Starwood Hotels Checks Into Second Life

Prototype Aloft hotel from Starwood being built in Second Life

Steve Rubel jumped the gun on this news so I’ll feel free to blog it too: Starwood Hotels is building out a version of their new Aloft hotel brand in the virtual world of Second Life as a way to attract future customers and presumably get some feedback about the brand’s features before it hits the physical world. (It is not meant to be a functional hotel in SL, I’m told.) The SL project is being constructed by the Electric Sheep Company (sponsors of this blog), who are also blogging the process along with Aloft execs.

I like the idea of virtual hotel rooms being on view in SL. (How great would it be to be able to check out a bunch of rooms in your destination city before you booked a trip?) I’m more excited, though, about the fact that Aloft and the Sheep are blogging the process of building the project. This is something I wanted to do a while back at the Second Life Herald, but found it hard to find a builder who’d put up with being annoyed by my questions while building. The Sheep’s solution is great: get a talented builder who is also an articulate speaker and writer to do the job. Fortunately, they have SL resident Cory Edo (the real world’s Sara Van Gorden), who is both. The SecondCast crew interviewed Cory recently, which is how I know she’s articulate. Her builds speak for themselves.

Of course, for a more critical assessment of the final product itself, we’ll have to wait until the Aloft build is open to the public, but whether it’s a luxury virtual pied-a-terre or a virtual fleabag SRO in the end, I do think it’s extremely interesting and valuable to document the process of creation, and of translation from plans that would result in a physical building to those that result in a virtual model of much the same thing.


  1. Torley Linden

    This is orgasmic.


    I love hotels. I love Second Life. And such a grand hotel in Second Life? OMG OMG OMG!!!

    I soooo wanna see this inworld. Even if it doesn’t function, I may have to find a baggage trolley vehicle to ride around the halls (a la Christopher Walken).

  2. Pingback: Jeff Barr’s Blog » Links for Saturday, August 5, 2006
  3. Prokofy Neva

    Oh, please, Torley, spare us the unseemly blow jobs of RL big clients that mean more business for Linden pet Metaversal companies like the one sponsoring this blog, bleh. Orgasmic for you and your big clients, but a rape of Second Life’s indigenous rentals businesses if there ever was one.

    Second Life-as-Viewmaster gawkers get one more fancy sim to gawk at and play in like Chrstopher Walken.

    But what about the people who want to live there? What do they get? Walker implies a flea-bitten SRO might be what they end up with.

    Walker is thrilled with the idea of augmentation, using SL to pitch a new design in RL, and the self-referential blogging style incorporated into the PR campaign. That’s all good. That’s all going to make at least all those augmenters some cash, even if Starwood is likely to have to see this caper as a loss-leader for a *very* long time, like buying a very expensive media ad spot that doesn’t produce returns for you for a good long while.

    If they did make a working, functioning, hotel — and they have the capacity for that, especially if they discover to their consternation that there is far less travel in the coming years because people stay home and play in virtual worlds instead of taking expensive vacations to Florida — and they got into the virtual worlds biz, they would displace indigenous business.

    They’re unlikely to want to get into the arduous prim-pushing business that I and my colleagues in this sector are willing to endure, but still, the entire phenomenon of the augmenters is very much placed to displace the immersers (see my blog “Hotel Second Life”,

  4. Cory Edo

    Indiginous businesses such as Prokofky’s SL rental business have nothing to fear from projects such as aloft. The project concept is not geared towards actual rentals of rooms to SL residents. The ROI and long-term goal of such a proposal is hardly realistic. Prokofky’s SL-based business is safe.

  5. Prokofy Neva

    Yes, they do have something to fear, Cory. I think it’s hilarious that you think you’re the one to tell me my business is safe. Any one in the land business in SL knows their business is not safe in the slightest, and they have to instinctively react to every change in the platform and every exploitation of the platform for non-immersive use with alarm. It almost *always* spells customer loss for them.

    Imagine, 5 years ago no Starwood would have said, oh, let’s prototype in an online video game! They would have been mad. So…think outside the box, and you can think of the next thing.

