At the risk of sounding juvenile, I’m quite affected with this week’s edition of digital life.
I’ve been involved with secondlife, an online 3D community, for since october 2004 and was extremely puzzled to see that there were no features about it.
Thus, I offered to write an article about Secondlife to the editors at digital life, a weekly newspaper edition featuring technology in Singapore. I was very polite and enthusiastic. I gave a quick introduction from here and here (in fact, I’ve done two quick videos here and here) and asked for guidelines for the submission of articles. This was in early may.
It would be fine if they said no but I never did got a reply back.
Recently, a reporter, Chua Hian Hao wrote an article about Secondlife not being popular in Singapore. But with all due respect, how long has he been in Secondlife anyway to give a review about it?
He interviewed a university professor whom did a survey with 700 gamers. But that survey by itself was already biased. Its comparing apples and oranges. Because Secondlife isnt a game, its a community. The professor herself has confessed that she is a veteran on Worldcraft online. We cannot categorize secondlife as a game. These gamers that were interviewed would not be familliar with secondlife.
And can the people being interviewed be of a wider range? Surely there are more people than just university students and professors to represent gaming and the internet world.
This professor continues saying that, “If you played Secondlife and told an interesting Secondlife an occurrence who didn’t played it, it would be just a story about a game he doesn’t play. But if you shared a Maplestory with a fellow Maplestory player, he would get it, making your experience richer”
I don’t dispute that.
I don’t play maplestory. I did try it once but I didn’t feel compelled to play it long term. I understand that a particular gamer would understand that gamer better. But that doesn’t mean that people wouldn’t try to understand each other. Just like the real world, its a matter of understanding diversity.
These people interviewed insisted that Secondlife isnt popular.
Mr Simonsen, a gaming programmer, stated in the article, that Secondlife demand more out of the players and will not consider the steep learning curve to get the fun.
There is an undergraduate, Sim Yuze who says that he doesn’t have time to play Secondlife and thinks that its not profitable. He illustrates this by saying that “if he quits worldcraft, and diablo, he will be able to sell his character off. You cant do that if the game isnt popular and there are no buyers for your character”
Secondlife is a community that thrives on currency exchange. You could easily design clothes, or build items which can be sold to be made into real money. Even me, I whom is motivationally challenged is able to sell some apparels for some sum of money.
Mr Simonsen and Sim Yuze would have to realise that should they both be businessmen, they both are losing business if they choose not to see the potential economic viables that secondlife bring.
In fact, there are many companies whom invested in secondlife – IBM, invested 10 million in Secondlife, Reuters has opened an agency in Secondlife, just to name a few companies.
Besides, Secondlife has been gaining popularity. With personal experience, in 2004, I only met one Singaporean online, the number has now increased dramatically with an active Singaporean group in Secondlife.
I wish the reporter interviewed any Singaporean Secondlife players to counter what has been written for a more balanced side of the story. For example,Kevin, a vocal and active player or Preetamrai whom has been enlightened by the advantages of learning via 3D community. Both of whom have a large following on the internet. I dont believe its that hard to find Singaporeans who play secondlife. It could have advertised on the newspapers or he could even advertise on Tomorrow.sg. Most youths don’t regularly read newspapers any more anyway since internet is their main medium now.
I hope for more neutrality in the article.
Edited for tone, clarity and to add : Whoops! Sorry! There *was* an article whom interviewed a secondlife player. But it was nondescript that I completely missed it out.