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Reuters Pulls Out of Second Life, Army Heads In 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the that-sounds-about-right dept.
A little over two years ago, Reuters made headlines by setting up a reporter as a go-between for Second Life and the real world. Now, they've evidently decided that the buzz is no longer there, so they've ended the virtual-reporting experiment. The reporter, Eric Krangel, offered his own take on the situation, and what he thinks Linden Labs could do to make Second Life a better place. Whether or not the advice is taken, the US Army has decided to carve out its own presence in the virtual world by setting up a pair of islands that will function as recruiting tools. An article at Massively suggests that interest in Second Life is still high among a variety of organizations, saying, "at present it appears that more businesses are coming in than going out."
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Reuters Pulls Out of Second Life, Army Heads In

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  • Second Life?.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sparton (1358159) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @03:21PM (#26022783)

    And strangely, I still don't know anyone that uses Second Life.

    And for that matter, I'm fairly certain there's a lot of people I know that don't even know what Second Life is.

    • by v1 (525388) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @03:26PM (#26022819) Homepage Journal

      a lot of people I know that don't even know what Second Life is

      Count me in. I assume it's a followup of some sort to Half Life?

    • Re:Second Life?.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cliffy2000 (185461) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @03:27PM (#26022829) Journal

      And for that matter, I'm fairly certain there's a lot of people I know that don't even know what Second Life is.

      Actually, there's a lot of people I know that don't even know what a first life is.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Kneo24 (688412)

      Isn't it that game where you use real life money to buy virtual items, like a couch, house, or a virtual whore [wired.com] so you can ruin your marriage?

      • In February 2007, she caught him having sex with the online prostitute character and even hired an online private detective in the game to investigate what he was up to. There followed a reconciliation, but in April this year, she found his character cuddling another virtual female woman.

        She said: "I caught him cuddling a woman on a sofa in the game. It looked really affectionate.
        [...]
        Ms Taylor said she now had a new man in her life - someone she met while playing the Internet fantasy role-playing game Worl

    • The only people I know who have used second life are people who were forced to use it in some class at Northern Illinois University. And they all think it is crap and the class sucks.
    • OK, and? Out my (very wide) circle of friends, only one other than myself uses Slashdot.

    • by sien (35268)

      Second Life is not really popular. Linden Labs have brilliant PR people who have managed to get far, far more press for Second Life than it deserves.

      Check The Register on what the refer to as sadville. In particular check out the phony economics of sadville [theregister.co.uk]. At the bottom of that page there are links to a number of other articles about it.

      Clearly there are some people who get something out of it, but they are a pretty small bunch in the scheme of things. Compared to the MMOs and online gaming for the FPSs i

      • Very good article you quoted there. I was expecting to read another (completely erroneous) article about pyramid schemes but this one gets right down to the real nitty gritty of Second Life economics. For those who can't be bothered to click through, the gist is that the viability of on-line businesses is shackled by a severe limitation in the size of the simultaneous audience they can reach, even if there are a million people on line, due to the inadequacy of the servers.

        I do think, however, that such econ

    • that's cuz they never leave their house to potentially meet you hehehe. btw I'm the same way. I know a lot of people and none of them have ever played second life.
  • Actually, (Score:4, Interesting)

    by michfreak (1413469) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @03:30PM (#26022879)
    My university uses Second Life quite often to advertise. I'm currently involved in setting up a few little modules for our virtual campus that will run alternatives to real-world programs, like an RA training area, a fake Greek are for training on running a legal party, and a freshman orientation area that teaches them the code of conduct. The university is very excited about it, and expect lots of people to use these locations in the future. Of course, I think it's all a bunch of crap, but hey, I get to pass the class if I do this.
    • by Culture20 (968837)
      My university _pays_a_salary_ for a guy to do what you're doing. The brass here also thinks SL might be big some day, and that distance education will happen via SL. I think they're bonkers and should be focusing on video-phone type software instead.
      • My university thinks that getting credit counts as payment.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ultranova (717540)

        The brass here also thinks SL might be big some day, and that distance education will happen via SL. I think they're bonkers and should be focusing on video-phone type software instead.

        If you think about it for a moment, SL (and virtual worlds in general) is a video-phone type software. Oh sure, it will probably go belly-up eventually, just like early attempts at something usually do; but it still pays to experiment with virtual worlds now that they're still in their infancy. It's better to get your beginn

        • If you think about it for a moment, SL (and virtual worlds in general) is a video-phone type software.

          No. A video-phone, even if it's one of the expensive commercial offerings targeted at business video conferences (we have one, I know the stuff) always has some peek-through-a-hole feeling.. there's people on one side of the wall, people on the other side, and the screen is a tiny hole in the wall.

          A 3D environment like SL is very different, and much more natural. The only major problem with SL is that currently there is no good way to present Powerpoint/PDF/whatever content inworld.