    When Starwood is done with the Hollywood stage set you’ve made, you or they can sell the build to those who can adapt it for “real” rentals of avatars. Or any hotelier can figure out that a way to deal with their downturn in business in the coming years, due to more and more people going online and staying online and playing games or going in social worlds with their time and money, instead of taking a RL vacation, they will figure out how to build lots of hotels on lots of sims, and they’ll be better at it, hiring you (or even junking you and having their inhouse people get up to speed on 3-D building) than anyone trying to do it on their own without the deep pockets, investors and staff.

    Anyone can understand (duh) that the Starwood project may not immediately create little rented rooms *today*. As I said, they will not want to push prims. But…they could turn around on that and provide one realistic, workable sim with a staff person to run it *tomorrow* — just because they can, with almost no real cost to them as a big chain. They might even find that handling some kinds of reservations, say of groups, could work if they couple that system with SL (not practical technically *today*, but then, nobody thought they’d use videogame 3-d worlds to do stuff last year, did they?)

    Yeah, the RO and long-term goal of such a proposal IS unrealistic, but guess what, that’s the model that Linden Lab offered to all of the first round of land barons who became really active in 2004, coming in the wake of geeky early adapters in 2002-2003 who weren’t interested in development and real (virtual estate).

    That’s the model that replicates over and over.

    That model — no ROI any time soon, but stick with us and you can at least have a huge volume of customers and a cash flow — is one that SL sells daily every time it’s auction bells sound at

    And it’s very likely right around the corner that some RL large business involved in entertainment and hotels both will figure out that this is a great thing to do — not just use SL as augmentation to a PR campaign

    o inworld, any business that will survive has to be absolutely cut-throat, build up a huge and diverse portfolio, spread out on more and more sims, and hire low-cost labour overseas and rely on media buzz to continue to be created by the Linden PR machine (so don’t bite any hands that feed you too hard)

    o inworld, any outworld business even following this recipe can be wiped out within a second by any RL big business with inhouse talen, overseas labour, investment money focused on making high-quality buildings with immersive adaptability, using the buzz of their marketing campaigns of various types, to completely wipe out any indigenous mom ‘n pop or medium-sized rentals. Just as the Marriotts and Hotel 6 and other chains put out of business local chains, any big business can do this, and it’s likely that an Indian, Arabian, Brazilian, or Chinese entertainment/PR/website type of business will come in to SL sooner rather than later to do this.

    Ultimately, what you do, Cory, is make it look stupid for people to make little rental rooms for little avatars, engaging in any kind of long-term unrealistic ROI goal, as you yourself noted. Stupid. And that the only smart thing to do is be a metaveral consultant bringing in high-paying deep-pocketed clients who pay for augmentation, and don’t care about immersion.

    You just have to rely on enough of us *remaining stupid* to keep up the backdrop effect for you to go on playing with for your clients.

  6. Cory Edo

    “When Starwood is done with the Hollywood stage set you’ve made, you or they can sell the build to those who can adapt it for “real” rentals of avatars.”

    That would require a complete rebuild of the hotel project. It would be far more cost effective to start from scratch, to take into account all the various issues pertaining to creating effective residential structures in SL.

    I understand your concern for the continuing survival of your business. However, the aloft project isn’t the scenario you’re invisioning.

    “Ultimately, what you do, Cory, is make it look stupid for people to make little rental rooms for little avatars, engaging in any kind of long-term unrealistic ROI goal, as you yourself noted. Stupid. And that the only smart thing to do is be a metaveral consultant bringing in high-paying deep-pocketed clients who pay for augmentation, and don’t care about immersion.”

    I’m sorry that that’s your interpretation on the subject. I would have hoped it would be understood that any decision one makes in business is not based on a hard and fast set of rules that somehow apply to both a large corporation and an individual in business for themselves. Specific scenarios and circumstances apply. What may be a wise move for a large corporation would be a bad one for a small business, and vice versa. I’m not sure what aspect of my comments implied in any fashion that what SL-based businesses do is “stupid”, to use your wording. Obviously many of them have become quite successful. What I am saying is that at this point, it wouldn’t make sense for a RL-based company to invest their time and manpower into diverging into the SL land rental business.

