Meh… Its just a video game. amiright? Second Life need to own what it is – a game

Meh… Its just a video game. amiright?
– Or isn’t that what they keep on trying to say with all of this stuff.

Second Life needs to own what it is; a video game.

Denying that puts it in a strange middle ground where it cannot get any traction.

It doesn’t help matters that SL, in trying to be seen as serious; flips the situation and tries to pretend that it is -not- a video game when its really not all that different from any other ‘massive multiplayer online world’.

SL actually hurts its popularity and potential by trying to pretend to not be a video game in world where half the people expect video games to be serious entertainment and social venues – all the things SL can provide, and the other half look at anything with animation or 3D and dismiss it out of hand no matter what it claims to be.

Its like folks in the ghetto who try to bleach their skin to be white or change their dialect to be WASP… you end up failing in both worlds. Own your roots (be they hood or redneck or reservation or whatever).

Some folks will not accept you no matter how much you try to change yourself to be like them. Its wasted energy to appeal to these folks. Focus instead on catching those who are already amenable to you and your ways. Being mixed maybe gives me a benefit here. There was one small set of the white side of my family that refused to accept my presence, and still remains cold towards me and mine to this day. Those relatives who would ask my step-father to only visit with his younger whiter-looking children…

Taught me the lesson that you’re better off not wasting time trying to be what some who will never accept you want…

(That is not saying you should be your RL self in SL – that’s a very different thing. Though I do think people should not be ‘fake’ about the ID they choose: don’t pick one to hide yourself. Pick one to be more yourself, even if that makes you a floating blue ball.)

(And mind you, one of the people who most helped me see that you should claim yourself as yourself was another of those white relatives from my step-father who was so into his roots and culture it drove him to be a traveling history buff and civil/class rights activist.)

Back to SL, games, and cross-over media…

– Video games are -THE- future of entertainment. TV, Radio, Movies,and all that other stuff is dated – it is very viable, but its not where the main focus should be anymore.

Now I’m responding a little to a blog of Hamlet’s, which got me thinking on my own, different, topic today.

You shouldn’t use a video game for added value for a TV show or movie. You should use the movie or TV show as an added bonus to the video game. The profit, the money, and the audience; will come to and from the game first and most. Hamlet sees this as a happy marriage either way – just happy to see the kids playing together – and I guess I’m looking at it from the ‘are we getting exploited here’ POV.

Denying that and be-littling things for being ‘games’, is like the decades Jamaica spent refusing to air Ska, Rocksteady, and Reggae on its radio shows because it was ‘black music’ or ‘ghetto music’… its denying the reality around you.

If SL were to own what it is more, it might be able to get better media than a couple of movies and shows about people portrayed as ‘weird sex freaks using it for escape‘…

SL’s deeper nature would make it -perfect- for a cross-media project like Hamlet mentions here. Where you can expand in near real time on both sides and have them influence each other more.

Again; some people will look at SL’s 3D cartoon graphics and online nature and see something they will dismiss out of hand no matter what you do with it. So stop wasting your potential by trying to appease them.

They don’t like you, live with it.

Focus on your own crowd; people for whom such graphics are not a stain. Gamers, and the game potential of what you have and are.

SL needs to stop trying to rub off the black.

Or at least its users need to stop. The company behind SL at least, in the last year, seems to ‘get it’ with who they can appeal to. Linden Lab is trying to move the ball – we need to help them move it, not resist it. Because all the folks who want to play ball are over there in the ‘game’ camp, not in the ‘this is srs bsns’ camp.

Second Life is a game – this is what makes it something worth taking seriously ;)

I posted this as a comment on another blog, but that person’s blog hasn’t been updated in seven months, so I’m making it a short article of my own:

“When people say Second Life is “just a game” and people shouldn’t take it so seriously, they are usually implying that it is ridiculous to experience real emotions (positive or negative) over something that happens to their avatar in-world.”

Second Life as a Permafaun blog, April 22, 2011

Be cautious of reading that intention into the statement of ‘SL is a game.’

I often state, and feel strongly, that it -IS- a game. SL is relaxation time, enjoyment time, fulfillment time, play time, social time.
– For me, that defines ‘game.’

If it was not a game, it would be work. 😉

The notion of ‘game’ has been getting narrowed of late by the video-game generation, inspired by the Dungeons and Dragons generation, who were shaped by the miniatures warfare simulation generation.

  • That’s a very male-centric view that a game has clear objectives, competition, defined rules, winners, and losers. To me, that is -not- a very inclusive definition, and leaves out almost any ‘non-patriarchy’ (to use an over-used buzzword…) form of ‘leisure / social engagement’. It basically trivializes feminine-centric ‘game play’ and any ‘non-aggressive’ forms of male-centric game-play.

I don’t think I’m alone here, I think a -LOT- of people who say SL is a game just didn’t grow up playing Dungeons and Dragons… 😉

We just don’t have the same narrow concept of what a game is. For us a game can be any number of forms of pleasure with challenge, or social pleasures, or play.

Ask yourself why the phrase ‘the game of life’ exists… its not a definition that comes from the narrow-scope concept of game.

Three definitions of game to challenge your assumptions:

      1. : activity engaged in for diversion or amusement : play
      2. : the equipment for a game
    1. : a procedure or strategy for gaining an end :
      1. : a field of gainful activity : line
      2. : any activity undertaken or regarded as a contest involving rivalry, strategy, or struggle ; also : the course or period of such an activity
      3. : area of expertise : specialty 3

And the one which is the narrow scope concept:

      1. : a physical or mental competition conducted according to rules with the participants in direct opposition to each other
      2. : a division of a larger contest
      3. : the number of points necessary to win
      4. : points scored in certain card games (as in all fours) by a player whose cards count up the highest
      5. : the manner of playing in a contest
      6. : the set of rules governing a game
      7. : a particular aspect or phase of play in a game or sport

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