Second Life upgrade creates Second Life anger

May 22, 2007

Second Life is becoming synonymous with bad news, as the euphoria about a shared virtual community gives way to a very first-life phenomenon: complaining!

Tuesday the game’s developer, Linden Labs, announced that Second Life 1.16.0 would be released Wednesday — and that this would result in an unexpected six-hour outage from 6 a.m. to noon, PST. But what if you’re running a virtual business? “[M]y patience has gone…” complained one Second Life entrepreneur. In a comment on the company’s blog, he asked “how can we run a business with the amount of downtime, rolling restarts, weekend breaks…maybe a smoke break?”

Linden Labs is correcting a bug that affected some of the world’s virtual objects. If it was a “no-copy” object, it would sometimes…disappear. (From the user’s perspective, it became: “No-exist!”) Another bug they’re repairing could make it impossible to leave a group Instant Message session. The luckless Second Life user would continue receiving the messages — whether they wanted them or not!

Some genuinely new features are also being introduced, including Sculpties — an advanced graphics feature offering a new way to integrate Quicktime or Flash with an object’s shape or texture. But even this news prompted skepticism in the comments on Second Life‘s blog. “Maybe I can cancel my LSD order,” joked one user, anticipating changing colors and shapes from unexpected glitches. Another complained even about the progress, saying they’d mastered the old feature for creating commercial objects, only to have their skills rendered obsolete.

More complaints came about what didn’t happen — a release of in-world voice features. (“What’s the point of a roll out then?” asked one user.) Another user even speculated they were fixing a bug caused by a previous rushed release. adding, “Only a matter of time before they break it altogether.” But not everyone was unhappy. One Second Life user posted “Ignore the naysayers! Patch away!”

It mirrors the negative tone of the press coverage, which tends to focus on Second Life experiences gone wrong. Today AFP reported on in-world terrorists releasing “virtual bombs” on a Second Life property owned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation — matching a similar earlier attack on a Reebok store. According to the article, warring political factions even tried to set virtual fire to each others’ Second Life headquarters.

Last week a London newspaper even reported that police in Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands were investigating claims of “online sexual abuse.” The Times said police were “considering” whether virtual stalking and assault are a crime, adding that “experts” believe the online evil-doers “could be vulnerable under laws prohibiting harassment and the sending of malicious messages.” But like any game, the ultimate verdict will come from its users.

“It has the potential of being a widespread problem, but that doesn’t mean it will be,” one regular gamer told me. “Second Life is not a highly-structured, theme-driven amusement park like say Disneyland. Second Life is a virtual world, a very broad world, where virtually anything can happen.”

As the game continues to develop, that will mean good things, bad things — and everything in between. According to another article, Second Life has just been graced with an unexpected honor — an official virtual embassy representing the real-world republic of Maldives. The island nation in the Indian Ocean was reportedly rushing to beat Sweden, who had wanted to open their own first virtual embassy next week.

People reading news coverage may be developing a strange picture of Second Life. It’s got bugs, it’s got terrorists, surprises and frustrations.

And people are really excited about being a part of it!

10 Responses to “Second Life upgrade creates Second Life anger”

  1. Islander:

    Its not a 26 island nation. Its 1,190 island nation. :)

  2. Micheru Mathys:

    Obviously you never read the LL blog, because this happens with nearly -EVERY- update or blog post.

    “Hey SLers, we’re giving you free icecream! ENJOY!”

    “What the hell?!? It’s not vanilla icecream!!! BOYCOT!”

    Is pretty much the habbit and attitude. :/

    Or even worse: “I wanted a brownie! DOWN WITH ICECREAM!”

    -Micheru

  3. Will:

    Corporations, terrorists, embassies and churches? It sounds a lot like the Middle East :)

    Maybe a virtual Isreal is where we will see the coming of the Messiah? It sure would make it a lot easier to fulfill some of those impossible prophecies like coming down from on clouds.

    The online religion Matrixism makes a perfect vehicle for this as Tom Aderson/Neo/the One was raised in a virtual environment.

  4. Multimedias.mobi » Anarchy, Discontent Plague Second Life:

    [...] An update to Second Life’s client server will coincide with a 6 hour outage from 6am-12 noon PST Wednesday and Second Life users are not happy. According to a post at Gamer.Blorge Second Life entrepreneurs are particularly unhappy with the downtime, after all, if you’re trying to make a living from Second Life this downtime affects the bottom line. [...]

  5. csven:

    *yawn*

    “unexpected”? Not really.

    -

    A big deal? Much less than it used to be a couple of years ago.

    -

    “including Sculpties — an advanced graphics feature offering a new way to integrate Quicktime or Flash with an object’s shape or texture.”

    You have no clue what you’re talking about, do you?

  6. TechCrunch Japanese アーカイブ » Second Life、混乱と不満が大発生中:

    [...] Second Lifeが、クライアントサーバーをアップデートした際、水曜日6amから正午(アメリカ西海岸時間)まで6時間にわたりサーバーがダウン。ユーザーたちは快く思っていない。Gamer.Blorgeのエントリーによれば、Second Lifeにおけるアントレプレナーたちは特にこのダウンタイムに不満を抱いたという。結局のところ、もし、Second Life関連ビジネスで生計をたてようとしているなら、同サービスのダウンタイムは収支に影響するからだ。 [...]

  7. David Cartier:

    Only someone who has just started Second Life would be stupid enough to get upset over Wednesday downtime. It’s a tradition to fiddle with things on Wenesdays and they do it when most of the subscribers are supposed to be at their REAL LIFE jobs. On the other hand, the tradition of introducing two new bugs for every one bug fixed or worked around is really starting to piss even the long-time fanboys off.

  8. RazorSharp iPods & Raw Gadgets » Blog Archive » Anarchy, Discontent Plague Second Life:

    [...] An update to Second Life’s client server will coincide with a 6 hour outage from 6am-12 noon PST Wednesday and Second Life users are not happy. According to a post at Gamer.Blorge Second Life entrepreneurs are particularly unhappy with the downtime, after all, if you’re trying to make a living from Second Life this downtime affects the bottom line. [...]

  9. 승범:

    SecondLife 는 재미는 있는거 같은대 그래픽이 너무 ì¡°ìž¡í•œ 감이 있지요. 뉴스를 읽어보니 린든에서 그래픽 업그래이드 작업을 하고 있는거 같습니다. 아마도 ê³³ ì—„ì²­ë‚œ 그래픽으로 다가오지 않을까요…? 소니에서도 자신들의 가상 세계 게임을 만든다고 하던대 그래픽 프리뷰를 보니 대단하더군요. 그정도만 된다면 옷 디자인도 더 섬세하게 하게 되겠고 옷을 입는 즐거움도 더 커지겠지요…? 우리 열심히 해봅시다 세컨 라이프!

  10. techcrunch » Blog Archive » Anarchy, Discontent Plague Second Life:

    [...] hour outage from 6am-12 noon PST Wednesday and Second Life users are not happy. According to a post at Gamer.Blorge Second Life entrepreneurs are particularly unhappy with the downtime, after all, if you’re trying [...]

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