Weekly Links #83: virtual world edition
I hate it when that happens. Between my project being on hold due to
unforeseen circumstances and my mind being on 3D art these days (what
started as some illustration work turned into more), I find myself at
the end of the week with just one topic for you. One. Pathetic, isn't
it? At least that gives me extra room for comment.
It was via Chris Meadows of Teleread fame that I heard
about this virtual tour of abandoned Second Life sites, and
while SL is still populous overall, that instantly reminded me of the
months I spent in 2009 exploring empty MU*s. And those usually were completely deserted, forgotten even by the sysadmins running the
servers. Apart from the medium -- text versus graphics -- similarities
are striking. Outdated announcements stuck to a wall; weird objects in
surreal surroundings; the feeling that someone could pop in any time,
despite the server stats showing the last login to have been years
Which only serves to remind me that Seltani, which I reviewed with
much enthusiasm two years ago, became a ghost town before the
year was over. Even I abandoned it for the most part, shamefully so.
That's what happens when you fail to establish a tight community, I
suppose -- absent that, virtual worlds remain a solution in search of
a problem, and pretty graphics can't help. What did we expect when we
reacted to the complete freedom of cyberspace by trying to recreate
the limitations of meatspace within it?
In completely unrelated news, it's not often that a gameplay trailer
catches my eye, but Rolling Torque looks very much like a
low-poly, highly colorful, spiritual successor to Marble Madness, and
the retrogamer in me can't fail to find that compelling. I'd play it,
and that's rare these days. See you next week.