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Whatever Happened To Second Life? 209

Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."
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Whatever Happened To Second Life?

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  • For me? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:01AM (#30653500)

    For me, I can tell you what happened to Second Life. They screwed up my account and their customer service is useless.

    Long version: I had an OLD account that received the 500 L$ weekly allowance that used to be given to every account. Then they changed it so that new accounts don't get that allowance. I went on, made a few custom objects and was happen with my character... Until they got hacked. When they get hacked, they force everyone to change their passwords using the password retrieval system. No problem, it's an email that gives you a link. Everything was fine... And then they got hacked again. This time, my password link doesn't work... It just says there was 'an error'. After trying like 5 times over a couple days, I call them. Their machine hangs up on me without ANY voice prompt. Over the next 6 months to a year, I called over and over, but each time it hung up on me, or answered then hung up, or answered and told me to leave a message then told me the mailbox was full... One time it DID let me leave a message and their message promised me they'd contact me... Nothing. So I eventually just gave up. It's not worth the hassle, and I'm NOT going to make a new account and lose my allowance and the customizations to my character.

    I've been told that the customer service is better now, but I no longer care.

  • by sw33tjimmy ( 662009 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:24AM (#30653586) Homepage
    Probably the most practical (non-sex) application of 2nd Life is its capacity for distance learning/education. Holding online courses in a virtual world... beats the hell out of the buggy web applet i was using back in the glory days of nortel.
  • by weave ( 48069 ) * on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @08:53AM (#30653716) Journal

    I'm still convinced virtual worlds have a fascinating future in our lives -- Second Life may be a bit ahead of its time and needs more technology however.

    There are also useful things going on there. For example, Cape Town Housing Project [].

    Here some students from Delaware, USA designed and built virtual homes for the townships around Cape Town. The designs were critiqued by an organization that handles this stuff in Cape Town in real-life. The students got some valuable experience. For example, designing a house with multiple bathrooms. Ah, no. Or using materials not readily available in South Africa.

    I can see with time and technological advances that students won't have to truck into their local university, they'll be able to learn within virtual classrooms.

  • Re:Ignorant (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @09:13AM (#30653816) Homepage

    One of the things I though that second life SHOULD have become but never did.... The fricking internet interface in a Avatar interface. There is no Google island where I can search Second life for something and zip there. 99% of Second life is just a timewaster you cant do anything in there. Even when Ira Flato did his Science Friday shows in Second life it was a joke. Oh boy, I can either listen on my pc and easily twitter my questions, or I can sit there in a difficult to use UI and act like I am listening... no thanks.

    It had potential, but it never really went anywhere useful.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @09:48AM (#30654052)

    I tried that a little a fair while back, (I was bored and in the end trying it did not fix that).
    I never came across any actual sex, but the yiffy section is certainly a damn sight more crowded than most of it (still most of them just stand around and do nothing, so pretty much like second life, except with even worse graphics and no money aspect).

  • by sw33tjimmy ( 662009 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @10:17AM (#30654328) Homepage
    not sure where you get your info, but not ALL schools exclude second life from DE. You'd probably be surprised how many actually have campuses in second life and pay big bucks for researching/developing SL as a platform. I'm not going to argue the effectiveness of it (and I'm certainly not going to defend it, either), but I will say this much: Bell's first phone looked nothing like an iPhone. Just like 2nd life looks nothing like the Matrix.
  • by Random Walk ( 252043 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @12:29PM (#30656198)
    The problem with videoconferencing is that you see half of the audience only through the tiny "keyhole" of the video screen. In a public seminar talk, it's distracting and confusing for the speaker and the part of the audience that is physically present. I've been at seminar talks involving videoconferencing, and I've been in SL seminar talks, and I found the latter a much better, more consistent experience.
  • by TrogL ( 709814 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @12:57PM (#30656644) Journal
    There are no goals, no objectives, no points or levels to completed.

    That's because it isn't a game - it's a simulation. The point, like in most non-directed play, is to make your own fun. I'm doing it by programming in LSL (SL's development language - reminds me of really early PERL), seeing other people's kewl stuff and making friends. I've even got a boyfriend. He knows perfectly well that I'm not "real", but as it stands he doesn't have a hope in hell of getting a real girlfriend (yes, I'm using female atavars - it's a Jungian thing) for socioeconomic and cultural reasons, so I'll do in the meantime.

    There was an article a few weeks ago (on here?) about people coming to Second Life for "shopping", because they couldn't afford to do it in real life. I can see their point. I just bought a brace of cannon for my front porch for $CAN 0.50 ($L100), positioning them nicely so they fire into my next door neighbour's front windows. Pity I can't do that in RL.

  • by spun ( 1352 ) <> on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @11:48AM (#30670270) Journal

    No, a slut is someone who likes sex, and wants a lot of it. I know some very secure women who like a lot of sex. I know a lot of women with no self respect who hate sex.

    You might want to read 'The Ethical Slut.' It's a good book about how to be a slut without hurting anyone.

"Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed." -- Robin, The Boy Wonder