Social Question

RocketSquid's avatar

Second Life: What's the Point?

Asked by RocketSquid (3475points) February 19th, 2012

Every year I do the same thing: I think to myself “Hey, I know my way around 3D programs, I’ll make stuff in Second Life, then sell them!” I load up the program, struggle with the clunky in-game creation tools, ruin my copy of 3D max with the export tools, then throw the whole thing out before only to do the same thing next year.

This year, however, is different. They’ve added an actual import mesh option, so now every problem I’ve had with making things has disappeared. I’ve already imported some of my old 3D models into the game, and I’ve been considering buying land to make something cool.

The problem is, after wandering around a bit, I can’t find anything honestly interesting. Sure, there’s some great looking grids and people do some pretty neat things with scripting, but it seems to boil down to nothing but dance clubs and clunky, barely-playable rpgs.

I know myself I’d enjoy playing just for the ease of making stuff and putting it in playable game, I’m looking for reasons other people would enjoy it. Do you know of any games that aren’t clunky beyond playability, or communities that aren’t populated with barely literate 13 year olds? Or maybe a place to find info you couldn’t find anywhere else?

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9 Answers

cazzie's avatar

I’m part of a science group that gets together once or twice a week to listen to radio programs together and then chat. We are… University professors, teachers, techs, business people… all walks of life and the level of conversation is somewhat more umm.. interesting than barely literate 13 year olds. If you want to know more, PM me.

HungryGuy's avatar

I agree. I’ve played a bunch of online games off and on. I’m fairly regular on Runescape. But I don’t get the point of Second Life either. What, exactly, is the game?

If there’s no game and the point is just to socialize, then you’re right; you realize pretty quickly that it’s mostly all just little kids trying to talk grown up in various settings.

And each “world” is pretty tiny in area, no not much to explore, either.

6rant6's avatar

I’ve dabbled in 2nd life, and I too found it lacking in substance.

But obviously there are people who find things there to be compelling. I believe one of those things is relationship.

I’m not going to guess what the reason is that people would prefer these relationships to flesh and blood ones. Nor will I say that the relationships or the individuals are more or less for the preference. I read an article a while back that was supposedly written by a psychologist/2nd Life expert who concluded that relationships in second life mirrored those in RL except that the course of relationships was greatly accelerated in 2nd life. A typical couple would meet, fall in love, wed, fight, break up, and divorce in about six weeks.

downtide's avatar

I love SL and I’ve been using it regularly since 2006, I still log in just about every day.

The point is, there isn’t one, except what you find for yourself. For example, There are events you can attend, clubs, places to make friends, learn about SL, learn a language, learn photography, listen to live music or poetry, participate in games, go dancing, shopping, fishing, skydiving, scuba-diving, fly a helicopter, fly a seaplane, ride a motorbike, ride horses, breed horses, have sex, have a wedding, be an alien, be an animal, be an elf, be a vampire, be goth, be punk, be steampunk, be ordinary, make friends, make clothes, make toys, make believe… ...and that’s just the beginning.

BUT: SL does not suit everybody. In order to enjoy it you need to be the kind of person who:

1) Can find plenty of entertainment just doing things on your own, because most of the grid is unpopulated most of the time.

2) Enjoys one of the following: content-creation, running a business (even if it makes no profit and you’re constantly ploughing your own money into it), music. There are plenty of other things to do as well but you’ll find they’re thinly-spread and not available 24/7. Most decent events are held during American evenings, so if you’re in Europe as I am, there’s a lot less in the way of organised activities to do.

3) Is comfortable going to a nightclub and chatting/dancing with random strangers. (I’ve made a lot of friends doing that). And doing that every time you log in, because clubs are pretty much the only places you will find other people on a regular basis.
OR
Has a friend that you can convince to join up and play with you

If you’re not satisfied by the kind of things that you can find there, then probably SL is not for you, and your time would be better spent with something else.

HungryGuy's avatar

@downtide – You make some good points for giving Second life a second chance :-p But you’re right, I’m not one who can just start chatting with anyone about anything. In most chat rooms (including the one here on Fluther), I just sit there unable to think of anything to say. And by the time I’ve thought of a reply to someone’s comment, the conversation has evolved into a new topic. That’s why the Q&A format works for me better than an open chat.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Do you know of any games that aren’t clunky beyond playability, or communities that aren’t populated with barely literate 13 year olds?

Are you a World of Warcraft player? I’ve always wondered what the real age distribution is for a game like that, and how it changes as levels increase.

6rant6's avatar

@dappled_leaves That would be an interesting graph.

downtide's avatar

@dappled_leaves most players I encountered on World of Warcraft were under 18. One of the guilds I was in disbanded because the owner just vanished one day without trace. A few months later he came back, turned out he’d been grounded by his mum and had his computer confiscated for spending too much time gaming and not doing his schoolwork.

On Second Life the majority of players I encounter are over 30, although it’s recently gaining ground in the 18–25 age range as well because it’s been advertising on Facebook.

dappled_leaves's avatar

turned out he’d been grounded by his mum

Ha!

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