« Learning objectives are best achieved when tied to real-world (not inworld) factors of production. | Main | Intelligence Seeding - Anger fuels better decisions »

Jun 10, 2007

Comments

1.

A very interesting interview, thank you for sharing! I think, he is right in many senses that cooperative behavior should be better supported and encouraged in SL, but some of his suggestions are too a literal translation of the 'RL' practices (e.g., badges etc.) I tend to think that SL (as well as other 3D virtual worlds) can, and should offer something uniquely indigenous, something very specific to resolve the issue. Yes, they are all rooted, and grounded in the RL, but they are all a unique media, which yet has to shape its own 'message'.

2.

I agree with centralasian that the notion of hats or shoes or tags is too literal. But Howard Rheinhold's point is correct, that people devise badges of affiliation for virtual worlds, sometimes larger than life, and one obvious one is the group, and the group tag. People have 25 group slots per avatar in SL and they work at making the tags meaningful or humorous but instantly identifiable.

I think even while there is a vast variety of avatar styles, the groupings of "furry" or "blingtard" or "BDSM" or whatever are groupings of outfits and paraphrenalia which signal affiliation in a group.

There are quite a few ways in which communication in SL is worse, not better, due to the scrolling text, the difficulty of people in a group meeting to follow it, the tendency to stop on the scroll indiscriminately when talking, the undermining of the group consensus through private IMs, etc.

The weapons-like ban tools also mean that a lot of red fences go up constantly.

Where SL is a better communication tool isn't in perceptional bandwidth, but emotional bandwidth.

Just as people are more emotional and say more in email, sometimes in intense ways that become disruptive in offices in RL, for example, so in SL the combination of the stripping away of the physical body, the anonymity for some, etc. makes for a very emotionally rich and deep bandwidth but it it means that the two sides of love and hate are very quickly flipped.

It's very easy to drive a neighbour crazy in SL for example just by putting a spinning bright box on your lawn -- something you'd never get away with doing in RL.

I don't think more trust accrues to someone merely because their RL name is known. I do think consistency of action is important. I once said, in plus-rating a friend, that he was volatile, but predictably volatile, for example.

What troubles me always in these writings not only from Rheingold but the others linked is the emphasis on the "collective". The collective becomes very oppressive, constantly out there affiliating, shaping, conforming, bringing around. I like the distinctions that some make between cooperation and collaboration, being yoked into a constant group definition of the self by group reputation, affiliation, etc. versus consent to cooperate on certain things.

I think the beauty of SL is that it lets you chose a narrow bandwidth as well as a broad one to deal with some people you wouldn't ever deal with, if you had to deal with the entire spectrum of their bandwidth.

Somehow, when reading such things, I think of this Ayn Rand quote, even not being a Randian:

"Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men."

3.

I really bristle when I read articles on here which for all appearances ignorantly assume that SL WILL be the default VW for the masses. As reported on Mark Wallaces glob, Gartner research recently predicted that today's leading VW platform providers will not likely even be around in 5 years. As indicated in many articles here: http://www.virtualworldsnews.com/, we will see some heavy players come out in the next 12 ~ 18 months.

The other thing worth noting is that 30,000 concurrent users amounts to nothing in todays world of member bases. Would rather have seen Harold do some analysis on the members of myspace and WoW.

4.

Thanks (Howard) for picking up on the e-learning game and Open Innovation Exchange or OIE. This and more workshop games here. The game is about how a group f2f can use cards and other props to design a Web 2.0 learning environment. The OIE demonstrates an open collaborative approach in developing (in this instance) a tender document for a Government contract of an innovation exchange. The process has been challenging - but got us shortlisted for interview at Cabinet Office tomorrow! I'm not a virtual world specialist, but maybe there are a number of possible angles:
* using a workshop game to start design in SL - whether for learning or other purpose
* creating a similar workshop in SL
* promoting and practising open processes in SL
Anyway, delighted to hear from anyone interested in experimenting

5.

