Project Open Letter & Rolling Stone’s SL Article

I usually don’t read the media articles on Second Life. I’ve only read the articles in my local newspaper. When I heard about Rolling Stone writing up an article on SL, that perked my interest. Contrary to what I thought it would be, it’s not one of the many media fluff hype pieces on SL. It’s actually a fairly well balanced article. They do show the “Linden Labs” side and the “anti-Linden” side somewhat. Mainly they had a long interview and background on Philip Rosedale, the CEO of Linden Labs (They are the company behind SL).

There are disturbing quotes from Rosedale, such as this one:

“With a few strokes, he discovered, he could create simulations of the real-world inside his machine. “I remember just turning to my buddy, and saying, ‘It’s all in there!,’ ” he recalls. ” ‘This is like outer space!’ ” “God is in the machine,” as he now likes to say. “The Code is law. The Code is God.””

Then there are these two quotes by Rosedale and Linden Labs’ chief coder:

Right now, the Labs servers support a maximum of 40,000 concurrent users. And fixing the problem is not as simple as just building bigger servers — the challenge is rolling out a database system that can adequately handle the crush of traffic. According to one of Second Life’s chief coders, Andrew Meadows, the entire world would zap off if more users than that tried to log in. “The database would fall over,” he says.

When I raise this question with Rosedale one morning in the Lab’s lobby, his blue eyes fade a little. “If this curve continues,” he says, showing me a graph charting new users, “the rate of growth would be unsustainable.”

Um-mm…Maybe I’m being a bit simplistic on this but wouldn’t closing off the unverified account (This option requires no credit card information.) option solve a large part of the massive influx of sign-ups? One primary reason that they started that was to up the numbers for their investors. The other reason, which is much more sympathetic for incorporating it, was to allow more countries that do not have credit cards to get an account. Also this past weekend had 34k concurrent log-ins. We’re closing in on the 40k dooms day number. ><

Coincidentally, Project Open Letter launched last week also. This letter is a “signed” petition to Linden Labs. Right now there are no open channels of communication for residents to communicate with Linden Labs. Most of the channels are closed now. Like most large games corporations all you get is a form letter response and hope that someone read your email, but unlike the large game corporations, you can not contact a GM and get a response sometime in the near future. My experience with GMs was usually positive, plus it was a one a one and not a form response. I have no idea what Linden Labs’ customer service structure is. Before we were able to use a forum area to talk to them and “maybe” get a response. I have contacted Lindens inside SL before also but that was in 2005, when you could see if any were online or not. Supposedly, there are Linden employees online in the Linden Village at all times.

So with the lines of communication cut off, this letter is the best and loudest way to get through to Linden Labs at the moment. I do hope they seriously take into consideration what is being asked in the letter.

~ by Kittenanne Mousehold on April 30, 2007.

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