Are We Flapping or Flying?
September 6, 2007, 7:50 pm
Filed under: virtual architecture

I just read through a very interesting series of posts over on Wayne Hodgins ‘Off Course-On Target’ about flapping versus flying as it relates to Second Life and virtual world development. Here, and here. I think he makes some very solid observations, and I agree with most of what he says. But I’m curious what the architecture and design community in Second Life might think of it.

“Those flapping away in Second Life know there is a problem and that they are part of it.”

“Proof of its limited advantages and benefits at this stage . . . are clearly borne out by the behaviors of the SL “residents” or lack thereof.”

He goes on to cite the disputed Wired article.

No doubt there are plenty of people ‘flapping,’ and even more engaged in marginal behavior (the same is true of most major cities as well). Worse, the existing search function makes it very difficult to find the content you’re looking for. So, it isn’t surprising that he wasn’t able to find the vast array of innovation within the current state of the Second Life platform during the 10-15 hours he spent there. It would probably be just as hard to ascertain a full understanding of a foreign country without spending the time to learn the language, culture and customs.

“So let’s try to stop flapping and start flying.”

Agreed. But we’re not all flapping. I think we need to remember that the ideas that will enable everyone else to ‘fly’ in the future metaverse will likely be built on the backs of those who are in Second Life at this very moment, engaged in innovative research and development, building ‘wings.’

For anyone learning the ropes in Second Life, please don’t hesitate to send me an IM (Keystone Bouchard), or to any member of the thousands-strong community of qualified architects, designers and engineers using Second Life. We’ll do our best to make appropriate introductions to the community, groups, tools, links and landmarks you’ll need to find and contribute to the innovation and ‘flight’ of the metaverse.

I think you’ll find that we’re all looking forward to higher altitudes. But please be patient, most birds need to flap for a while to build the momentum needed to take flight. 😉

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