Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Sheltered and peaceful community for emigres who want a secluded home space from which to explore the wilder nation outside-- or sterile track homes in a suburb that fails to deliver on the ideal of neighborhood?

Last week, Linden Lab unveiled Blumfield, a planned community region, offering new Residents the chance to buy land and track homes at discount prices. Unsurprisingly, opinion of the project from veteran Residents has been mixed. Taking up the former view is Cyberpunk Community Relations Representative and ex-Homeland Security contractor Satchmo Prototype, who offers his positive appraisal on SLOG in this essay. The latter opinion is forcefully put forth in the new blog of architect and Foucault fan Jauani Wu in an entry here. (The Second Life Herald has a round-up of reaction here.)

Of course, as the in-world journalist, I prefer the three dimensional response from the adorably creepy alien Max Case, who immediately set about building a metallic, bobwire-studded Berlin Wall around the suburb, posting pink flamingos and teddy bears as guards, and a rainbow-colored sign pointing the way outside, through a Checkpoint Charlie for Blumfield citizens. (If they can make it past the bear with the whip and the shotgun, that is.)

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Hehehe, gotta love those Linden bears as a nice touch in that performance art.

I think it's called "barbed-wire," Hamlet because it has barbs on top of it.

I oppose this project because not only does it compete with established residents' businesses in rentals and land sales (LL should stay out of the content business), it's unfair and unreasonable to put this incentive forward for basics to convert to premium -- and not put it forward to premiums who didn't buy land...to get them to feel safer about buying land.

Lindens could be doing light zoning by just doing a little bit of thinking when they lay out sims and call the waterfront sims "residential," the flat internal sims "clubs," the telehubs/former telehubs "commercial" and maybe have some mountains on the edge called "experimental" so that people making huge prim-hogging scripted spinning thingies in the sky don't ruin your view, and clubs don't lag you all to death or put a black box next to your beautiful beach home. Just putting *a name* of a zone on a sim when it is sold would do wonders to guide people.

Basics who just tour SL shouldn't be rewarded at the expense of not only older players, some of whom would like this opportunity, but existing premium customers who already forked over their $9.95/month, but then jammed when it came to buying first land. We once had figures of only 6000 out of 9000 premium customers actually using their free 512 allocation and buying land. Today, those figures are different but there's no evidence that the ratio has changed. LL needs to do more to encourage people to buy land -- and the obvious place to go is to those who already purchased the tier capacity but then jammed on using it. If they can get those customers satisfied, those figures will grow.

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Nov 26, 2005 11:05:38 AM

Prok's right - it's barbed-wire.
See, who says I never agree with you Prok?

And for the record, I like Blumfield. All the residents I have met there seem nice.
But it does have zoned community look, and as such many people are confused about its status.

Posted by: Max Case at Nov 27, 2005 3:16:00 PM

Ordinarily I'd change a mispelling like that, but seeing as how there's pink flamingo guards and a teddy bear slavedriver, I'm gonna stick with "bobwire".

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