Friday, June 05, 2009

Essential reading

I'm pretty sure my colleagues who just got a grant to work in Second Life have already read Snow Crash, the most influential book about virtual worlds ever, but just in case they haven't let me remind them:

Most of SL’s users do not build sims, design or manage land. They use SL as a glorified chat room – the most advanced, detailed, customizable chat room ever. The first virtual world that manages to take us past the chat room, past the emoticons and pre-loaded animations, will make buckets and boatloads. Even a primative facial recognition program for a web cam, applied as real time animation to an SL avatar, would take the program leaps and bounds over its current state of maddening chat windows and tinny voices. If Linden wants to trandform SL into the premier platform for education and business conferences, as is its stated goal, then it needs to radically alter and improve its interface pronto.