Sunday, 30 September 2007
The wilderness problem in Second Life
These two pictures tell the entire story. Second Life presents itself as a world, but it is still only an economy. Objects are constructed and have a cost in PRIMS. So empty space is rather dull, covered in a greenish dull texture that is rather boring to look at. Really you are not IN Second Life, you are on a layer produced by the servers. The above pictures show that we live IN the Real World, that we are inside of the massive complex processes of calculations (evolution) that are powered by the sun's energy. All around us the calculation of RL are taking place and filling every space with massive ever-changing complexity. In RL we clear the ecosystem to produce are structures, in SL nothing is there until we build the structures.
This is a major problem I have with SL, it is a place of pure city or suburb without really having a natural essence. People make wild places, but they are more like paintings of wild places. I think many of the complex calculations that must go on under the server could be taking place around us in the form of plants and animals whose operations are maintaining and developing the reality of second life.
Until you are in the process of calculation and evolution Virtual Reality is not really reality at all, it is a UI placed over the real reality of SL which exists in servers running code beyond what you can see.
I think this is what Gibson invisioned by Cyberspace and the kind of virtual reality called the metaverse in Snow Crash. Second Life is no where close yet.