Virtual worlds rules 2
The second part of the analysis of Rosario Di Girolamo (aka Dep1050 Plasma) about past, present and future of virtual worlds, particularly Second Life. After explaining some basic rules of the synthetic world, Dep remember the story briefly, before providing his opinion on the possible development. The piece was originally published on SLnn.it in early September 2009, but is still valid, so I will present anew. Good lettura.e evolution.
Second point: a brief history
Until the day when Newsweek published the photo of Ashee Chung (aka Ailin Graef) revealing that she had become a millionaire (buying and selling "virtual lands" and so constitute a real company, the Anshe Chung Studios, which owns the real estate agencyDreamland, owner of a significant portion of Second Life, see there), Second Life has basically lived in a sort of golden age, in the sense that the SL world was not required to meet the need to increase the economic wealth of the carbon-based world (except that a small percentage of people who speculated on land, just as the Graef). It was a world where for most of the "residents" was the tip of the pyramid of Maslow to be more involved: the sheer personal self, that creativity in various forms. The internal market was totally deregulated, because there was no need to put rules: no one copied anything of anyone, since personal fulfillment was not tied as much to sell as to build. A lot of things were free, full copy. And then a linden dollar had a vaue of a three-hundredth of Euro. Was not asked the (synthetic) world to meet basic needs (of the world carbon) and so there was a situation of equilibrium between the world and its people: was a stable ecosystem. Everything ends with the explosion of media hype. Media add to creativity the primary needs: SEX and MONEYI! In a short time is the end ot the stable ecosystem of the beginning of the system frustrated.
To date (September 2009, ed), being now the downturn in the eyes of all, I can only tell the story differently, the story that some of you may have already heard a couple of years ago. Take a field, and put the herbivores. Herbivores can do only three things: eat, reproduce and die a natural death. If you get too many herbivores, the grass does not have time to regrow (lag? lol) and a part of the herbivores die of hunger, disappears, goes away. If, however, depending on the rate of change of population (births / deaths), the field is growing, there is grass for all, herbivores only die a natural death. Let us now put in carnivores, those oriented to the money, as says our friend Biancaluce Robbiani, that eat herbivores. The carnivores entering the field, adding a piece of lawn and say to the sheep: “Come, come...”. Without going into specific mechanisms of Second Life, the system evolves as a function of the relationship between carnivores and herbivores and the field size. If the carnivores are few, not substantially disturb the balance of the territory, if they eat too much or too many prey, the prey can end and they remain with their piece of turf with the grass that grows... Does it remind you of anything??
A software that describes a primitive system of this kind can be found on the Internet for at least 15 years and above all... this system has an exact mathematical solution, ie there are equations that describe the behavior of this system. Are the Lotka-Volterra equations, which in fact may well be, with hysteresis (ie time delay) the first part of the cycle of hype (media hype and downturn due to disappointment), to the point where SL is now.However, the cycle of hype, once you reach the "bottom", works with different mechanisms and no longer apply the equations of Volterra: the ascent is not automatic, is not "seasonally" is not even told that there is necessarily (this observation is not for Mario Gerosa, to whom indeed I recognize the merit of being the serious person who is, the only one who correctly reported the Gartner graph. Is for all those who speak of the Gartner cycle as if it were something that they are in control of a wand and invent the position of the points at their convenience).
[end of the ex cursus]
What can be done in such a situation by the owner of the field (Linden Lab)? Because the system is complex, it must act on all the pieces of which it is necessary: first removes those with the most dangerous activities (gambling first and then the "pseudo" banks), then alter the market for pieces of meadow (by launching the homestead), then deletes the carnivorous parasites (war to the copybot) and so on, until the measures announced in recent days: the modification of the calculation of of traffic and the decoupling of it and search. Let us remember that Google controls the Internet because it controls the search engine, not because it gives the mail for free. This is to adjust the internal market, even with strong action and "dictatorial", a term used if I remember correctly, just by Gerosa in Rinascimento Virtuale. Meanwhile, the downturn is so acute that it can no longer deny and Linden Lab changes its target audience, promising new features premium for companies that we expect to see. And the future? To find an appointment at the third and final episode, again on the pages of Mondivirtuali.it/SLnn.it.ShareThis