What's new from SLCC 2011
While Italy struggles to get going again in a sunny August draws to a close, and yet another correction maneuver that begins its journey in Parliament but which already is likely to heavily influence the country's fragile economic recovery, talking of virtual worlds may seem a waste of time. Yet the industry remains alive as well as the most important companies like Linden Lab, which close to mid-August gave the usual community convention (it was the SLCC 2011 to be exact) during which the top management, from Ceo Rod Humble, presented the latest news and informations about the most famous but also most debated among the virtual worlds currently available online for free.
Among the reports that I read I found particularly effective that of Gianna Borgnine (aka Kimberly Winnington, Ceo of Sand Castle Studios, interactive media design agency specialized just in the use of virtual worlds) which you can read here. Reading what Gianna wrote is worth noting a few things, first, that Linden Lab has finally realized the importance of developing a new system that would allow the creation and sharing of space and content through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet Pcs. And given the technological limitations of Second Life it will be a completely new product, confirming the validity of the objections that Mondivirtuali.it has moved in recent years to the management strategy of Californian firm.
Which, moreover, does not leave (yet) to its fate SL and indeed promises once again it want to improve usability and increase the interest for new users (who are still coming in at a rate of about 16,000 a day even if you do not know how many of these remain after the first logins), even creating content directly as Linden Lab, evaluating games for let the newbies understand how to create and edit objects "in world", trying to improve support to online communities of users. With regard to technical innovations, the meshes seem destined to perform the same function that have had the flexy prims vs previously static prims and thus enhanced, but not replace the current prims (which may mean that it will take more than the few months expected to begin to see meshes around in quantity and to see the launch of new viewers which can display them properly).
Destination Guide appears to have entered, with the Search, the list of priorities of Linden Lab as a tool to improve to increase the usability of the platform and indirectly benefit from increased visibility to the best content in it. In parallel Marketplace should also undergo a series of improvements that will tend to make its use more immediate and simple by today's standards, which could help kick-start the "virtual" economy of the metaverse (provided that in the meantime the "real" world economy does not suffer further setbacks, as it can not be excluded at the time). Last but not least interesting news: Linden Lab will seek to extend the use of LindenX to other countries and currencies, which could allow further recovery of declining sales which appeared to be sensitive to various sources, beyond any "official" economics.
Finally about privacy Linden Lab seems to want to capitalize on the recent controversy born in Facebook and Google Plus regarding the need to match your real identity to your electronic one: in Second Life you can be whoever you want, “no matter how your parents have called you”. Which if could make happy those who like to register on social media with their virtual identity of avatars, is likely to reignite the controversy over possible fraud and identity theft, but that's another story. Overall, as someone said, "evolutionary" rather than "revolutionary" news, but I seem to have a signal that Linden Lab want to try to restart Second Life reorganizing and focusing on the (few?) existing strengths, without losing sight of the changing nature of the internet / game sector: in this sense also the call from Linden Lab to the "organic movement" of content creators videos, i.e. the machinimas, which is to be sustained and strengthened, it seems significant.ShareThis