Cold Turkey? (with an addendum about Caprice Darkrose)

As periodically happens last Friday evening UK time SecondLife had a fairly major outage. From just before 9pm BST to about 10:15pm the site was effectively unreachable, due to factors as yet unexplained by Linden Lab. That the website, Grid Status Page AND SL itself were for a while unreachable is unusual and suggests that an outside agency may have attacked the site. There is no evidence (to my knowledge) to support or disprove that possibility. Once the GSP and website were returned to function, which took nearly 30 minutes, it rapidly became clear that it was a worldwide and not geographically limited problem.
To their credit, the SL technicians got the system working again quite quickly and in the end I was able to log on, though not without a slow loading process, at about 10:20pm. Once inworld it seemed that those online had been able to remain so, though TP resulted in expulsion and most inventory services were unavailable. Some folk were, as I was, anxious to get their “fix” of SL and it became clear that SecondLife is as addictive as any drug to those who indulge in it.

This is where the disconnect between what SecondLife was intended to be by its creator, Philip Rosedale, and what it actually has become is plainest. To many, be they disabled in some manner, suffering a debilitating illness or perhaps simply old and relatively infirm, SL is an escape, a way of living a life just not available any other way. I think the creator and managers of SL find this aspect of SL incomprehensible and perhaps even undesirable. Certainly they show little understanding of its importance to such folk.

I do not think there will ever be a meeting of minds on the uses of SecondLife, but I think that Linden Lab needs to look far more closely at the uses to which its essentially unique creation is put and perhaps show a little more understanding of its user-base. This is a thought that many have had for a good few years and it seems that the void is no narrower now than it was in 2009.

An important addendum:
I learned this UK evening that the human behind avatar Caprice Darkrose passed away this last weekend. Caprice was one of the dynamos behind the Rubber Room dance club on Pine Woods sim in SL.
While few knew or even guessed that Caprice was in generally poor health in RL, she was a friend to many, including me and one of the most likeable and hard-working people in SL, to my mind. She will be missed greatly by us all at the Rubber Room, and especially by some, including her great friend Evergreen Engineer, who helped manage the club for Rubber Robonaught with her.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on May 5, 2014.

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