Creating Content

With all the talk of modding and remixing and reappropriating, it’s with some interest that I followed Drew Davidson’s link to a site that offers tips on how to create content in Second Life. This has long been a source of frustration for me, not because I want to create items in SL but because the learning curve for doing so is quite steep. It amazes me that there are so many folks out there who are willing to run around in Second Life and call it gaming, while many of those same people find actual gaming’s learning curve too steep.

I realize that I’m being a bit extreme here, but it’s fairly accurate that every time I set foot in SL, I’m greeted with researcher after researcher looking for data. And while it’s true that SL is a rich place for studying all kinds of things, what’s interesting to me is what folks do *to* Second Life itself. Hacks, pranks, cheats, and manipulations of the world itself are infinitely more compelling to me than the mundane conversations between academic avatars.

Still, it’s compelling to look at how members of the community teach other players to use the space. SL’s user interface is just as clunky as it was when it first debuted many years ago (and I kinda hated it back then, too) but much to my surprise, people are actually wanting to use it more. So a series of short instructional videos (thanks, SnapzPro!) created in order to help others learn to make chairs and teleport links might be worth researching. As the divide between casual and hardcore games continues to grow, and as learning curves continue to get steeper, the need for such tutorials will rise. Second Life is in serious need of an easy-to-use tutorial system, but its users seem to be creating their own with some regularity, which is good I guess. I dunno. Still thinking about it. Thoughts from others encouraged…

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