  7. Prokofy Neva

    Cory, I hope you realize that the issues I raise aren’t about “the continuing survival of my business” and I really wish you’d stop seeing it, and portraying it, in such a patronizing manner. You have NO frigging clue what I do in SL. You have no idea. So please do not ascribe to me these worried little petit bourgeous concepts like “worried about the continued survival of my business” when what I’m doing here on a public blog like this is raising the LARGER issues — the issues of ALL such small and medium indigenous businesses that had begun to make this world more complex, rich, granulated, and more income-producing for more people, and now is getting heavily eroded and is seriously threatened by various “economic reforms,” some of which were induced to get lots of non-paying accounts in the door, and various “new features,” some of which were made to enable high-end content creators like you make more superior products for your clients (like the rush to make machinima features, the rush to ruin the snapshot feature for all but a tiny minority of studio users, etc.)

    I have no idea what your hotel build looks like, not being able to understand its interior from the pictures, and for all I know, some mafia kingpin would just love to buy the entire thing “as is” to use as his “crib”. Never underestimate the power of stuff to sell in Second Life.

    Cory, what you can’t see is that when you leave the interior world of SL and its inworld, indigenous economy, and step Through the Looking Glass to RL companies that had no prior history in RL, you leave that world behind. You then enter a world with different laws and values. Of course what that world of real life values has to be very, very different. They can’t screw around blowing money on islands and staff when they can’t justify it; but a hobbyist might be able to justify it in various ways.

    You can spout to me truisms and nostrums like “there are no hard and fast rules in business for large and small.” Of course not. But you’re just not hearing the inworld issues here, having gone out of the Looking Glass.

    You will not be returning ever again in your life to making houses for avatars. Never again. In your life. Once having converted to RL-in-SL, of course you will go on working not for L$300 per prefab, but $3000 minimum expected consulting income per month from clients or your firm or whatever your minimum living fee would be.

    You then say very pragmaticalyl and hardnosed say, that “The ROI and long-term goal of such a proposal is hardly realistic.” (The proposal would be to go into the inworld rentals business.) You now don’t have the luxury of saying, wouldn’t it be great if I could build not one prefab for $300 and sell 10, but if I could develop a line of 30 and sell thousands, and maybe, just maybe, I might make $467 dollars US this month, and gosh, after I pay my tier of $75 hmmmm well that will at least cover some of my rent and my pet food…hmm…maybe make 40 new prefabs? Yet that’s how quite a few people in SL *do live*. That’s *how they do live in this world*. That’s what you have no feeling for *whatsoever*.

    When you go on to say, “Prokofky’s SL-based business is safe,” you merely add insult to injury. What, how could Prokofy’s business be safe? What kind of nutcase who wanted a RL business to pay RL expenses in a RL apartment and life grab on to a thing like this that is like you said: “The ROI and long-term goal of such a proposal is hardly realistic.”

    Oh, it’s not hardly realistic for deep-pocketed Starwoods? But it’s realistic for *me*? How did that happen? Do you see what I’m driving at? It’s not about me or others in the land business. It’s about anybody trying to run a business soley based within the platform, making content soley for endusers who are avatars, soley accepting micropayments.

    Many people are reading this and they are nodding their heads. But they don’t dare speak up. If they were to speak up all the pain and private doubts and fears that they have trying to make it in Second Life would be laid bare. They aren’t people who have big companies on a string like Time Warner or Starwood or Twentieth Century Fox. They aren’t people on the payroll at ESC. They are just people with a business in SL trying to make it. The miracle of their businesses is that they generate $50, or $500 or $1500, or even $5000 a month, yet even $5000, given tier and other costs, just isn’t enough to live a real life with. Imagine, generating real hard cash from a *game* — and yet, it’s not as meaningful to them as time wears on and they can’t get it to generate *enough* to *pay themselves a living wage*. They all borrow and hustle other jobs and do what they can. There are really thousands of people doing that now in Second Life. You’re just in a very tiny clique that is different than them, at the very apex of the very hierarchical pyramid of a hugely stratified income chart in SL.

