Hey you got your chocolate in my peanut butter...
January 5, 2007 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Fame and Infamy. In some sort of journalist version of two (geek) worlds colliding, graphic novel author Warren Ellis, famous for his acerbic personality and sociocultural commentaries, starts a regular op-ed column for Reuters, about the overly-hyped user-defined virtual world of Second Life.
posted by jcterminal (22 comments total)

 
Previously.
posted by loiseau at 11:53 AM on January 5, 2007


How many more logged in once and were attacked by other users (a depressingly regular occurrence) or simply decided they didn’t like it?

I didn't like it. Other than flying around, I couldn't really see the point. It was too hard to change my outfit and you couldn't really build anything without spending money.

Nearly as pointless as the Sims. At least I didn't have to tell my Second Life avatar to pee.

Flying penises though, that's pretty hilarious.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:59 AM on January 5, 2007


Well, at least it's independent, so this isn't gonna be yet another case of Ellis bad-mouthing the genre or audience that pays his mortgage. Maybe.

Guy hates superhero comics and the people who love them, writes them anyway. Guy hates one-note zombie fiction and the people who love it, writes it anyway. And on and on and on.

So I guess it's just a matter of time before he starts talking about how much Reuters sucks and how the people who enjoy wire stories are pathetic.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:10 PM on January 5, 2007


I liked playing the Sims. I could live my fantasy of being a slacker with a yellow stripy shirt.

But yeah, their kitchen was cleaner than my own. That's why I gave it up. But now I have to go back and make more subway for my Simcity.
posted by jb at 1:14 PM on January 5, 2007


“The following is an independent opinion column, and is not connected with Reuters News”
Awww.

I liked Transmetropolitan. This commentary seems fairly consistient with that.

So is there a flying penises screensaver?
posted by Smedleyman at 1:30 PM on January 5, 2007


Second Life - just like a MOO but with bad graphics that you have to pay for.
posted by Artw at 1:32 PM on January 5, 2007


Hahah, a video of that penis attack. SL has been getting some pretty bad press from people who don't buy into the snowcrashesque utopian B.S.
posted by delmoi at 1:44 PM on January 5, 2007


Second Life? I barely have a first one!
posted by MegoSteve at 2:16 PM on January 5, 2007


Note that this is for the Reuters Second Life News Center -- within Second Life. It's on the website, but I dunno if it's on the wire.
posted by dhartung at 2:18 PM on January 5, 2007


Overly hyped is right. I'm so sick of hearing about Second Life.
posted by Saellys at 2:45 PM on January 5, 2007


It really bums me out regarding the stark malevolence that runs in the soul of mankind.

Being a mean-assed prick just for the fun of it - that's a pathology, even if it's only expressed in virtual form.

I've never played Second Life; probably never will.

But I think the Utopian aspects of it are admirable.

We need a blueprint of a better place.
posted by rougy at 2:49 PM on January 5, 2007


I think SL is kind of interesting as an admittedly skewed glimpse at what more laissez-faire and more "level-playing-field"-esque economy might produce. One could argue that the penis attack controversy shows that, in such an economy, creative capital is more valuable/useful than in any real-life economy -- i.e., the penis attack, inasmuch as it was successfully disruptive, could be seen as a case of creative capital trumping monetary capital.
posted by treepour at 2:51 PM on January 5, 2007


"...the penis attack, inasmuch as it was successfully disruptive, could be seen as a case of creative capital trumping monetary capital.

Jacking someone with a pair of brass knuckles is, likewise, a similar form of creativity.
posted by rougy at 2:58 PM on January 5, 2007


For some insight into why people are hatin on Second Life, read Clay Shirky's investigation into SL numbers on, of all places, Valleywag. The true numbers are nothing like the mainstream press reports.
posted by Nelson at 3:03 PM on January 5, 2007


1993 is calling, it wants it's assertation that this online community stuff is fascinating and important, worthy of academic discussion and in osme ways just like neuromancer back.
posted by Artw at 3:05 PM on January 5, 2007


Jacking someone with a pair of brass knuckles is, likewise, a similar form of creativity.

I'll admit the so-called penis attack isn't benign. But I think the analogy pretty much ends there. The so-called penis attack was staged as a visual spectacle. It's disruptive force is proportional to its success as such a spectacle.
posted by treepour at 5:27 PM on January 5, 2007


Linden Lab deleted my account after two years. Two years developing assets, creating items, making friends, involving in several art and music projects. I owned land for periods of time and built many little worlds and ideas.

They refuse to tell me why. They did it during a time that I wasn't even using the program. I only logged on enough to keep from getting auto-deleted.

I was a good customer and user and they removed me for no reason... played the judge jury and executioner, with absolutely no transparency or oversight. All they would say to me was "you can contact our laywers at..." (and this was after spending several hours trying to get someone on the phone that would even speak to me)

My advise is to avoid this place. If you are going to involve yourself deeply in a project, in a virtual world... becoming a resident... there should be some sort of security, some way of being protected from being abruptly deleted... in a sense killed, for no reason, at the whim of a privately owned company.

Secondlife is such a good idea... but one that has been extremely distorted and shaped for the purpose of making money for Linden Lab, and what made the place great has been completely lost in the past year or so.

The 'net needs a good metaverse... but I sincerely hope that secondlife does not become the de facto standard for "virtual world". Every time I see some glowing article in the news about it I cringe.

The RIAA treats their customers better then Linden Lab.
posted by LoopSouth at 6:00 PM on January 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


"It's disruptive force is proportional to its success as such a spectacle."

Oh, it's different, yes.

I guess it was perpetrated by a group of people who call themselves "Room 101" which is from Orwell's "1984", the torture room. Maybe I'm overreacting, but I don't see anything funny about it.

"Griefers" are sickos.

When people use other human beings as objects, as sources of their amusement, we're talking about psychopathy.
posted by rougy at 10:32 PM on January 5, 2007


Treepour - actually, I see your point. I know I'm over-reacting but it's just getting me down.

I see so many examples of that everywhere on the internet, people being mean and shitty just for the fun of it.

There is a fundamental evil running through the heart of mankind that we will never be rid of.

And it bums me out, man....
posted by rougy at 10:38 PM on January 5, 2007


"I see so many examples of that everywhere on the internet, people being mean and shitty just for the fun of it.

There is a fundamental evil running through the heart of mankind that we will never be rid of."

And I see so many people, both online and off, who are so self-important and overly sensitive that they absolutely beg for mocking. A fundamental evil? Hyperbole much?
posted by klangklangston at 1:33 PM on January 6, 2007


actually, artw - you don't have to pay, unless you want to own a house. You can wander around, interact, do things, build in sandboxes for free.
posted by jb at 9:32 PM on January 7, 2007


He's been doing Second Life Sketches on his own site since August or so. Only now he's getting paid for 'em.
posted by Pryde at 5:25 AM on January 8, 2007


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