June 25, 2003

See you There

by Andrew Stern · , 2:30 am

Second Life, “a rapidly growing and constantly changing 3D online society, shaped entirely by its residents”, officially started on Monday. Read the press release here. Free 5 day memberships are available; beyond that, it’s $15 / month.

I’ve yet to experience Second Life, but from what I’ve read, I’m pretty excited by this online world. For my taste, I’m much more interested in “real life” style online worlds, such as Second Life or There.com, versus fantasy online worlds such as Everquest. (Although, the screenshots of Second Life and There do seem a bit like “J.Crew” world to me. And, I have to admit, Star Wars Galaxies, which launches tomorrow, has some strong appeal. Hard to beat that brand I guess.)

I’m still not sure that online worlds like SecondLife and There, without strong computer-generated characters / narrative, will be able to sustain my interest. i.e., can the shenanigans of human players alone keep me entertained, or would it require the integration of some sort of interactive drama technology to keep me a paying subscriber?

5 Responses to “See you There”

  1. ian Says:

    I do know that There spent a great deal of time modeling their virtual economy (see this Business 2.0 article). Nevertheless, I’m not sure if a world counts as “shaped by its residents” if it’s really shaped by, say, Nike’s market research goals. Here, the interactive drama is more along the lines of a verisimilitudinous stage for consumer capitalism. It would be interesting for groups of players to challenge (or accept) such a rubric in the gameplay. But personally I fear that There and its kindred will basically become sponsored avatar chat rooms.

  2. Bob Bunderfeld Says:

    When I first started playing Second Life, I thought I would be bored to tears after the first week, much like I was in TSO.

    I was quite surprised though, and have already signed up for a LifeTime membership!

    This is the game I’ve been wanting to have for the longest time. It’s a sandbox world. You have the ability to create your own place, run your own events, write your own scriptable actions to make objects do what you want!

    One other thing, the Linden people are so very helpful in game too. Not only do they help you get accustomed to the world, they even give you money to run events! These people really do want you to make an impact on the world.

    If you haven’t tried it yet, you should. I mean what the heck, it’s a free five day trial, what can it hurt?


  3. ian Says:

    Actually, I just got my Beta invite to There. It’s pretty amazing. I’m not sure I have a conclusion yet. But it’s much more nuanced than I previously thought. It’s nothing like TSO.

    I actually bought virtual coffee for my avatar. I bought virtual coffee?!

  4. Tr1n1ty Snow Says:

    I am a member of THERE and Second Life. I spend most of my time in Second Life now, as I am free to make anything I want. THERE is better for non-technical people who just want to chat though. The Second Life trial is now 7-days long, and no credit card is needed. No reason not to try it now, and please stop by my place to say hi. I live on a mountain in the NE corner of Mocha.


    Tr1n1ty Snow

  5. andrew Says:

    Yes, I need to play both SecondLife and There, I haven’t had the free time yet to properly try either one. Once I finally do I’ll write up my reactions here on the blog.

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