Why are we special?

Massively LogoThe recent announcement that one of the most popular e-zines for Second Life, Second Life Insider — a year-old collaborative blog with SL’s best authors — was “transformed” into Massively deserved several comments from popular bloggers of the SLogosphere (I’m eagerly awaiting the opinion of Hamlet Au on New World Notes too). Second Life Insider had, as so many similar blogs on Second Life, a peculiar characteristic: it was not only about what happens in Second Life (thus, the same model as any of the other more popular blogs of AOL’s blogging network, like WoW Insider), but also about the impact of Second Life in the future metaverse-enabled society. In fact, this is what the most read blogs and sites about Second Life tend to talk about: what it means to be a resident of the metaverse.

Why are we so special?But what does that actually mean? It’s not as if the rest of the games, MMOGs, and social worlds don’t have their own share of “serious” blogs. In fact, one can consider Terra Nova to be the most serious of them all, seeing that it sprouted from academia and research on virtual worlds and MMOGs. But there are far more, blogs, forums, websites with cheats and tricks and tips, community sites for specific hordes in WoW or clans in [insert favourite MMORPG here] — an endless list in hundreds of languages and different writing styles, all massively targeting the massively multiplayer market (alliterative pun intended). In fact, Second Life’s own SLogosphere is not so “big” when compared with what all the other games have to offer. A few searches on Alexa will show you how much gamers and players will read those sites (incidentally, this might be the major reason why SL Insider was “absorbed” into a blog featuring at least another dozen virtual worlds/MMORPGs — the traffic for SL alone did not justify a separate blog, but this is just my outsider’s perception).

And it’s not as if the style is uniform among these sites. They range from the ultra-cool-geeky one, but Prokofy Neva’s previous incarnation on The Sims Online show us that the “serious” aspects of gaming, issues like censorship, manipulation, control, and all the nasty side-effects of virtual worlds are explored regularly by other writers for other platforms beyond Second Life. So it’s not as if thigs are very different here… are they?

The Fashion Lesson

Let’s take a different approach. Take the following examples in style, writing, and the kind of advice they give to you:

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