schadenfreude and SL

The continued slow exodus from SL was a topic of conversation on Twitter last week with Ener Hax posting a commentary on her blog…   projecting a reduction to 10,000 sims.

Wizard Gynoid was at one point accused of schadenfreude [enjoyment of someone else misfortune], by another Tweep, an ex-Linden [maybe indoctrinated into the idea that all SL users are losers]. Obviously this person has missed the point entirely. We have all, longterm users of SL, predicted the effect of the dismal customer service meted out by LL and tried, in a small way, to draw attention to the foreseen consequences of such behaviour.

I told you so” is not schadenfreude. For all of us it is still a source of sadness mixed with exasperation that this steady decline continues unabated.

A few days ago Wizzy pointed to this post on Wikipedia about Technical Debt  … see below to save you following the link … asking the rhetorical question  “is this what’s wrong at Linden Lab..”

Technical debt (also known as design debt or code debt) is a neologistic metaphor referring to the eventual consequences of poor or evolving software architecture and software development within a codebase. The debt can be thought of as work that needs to be done before a particular job can be considered complete. As a change is started on a codebase, there is often the need to make other coordinated changes at the same time in other parts of the codebase or documentation. The other required, but uncompleted changes, are considered debt that must be paid at some point in the future.“

Now, this has long been the common view, summed up by Miso Susanowa’s sharp quote “you lag, you lose”…. and guarding against technical debt has been why the code wranglers at Inworldz, Jim and Tranq have moved so slowly and carefully in bringing new changes to their grid.

Like the tortoise and the hare fable, Linden Lab has now 4 new games coming to market .. … while InWorldz has been honing mesh and PhysX upgrades.

There is, however, a world of difference between SL and these new games … not in that they are different products, but how those products stand in relation to the competition. Whereas SL was years ahead of it’s rivals when it started, these new games are just more of the same…. i.e. another 4 games in a fairly full market.

Watching a leading internet-based company lose it’s position as leader through bad management, infighting and chasing the rainbow’s end is not a situation that gives any of us a feeling of satisfaction.

Schadenfreude … no way.




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5 responses to “schadenfreude and SL

  1. I’m sorry to say, I couldn’t agree more. Well written, Soror.

  2. well, there may be some enjoyment on my part with SL’s downfall. i am a bit bitter about all the time and effort (and $$$) i put into SL. but that was my decision

    because SL did not live up to my expectations is really a fault of my own for putting my faith in them

    but still, the numbers are the numbers – the average daily decline of 8 private sims per day this year is a real number – as to what emotion to attach to that – that is up to the individual (despite my mind control capabilities!) =p

  3. As I pointed out to @zero, there is no schadenfreude when we discuss SL’s continuing decline. It’s just confirmation of what we’ve been saying, and what certain other fangirls are in continual denial about. I would have to respectfully disagree with one of soror’s assertions above. That is to say, that SL was years ahead of its rivals. As Miso has pointed out time and again, SL’s technology is an old one. This kind of 3D world was developed in the nineties but was only really known then to a privileged few. Since that time, CGI and virtual technology have progressed dramatically, but we don’t see it because it is proprietary and used for commercial purposes, like in movie making. Linden Lab made certain fateful architectural design choices at the beginning that led to the current laggy state of affairs. Lag can’t be fixed or it would have been fixed by now, despite the Lab’s assurance that this issue is at the top of their list. Open Sim isn’t the ultimate answer either, because it is just a knockoff of the Second Life code, complete with the Technical Debt. What has to happen is a new platform has to come along that doesn’t make those core mistakes. Maybe it will take advantage of the technical developments apparent in CGI animation. Maybe this is what Rodvik has been hinting around about when he says they are “still investing in 3D virtual worlds.” If Linden Lab comes out with a totally revamped SL2.0 I will say more power to them, but I really suspect that the next paradigm will come from out of left field, totally unexpected. Watch this animated television program from 1991 and tell me that it doesn’t eerily remind you of machinima produced twenty years later on the Second Life platform.

  4. Wow, I hadn’t seen that before… thanks.

  5. virtualchristine

    Linden Lab chewed up and spat out a lot of good people. I enjoy it hugely when they fall on their asses. Schadenfreude, und wie!

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