As popular and modular as second life is, the unfortunate writing on the wall is that they game is suffering a slow and inevitable death.
Part of this is due to a clunky and non user friendly initial interaction, I’ve been messing around with it for about a month now and am still just getting to grasps with it.
Some of this is born from the fact that the game is designed as a platform and linden wanted to create something that allowed the user to do whatever they wanted, but this is also a downside as the new user will have basically no idea what they are doing, I feel a lot of people in this class are in the same boat.
I took it upon myself to play for a bit and get myself “used” to how the game handles, and even then I feel lost somehow, not really sure how to ‘break through’ the barrier into being able to interact with the game, and even then can you “interact” with second life on the same basis that you can other games.
As much as the fanbase wants to pretend that you can, the game itself is still super clunky. And that’s no surprise it’s going to be 15 years old soon, few games survive that long with an active user base.
However, there are still “old” games that do well.
World of Warcraft will likely remain the example for a couple of years to come, very recently they released a brand new expansion [the 6th] and most of the fanbase agrees that it’s the best since the original back in 2007.
Second Life and WoW similarities may only be skin deep. One being designed around User content, and the other dev created content, however in the end the both act as the same product.
A chat room and living world where the userbase can interact with other users as avatars disconnected from their real selves, In both SL and WoW somebody can be a Elf who is strong in magic and mystic lore, they can be whomever they wish within the laws of the game.
Devoid of the wrappings of social interaction other games offer far better experiences. Skyrim and other Beth games provide vastly superior user modding experiences with custom made material
And open world RPG games provide a much richer experience of dungeon grinding and looting. [Funnily enough the same thing that beth games exceed at]
I guess what I’m trying to say with this is I can’t see a logical future for SL and its like in the future.
Maybe we can look towards platforms like Minecraft as the future of user lead creations and importing of custom content?
Lots of people want to think that VR will be the next step, but the reality is that the average “normie” doesn’t want to wear a big clunky VR headset and other attachments for serious amounts of time, maybe come Neural interfaces where you can take over the brain and all the attached nerves. But that’s a whole different can of worms, where eventually a race moves its entire species into virtual reality and messes with how their brains interact and experience time, so within the virtual world they experience eternity but in reality, they are the final and last generation.
Or even just remove their brains entirely/move their consciousness to a computer.
E4 s3 “San Junipero” of Black Mirrior goes into this topic well.
Maybe something that straddles the line is the solve?
The success of Pokemon go proves that Augmented reality has a future, and once its viable to have glasses/contact lenses with chips and displays inside them one could display many virtual and user created objects within their own world?
However, that doesn’t appeal to the userbase who are wracked with social anxiety and/or autism and its related disorders and require games like SL to get a healthy outlet for social interaction that they can control the flow of.
At this point I don’t know where the market is going to move, its unlikely that a subscription based platform can really get any traction anymore, and f2p is far too open money grubbing.
Seems like it remains to be seen where it will go.