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Thursday, March 17, 2005

SOCIAL EXPERIMENT, CONTINUED

... are the nightclub venues popular with residents because they help fulfill a basic human need... or because they're the easiest and most accessible Second Life locations to visit?

That's the question I posed more than a month ago in "Social Experiment", in response to recently-implemented Linden Lab policies that ended financial support for sponsored events-- which many nightclubs had been depending on for their economic survival. From then on, the Lindens only paid out a Linden Dollar cash stipend to Events with educational value.

What's most essential to human nature? Being a social animal, or taking the path of least resistance? If the former, then the nightclubs will probably thrive even without Linden subsidization; if the latter, most of them are probably fated to decline.

The screenshot on the left was taken on February 9th; the one on the right, March 10th. Both of them show the Top 20 most popular sites in Second Life, based on foot traffic, as calculated with the Dwell metric. Which gives us a concrete way of quantifying how the culture has changed, since these policies have gone into effect-- if at all.

On February 9th, the breakdown read like this: Twelve top spots were nightclubs; five of these emphasized Mature-themed sexual content. Three locations were primarily billed as shopping malls; two others emphasized casinos and casual games. One of them was a social and sandbox hangout for the Furry subculture, another was a thematic recreation of New York City; still another, Dark Life, was a mini-MMORPG.

On March 10th, however, only eight of the top twenty sites are nightclubs (including CLUB PLATINUM & PLATINUM MALL, Club Elite on Elite Island, DWA Dancing with the Angels Nite Club, and The Edge), and four of which (Le Cadre - Pure Passion, G Spot, Lestats Dark Erotica, and Siren's Call) emphasize M-rated sexual content. Five are primarily casinos (ICE DRAGON, da Penthouse, Kojin Casino, Las Vegas, Tropics Casino), and four are primarily shopping malls (Paradise Island, SOUTH I ESTATES, Wixom Wild West, and V^Vampire Empire^V.) The mini-MMORPG Dark Life retains a top spot, as does The Forest, a Furry-haven. Lastly there's The Shelter, which is, interestingly enough, billed as a response to some trends in other popular sites ("You wont find Sleeze, Tringo or Drama at the Shelter! Newbies welcomed, Dancing, Freebies/Free Money!") Speaking of Tringo, that culture-changing game is hosted by four of those sites.

What conclusions can we make? Though correlation is not causation, it does seem likely that the change in policy caused the significant drop in the number of nightclubs from the top slots, and the subsequent rise of casinos in their place. Some Residents predicted that the end of Linden Lab sponsorship for social Events would inspire nightclub hosts to "go sexy", and offer more explicit adult content. Numerically, at least, that doesn't seem to be the case.

So where nightclubs once overwhelmingly dominated, now casinos and shopping malls are a close second, with room at the top for a few non-casino, non-nightclub places. I'll check back in another month, to see if any new patterns emerge.

But is this new state of things better, or just different, or neither? That, of course, is for the Residents to decide...

Posted at 12:05 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Well Club Belle Feu dropped from the list alright...but we made a conscious effort to do so. Determining that we would not fall to sleaze or Tringo, Bingo or Slingo. The world is just too saturated with these events.

At Belle, we decided to do less, but to do it better -- prefering to concentrate on the music we offer and providing quality live events as we could afford them in a unique atmosphere. Our customers seem to understand and have been very generous with their donations to support their favorite club. So though we don't appear as frequently on the Event Board -- we remain alive and kicking.

Our biggest problem continues to be --- not a lack of Linden support via Linden Dollars for events, but addressing the constant griefing and virtual terrorism that most club owners seem to experience without firm resolution. Now there is a story!

Liv Karuna, Owner
Club Belle Feu

Posted by: Liv Karuna at Mar 17, 2005 12:13:08 PM

People should spend more time in sandboxes anyway.

Posted by: anonymous at Mar 18, 2005 12:06:20 PM

> Our biggest problem continues to be --- not a > lack of Linden support via Linden Dollars for > events, but addressing the constant griefing
> and virtual terrorism that most club owners
> seem to experience without firm resolution.
> Now there is a story!

And I for one would like to read it!

Posted by: Fred Hapgood at Mar 19, 2005 9:06:38 PM

Now for the reality.Only THREE of those places named do not hold Tringo events and remain 'traditional' clubs, and one of those is subsidised by gambling from other locations.

The shift you are seeing is from event hosting to gambling which is now the way the casual SL players tries to make some money.

Liv is correct about the terrorism and the abject refusal of LL to deal with the problem.Bans are a joke and the tools for banning people from your land are woeful.

[QUOTE]Some Residents predicted that the end of Linden Lab sponsorship for social Events would inspire nightclub hosts to "go sexy", and offer more explicit adult content. Numerically, at least, that doesn't seem to be the case.[/QUOTE]

Mainly because the adult content was ALWAYS secondary to 99% of clubs.Basically all 'vip rooms' do is provide a way for those without homes to experience this kind of game content.I'm sure all club owners who do have vip rooms would tell you that 90% of their dwell comes from their club area(dancing/chatting)

What did the removal of event funding REALLY mean?With event funding ANYONE could open a club more or less and compete and a fairly even footing.Some players in SL put a lot of real money into their clubs every day just to retain their 'status' and those that cant afford to do that simply cannot compete now.Event funding made it even,it was just done badly.

Event funding should have been given to places that made it into the top 20 under their own steam and maintained that place over a certain period of time.THEN LL would have been funding popular SL spots rather than funding everyone and his dog who decided to build a box and call it a club.

Posted by: Sox Rampal at Apr 2, 2005 6:00:01 PM

da Penthouse isn't really a casino. It's a club, with a casino and shopping space.

I'd say SOUTH I was a club, with a mall. Paradise has a very active club, as well as a large mall, and I think residential. It is very hard to put private islands such as South I and Paradise in one category.

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