Virtual worlds rules

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    Dep1050 PlasmaIt was the end of August 2009 and on Corriere.it Alessandro Sala announcing the death of Second Life. It would not have ended there, but by the time the controversy raged. Mondivirtuali.it published a detailed analysis of Rosario Di Girolamo (aka Dep1050 Plasma), on the past, present and future of Second Life from the point of view of forecasting models used to describe its evolution. Considering the analysis of Dep still highly relevant, we fully repeats it in three parts. Have a nice reading.

    Is at Mondivirtuali.it/SLnn.it pages I commend my comment, that I predict long, in response to a note of Biancaluce Robbiani on Facebook. I swear that despite my year of silence, I will try to be as short as possible. Topics to think there are, and also many, so I try to proceed with order for points, because to talk about the state of health of a world and its prospects and its people is not easy: a world is a complex object and therefore the consequences of an action in a “place” are produced indirectly, and not always immediately, in other “places“.

    First point, the basis

    A world in itself needs to survive more types of economies: a monetary one, the other (for example, the reputation of the people of / in the world, but also related to the ratio energy expenditure / obtaioned achievement, or if you preferred, cost / benefits), non-monetary. Second Life, as artificial world based on bits (most say “virtual,” someone says “synthetic“), doubles this need, then the economy is total internal and external. As artificial, there is an asymmetry between the inner and outer: you have to buy servers, keep them up and keep them connected to the network, giving support to customers. Indeed, there is what is called Tco (Total cost of ownership), therefore the need to respond to external economic costs, which also has consequences on the domestic economy.

    Dep1050 analysesBut are the results achieved / reached by the domestic economy, which determine the success of the outside. Each world has its own internal rules of economics, selected by the master of the world, and what determines the type of growth and evolution of that world (for instance SL in theory has a variable exchange rate, even if it is stable for almost 3 years, Entropia Universe has chosen to keep the exchange rate fixed in principle).

    Are also part of the rules of the domestic economy the rules to allow the products / services of the prosumer to enter the final market: in SL you can open a store somewhere (including a showcase in SLxchange/XstreetSL, now SL Marketplace) and there is no prior control by Linden. In other worlds (Twinity and Entropia for example) there is.

    It should be clear that these are internal structures that can contribute to the story, and then changing the status of a world. A final factor that is crucial for the future of a world is its people and its propensity to feel part of the ecosystem in which the world is consistent with and contribute to actions that can perform. Without going over (but noting that this scheme can be applied even in the world based on carbon, with small changes) let’s come to our beloved world and see briefly what happened from 2006 until now, to understand what will probably happen. This is the second point of my analyses, which you will read in the next part, always on Mondivirtuali.it.