Second Life 2.0, part 2: commercial

I did not plan to split this post into two for the reason that I knew it would take me forever to write the second part. Not because it is harder, not because it is less important, but because it would be expected to be delivered late.

It was possible to keep both parts together, but it would turn out to be a lengthy post – so, here it is, part 2, written almost half a month after the first part.

Last time, in this post, I was talking about the social aspect of today’s Second Life and what we can take away from it. Today, let us talk about the other thing that makes people nervous – their wide collection of items in the inventory which they use once in a second lifetime and forget about, but want to keep nonetheless. Why? Because these items cost something.

I can hardly argue here, everything in Second Life costs something, everything is worth somebody’s time and possibly money. Many of us have spent money (or time) on whatever we need in Second Life – a fancy hairstyle or a convertible to travel the mainland, it differs to each of us. It is worth something to us, not only in a sense of a financial value, but an emotional one too.

So, why should we not cling to that? You will find out that the reasons are the same you apply for other things you’ve ever bought.

– They become outdated

By the time mesh has took off entirely, many of us had possessed items made of sculpts and system clothes. Some of us even had a whole lot of them. But mesh indisputably looks better, and so we rushed to the stores once again, without thinking for a moment about linden dollars spent 2-3 years ago on an item that would give you a million dollar look back then.

Police-Costume-not-even-mesh

Not mesh. Quality does not seem to be the best you can have today. Tons of other, better options available to you. Do you really want to stick with this one just because you paid for it back in 2009?

We advance. If we always preserved everything that has been implemented refusing to move on, because you know, you’ve spent so much money on it back then – we would not advance. Why developing something that people will not use? Why solving problems if people would rather sacrifise comfort for an extra penny?

The next Second Life will have newer things to offer – hopefully they’re better things. So, do you really want to keep your car containing a senile script with illogical physics under the hood instead of getting the one that will give you the real joy of driving in the new environment? Just because the former one costed you L$2500 back in its time? That would be just like continuing using Windows 2000 nowadays (it is year 2014, by the way). For the record, its retail price was around $300 back in 2000.

– They become unneeded

Our inventories are bottomless, which allows us to store an infinite amount of items in them. Items we use regularly, items we use from time to time, items we use occasionally, items we have used for a long while but not anymore, items we have used once or twice to happily forget about them afterwards, items we hope to use someday, and finally, items we do not even remember about. You have paid for at least some of them.

your-bike

How long has it been since you drove your vehicle?
The picture has been taken at JAZ Custom Bikes

For each of us, the amount of items that fall into these categories will differ – but something makes me believe that for most of the residents, there is not that many items that go under first two or even three categories. So, here’s a question: why would you need those things in the new metaverse if you do not even use them in the existing one?

Because they cost money and you do not want to pay for them again when you need them? Fair enough. But not convincing. If you did not need them that much by now, there is little to no guarantee that you will ever need them. Besides, by that time, you will probably have better options available for purchase – so you doubtfully will want to finally unpack that gadget you longed to use when you can get one with more options for a reasonable price.

– They will clutter your inventory, and LL servers as following, in the next metaverse

Item from the current Second Life will not suffise. Whenever you get into a new environment, to get the best experience, you want to use the items developed specifically for that environment. Even if you find a use for those you have brought from the current Second Life to the future one, I have doubts you will be able to carry on with them for a long enough time, while the new virtual world advances and you get better alternatives for what you already possess.

Finally, last case – you resent the future Second Life because you have invested a lot of your time, as well as money, on, for example, premium account, on paying your land tier, on tipping owners of favorite places etc.

Here, I can draw an analogy with an amusement park, or a theater, or even better, a museum. When you visit such venues and pay money, what do you receive in return? Nothing material. You receive a good time, fun, relief, cultural experience – but you do not get anything tangible, maybe only something small as a souvenir or a complimentary glass of champagne. Do you complain too once you leave the place that you have spent your money and now left with nothing? If you need something material, you should go to the store.

There might be many more reasons I could not think of, it is totally subjective. The final point I would like to make is this: If you really think you will not survive in Second Life 2.0 without your Second Life 1.0 possessions, think again. Are your reasons really that valid? Everybody will have to start from the bottom, not you only. Everybody will be challenged with new opportunities, not you only.

After all, back at some point in our lives, each of us has left something valuable behind for the sake of learning the current Second Life.

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About K.T. Burnett

Virtual worlds blogger, specializing in creative and analytical writing, also in statistics. https://thedigitized.wordpress.com/ - The Digitized, my own blog. http://sciencecircle.org/?page_id=416 - I also blog for the lovely people of The Science Circle, the Second Life non-profit organization that provides free and open in-world classes.
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