A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall
December 26, 2008 4 Comments
What is there to do on Boxing Day except sit around eating, drinking and randomly surfing the net? Lots of things probably, like spending quality time with my loved ones, or taking some exercise, or doing something socially useful by serving turkey to vagrants at the homeless shelter, but I fearlessly embraced the crisps/lager/web option, so that I would have something to post about.
I did try to stay on-topic by browsing through Second Life-themed blogs. Amongst the numerous posts on various pressing issues in the world of SL fashion, there were contrasting views on what the future holds for the grid.
There are definite signs that SL residents are feeling a chill from the cold financial winds that are blowing through the real world. “The Quiet”, an iconic piece of SL sculpture, is due to disappear next month, as its creators can’t keep up with the rent. More generally, hundreds of sims are being abandoned, after Linden Labs increased the tier fees and decreased the prim allowance on the class of land known as “Openspace”. The flight of corporate investment is an old story, though you don’t read about it so much now that Reuters have closed their SL bureau. Even The Electric Sheep Company, who pioneered SL marketing for RL companies, are talking gloomily about a virtual recession.
Not everyone is downbeat though. Dennis wants to convince us (and perhaps himself) that the virtual economy is likely to grow in 2009. Perhaps not coincidentally, Dennis is in the business of organising virtual trade shows.
My own view is that Second Life will survive, since there does seem to be a critical mass of users who are willing to pay a few dollars a month to play out their various fantasies, or at least watch whilst others do so, but nobody except L-Labs is going to be making any serious money.