The tiers of the world

99cPredictably, much speculation, reinterpretation and debate, along with all the usual doom mongering, misrepresentation, conspiracy theorising and nonsensical claptrap has hit the virtual streets in the wake of the recent ‘Meet the Lindens’ events at SL12B and the widely reported comments Ebbe made in a recent Spanish newspaper article.

As always, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, and there are many in the SL community who now think they have irrefutable and concrete proof of pretty much all of the following:

  • SL is doomed
  • When Sansar comes, the SL servers will be switched off permanently
  • The Lindens have no idea what they’re doing
  • The Lindens have no idea what we want
  • Only professional 3D modellers will be welcome in Sansar
  • Sansar is being kept top secret because the Lindens want to keep us in the the dark
  • Sansar and SL are completely incompatible
  • Linden Lab is doomed
  • We’re all Doomed! Doomed, I tell you!

alpha1And, of course, none of the above has any basis in fact or reality and, in simple terms, we cannot possibly really know what the future holds, unless we a) work for the Lab, b) are a Sansar alpha tester, or c) have a access to a time machine. Even if you were in the happy position of either ‘a’ or ‘b’, you wouldn’t be contributing to the debate anyway, because of that all-encompassing non-disclosure agreement you signed up to!

Moving away at a slight tangent, all the bleating that’s been going on about exactly whom the Lab has selected as Alpha testers is going to be equally ill-informed unless those doing the bleating actually know who’s been selected, which I’ll hazard a guess they don’t. I have crossed paths with one or two, and if they are anything remotely representative of the chosen few, I’d suggest that Sansar really is in pretty safe hands.

So, it stands to reason that any of the speculation currently taking place throughout the metaverse and beyond is merely just that: pure speculation. All we really know for sure about the future of both SL and Sansar are the limited facts we’ve been given by those in the know and even then we have to be careful how we interpret those facts. Personally, I’d rather just wait and see what happens, leaving it to others to indulge in endless supposition.

There are a couple of interesting facts that have surfaced from all the chatter however, one of the most interesting of which is the proposed revenue model the Lab is looking at for Sansar. I find it interesting, not so much from the commercial perspective, (it’s quite dull, really), but from the often bizarre responses it’s generated within the SL community. For those of you who’ve sensibly managed to steer clear of the hype: In simple terms the Lab will look to generate revenue principally from transactions, (like Marketplace sales), than from land, as has been the case for SL. Rather candidly, the Labbies have been perfectly willing to concede that the SL land model is skewed towards those with above average spending power and resources, and discriminates somewhat against the everyday SL user; in short, it’s really not that sustainable.

Again, the response to this has been all too predictable within the resident community, who in that tiresome and time-honoured manner that has become the hallmark of SL commentators, have interpreted that simple statement as meaning:

“OMG!!! The Lindens have finally woken up to the fact that tier is too damn high – perhaps now they’ll finally get their act together and drastically reduce tier. (Because if they don’t, everyone’s going to leave in their thousands for OpensiminwurldzbluemarsLand, and SL will die forever!!!!!!!)”

No. That is laughably incorrect, in every possible way – but I have a horrible feeling that it’s an argument we’re going to see surface many, many times over the coming months. So, for once and for all, so I don’t have to constantly go over old ground when it does crop up, please can we all just take a moment to listen to the Voice of Reason, who will dispense its wisdom in the following short paragraph:

Just imagine, for a moment that Linden Lab did take pity on us poor residents and reduce tier to a level that we’d all consider reasonable. Who do you think is going to buy up all that cheap land and then rent it back to us at the same inflated rates we’re already paying? Whilst all the while, raking in huge profits to further extend their land empires until the whole virtual world belongs to them. Clue: It’s the same people already making huge profits from doing just that right now.

Thank you, Voice of Reason – that makes perfect sense.

You see, no matter which world we’re in – virtual or real – money goes to money, and that’s just how things work. So, be careful what you wish for and just for once, why don’t we trust that the Lab knows what it’s doing, stop jumping to conclusions and remember just who is running the show!

s. x

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
Coldplay – Viva La Vida

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