GUEST WRITER : Linda Diva
Wondering why OpenSim users numbers dont go up……
Hello amazing OpenSim people, my name is Linda Diva, Lindavk in Second Life. I am Dutch, living in Germany, and in SL I am a fashion designer and builder. In real life I did design fashion as well, for family and friends mainly, and I am a painter of Art just needing to create to be happy.
I discovered virtual worlds about 4 years ago and couldn’t stop wanting to know all about it so that is what I did mostly and of course having a lot fun and laughing a lot. Besides building and creating outfits I had a dance group that accompanied singers in SL dancing on events in Club La Boniquita. In OpenSim I had 16 sims on OSGrid plus had a small stand alone grid for some time. Now helping others from time to time getting their grid or sims online. I am not a pro but an endless student wanting to know all there is to it. I am a people person not interested in money but I do understand the concept of costs and have to pay for things.
Roaming around on many grids (open and closed) there are a few things I miss and the same things SL users who come to take a look around miss. We are all building, creating, testing and there seems to be not much time for fun, whatever fun that is. Where can you find the most users in SL? As far as I have experienced, music events, places to socialize in whatever way, role play and places where people can do things they cant in real life or had to miss in RL. I think that is the fun in virtual worlds for the average user, the fantasy. I know there are many fun places and there are events…but grids are scattered and there are so many, that by the time a user could find what he/she is looking for….they are gone, back to SL. That besides the fact that they are used to having their avatar fixed and have to start all over again.
Then there are many commercial grids who provide land for very attractive prices and have some freebie malls and a few regions to visit. Still most is based on building and the average user is not a builder. Besides that I read a lot about adult fun as if it is something we dont do in OpenSim but in SL it is a huge attraction for people. And let me tell you there are 360.000 baby’s born every day worldwide, and I bet they needed to practice before it worked. They had to meet first, fall in love and so on. So as a builder or gridowner why not provide the possibilty to have some adult fun, is it something we have to be ashamed of? Especially in virtual reality you can’t physically harm someone. Although, feelings can be hurt even by being friends.
I can design an attractive outfit, someone gets it or buys it and goes to a region to show off their new outfit where people discuss NPC’s or building and scripting issues. They take you to something telling you “look isn’t this much more amazing than you have ever seen anywhere else?” It is not like you have to participate yourself, we all have a choice, but why not provide it like in furniture or special hidden places in a region. As far as I see it the strength of SL is for the avarage user to step into and live a fantasy that is not possible in real life or is not accepted in real life. It can be any fantasy you can think of and as a region or gridowner you can decide up to what point it is acceptable.
But very clearly even Linden Lab seems to underestimate that. Thriving on the highest user numbers online and they have no idea why……. I see it as underestimating the nature of human kind. To be clear I am not pointing at sexuality only. I don’t want to walk around in a virtual world that has basic real life stuff to offer…. I can have that by opening my door and stepping into the real world.