded.

Linden Lab could be growing a social pseudonym creative user content driven gaming ecosystem!!!!!! 


The SL Ecosystem
An ecosystem where people can casually engage in socialising in a way thats alternative to Facebook and Google+, using mobile apps that allow you to select an avatar, hook up with friends, perhaps invite friends from Facebook or google via an SL integrated app similar to IMVU or even the much hyped Shaker. This SL social app would not be recognised as having anything to do with the Main Grid or the virtual land of SL, it's soul purpose would be to gather users and get them socialising in a stand alone situation. 

Maybe these SL mobile social apps can display your actual SL avatar. It would be great if through the social app people could accessories their avatar in app, but I've not drank enough coffee yet for my brain to figure how that might be possible given the erratic nature of SL clothing. They would have to categorise items for avatar wearing only and sort our inventory or something major. But marketplace is a part of the SL ecosystem, and maybe SL Social Users can be encouraged to login world, maybe to special customisation areas created specifically for people to customise their avatars for displaying in their SL Social App.

As a stand alone Social Network, how appealing
is SL to people? Could it stand up to the likes of Facebook & Google+,
or would it need to implament Facebook api's allowing Facebook accounts to
create SL avatars in some way?

The Next area in the SL Ecosystem is the destination guide, it is SUCH an important part of SL i find. Hopefully LL will see sense and start integrating SL guide with SL social profile feeds instead of Facebook. Suddenly we will have a Social feature geared towards sharing 'loves' of destination guide pages that will encourage SL Social App users to 'Get In' more and explore the other SL Situation 'The Main Grid' 

I start to wonder how important the main grid is to casual social users. What do people really think when they get in world? what will people who join SL just to socialise ala Facebook style think of entering a 3D world with their avatar? Is it now simply a large expensive sandbox for creating content? I actually absolutely understand the value of in world immersive spaces, but i'll be dammed if i can explain it to a new Grid Walker. You either get it or you don't, but by this time they will already be using SL to socialise wether they enter grid or not. WINNING!

Last but not least you have the content creation situation, and by jove it is VAST. From clothes design, to moving vehicles, roleplaying experiences, gaming and conceptualisation experiments, it's a 3D creative platform like no other and anyone can access it. As a content creator myself i have found myself starting off with no 3D modelling experience at all, starting with the basics of Primative construction, levelling up to Sculpty Prims before finally ending up working with mesh and understanding Pro 3D modelling terms. Did the SL community teach me how to do 3D modelling, or did it merely encourage me, and which is more important? Market place allows user generated content to be sold for micro payments and it's possible to charge people to take part in in world experiences. To me this is akin to in game payments on iOS games or Facebook games.


New type of SL content?
recent rumour suggested that LL might be looking into text based user generated gaming. That is so vague to the point of WTF?!?11 but it did make me think, if LL can't offer your typical SL grid generated 3D content within a Mobile App, perhaps they will work on a new type of content for its dedicated content creators to share or sell on an SL mobile app.

I'd like to think in future my Loki Avatar will leave the grid and given opportunities to socialise and have fun in other forms such as mobile. XD

END RAMBLING

1 comment:

Lord DoomRater said...

The avatar does appear to be an untapped resource for SL... what's funny is that Gaia Online already tapped this and turned it into its main money maker from the get go. I wonder if everyone's just playing catch-up or what now.