In my post yesterday I wrote some initial thoughts on the openspace sim pricing and policy change controversy and there is an excellent roundup of reactions from Vint Falken.
I'd like to share some further thoughts today. As I said previously, LL can and will do whatever it pleases. But there are consequences to actions that go too far. Most notably, the loss of content and community cohesion.
Linden Labs: "Are they stupid or something?"
I don't think they're stupid at all. I think this is part of a deliberate strategy and it's about more than just the Void Sims.
I think the new people in charge of LL care little or nothing about hobbyists and social networkers on the grid. I wonder if they would rather see a grid community full of corporate reps and tech journalists chatting endlessly about server capacities and new ways to increase usage of virtual worlds. Well duh! LL seeks to destroy the very things that bring a wide range of people into virtual worlds in the first place! If that's what you really want, use a video-phone and chat with each other all frakking day. Roleplayers of any type/degree are in the way of their vision. I believe they may be thinking "If you care so much about your little RP/hobby, then put-up or shut-up"
Void Sims: Raise prices on all to punish the few
Why would they do this? Because they don't care what's destroyed in the process. Not their problem. If a few beautiful or interesting places are decimated in order to kill whatever is causing server-strain (or whatever the excuse is), so be it. This is their nuclear option, folks.
The Opening Salvo
These actions are all part of the new SL. We either adapt or we leave. For now I'll adapt and live with these changes until such time as my friends are gone from the grid or it no longer interests me to login.
I see a bleak future for SL. What was once a beautiful, compelling, raucous, sensuous, erotic, fantastic, intellectual, geeky, wondrous place....will make the long march toward a Disney-fied blandness. A place acceptable to businesses and political activists. A place where LL will not be embarrassed by media attention. A place where those left behind must hire people to create content, because no one will do it on their own. A grid where the residents who remain are concerned about building community after they've chased the community-builders away.
I'm not suggesting this will happen next week. I see this happening over the next 18-24 months. I hope I'm wrong.
Yesterday I ended my post with this:
The Big Question:
Is LL still friendly toward hobbyists within the grid? Will aviation in SL be encouraged?
Or perhaps it's their intention that the only aviation-related activity allowed to flourish will be Boeing and Airbus business meetings?
My interests are obviously aviation-related, but insert whatever passion you have to replace mine and create your own question and answer.
But if things go the way I see them going, perhaps the avatar of Zoe Connolly can persuade Boeing to setup a few sims for business meetings. Zoe can be the hostess, and maybe...perhaps maybe, we can still fly our lovely machines through Windlight skies.