| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (22)

Posted: Jun 23rd 2011 9:34PM SippinWhisky said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
How about LL and its CEO addressing consumer protections in SL? Given LL's official consumer protection stance of "caveat emptor," it has become a haven for disreputable creators and vendors looking primarily to steal money either by selling shoddy products which are not as advertised, not responding to customer complaints after purchasing those products, and/or to outright theft of monies paid for inworld services.

LL's "caveat emptor" policy is now causing its customers great harm all too frequently. I know because I've had several purchase experiences where afterward I spent more time inworld trying to contact creators/vendors to either get that for which I'd paid or a refund than I did to enjoy any aspect of SL as a form of entertainment. In fact, it's become so awful in the past 6 months that I now do my very best to spend as little money as possible in SL.

The odds of a purchase experience in SL being only positive is now approximately 50-50, a bet only fools are willing take. It is my guess this issue remains "below the radar" in the LL offices simply because LL refuses to acknowledge it. Or, does LL and its new CEO not realize the extent to which its "non-creative" customers are being ripped-off by so-called content creators looking only to make a quick buck in SL, and with the full implicit protection of LL from any sort of redress by those ripped-off? Either way, it's not very enticing to remain in SL as you guard your wallet each day from the many unscrupulous vendors there now.

It's time for LL to recognize the extent of this problem, for it is not at all small or insignificant. And in fact, that is the primary reason I now spend far less time in SL and even less money than in times past. (I've been there 5 years and it was never like this before.) Shopping, as much as LL might hate to openly admit it, is the primary activity for those female "power-players", and they now badly need consumer protections by the only entity currently capable of protecting them--Linden Lab. But again, does it care? Seemingly not.

At this very moment, I am in possession of approximately 8000-10,000L$ ($30-$40 USD) worth of products bought in SL over only the past few months which do not work as advertised, and finding the people who literally stole my money and having them respond as fair-minded sellers has been next to impossible. And is LL willing to help me or punish those who have taken advantage? Answer: Definitely not. Remember, LL's official policy is "caveat emptor." It does not care to get involved, but only continues to take its cut of ill-gotten gains.

Honestly, I have never seen a firm care so little about its customers or possibly be so unaware of their plight and struggles. Yet it's so accepted by SL users that LL simply does not care that many do not bother to complain, but instead just write off countless dollars lost to dishonest "businesspeople" in SL. However, the smarter SL resident consumers are beginning to log out--permanently. Wake up, LL and Mr. Humble!

Posted: Aug 17th 2011 11:49AM Ardra Diva said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@SippinWhisky
Try recompiling the scripts, that often fixes items that have quit working properly.

If you need protection from the provider you might switch to iOS games...
Reply

Posted: Aug 17th 2011 11:55AM Ardra Diva said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@SippinWhisky

You make it sound like 50% of purchases fail in SL. That's utter nonsense. Quit playing it on dial-up, maybe.
Reply

Posted: Jun 24th 2011 2:23AM Lady Sakai said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
For crying out loud. 8 Years in and sites like these still call Second Life a game? How thick are you allowed to be?
If you cant see beyond the games you have your heads in to look beyond those then do not make articles about Second Life or any other Virtual Reality platforms!
Oh and how about that reseach ? Did you even bother with it? Rod Humble is not and I repeat (pay attention now) NOT the creator of Second Life. Philip Rosedale is.
Rod Humble is the current CEO of the Linden Lab company that runs Second Life.
This whole article made me cringe from beginning to end. "Game", "Players" .
Ok one more time and do pay attention!
Second Life is a Virtual Reality Platform. Within this platform you can create, live, work, play, interact in multible ways, join communitites, etc etc etc .. just like your Physical Life
The clue is staring you in the face .. its called ... wait for it ...
Second Life ! "Second" meaning "another" or "additional" ... "Life" meaning .. well yea Life ?
Its really not rocket sience!
Virtual Reality platforms are a completely different animal to games. Very few gamers would have any intrest in these platforms (Second Life, InWorldz, OpenSim, to name a few of them) Ive encountered gamers in Second Life and they just standing there waiting for their assignment .. well guess what .. no assignments, no goals, no points ... nada!
You are in control of your life, be it virtual or physical.

Posted: Jun 24th 2011 1:00PM Space Cobra said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
@Lady Sakai

To support Beau's statement below:

Next time you see children playing "house" on a playground, remind then that they are actually doing a "virtual reality life situation" and not actually "playing a game".

Second Life is as much a facilitator of the imagination as playing "house" and visualizing. In another game, you may get "immersed" and picture oneself as a "knight in a fantasy setting" or "fantasy setting=virtual reality setting".

