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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Apples and Oranges, and Pie in the Sky

All right, all right.  So I guess I'm not quite out of things to say yet.  So...I'm back!

I'm back to rant a little bit, in fact.

The other night, I met a newbie, and gave my standard "Welcome to Second Life!" greeting.  In response, I got "thanks, but I'm really not going to be here long."  I asked her why, and she explained that she'd heard about Second Life for years and finally decided to check it out, but she was really unhappy with the graphics quality.

Well, I rolled up my sleeves and got ready to help her delve into her graphics preferences and Windlight settings to show her how SL can really rock, in the "look of the world" department.  But as we talked further, it turned out that she was really excited by other offerings on the web with much better graphics, especially something called "Project Nebula."

So, I googled it.  It's harder to find than you might think.  Google InWorldz or IMVU and you'll immediately find a link to their sign up pages.  But the only thing I was able to find on this Project Nebula was a Kickstarter campaign, and eventually a website with some discussion forums.

The Kickstarter and the developer's website had a video preview of this brave new virtual world.  It had avatar customization (looked a lot like SL) and it showed some clips of two spacecraft chasing each other across a desert (looked a lot like SL vehicles -- rather awkward in how they maneuvered.)  It showed the interior of an apartment being customized and furnished (and I've seen homes in SL that looked just as good if not better.)

So, my conclusion was that my newbie friend was stone crazy.  The "superior graphics" she was raving about simply did not come through, not in the demo video that I saw.  But beyond that, Project Nebula does not even exist yet!

Who in their right mind would choose smoke and mirrors and promises over a place with 11+ years of history?  A place with 26,000 regions, and trillions of user hours lavished on creating everything in it?  I have seen several grandiose game or virtual world ideas come and go.  The ones depending on crowdfunding usually go.

Some day, maybe even next year, someone will come up with something to top Second Life, and then we will all pack up and move there.  Maybe it'll be Philip Rosedale's High Fidelity.  Maybe it will be LL's own "new virtual world."  Or maybe it will be something else.  But I'll bet you $L10 that it won't be Project Nebula.

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