Philip Rosedale continues to believe (and to try, with High Fidelity), but so far virtual worlds have failed to take hold in the mass market.
Second Life in particular, still active but linked to a niche of just a million active users all over the world, has failed, as the same Rosedale told GeekWire site after speaking at the SEA VR conference about virtual reality held a few days ago in Bellevue, because only use keyboard and mouse to interact brings to users a learning curve too heavy.
On average, recalled Phil, to “play” Second Life at best you must spend 40 hours to learn all the commands: too much, so that many people leave after trying a few hours to play in Second Life.
To be honest I suspect that this is just one aspect, others can be the fact that Second Life is essentially a virtual world dedicated to those who want to create content rather than those who want to benefit from it, even for the above limits (and it’s not for sure that everybody wants to create content rather than enjoy them) and because as a “game” SL lacks of rules and objectives.
Philip Rosedale has however admitted: “I was too ambitious at the time. I thought we’ll just figure out how to use a mouse to do this all. But it was too hard”.
Now, however, virtual reality could offer a second chance to platforms such as Second Life: whereas before it takes hours to figure out how to do things through mouse clicks, now in a few minutes you can figure out how to make them more intuitively, thanks to new hand controls and 3D viewers for virtual reality.
Moreover, the experience that you can now get from a virtual world experienced in “virtual reality” version is much more immersive and realistic.
“It means, I think, that we’re going to finally see a breakthrough in the number of people who can participate in these experiences” added confident Phil, who pointed out how the relationship with Linden Lab remained good and how his former company was indeed among the first investors in High Fidelity, but he has preferred to separate start over.
“It is amazing how little people understand the ideas of shared virtual spaces” concluded Rosedale who believes that all this is “staggering because we proved them wrong (not to believe, ed) with Second Life”.
“I think people still don’t understand what good things happened, and how people used Second Life, and why they’re using it today. But it’s fun working on something that futuristic and hard to understand”. A concept that, unfortunately, in Italy finds investors willing to share it even less than in the US.
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