Peering Over the Cliff

OK, here it comes.

The more I fool around with Second Life, the more amazing I think it is- both from an immersive experience point of view and from a business plan point of view. I found myself itching to go back there while I was trying to get some work done this past weekend. And I have never even talked to anyone in the game.

I just walk (or fly) around and look at stuff. I even bought a little land this weekend.


That’s where the business plan part comes in. You can create an avatar and participate in the world for free, but if you want to own land (for a home or a business) you have to upgrade to a subscription (less than $10 a month). Plus, you have to buy currency to buy things you need.

Smart. Smart. Smart.

There are a couple of problems that I feel compelled to point out (paging Pathfinder Linden):

1) While the help files are good at getting you started on the basics, it is very, very hard to build stuff. I wanted to add some walls, etc. to my newly purchased house and I finally gave up. It may be easy once you do it, but it’s hard if you haven’t.

2) There needs to be more obvious help in setting up a business space. I finally found some houses for sale and bought one. But I really wanted to set up shop in one of those highrise condos not far from Scoble’s building. Most of them were empty and perhaps all of them are owned, but I couldn’t tell one way or the other. And I saw not a clue how to buy one. And those old building beside Scoble’s building. Are those owned by someone or for sale? Granted, I didn’t spend hours trying to figure it out. But if I’m going to set up a Newsome.Org office over there, I need some fancy digs.

3) Why are there limitations on the name of your avatar. Granted, you have to filter out bad words, but why can’t I use whatever name I want. I want to be Billy Pilgrim, not Ezra Snickerdoodle.

Otherwise, it’s scary how compelling the Second Life experience is. Even for an old man like me.