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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Brave New Media: Evolution of Games

I was asked by a few here to give a "tour" of Second Life. I pulled out an insert from Wired magazine and we went to some of the better known 2L ventures. The recurring comment was "where are the people"? All these corporate constructs, but no people. Our visit to a sex dungeon revealed the people on a Monday afternoon and points to where all the real action is on the burgeoning 2L...Today.

The experience reminded me of 1994 when I went to the internet and looked up some random sites to visit. I had an insert from Wired magazine then, too, to guide me to the better sites. And I wandered into some chat rooms and sex dungeons to check out where the real action was on the burgeoning world wide web. Most of the sites I visited then were lame and not much use at all. However, users created eBays and Amazons and Netscapes and Googles and YouTubes to channel all that potential into profitable ventures beyond banal twittering.

If you impose Second Life onto this familiar framing of the 'evolution of games', the possibilities become clear. Or rather, the usefulness of Second Life is still not so clear, but the potential for users to eventually create previously unfathomable, yet fiercely ubiquitous uses becomes very clear.

Second Life, for the moment, is analogous to the internet circa 1995, or gaming circa 1974. Now: a banal waste of time, crude and choppy...tomorrow: perhaps a daily standard for us all.


reinan said...

Loving your take.

Fimoculous has some thoughts today on the faddish nature of web services, e.g. Twitter. Friendster was cool for about one summer, he says, then flamed out. Twitter could meet the same fate, but that's OK -- we'll all just jump on the next fad.

Your thoughts on SL point to it being more than a fad, and I think that's accurate. Fads will come and go, but some services and sites will remain as pillars of the web, and SL seems more likely to wind up in that camp.

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