Yeah, that’s what I said

Clay Shirky has an interesting article about Second Life, and it’s gratifying to know that I’m not the only one.

Yes, I tried Second Life. No, I didn’t get it. I mean, sure, I got it, but I didn’t see what the appeal was. It felt like a MUD, but a lot harder to use, and not nearly as gratifying.

I was a dedicated, perhaps even addicted, LambdaMOO user for a couple years. I spent *hours* there, when I was working at Lexmark. I’d start test scripts, and they’d take 30 minutes to run. While I was waiting, I was building stuff on LambdaMOO. And one or two other MUDs.

But after a while, the only point of it was the people that were there. That’s what it always comes down to. The Internet, for me, is about communication. Turning communication into an elaborate game doesn’t make communication less the goal. Particularly when the game has no point. MUDs were games, in one sense, but there wasn’t an objective, really, other than creating cool stuff. And I got pretty good at creating cool stuff and scripting it to do interesting things.

Second life was interesting while I had a handful of friends there. But now when I log in, there’s nobody there I know, and so therefore nothing interesting to do. And because I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how to build anything, and I don’t have anywhere to build it, there’s absolutely nothing of interest to do.

If, as Second Life claims, there are 2 million people there, I have no idea where they are, since I can never find anybody.