Sunday, September 25, 2005
Futile Rant #3: Shotgun Pattern
I keep telling myself I'm going to write long, insightful (oh, stop laughing) posts on some of the issues that have come up in Second Life. Sometimes, I even get around to starting them, just to delete them when I realize I'm rambling ignorantly on something I don't understand well enough to form an educated opinion. Well, I've decided that personal ignorance is no reason not to spew my unadulterated, half-considered opinions onto my own weblog. That's what it's for! But I'll keep them brief, anyway. Everyone hang on to your drawers. Here we go!
On Webcomics in SL - We need more of them. Come on, guys! Technically, it's just not that difficult. Sure, there are a few hurdles, but they're not that high! Drop me a line, and I'll be happy to give you all the advice you can stand.
I was massively irritated by the reception Second Theory was given in the Herald comments. Not by the Herald staffers themselves, who were very supportive, but by the usual gang of miscreants. There's nothing like an oh-so-supportive "...why are you still making this crap?" to encourage someone to refine their craft. What exactly can be gained from a comment like that? Is having this comic in the Herald costing you anything? It's not taking space away from other stories, or distracting anyone from more vital issues, or costing anything except an extra couple of moments to read or scroll right past. And, frankly, if you have time to log in and post comments like that, your time clearly isn't that valuable. Is your life really so poor, are your moments of triumph so fleeting, that you must get your rocks off by bashing something completely inoffensive while hiding behind a net pseudonym?
On Linden's Involvement in the Money Market - I haven't really been following the whole controversy surrounding the proposed addition of money trading to the Linden services. But I do hope that the new feature, when it arrives, is well hidden. I would hate to see a new player confronted with some variant of "Give us more money to get more Linden bucks!" right off the bat. Real-money-for-virtual-money is kind of a tricky concept for the uninitiated. Most non-players and new players don't equate Linden tender with real money yet. So telling them to go buy more fake money before they fully understand the economic ramifications just makes Linden Lab look moneygrubbing, and casts the whole game in a poor light. (Yes, I know the Linden proposal is to provide front-end for established third party services, but I think that distinction would probably be lost on the average newbie.) SL is what you make it. It can be all about the money, if that's the game you want to play. But that's only one of many options. I think seeing the "$500" in the upper right corner of the window is all the newbies need to see for now. Let them get their feet wet before apparently asking them for more money.
On the "Stalking Tool" - I went off on this at some length elsewhere. I still feel generally the same way. Just because you have a tool doesn't mean you should use it. The same rules of courtesy apply in SL as in RL. If you want to see someone, call ahead first. Don't just appear on their doorstep. And if they say they're busy, go find something else to do!
On Burning Life 2005 - And the amount of promotion (or lack thereof) it was given. This one will be brief: oh, just dry up, everyone! Linden Lab provided 6 sims to play in, gratis. And, to put it concisely, it rocked. Are you honestly bitching because they didn't yell about it loudly enough to suit you? I'm not saying you should fall all over yourselves bowing and scraping in gratitude (here's the definition, if you are puzzled by that word), but perhaps a "Gee, thanks guys, that was really neat!" might be in order? I swear, some of you folks could be given free ice cream, and you'd complain about the flavor.
Oh, and by the way, they did promote it. I know this, because I found out about it. You found out about it. Everyone found out about it! It was in the announcement forums. It was in NWN. It was in the login message. If you paid the slightest bit of attention, you knew about it. Your engraved invitation must have gotten lost in the mail, I guess.
On Linden Bashing, and My Chronic Exhaustion - Dry up, take two. I know this is going to mark me as a sycophant and an apologist, but I'm getting tired of the flaming.
I'm tired of watching the same people twist and bend every single decision until it becomes a personal insult.
I'm tired of every change being greeted by the same vocal minority proclaiming that said change isn't fair and/or will destroy Second Life as we know it.
I'm tired of hearing "How could you do X when Y is still broken/undeveloped/not up to my standards?!" I mean, good grief, some people actually complained about Pony Linden for this reason. Lighten up, guys!
Second Life, taken as a whole, is excellent. And you know it or you would have moved on by now. 99% of the complaints are over fringe issues and technicalities. Granted, many are important fringe issues and technicalities, but they're a tiny part of SL as a whole. Keep that in mind next time some bug or missing feature expands to fill your entire horizon.
Here's an idea. Before you make your next venomous forum post or weblog comment, preface it with "Second Life is freakin' awesome, and I enjoy using it for many hours a week." Then read that line again. Reread it until you mean it. (And if you can't honestly say that, even to yourself, why are you still here? Plenty of other things to do with your free time and, frankly, you're just wasting sim resources moping around here.) Then you can delete it, if you must. Now write the rest of your post accordingly. If you can manage to complete your missive without feeling like an ungrateful jerk, you've probably struck a more appropriate and reasonable tone. (Either that, or you're an amoral putz with severe entitlement issues, and you'd do us all a favor if you evaporated from the SL scene, stat). And you've probably also written a post which might actually be listened to. I'm not saying you should be a bootlicker and grovel at their feet. A simple, cordial correspondence from a reasonable adult would do.
I get so very, very tired of twits screaming "U GUYZZ SUXXORS!!1!" then acting surprised when their complaints aren't addressed. I think this is a bleedover from the net proper, where everyone seems to feel that their anonymity gives them license to act like complete assjacks. But we're a smaller community here, and one with the privilege of actually having contact with people who can and do change the way things work. At least for a little while, until SL becomes too big to listen to the individual voice (like Everquest or WoW). Don't waste that chance by being a whiney twirp, and rendering your own voice null in the process.
Ah... I feel better now. Anybody got a cigarette?