    There’s $200,000 USD made today in SL. I sure have a piece of that. But do you? No. Because YOUR wages are coming not from Second Life’s capacity to generate $200,000 for the 8000 logged on any time, it’s coming from your clients, who send their check in the mail to you NOT made up of thousands of little micropayments from selling little hotel rooms. Can you grasp that?

    The way I look at it, a year ago, before the GOM was destroyed, when the Linden $ was worth $4.25/1000, not $3.00/1000 as it is today, before LL decided to print and sell currency themselves in “reforms,” and when the developer initiative took some of the sting out of the high cost of tier (not for me, but for many individual entrepreneurs without grouped land), there was an era when people really believed that they could make a business in SL, part-time or even full-time, and really did generate that income, such as to justify further unbillable hours or further investment in land or buildings or clubs or whatever.

    When Wilder Linden is going to throw a workshop at SLCC on “starting a business in Second Life” — do you think he will tell about the prefab market? About the importance of making sure windows are tintable? About the harsh ratios of tier vs. daily income? About the auction margins that you must scrupulously stick to? About the daily fluctuating rate of the Linden and how your business can be demolished?

    *Of course not*. Her workshop will not be about “how you can accept micropayments for your sweat equity”.

    Instead, it will be about the cool new features in the client that enable you to make CAD-like builds and take pictures of them with a cool new camera. It will be about how you can stream live music into your sim and using local scripters make various interactive displays that help show off your company in the three-D world. He’ll talk about the Big 5 in SL who have harvested thousands of dollars out of places like Harvard or American Apparel just building with the tools and using PSP at home. THAT is the business Wilder Linden will be talking about NOT whether voice carries 20 meters or not in a rental.

    Now, some of them have left; some of them are nervously asking why their sales are down; still others soldier on; some do better than they used to; new ones get lucky — but you’re not in that world. You are sitting in a camp chair in another world, and that camp chair pays you $1000 US for 3 days sitting on PSP working the SL thing, but inworld, my tenants sit on camp chairs that pay them 3 L$ for 10 minutes.

    I wouldn’t be able to see what is happening so clearly if I hadn’t been able to see what happens to countries in the real world, like a Georgia or Ukraine, when the indigenous economies were able to sustain people without them leaving for guestworker status elsewhere or be drawn into sex trafficking, before the World Bank or Chevron or whatever came in and displaced their economies. This is a worldwide phenomenon, part of globalization.

    SL is now globalized.

  8. Prokofy Neva

    Cory, I wrote a very detailed answer, but it didn’t post for some reason and got lost. It’s become increasingly hard to try to post sensibly on Walker’s blog when he and his target audience are consuming infomercials and advertorials and I’m trying to report critically on the grid.

    I really despair of trying to make you understand this obvious reality for so many people slogging away at interior inworld business in SL — they are taking micropayments and working sweat equity. They earn their piece of the $200,000 a day by the sweat of their avatar’s brow and not billing RL billable hours. Your check comes from companies outside the $200,000 economy, and is not made up of micropayments. So you cannot understand our issues, if you ever did, really.

    Ask yourself why it would “not make sense” for a RL-based company to invest their time and manpower into diverging into the SL land rental business, and yet it makes sense for an individual like me. Huh? You merely add insult to injury. If it makes no sense for RL businesses whatsoever, what are any of us doing there then?

    It’s because we came there on a completely different premise — a premise that is now disrupted and destroyed.

  9. Prokofy Neva

    I also want to strongly object to your patronizing remarks to the effect that “Prokofy has nothing to fear about his business” — as if I am raising these issues out of some worried, petit bourgeous fear that my business will be displaced by the great hotel chain Starwood. That’s ridiculous, and you know it, for all the obvious reasons discussed by Tony Walsh and which I elaborated on my blog. What I’m trying to get you to see through my small business is to look through the lense of people who make their living in SL *the hard way*. I’m trying to use my experience to speak to the much larger issue going on here: big business from RL, helped by a few who were able to leverage their experience into “RL-in-SL companies”, are displacing the *need* for business inworld and displacing *the transactions* of business as well as the Lindens *change the features and the client and their orientation toward these kinds of businesses, and not inworld customer-created businesses.*

    The pyramid of income in SL is horribly and harshly steep. Income inequity is monstrous. The hours that someone can bill are usually non-existent. You have to be willing to multi-task SL into RL, or be in a situation such as a disabled person on a fixed income from the state, or a mom with kids at home who has a spouse making half the income in the family at least. Only those kinds of scenarious enable such a set-up to work in SL.

