Friday, 26 June 2009


Regarding that last post: I've done it, I have put my money where my mouth is and upgraded to a premium account.

Your turn.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

BBBC three: A sim of my own

Alicia asked:

You've been given a sim of your very own to use for free for one year. However, there are 3 rules. It cannot be residential, it cannot be commercial, and it has to be open to the public. What do you do with it?

This is an easy question, because it's something I have been thinking about since reading a recent NPIRL post about Second Life artists and the difficulty they have finding places (and prim allocations) to create and display their work.

I would use my free sim to become a patron of SL art. I would invite artists to build on the sim, and encourage the world to come and see. How exactly I would do this is unclear: how to choose just one (or four, or twelve, or whatever) artist from the hundreds in SL? Perhaps I'd just deed the land to NPIRL or some other such body and let them choose.

As I said I have been thinking about this. I've been in SL for nearly two years now; I am inworld every day, for up to 30 hours a week. This has become a significant part of myself, much of my emotional life takes place in SL now. And I'm doing it all on free accounts.

I have taken so much from the Lindens' world, I have found happiness and friendship and even love here, and while I do try to give back to the SL community (as a mentor, a contributor to the wikis and in various other ways) I am deeply and uneasily indebted to Linden Labs. Gods know how many megawatt-hours of their electricity and terabytes of their bandwidth I have consumed. But unless the Lindens take a cut from Lindex deals, they have not earned a penny from me.

Something about this makes me increasingly uncomfortable. Is "everything free forever" really a sustainable business model? And if it is not, what will happen to my friends — and my identities?

So I have been considering upgrading at least one of my selves to a premium account, reckoning up what I could afford to pay for the next two years. It's a drop in the ocean compared to the cost of running SL, I know, but it would ease my conscience and make me feel better about using their resources.

And as we know, premium account holders can own land. What would I do with my land? I don't need it for myself, I have a perfectly nice beach plot courtesy of Play as Being, which is quite adequate to my needs. I had thought about making my putative future land available to artists.