Philip Linden is unmistakable with his signature hairdo and classic attire. I had the chance to sit in on his lecture on re-inventing money, and it was interesting. He discussed a utopian view on how money could be distrubuted more equitably to improve society as a whole. The way Philip commands the virtual stage of Second Life, moving closer to his virtual audience, adds an impressive layer of engagement. During the Q&A session, he approaches avatars who ask questions on voice chat and faces them. His ability to project stage presence through his avatar and engage residents was quite remarkable.
I’m not a regular at these Second Life gatherings, but a few aspects stuck out to me, signaling why Second Life didn’t succeed in becoming the go-to online communication platform (like Zoom or Discord). Between the technological hiccups and a lack of essential functionalities, there’s room for improvement.
One common struggle I witnessed was the residents having difficulties with enabling voice. They faced similar issues when attempting to enable media to see the PowerPoint slides. The process was far from user-friendly, entailing a cumbersome series of steps. I found it difficult to understand Philip at times, when someone with a hot mic constantly disrupted him and other speakers. Surprisingly, even with another Linden present, no moderation seemed to be enforced.
Despite the drawbacks, the talk itself was engaging, but hosting it in Second Life has made it clear to me that the platform has its limitations for these kinds of events. However, I did enjoy seeing the people that I’m casually following on Twitter and on Discord “in person,” even if virtually.