Striking in Second Life. Sigh.

I know my thesis was on Second Life and all, but I’m not sure what I think about this, as real strike by Italian IBM employees in Second Life. Isn’t one of the points of a strike to make sure you’re seen, so you can promote your point?

IBM has a widely reported presence on Second Life which is now set to face, at the very least, a picket line of characters that come straight out of the darker recesses of wild imaginings.

Second Life’s servers usually crash if more than 70 avatars show up. How exactly would this work?

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  1. As far as IBM – the number of avatars allowed on a sim is limited within the estate settings. The crashes are usually more of a factor of the script resources available on the server, etc – get 70 people wearing all sorts of things that are script heavy (particularly listening scripts, etc), things go bad rather quickly. Having low prim builds helps, etc… people tend to forget that the ‘land’ is on a server, and the ‘foundation’ is as stable as the server. A stable server has free resources. 🙂

    I missed your thesis but I would add that the importation of bureaucracy is one of the largest problems… and that the focus on organization as well as the focus on funding is of great detriment. Microtransactions, microtransactions, microtransactions… Thats why I went ronin from some of those groups and went ahead with my own stuff. I even wrote an ebook on SL, with another on hold.. 🙂

  2. My thesis — which you can watch at — was about ways that political activists are using Second Life, and how it is and isn’t a good tool for activism.
    I’ve become increasingly skeptical that SL is a good platform for anything designed to reach a large audience; it’s much better suited for real-time virtual meetings. As an environment, it’s so much better than being on a conference call or using IRC.
    But for protests or public events, I think there are some serious scaling issues and barriers to entry that prevent it from becoming widely used.

  3. I completely agree with you on the scale of SL reach. There are ways to deal with that – the trick is to deal with it tastefully.

    And frankly, the majority of people don’t seem to care too awful much.

    Yes, I’m aware of the political activism – I was involved with a company that provided hosting for some of them on Progressive Island, and I advised a few organizations even after I left that company. A lot of them thought that SL was wonderful for large meetings, but they probably haven’t seen enough crashed sims yet. In time they will learn… we hope… 🙂

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