First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?
– Hannibal Lecter
Second Life to most people, has become a chat engine. Maybe it might even be regarded as a multi-user zork where the background action is just a backdrop to chat-based roleplay. I found that a lot of people type a sentence while doing homework, or cleaning the dishes, or on the office. This interaction is often interrupted by people ‘being on the phone’ or ‘having to make breakfast for kids’. Or the client crashing.
This poses a fascinating question – why is the basic SL client so heavy? Should not there be a far simpler client? Or maybe it should be prudent to be able to “switch off” large part of the client (thereby reducing memory hog) and allow the client to focus on what is desired. Many people are still using relatively underpowered computers, and they are locked out of potential action. Others have powerful systems and very high standards, like this one, but most are just happy to engineer a basic looking avatar and concentrate on interactive RP.
Why not disentangle avatar design in the sophisticated engine, allow users to compose a sequence of appearance settings in a separate, “cocooned memory load” environment, and then save the avatar configuration – and then export those looks to a simpler chat client. Still with sophisticated graphics – but with a lot of confusing settings left out.
This would open up a new business… what if I were able to sell “avatar appearance configurations”? What if I were able to sell a configuration set, with integral products taken all from Second Life, for a certain amount of money? Say, I sell the configuration for (say) 250L$, the user buys it and buys all the skins, shapes, attached animation overriders, latex dresses, breasts and penises and whatnot in one go (which will benefit the people selling these articles).
And then the people who play SL without “all bells and whistles” can switch off what they don’t need, respectively switch to a simpler client.
I will always be using the full clients – that’s what I do. But other people may not be able to, or want to. Why not accommodate those peoeple? Such a sharp decrease in hassle may make SL accessible to a LOT MORE users.