Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dragons & Aliens & Monsters, Oh My!

I keep hearing about how people are able to become things like dragons and aliens and other nonhuman beings, but I have yet to see any of this. I have also heard about some major companies are forced to set a dress code for their employees to prevent looking unprofessional. It would give a bad image of a company is half of their employees came to a serious meeting as something other than human.

I feel the reason I have yet to see any of this behavior is because of where I have been so far in Second Life. I have really yet to explore the majority of the world. I have only really been in the educational places and other places in the scavenger hunt. Something tells me that it is doubtful I am going to see someone dressed very eccentric on the Second Life campus of Vassar.

I am really anxious for my first real person encounter in Second Life. I have really yet to see ANYONE in Second Life other than a few of my classmates and my teacher the first time we met. I really need to spend more time in Second Life if I am ever going to get the full experience Second Life has to offer. I still have to visit places that I have heard about in class. My teacher told me about a schizophrenic mind re-creation that has been known to give people nightmares. Things like that excite me.

One more thing I would like to put out there. I feel like Second Life is so vast, there are not enough residents to completely populate the world. I don’t know any of the real numbers, player or places to be, but I would think that there is a lot more places to be than people to be there. If anyone has any comments about this, let me know.


At Oct 12, 2009, 7:12:00 AM , Blogger Iggy O said...

The Field Trip will open your eyes to the range of avatar styles in SL. Robots, furries, warriors, even common animals abound.

You may see child avatars. They made me shudder until I discovered that many adults love the idea of being a little kid on the playground again. There may be no darker side to it.

As for population, I've heard a number of critics say "SL cannot scale" to millions of residents. For a number of technical reasons, they may be correct. At the same time, Linden Lab has enough server space now to support more avatars. Every time a major "concurrency" number (the number of residents in-world at one time) approached in the high-growth era of 2007, the critics said "massive fail approaching." Yet SL handled 40K residents fine, then 50, 60, and 70K. Even above 80K online it seems to work well, with occasional problems.

Numbers in a region can, however, create massive problems. Complex avatars with lots of fancy gear and scripted parts slow performance, often to a crawl. Past 40 in any region and it become acute. You may see this if you go to Burning Life 2009; a few brave 103ers went last year and enjoyed it, "lag" and all. They REALLY got the see the characters on display:

Andrew and a classmate decided to go (scroll down about half way to see his photos).

But millions online at one time? I suspect SL would need more than Linden Lab's clusters of several thousand computer servers. Advances in processor speed may help. We'll certainly see.


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