Second Life Terms of Service change in a nutshell, 8/15/13

In a nutshell_004Here in a nutshell is the change in the Second Life new Terms of Service that has some creators in an uproar over licenses to user-created content. Creators like Jo Yardley, Chic Aeon, Tuna Oddfellow and Shava Nerad, and CG Textures (a supplier to many SL creators) have raised issues about Linden’s change in the TOS that went into effect August 15. The big change that has many creators fuming – and some, like Oddfellow Studios, even moving their content from Second Life to other worlds – is this:  Users must now grant Linden a license to use uploaded content for any purpose whatsoever versus the old terms’ requirement for a Linden license just to promote Second Life.

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Monetize a Youtube video? Careful …

You know those horrible pop-up ads that seem suddenly to be on every single video you click to watch? These are the result of Youtube video monetization. A Youtube user somewhere has agreed to let Youtube run an ad on his video in return for a little money.  These ads are suddenly everywhere because in April of this year, Google dumbed down its partner program to include almost any Youtube user who is willing to monetize his or her video. To become a Youtube partner now, all you have to do is monetize one video and abide by the Youtube Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. The Gold Rush is on. Continue Reading “Monetize a Youtube video? Careful …”

Full Steam ahead for Second Life, and that’s a good thing for machinima

A lot of Second Lifers are getting steamed up about Steam, now that Linden Lab has announced it will put a portal to our little backwater enclave of Second Life up on Steam, home of 40 million gamers. D-day apears to be September 5, at least that’s what Valve, the technology company creator of Steam, says here. This has a lot of SL residents worrying we will be overrun with griefers, gun-toting hulks, and general mayhem once the “Portal” opens.

One of the more thoughtful posts along these lines comes from Darrius Gothy here who predicts that the rush of gamers into SL will erode our world into a “poor reproduction of a well-crafted 3D online game” and move SL toward game play and further away from the “My World, My Imagination” ethos. The more alarmist posts like these from Prokofy Neva here and Crap Mariner here predict griefers, mayhem, and even a shooting rampage down the Destination Guide yellow-brick road (that’s from Crap, who else?)

Well, after reading all this exciting doomsday stuff, I had to head over to Steam to check it out. What is missing from these analyses, I think, is the fact that not only will Steamers be joining us, we’ll be joining them – if we want. We will have a new playground with amazing technology, distribution structure, mentoring, and 40 million new friends to play with. 40 million! Steam is just as much – in fact millions of times more – of a community as SL is. The complexity, brilliance, and technical skill of the Steam community is dazzling.

What’s a Pansy Hopper like Bay Sweetwater doing on Steam?

Now don’t get me wrong – anyone who has watched my machinima, like Twinkle’s Journey and Pieces of My Heart, knows I’m not exactly the shoot ’em-up, mow-’em-down stereotypic gamer. In fact, when I first began talking about Valve’s new Source Filmmaker software a couple months back, one Second Lifer who shall remain nameless asked what a “pansy hopper” like Bay Sweetwater was doing on Steam. I never could figure out what a “pansy hopper” was, though I loved the name and will definitely use it for a character in a machinima someday. Even after thumbing through my urban dictionary I still don’t know what it is, but it didn’t sound complimentary. Continue Reading “Full Steam ahead for Second Life, and that’s a good thing for machinima”

Boys and Girls! Raise giant worlds in your basement!

Back in college lit, we studied a Ray Bradbury story called Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms in Your Basement! The premise of the story was that aliens, who could take on any form, packaged themselves as mushroom spores, then sold themselves via advertisements in kids’ magazines like Boys’ Life. When the boys ordered the mushrooms, raised them, and ate them with their families, the mushrooms could take over whoever ingested them.

I thought of this story when I saw that Google over the past several years has induced ordinary people to build a world for them–Google Earth. This is the virtual globe that Google first offered as a free software download in 2005, which it still is today (although business-oriented versions Google Earth Pro and Google Earth Enterprise cost some serious money).

Google Earth–like any other social network these days–has been busy harvesting its customers as product. Dangling the lure of free software, Google Earth has enticed people with time on their hands, and an unfulfilled creative urge, to start building houses, parks, trees, water features, bridges, buildings, castles, and every kind of world landmark–all modeled in exquisite texture, size, and scale to match real world counterparts. Your grocery store clerk is probably spending his evenings modeling a 3D masterpiece for Google Earth. Right under our noses, Google is populating its virtual world–and getting us to do it!

Linden Lab’s got nothing on Google . . .

When I first began hanging out in Second Life years ago, I marveled at Linden Lab’s ability to somehow convince a bunch of hugely talented people to spend untold hours building a world that Linden would profit from. More amazing, Linden actually noodled these same people into paying for the opportunity to do so! Even now that I’m a serious Second Lifer, I still marvel over Linden’s ability to crowdsource the building of a world.

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Google thinks I work for Linden Lab – hahahahaha

I received an IM a couple days ago from an avatar who was trying to find out if her entry for Linden’s Month of Machinima had been received, and she came across the hit for my blog (below). She hadn’t been able to raise anyone else at Linden and thought I might know something about her MOM entry because you’ll notice (in the third line) that Google says this blog entry was supposedly posted by “Bay Sweetwater in Linden Lab.”

Hahahahaha. To set the record straight, I do NOT work for Linden Lab. All hype to the contrary, not everything Google says is true! This search hit was an odd juxtaposition of my “Linden Lab” tag next to my name. Go figure.

The funny thing was, I did apply for work with Linden awhile back (ducks all the flying fruit), but never heard anything from them. Hmmmmmm. Maybe Google knows something I don’t after all?

Linden bears and cherry trees, Japan relief in Second Life

Here I am “gone unicorn” with the Linden bear I bought to benefit the Japan relief fund, sitting next to the cherry tree that is blooming its heart out to send hope and love to all the Japanese. You can get your own Linden bear here.  I was so moved by @Ambassador Roos’s tweet (April 2) that the cherry tree at the U.S. Embassy in Japan is blooming. What a symbol of hope and renewal.