People Slowly Notice Second Life Hype And Actual Users Aren't To Scale
from the foamy-mouthed-adoration dept
The on-line virtual world of Second Life has long been a mainstream technology media darling, thanks in large part to their public relations team, who masterfully convince reporters to gush in foamy-mouthed adoration every time a fairly banal virtual event occurs. While there was some interesting discussion to be had at first concerning things like virtual economies and on-line sociology, it quickly became clear that the concept was more PR vessel than sociological revolution. While news outlets were pre-occupied with the project's supposed contribution to mainstreaming virtual reality, the real breakthroughs being made by Second Life were in self-promotion. The more Second Life is talked about, the more people seem to notice that the number of people playing the game really isn't all that impressive. As this is written, the virtual world's website notes there's a fairly paltry (if we hold them to self-proclaimed slack-jawed phenomenon standards) 17,266 users currently on-line. While it's hard to accurately determine churn, it appears the vast majority of the virtual world's lauded 1.8 million "residents," really just stopped by briefly to see what all the noise was about before returning to World of Warcraft. While there's obviously nothing wrong with ten thousand users having a good time and establishing community, the amount of lofty cultural pontification simply isn't to scale.