  • I use Second Life (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 07, 2008 @04:06PM (#26023267)

    I signed up over 2 years looking for an enhanced chat room. SL allows me to create the atmosphere I used to describe to people in chats. I now own a Coffee House and a Mall and make about $60 US per month. Not bad for my $72 annual fee, most of which I get back in the weekly stipend.

    I think it's probably hard at this point to sell First Life products via SL, it is common that people bring their skills and personalities in. The $$ now is made by people selling virtual land and products.

    Second Life's growth is almost EXACTLY like the growth of the internet. CompuServe, AOL, et al were closed systems that were slow and very limited. Companies came in and out trying to find out if there was any point to the experiment. Geeks ruled. Later on, artists and educators, and yes, the PORN industry, made the WWW more interesting and useful.

    I could go on and on... the parallels are all there.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Mex (191941)

      Yeah, I tried second life. For about 5 minutes. I just had to leave after I got ambushed by a herd of flying cocks screaming and slowing my system down to a crawl.

      Good luck with this game.

      • by blakedev (1397081)
        Speaking of, I wonder if a certain group with the initials PN have seen this article yet.
    • by Dyerbrook (733173)
      Well...don't. Because they're not. Which services owns virtually the entire world's teenage instant messaging? AIM. From AOL. That company you said was closed, and therefore a "closed system" that made it stupid, dead, useless, blah blah blah. Some closed things might die. Some might not. Some might morph into other things. Others might gain value because they stay closed instead of opening up to mindless freetard opensourceniks who suck out value and copyleft all the content. Who says parallels and patt
    • Get a life!

  • by LurkingOnSlashdot (1378465) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @04:11PM (#26023323)
    It was really cool for about half a year at the beginning as I built all kinds of things, but then I just fell away from it and now only occasionally check in to see what's new. The game really has progressed since when I started.

    Gone are all the casino's, pedophilia sex areas and ad farms. The place seems a lot less populated now as well. I never see anyone in my neighborhood anymore.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    A TERRORIST GROUP RECENTLY ATTACKED THE ARMY'S SECOND LIFE RECRUITING BASE. At 8:00 am Second Life time, a terrorist group calling them selves the 'furry t3rmin4t0r5' detonated replicating 'flying penis bombs', deployed annoying sound loop 'followers', and other things too obscene to be described here. The 'furry t3rmin4t0r5' also released a message saying "we did it for the lulz."
  • So the army is headed into the virtual world as Reuters is headed out.

    In real world news, the Army is pulling out of Iraq, and Reuters is going in.

  • that means no more embarrasing CSI: NY chapters? ;)
  • Geeks hate Second Life because no one requires them to use it. It's great : ) Reuters didn't leave SL, their island is still in place. They seem to have lost interst, and Eric, a cub reporter just out of j-school, found a real job. But before that, he got a girlfriend, who probably hated him being on Second Life. http://secondthoughts.typepad.com/second_thoughts/2008/12/eric-reuters-got-a-girlfriend.html [typepad.com]
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Actually, women love second life. It probably has the highest female-to-male ratio of any online videogame, with the possible exception of the Sims Online.
  • Personally, I never understood the travel mechanics of SL - not allowing people to fly/warp wherever they want would make it much more immersive, IMO. You'd get rid of all the annoying pop-in, and I'm guessing the real estate market would get a boost as well, since proximity to popular venues would become even more important. It seems to me that in SL you have all the benefits of real life and more, but almost none of the rules.

    Of course, too many rules make the experience just plain boring, but you'll no

    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      Personally, I never understood the travel mechanics of SL - not allowing people to fly/warp wherever they want would make it much more immersive, IMO.

      They did this for years with telehubs, it was horrible. You had to avoid all that horrible crap in your path, more often than not you would be sealed these advertising cubes. Thank God we can now teleport wherever we wish now.

  • I, for one, welcome our furry new infantry to battle overseas. I wonder what the U.S. military's policy on "yiffing" is...

    "Dog tags" will take on a whole new meaning. Still, they should include:

    Name
    Rank
    Religion
    Fursona

    "This man fought as a horse-- and we will bury him-- as a horse."

  • I find it quite interesting, the most dogged article of the month, and it's about a program that allows Social interaction... On Slashdot?! Go Figure.

    A few Stats for the naysayers:
    50,000-75,000 players at any given time (24/7)
    Well over a Million US Dollars spent daily in world.

    Personally, I run 4 'sims' (16 acre chunks of land) and pull in a profit of well over 200-300 US Dollars a month. My community has well over 250 members, and atleast 50 of them are online daily and interact. To the (seems barren, an

  • I seen "Second Life" at a local club, quite the pole dancer. She had 3 kids though, so I can't blame Reuters for pulling out.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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