    When Wilder gives her seminar on “Starting an SL business” — do you think it will be about how prefabs need to have good camera angles and you need to respond to IMs and make sure offline email accepts IMs so they don’t cap? Do you think she’ll be talking about how voices carry 20m2 and builds have to factor that? Do you think she’ll talk about the fluctuation of the Lindens, and the griefing kids and the non-verified accounts and loss of business income related to these issues? Of course not. Those are all the problems of small and medium indigenous business.

    She’ll talk, instead about how companies looking to have a spot on the 3-D Internet highway can get their own beautiful island where, by hiring local cheap labour, they can enter the world for a marginal cost to have a gorgeous terraforming and build job, and have a really kick-ass campaign and media roll-out. They can use inworld tools for machinima and studio-quality snapshots out of the client, recently added for just this purpose, for big PR campaigns to succeed. They can talk about streaming audio and bringing in people from around the world and doing what Harvard of American Apparel or the BBC have done.

    The fact that these now many dozens of RL businesses and non-profits have all relied on pretty much one company — yours — to do the sherpa work and heavy log-lifting — and business has also been thrown to four more of the big five — belies the reality for the conditions for the rest of us in business on this pyramid.

    As I tried to write, I know some people are reading this and nodding, but are too afraid to expose their own insecurities by really frankly addressing the issue of what income you really can make in Second Life. Everyone would like to think that their unbillable hours, their investment in tier, and their wishing on a star, is going to make things turn the corner for them. It’s not. That old life is eroding now, and their only hope is to try to serve these new big companies and their hired hands.

  10. Giff Constable

    Prok, I’m not going get into most things with you because I don’t see it getting anywhere.

    I will spend a few minutes giving some personal opinions about the future of competition for in-world businesses. All in-world businesses face constant new competition, and as the market grows in both visibility and sheer dollars, those businesses risk increasingly capitalized competition coming into Second Life. This is inevitable as the overall market grows. It doesn’t matter whether these new entrants are individuals (old or new SL residents) who see that a larger return is finally worth putting in some serious investment capital, or corporations who are interested in putting up marketing dollars.

    The particular project that Mark blogged about is not at all competitive with any in-world business, and furthermore it is opt-in by its very nature. However, that doesn’t mean another hotel company might not come into SL and try to rent rooms, or that a car company won’t make an SL car, or that a furniture company might make virtual furniture, etc etc. Not all corporate forays into SL will be about pushing products which overlap with existing efforts, but some might.

    However, SL is a very fractured market and it is increasing in size. That means that there are lots of market segments with new niches emerging all the time. Some current in-world businesses might have to adapt, but then again, they might not. I do not think that American Apparel’s entrance into SL has shaken too many clothing makers to the core — not yet anyway. In-world businesses have to adapt as new competition springs up in different forms, but they have that problem already. The situation for existing businesses is far from lost — they have deep local market knowledge, brand presence, freedom to take bolder risks and move at a much faster pace (this in particular carries huge value), and many more assets at their disposal.

    I do not want “government” protection insulatating existing businesses from the threats of change, whether from Linden Lab technological improvements (for example, an improved avatar mesh which breaks some old clothing) or from new entrants into various markets (whether individuals, small businesses, or big businesses). Artificial protection for incumbants will only kill the platform and another more open platform would arise instead.

    Yes, change is coming. It is not as dire as prok writes, but it is inevitable as Second Life grows. Reason to throw in the towel? Hell no. It takes more than deep pockets to win a market, and there is no reason why lots of entrepreneurial Second Life businesses will not continue to be successful. Capitalism is fairly darwinian, however, and the fact that we’re “virtual” doesn’t change that fact.

    I should note that this isn’t an official “ESC” stance. I’m just writing what *I* happen to think about the matter.