And don't forget to inform children playing with Barbie's and GI Joes that all they are doing is simulating a virtual world and not playing! Really, MMO's are not that different in being adult toys where we play with our online action figures with a given ruleset (or self-programmed one in SL's worlds).

These labels people try to put on go too far in being too specific. Games cover a very BROAD definition and so does the concept of "play".
Reply

Posted: Jun 24th 2011 5:35AM Kickaha said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Take a chill pill Lady!

It says "...Rod Humble, CEO of Linden Lab, the maker of Second Life."

To imply Humble was the creator, there would need to be an "and" after "Lab."

This is what happends when poorly educated people are exposed to news headlines written by American journalists who are far too cool to use conjunctives.

The moral: Grammar and punctuation DO matter.

Posted: Jun 24th 2011 8:02AM Kimo Junot said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I just love how story's like this one avoid the real issues about SL.SL has chased off many ,many creative people that were loyal residents and pioneers in creating the content of SL for many years by forcing anyone who wishes to create things in SL and sell them in a store to using that mess they call market place where they get a cut off of everything created and sold in SL. I closed my stores down after many years of being in business in SL and paying loads of money for land fees,upload fees,classifieds,etc only to have SL mess up search so everyone would be forced to use there market place instead. I know business is all about making money but the things LL has done over the years to there many loyal residents is beyond belief and every year they think of new ways to leach money off of there residents. I hardly ever log into SL anymore because I felt totally let down by LL and there slime ball tactics. Recently I did log in to see what the world was like now and it is a ghost town....bare land everywhere. I don't know what they were thinking when they came out with those new viewers..there one of the worst things LL ever did (not to mention a whole list of other things)I really don't see SL being around for 8 more years after all the damage that was made by LL.These fluff fluff stories about how great everything in SL is are just that..fluff fluff. SL lost it's luster along time ago.not because of the residents,but because of LL.

Posted: Jun 24th 2011 9:10AM Beau Hindman said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think it's important to remember one thing: this is a piece about the Second Life anniversary. Not the Second Life problems that some players have had with the game (and yes, I called it a game AND world, notice above.)

He's not running for office, he is the CEO of a company that has been providing a lot of happiness to a lot of individuals longer than most MMOs have been around. As someone who has played Second Life for 7 years, I have seen all of the issues that you might think of. But, I have decided that the good outweighs the bad, or else I would not have continued to play...er, live.

So, feel free to put as many helpful suggestions or constructive criticism here in the comments. I love those. But using terms like "slime ball tactics" does nothing to provide information. Be specific. Give examples.

That's how developers learn.

Beau

Posted: Jun 24th 2011 3:43PM Yukon Sam said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Most issues with Second Life mechandise are caused by consumer wetware failure.

Linden Lab is a for-profit company and will take a cut of your action in return for providing a place to do business. Deal with it.

And it's a game in the same sense that life is a game, which is to say, not really (but thanks for playing).

Posted: Jun 24th 2011 4:07PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Two things I will take away from this article:

1) "from the sometimes tightly-wound community" (LOL! That says a lot!)

2) "I have seen all of the issues that you might think of. But, I have decided that the good outweighs the bad..." (Hear! Hear! Spending time in Second LifeĀ® is a voluntary pastime. For me, the good far outweighs the bad and I am glad to have found it back in 1996, when PoserĀ® invited me in to attend their Poser 7 Premiere party.)

But lastly, Beau, I think you really *do* need to stop with the silly "game/not a game" waffling and adopt (as a journalist) the actuality of virtual worlds, which is that they are platforms for creation of content and development of personas. Simply calling them "virtual platforms" serves the purpose of describing them accurately and eliminates the (what by now should be totally irrelevant) conversations along those lines.

The virtual platform of Second Life -- The virtual platform of OpenSim -- see how much more clear that is? :-) Cheers!

Posted: Jun 24th 2011 4:47PM Beau Hindman said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified) Well, I'm not a journalist. :)

But I hear ya. Honestly, I always call it a game. Always have, always will. If you noticed or have read my other SL pieces in the past, you'll see me make a notion of of choosing the words...I'll put "game....er, world" or something to that effect. That's because to this day I get people trying to force a meaning down my throat when I say either. hehe So, I just decided to always cover both bases and let people bash it out with each other in the comments. And, if you notice, we already have some of that in this one as well. :)

Thanks for the comments so far, guys and gals!

Beau
Reply

Posted: Jun 24th 2011 10:14PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I see, it's not waffling, it's ... "unwillingness to commit" (that's a euphemism). And when I said 1996 I actually meant 2006. December 7th, to be exact. Why '96 popped into my feeble brain I have noooo idea. Duh.

