Sunday, December 21, 2014

Looking Back on 2014 in Second Life

Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.

Doug Larson


          My tradition for the last several years in Second Life (SL) as the days grow shorter and the winter chill draws closer in the nights is to look back on the year past just before we start the New Year.

          I reminisce about what I’ve seen and done, and what I haven’t.  (Significant Other’s eyes roll and comments that it’s a good thing this is only once a year.)

          This year as I start to blog, I’m thinking that it may mark a turning point in SL.

          Let me start with the good news first.

          The start of the community is still strong inworld. 

          I’ve met new communities like First UCC and am impressed by their vitality and sense
of togetherness not to mention the quality of their builds.  They have also interfaced very effectively with Real Life (RL) serving the needs of their congregants there and in SL. 

          Perryn Peterson continued his seemingly non-stop run of parties and hunts with Mardi Gras, recreating Tolkien’s worlds, and the Silk Road Hunt to name but a few. 

          Social media a new tool for me to reach out to meet new friends and find SL groups off the Grid. 

          All this led to new friends and new experiences in new places.  After all, isn’t this what SL is supposed to be all about?

          Finally, there was a management change at Linden Lab with Ebbe Altberg taking over the helm there.  Revitalization seemed possible. 

          Now, let’s go over the bad news.  (What?  Do you want me to lie to you and say everything’s fine?)

          The new version of SL (SL 2.0 in the press) being worked on by Linden Lab hangs over the community like the proverbial sword of Damocles. 

          Will we lose all our possessions that we’ve acquired and built over the years since the new version is not backward compatible?  (I don’t buy the idea tossed about by some that Linden Lab will keep both worlds open indefinitely.  There’s no profit in that for them.)

          How will we maintain our SL identities as we migrate to a new version?

          How many current residents will just give up and leave rather than deal with all the change and aggravation.

          Next, sims are closing at a regular and alarming basis,

I’ve blogged about the recent announcement of the closing of Phaze Demesnes, the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that are no more, and I was informed just before I started writing this article that Muenchen is closing soon. 

          Many of these sims took years to create and their loss will leave a gap in the body of creative work that is SL.  The creative teams behind them are leaving in many cases too.  This is not a good sign.

          SL is not keeping up with the times in terms of technology either which is really sad considering how cutting edge SL once was.

          SL Go doesn’t appear to have reinvigorated SL as was originally hoped despite being a reasonable if somewhat overpriced mobile platform. 

          Facebook continues to eject SL residents despite their claims of developing a new approach for those who wish to conceal their identities.  Many including me that Linden Lab has done nothing to stick up for their customers here. 

          Finally, while I wrote earlier the new management team at Linden Lab offered early promise, their actions seem more to threaten the community’s existence than do anything to help it.

          How did I do on my plans for 2014?

          Well, I missed a few.  (Significant Other mumbles something about no surprises there.)

          I had hoped to restart several of my blog series that I’d fallen behind in 2013.  That didn’t happen.  (The one that I did try, the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, I found that all the sims were gone!)

          I didn’t overhaul my blog.

          On the other hand, I did increase my use of social media and my readership has gone up.

          I have participated in the 1920’s Berlin Book Club.  (Even if I’m almost thrown out some times.  No, not for unruly behavior.  Let’s just say that no everyone shares my enlightened social theories!)

          Finally, I wanted to be a better friend inworld. 

          I’ll leave this one to you, my readers, to decide.  (Significant Other actually gives me points for this one!)


          A lot has happened to me this year both inworld and personally.  Yet, somehow, I’m still inworld and still plan on coming back next year.

          I feel that this year, 2014, has been a turning point in the development of SL and that we’ll only truly understand how much so only when we look back in future years.  But, something has definitely changed this year inworld.

          In a future article, I’ll outline what my plans are for the New Year and what I look ahead to!

But for now, Merry Christmas!

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.         
I'd also like to call out for special thanks my long suffering Research Assistant, Tera Trenchcoat, for putting up with my haphazard wanderings across the Grid.

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.

          Open roads and kind fires!

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