  11. Prokofy Neva


    I don’t need little lectures about competition in the field of business in SL since I’m actually someone who lives it way more intensively day to day than you do. You don’t worry about other people who make cottage prefabs in Second Life. Your worries are on a different plane — and I frankly won’t say *higher* plane — of worrying what other sherpa companies are going to get out in front of you and snag RL busines contracts. I’m well aware of the Wild West atmosphere and the goldrushing in SL because I live it and have to think up bunches of new ways to adapt and nimbly scamper around the grid trying to hustle stuff every day. So please, spare me the lectures, the tone, and the condescending *attitude* implied by saying you’ll “spend a few minutes” out of your busy day.

    American Apparel simply hasn’t figured out HOW to shake the other indigenous clothiers to the core, Forseti. But they *will*. Tomorrow. Or two weeks from now. The minute they figure out that they can’t just hire Aimee once for a build and a party and a media hit, but to keep it going, have to hire Suzee who will become their inworld designer and make clothes for avatars based on what avatars want, not what real girls want in the real world. That will happen sooner rather than later. All of a sudden, Aimee, who could make a dime on her SL clothes and more than a dime on her SL builds for RL companies, has a more formidable competitor — someone who is hired by a wealthy outside company *to be an avatar in Second Life*. Imagine, being *paid to be an avatar*. She’ll be unstoppable. Aimee will then have to decide to get a gig being a paid part-time or full-time avatar making clothes for avatars for big bucks, or letting her SL micropyament line languish, with her unbillable hours of PSP, or do builds/PR campaigns for RL companies. Decisions, decisions!

    The Clickable Culture headlines said “Starwood Hotels To Open ‘Second Life’ Accomodations.” Well, in fact it isn’t “opening accommodations” where your avatar can live; what it means is that real-world people can get a glimpse of their real-world accommodations-to-be next year. But I’ve already explained that if they wanted to, the cost of making an actual working and avataric accommodation *is not high*. It’s only high if you imagine them as needing to replace their real-life business with Second Life. It’s only low if you imagine them using SL only as augmenters, which is how you see them now, as your clients. But try to imagine that once they figure out that the cost of becoming immersers is *also low* and that they can *buy immersion,* THEY WILL. And it will happen very soon, and the firewall and theological barriers you’ve errected between “immersers” and “augmenters” will dissolve.
    You yourself have said “that doesn’t mean that other companies will sell furniture” — yet you seem to imply that you imagine this off in the distant future. It won’t be.

    Nobody asked for “government protection,” Forseti, and that’s just plane LAME to imply that I asked for someone to artificually sustain “the w’ur’au’ld” when I didn’t. Read my blog where I specifically state that you cannot artificially sustain any of this without extreme intervention and measures. But you can chronicle what is happening, and report on it accurately, without hype.

    The idea that there’s always something progressive that LL is doing that is making the world better and that, oops, too bad, they broke somebody’s script, and oops, you have to break a few eggs to make the omelette of revolution, as Lenin said, is a widespread, deeply held mantra of tekkies like you. But it’s wrong-headed. They can take steps to inform and mitigate. They in fact DO mitigate very swiftly when faced with real compelling lawsuit material as they were with the “bait and switch” arguments of their very abrupt telehub removal and very swift move to p2p. There’s no blanket eminent domain for LL to just roll over all its customers all the time. They squawk, and they often get mitigations, as Hiro Pendragon and Cristiano Midnight, some of the high-profile squawkers about things like occlusion cullting or unverified accounts, can tell you, after they got their way.

    In real-life, countries spend LOTS OF MONEY to protect domestic industries and impose high tariffs to keep their farmers employed to avoid the prospect of gutting their agricultural sector if farm families can’t feed themselves. Steel protection is abundant in rust-belts all over the world. Countries do this to balance and mitigate damage. They don’t just roll over people and kill them. Just because you’re in a virtual world where people don’t have to feed themselves or familes doesn’t entitle you to take this cavalier attitude.

