November 20, 2006

Attack of the Copybot
  • Argh, that was really a great link to anyone that enjoyed Snow Crash or even the craptacular Matrix.©
  • I started playing 2nd life recently. I was on last night and some jerk named SimpleAntiCopyBot kept shouting "!Quit" all the time. And now your article has explained what that was all about! I gotta say, I'm not sure I get this 2nd Life business. Every where I go seems to be a virtual strip club (worst idea ever) and lag is endemic. Oh, and I'm too cheap to shell out any real money.
  • “I find it amusing but perhaps educational to see how freely people rip off MP3 or movies or applications or games, without thinking twice that they are effectively violating other people's copyrights... but in SL, they suddenly understand what ‘content piracy’ is all about!”
  • NickD, Muteboy Kentoku is also averse to spending real money. I started to try and figure out how to build things, but the interface and lag made it tedious. In the end, I found myself loitering in The Shelter, auto-dancing and chatting. But why have a 3d avatar just to chat? Something Awful has some funny 2nd life stuff.
  • I always question the psychological well being of people in SecondLife. Outside the sexual deviance that is pursued, some bordering on illegal, there is this disturbing aspect to it all. I would feel more comfortable around someone that is a dominatrix in real life versus one in SecondLife. SomethingAwful has been doing some funny exploration of SecondLife, and received some hate mail for it, but they do a damn good job of exploring some disturbing people. I am starting to understand the mindset of griefers. There is just something "not right" there, and I think on some level griefing is this intuitive revulsion to the immersion of people into these online worlds. My first reaction to copybot was to get a copy for myself and copy people's "original" avatars. Why? I don't know why I wanted to do that. I guess on some level the idea of copyrighting digital clothing, strikes me as absurd, we have gone too far. The CopyBot essentially devalues the entire economy, an economy I find disturbing.
  • It would be interesting to see if any of the people that make and sell custom items and clothing for second life and are upset had ever downloaded illegal music. I'm not sure I like the idea of people completely making their livings from a virtual economy. That seems to me to be building a financial castle on the sand. I don't think you can cry foul quite so much when that all goes pear-shaped. (Note before flaming starts: I am not saying these people don't put time and work into what they sell, or that they shouldn't complain about having it stolen. I'm saying that it's a bad idea to expect an income source like that to always be around. 'Cause it won't.)
  • Reading a few comments from Warren Ellis on his blog about SL, I became curious about it, but after watching a few videos on the activities and interface, think it still has to mature in order to become something truly engrossing for a wider segment of net population. Things like a 'virtual concert' given by Suzanne Vega, that sounded interesting but seemed to me pathetic, or the amount of cash you have to spend in order to have a 'proper' presence there... I don't know. In a way, I'm grateful this didn't exist as is back in my younger years for maybe then I'd have become addicted to this virtual environment and never managed to escape. The Copybot incident makes me imagine the extent of change to society such a process would inflict in the real world of atoms. Imagine something like Gibson's 'Nanofax', spewing copies of physical objects around. Economic collapse, social unrest, industries wrecked.
  • I spent a few hours on it last night, still gives me an uneasy feeling. I accidentally invaded someone's "home." It was very bizarre, because the couple in the "house" were having an argument, like a real life couple. They were arguing about one of them not being honest, yadda yadda yadda. I was really dumbstruck. I had not realized how completely immersed people got in this shit. They eventually noticed me standing there and the guy got all belligerent. I also visited some of the places SA had highlighted, which was amusing. One major issues I have with the entire environment is that there was no challenge. There is no end goal in the game, outside of just being in the game. Games like WoW you have objectives, leveling, etc, etc. None of that goes on in Second Life, and outside of building things, you don't do much you can't do in real life. The entire scenario is still very disturbing to me, and I think it is a bad medium for human interaction. I would let my daughter play GTA San Andreas, before I let her play an online game like SecondLife. Not because of the adult content, they can restrict her access, but because I don't think it is healthy.
  • Yap, I agree, not healthy. People need to get outside and get into Real Life. I'll even let those damn kids play on my lawn, if need be. MonkeyFilter: ...they do a damn good job of exploring some disturbing people. MonkeyFilter: The entire scenario is still very disturbing to me, and I think it is a bad medium for human interaction.
  • Whenever I read about events in imaginary online worlds, they always sound so unbelievably real. It's like in the act of writing about these worlds, they are granted a reality and solidity that they just don't seem to have whenever I have actually witnessed them onscreen.
  • Reminds me of the WoW Funeral Massacre.