>I really bristle when I read articles on here which for all appearances ignorantly assume that SL WILL be the default VW for the masses. As reported on Mark Wallaces glob, Gartner research recently predicted that today's leading VW platform providers will not likely even be around in 5 years. As indicated in many articles here: http://www.virtualworldsnews.com/, we will see some heavy players come out in the next 12 ~ 18 months.

The bristling that you experience is as annoying as the Kool-Aid drinking and hype that the pro-SL gang purveys.

Why the bristle? Sure, there will be lots of virtual worlds. Are they going to be any good, though? So far, the other ones out there like There or Kaneva don't have the depth and freedom and creativity of Second Life. Maybe they will some day, but it's hard to imagine it will in 12-18 months. Something like Home or Spore could completely drain out the masses of SL if it proves compelling even without user-made content -- that's not necessarily what *is* going to be compelling for the masses.

Will that kill of SL? No, because it can very likely still have a very sizeable population of business people, educators, content-creators, etc.

The idea that something will "not be around" isn't at all persuasive to me. All the Web 1 and 2 gurus go around knocking AOL as a model, swearing up and down that there will never be anything like AOL and AOL is dead. But...AOL is very much alive and droves of people use it, especially the AIM part of it. It doesn't pay to be ideological about these things.

6.

Prok, you're missing a point : VWs has no real feasable utility.

7.

One thing to consider in terms of Howard's observations is that there is a form of cooperation in virtual worlds that is almost the fun-house mirror image of some of what he's describing--the kind of anonymized, emergent, simultaneous action that he discussed in Smart Mobs. But that kind of cooperation is almost always for short-term and relatively inconsequential objectives.

8.

Timothy, maybe those emergent actions just have to be harnessed somehow, in the accelerated intense atmosphere of that world, perhaps that can happen, under the right conditions.

Amarilla, of course VWs have feasible utility, don't be silly. In 5-10 years they'll be all over the place, no one in the urban centers will live without them, and your challenge will be to show how the unenhanced reality is a feasible utility.

9.

Oh yeah, my mistake. Must be so, because in 2015 i'll be busy planting crops in Kansas or maybe somewhere near Shang Hai suburbs ( haven't decided yet ) , and the wireless / satellite will be just a bad dream. Meanwhile , everybody in the urban centers will have plenty of time , money and interest into....doing....well, i'm not very sure exactely what , in VWs ( except having fun ).
Now i've got it ! " Having fun " must be the utility, right ?! Oh dear , i really have to move to California these years , sooner or later. ( Or , better, never - if after 5-10 years i'd be posting like you do )

10.

I would have liked Howard to have commented on more formal/technical reputation systems, such as the recently disbanded one in SL, or Omidyar's, or Amazon's, and how these accomplish or don't accomplish the functions of less formal reputation systems.

Still, interesting interview. Thanks for posting!

11.

Latvia,Riga escort service,sauna,massage,escort boys,Vip escort Massage salons and much more. hello from Riga www.exclusivescort.com
Latvia,Riga escort service,sauna,massage,escort boys,Vip escort Massage salons and much more.Travel.. hello from Riga http://www.exclusivescort.com http://www.escort-service.lv


12.

Second Life may have gained a following, but 3D life is still not the most effective form of communication for anything, in my opinion. 2D social networking sites seem to be a much better option at this time, and take far less time to learn. For example, Nussbaum from Businessweek suggests facebook is the place to be for advertising, even more so than SL. Check out: http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/NussbaumOnDesign/archives/2007/06/facebook_is_on.html.

As far as the interviewers question on brainstorming: Brainstorming social networking does exist, and you don't need an avatar to participate. Check out www.brainreactions.net and ask other brainstormers a question. I think specific genre networking groups will be a much more effective and popular route than SL, at least for the next few years.

The comments to this entry are closed.