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The Dogs that hound SL (R)

May 6, 2008

People often begrudge others what they cannot enjoy themselves. -Aesop

I find myself compelled to post in SL’s blog lately, largely because comments seem to be getting bitter and the negativity out of hand already. So many people jumping to conclusions and second guessing, so many avatars failing to ENJOY what’s left of Second Life and just wallowing in negative comments and infecting people with their negativity.

The turn of SL’s woes on content theft and instability has turned us into a bunch dogs or crabs. Those who have it bad bitch and whine and make it bad for everyone else who are lucky enough to experience SL without the glitches. Lindens trying to do their jobs are squashed by comments about those who in their eyes fail to do them. Instead of praise at some Linden’s efforts at keeping SL positive place to be in, people gun them down and wound their efforts with hurtful words. It is a sick, sick grid, and I am not writing about the instability and SL’s other issues.

I don’t worry if people think I am SL’s poster girl. There are things that I choose to dwell over and I choose to dwell ove rthe great stuff that is left, continuously hoping that everything that used to make SL great before will somehow come back. Like the relationship between Lindens and Residents.

SL used to be a thriving community where everyone enjoys each other’s presence, now it’s a divided community with noisy residents crying over spilled milk and nowadays Lindens especially the higher ups couldn’t be trusted. I know Lindens have been held in such a bad light over SOME issues and would like to show that they are STILL the good guys, but the days when Lindens are still Lindens and everything they do are not being over analyzed are gone. all of a sudden, THEY are now the enemy. Except Torley, who, bless his soul, still makes SL look fun for the rest of us who still manage to see its potential.

The dogs that hound SL’s blog are those who are disillusioned, perhaps justifiably, but my sympathy towards them are nonexistent because of the way they bitch and whine about all the changes that is happening in SL. We all have to face it, change is in the air, and all the changes going on are part of Linden Labs’ effort in compliance to an increasingly huge presence of RL businesses and governments. The burden of being the leading virtual world makes them open for opportunities mentioned, but with the price of tearing down old freedoms and toning down their laissez faire values on business.

I don’t think it’s SL’s choice to impose the rules they recently have to impose, such as the ban on gambling or imposing EU VAT, and most recently, the widely debated issue of trademarks. RL laws are starting to bark up LL’s tree and demanding that their rules and power should apply in SL too. As a company who is constantly being watched and bugged by RL rules and standards, it’s something they must do.

I find it sad actually that SL eventually has to nail itself down because I’ve always thought that SL was my utopia and my place for self actualization. It was a place where I can leave RL’s bureaucratic rules behind and just stick with the inate values of respect, tolerance, and “don’t do unto others what you don’t want others do unto you” mode of behavior. However, I am still at my best spirits towards Linden Lab and trust that the original idea of SL and how residents made it as their own won’t change.

There will be plenty of changes, some of them being unpleasant to most of us who truly look into SL as their escape, and a lot of rules will be made and imposed upon. Starting last year, when I first graced around SL and gotten to know older residents, they would reminisce about SL being their Garden of Eden, and everyone were at their best behavior. Now, we are ridden with rude people with crab mentality, a consequence of having too many people coming in. With SL’s open registration, there will always be people with less than honorable traits bound to enter and spoil our little playground.

The question is, is SL still meant to be OUR playground? Depends on how you look at it and how you let the outside forces get into you. If the dogs of SL just stop begrudging others’ enjoyment of SL, then SL can go back to being everybody’s playgound for as long as it works.

And for others, like me, it still does.

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