    The Lindens began handing out $150 tiered $900 private islands left and right to all kinds of educational and non-profit organizations in RL, some with hugely deep pockets, right when they whacked their indigenous slave-labour force and resident non-profits hard over the head by removing developers’ incentives. I find it really unseemly to see this company, that won’t spend to create a normal helpdesk inworld, awarding non-profit sims to Harvard and taking away the few bucks of DIA tier money that a group like New Citizens’ Incorporated could have kept using while they oriented newbies. This is an example of what I mean by stepping on the world to make the platform.

    The change *is* dire for those badly affected by it, Forseti, and that doesn’t include those lucky few like you and your confreres in ESC, which is getting to be like a kind of huge Madison Avenue or major network media company for SL, combined with being a major shopping website and architectural firm.

    The idea that Capitalism is Darwinian is not one that at least Philip Linden shares, at least when it comes to the land market. He and his fellow Lindens have consistently deliberately broken the backs of land barons by glutting the auction and keeping land at the price of $5-6/meter. If he stopped doing that, I could share you acclaim for the “Capitalism is Darwinian” mantra.

    If you want to extoll darwinian capitalism, Forseti, you can’t protect some clusters, like the Lindens’ need to satisfy the mass of customers needing new land, against the desires of the land barons, and then reward only content-creators like yourself.

  12. Taco Rubio

    Torley – find me in world. You and I need to have a talk about sexuality. Thanks!

  13. csven

    I’m just wondering where all the outrage is over puppeteering avatars. Where are all the SL animation businesses complaining about LL ruining their business model? Where are the people screaming about the ongoing issues regarding texture theft and LL’s inability to manage the situation? Where are the other rental business operators? The only person that seems to be screaming (again) is Prok – who happens to be the one person potentially most-insulated from upgrades to the platform since it’s more likely that a technical change will break a skinning or animation business or wreak havoc on someone’s code than really affect a much more flexible service-based business.

    Prok: who keeps using the tired line “I live it”, yet has a very real world profile… even to the point of submitting herself to LL to be included in RW publicity in national business magazines and who is now apparently attending (another) real world event at Eyebeam tomorrow. So much for “living in SL”; hard to do when you make a conscious effort to connect in RL. (And by the way, don’t start with the gender issue; you jumped me once, I apologized for an honest mistake, and then I caught comments on Koster’s blog afterward where you joked about your RL gender – thus completely negating all the insincere comments you’ve previously made on how you demand your avatar gender respected.)

    Prok: who once claimed p2p teleport wouldn’t impact hub land (because people really *did* like getting lagged by poorly-managed shopping areas crowded at those chokepoints) but then eventually conceded that land value was adversely impacted as a consequence of the change. No duh, huh?

    Prok: who now – unlike the animation businesses – is crying pre-emptively about the *potential* impact of a RL business on her virtual business. Why wait when you can cry in advance. Personally, I’d just prepare the inevitable. But that’s me.

    Get a clue, Prok. You can’t be a champion of capitalism until it has the potential to affect you and then say that something should be done to keep RL businesses out of SL; that SL needs a protectionist policy to ensure the playing field is level. I suppose you have a solution for how people like Anshe can hire cheap labor in China (we *do* identify them now, don’t we; if not, we need to make nationality a part of avatar profiles, don’t you think?). Shouldn’t we protect the livelihoods of U.S.-based avatar business that hire U.S.-based employees???

    And you’re worrying about Aimee? That’s funny. But sadly, Aimee and everyone else in the developed world can be replaced by cheaper labor under many circumstances. If she can’t compete, she’ll go under. Fact of life and I don’t doubt she’s very aware of it. Anyone who isn’t should go out of business. In the RW industrial design industry to which I can speak, it’s already happened. Those who couldn’t adapt are gone. They’re now installing cabinets or landscaping or doing home repairs. The rest compete (and now I find that Asian design firms who worked for FREE as part of their liaison with overseas manufacturing are quoting higher rates than I am). Things level and will continue to do so. Trying to stop it artificially is the dream of a contro freak … a techie! Congrats! You’re officially just the same as all the people you stereotypically lump together and collectively insult.

    p.s. Still offering ~$20 for a custom build (including textures made in RL using a RL program) that you can use for your rentals? Funny how the issue of micropayments trickles down, isn’t it?

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