Despite the troubles and frustrations of Second Life, there are some of us (raises hand) who just can’t seem to walk away. Here are a few not-remotely-scientific reasons that Second Life has such a hold on us, like the scumbag boyfriend we just can’t seem to get away from.
Our Friends are There
Step into any other grid and if you find people at all, they won’t likely be your people. Oh sure you could try to get your people into this grid to pay you a visit, but why would they want to do that? It would be easier just to get in touch with you on Skype or email than to make a whole new duckwalking avatar. The fact is, if you want to “see” and hang out with your friends, and have hours-long IM conversations broken up into little digestible bits, it’s going to have to be in the world where you met them.
We’re Making Money
There are grids where you can get three times as many prims, for a tenth the tier of Second Life. It sounds tempting as hell to build to your heart’s content. You can finally have every single one of your shop’s items out and on display! You can have a whole damn village, instead of a single shop building.
Oh, only guess what. The only people in this grid are builders themselves, and they can just as readily make most of the stuff you’re making. Pretty much the only people here who don’t make stuff are people who want to steal stuff; and so to prevent that from happening the grid has put some stringent measures into place to protect your content. In otherwords, kiss the Hypergrid good-bye.
And it’s true, nobody will steal your content now; because nobody will see it.
Either that, or this grid’s economy enables you to purchase your currency but not sell it, making it pretty much play money. So even if enough people do come to your village/shop and spend lots of money on your products, it’s not like you can swap that for actual money spent in the flesh world to put toward your tier.
And in the case of some grids, all of the above statements are true. There’s no hypergrid, there’s nobody but builders here, and your money’s literally no good here.
But back in the Land of the Hand, there’s people. People who want and need stuff and are willing to pay for it. And it’s possible (though highly unlikely) to make enough real money to even make a real living. At very least you get a few extra spending dollars at the end of the month. All of these things are possible despite lacking a Hypergrid connection right now, because (for now) there’s enough consumers to make it work.
The Builds are Freakin’ Amazing
Seriously. As the years go by and residents are stretching their abilities further and further forward, the results are becoming more and more outstanding. And not just the builds, but the tools to enable builds. You can get a whole forest of trees with one or two prims. In the time I’ve been in SL, custom plants have evolved from three prims (three box prims in a “star” shape) per plant, to one prim per plant (a single sculpt of that shape), to multiple plants in a single prim.
It Works (much of the time)
Yes, there are the intermittent day-long crash without much word from the Lab. Yes, there are big functionality issues with Marketplace. I’m not about to deny the serious problems of functionality that Second Life experiences.
But compare that to being folded in half, under water, with no “stand up”, no “fly”, no place to teleport out. Watching your pretzel self drifting aimlessly, knowing the only thing you can do is to relog again.
Or compare it to having to upload your images one at a time, because every time you try more than one, it crashes on you.
Comparitively speaking, SL is amazingly stable.
We Can Find What We’re Looking For Easily
Marketplace has issues. Big issues. “Showtopper” issues.
But it is far and away the easiest product search you’re going to find in this or any grid. So easy, in fact, that it’s spoiled most of us. Even when we prefer to shop inworld, we’ll often use the Marketplace to find what we’re looking for, and then go after it inworld.
AOs and Prim Hair.
It seems like a little thing, but when you suddenly find yourself alone in a grid in system clothes, duckwalking about like a stroke patient in a hair-shaped helmet, you realize just how much you take both of those little things for granted.