Posted: Jun 25th 2011 3:01PM Tahini said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
test

Posted: Jun 25th 2011 3:08PM Tahini said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It would be nice if the new CEO took customer service seriously, and made massive improvements in the 'customer service system'. Or actually made one that functioned.

SecondLife has a well deserved horrible reputation for customer service. They will barely speak to you on the phone, and insist you submit a ticket - which is then never resolved. Many people have lost a lot of money - real money - because of the horrible customer service.

I have an issue that is outstanding from November of 2010 that was never resolved. Now, I have another issue and I do not expect it to be resolved either. I have asked for a refund of the money I spent just last night. I doubt that will be resolved either. I will file a complaint with the BBB if it is not resolved to my satisfaction this time. I will not have my money basically stolen by them AGAIN. I am pretty much done with the place because of the poor customer service and repeated loss of funds. They simply do not care about their customers.

This is all much to my sadness because otherwise I greatly enjoyed my time there.

Very disappointed!

Tahini

Posted: Jun 25th 2011 3:14PM Tahini said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
One more thing. I am looking for another place similar to SL. One that is more customer oriented and helpful. Any ideas? There is a massive space for someone to develop one if not.

It really is sad that it has come to this. My issues were nothing that a functioning business could not have resolved in 2 seconds. :(

So, where to next?


Posted: Aug 17th 2011 11:37AM Ardra Diva said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Tahini

You're going to find there is absolutely nothing like Second Life.

Entropia Universe once tried to be like it, but fell way short.

Google took a stab at it with Lively, but it was a low-polygon joke.

IMVU is graphically very inferior and no real building to speak of

Utherverse is just a paid sex sim (Red Light)

Not only does SL give you everything it gives you, you can play it on Windows, Mac, or Linux.

There is nothing else like it.
Reply

Posted: Jul 22nd 2011 5:48PM SegaFan74 said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I've been a premium member on Second Life since 2007 and have owned land varying from a small 512sq plot to full islands for RP projects I had put together with friends.
The problem with LL is that they have game designers assisting with "custom service" if you can call it that since it's so poor. All LL wants to do is deisgn and tweak aspects of Second Life, collect a pay check and not deal with the customers. Everything LL does or thinks ends with fail and I have no idea how they're still around 8 years later since about 70% of my friends have left Second Life and I'm not the only older resident that spends more time making new friends cause the old ones have flown the coup.

Posted: Aug 17th 2011 11:39AM Ardra Diva said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@SegaFan74
Name me any other game where you still have the same friends after 8 years.

Sounds to me like you let the game pass you by, and didn't make new friends or try to keep up or enjoy the new content.
Reply

Posted: Jul 25th 2011 8:55PM ZoeRose said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
A refreshing interview!! One part I think is worth investigating further by the new CEO is how over the top the land fees are for sim owners. I have watched so many sims go under water this year alone that it's quite sad. The sim fees make it virtually impossible for land owners to make a profit while competing with the Linden Homes from newbies. The Linden Homes mean well -but I really think this idea of having sandboxes with sections that have inworld videos to explain to new folks how to get into Second Life is better idea than castigating newbies to stand in Linden Homes by themselves and wonder what to do next. Newbie LInden Homes are very isolating - they have no community - zero - because they have no sim owners who care for residents with personal attention. This is a very important aspect the to the "fun" of the "game" of second life - landlords who are available to help their residents - it an enormous and in the past under appreciated cornerstone to the SL community. I would encourage the new CEO to look into this and really make this more of a free market when it comes to land.

Posted: Aug 17th 2011 11:28AM Ardra Diva said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Those who get it, get it. Second Life is the most unique, most wide-open, most free, liberated, unsupervised, freaking amazing game world ever was... maybe ever will be.

Those who need to level up or slay orcs won't find it there, but those who were always intrigued by the idea of "virtual reality" won't find a better example of it than Second Life.

I am a huge apostle for SL. You can do things there you can't do in any other game. That could never be done before.

I worry that we'll never have anything else as free or as open as this.

I'm hearing SL is about to get a lot prettier with some mesh and graphic capability upgrades.

I constantly wonder why avatars in Second Life are 10x better than in any other MMO type game, how they can endlessly improve, and other games don't give you even a new hairstyle after 4 years of being online (I'm looking your direction, LOTRO).

If I was building a new MMO I'd be hiring whoever makes the skins at Lakroqi. Those skins are stunning.

Featured Stories

Make My MMO: August 24 - August 30, 2014

Posted on Aug 30th 2014 6:00PM

PAX Prime 2014: ArcheAge is a go for launch!

Posted on Aug 30th 2014 5:00PM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW