The Road Forks

Back to Mainland?

In late 2008, I sort of predicted that in 2009, one of Linden Lab’s focus would be on the mainland again. The reasoning is not obvious. It has to do with one unique characteristic of Second Life: its contiguity.

Anyone looking at the grid map today would laugh at that. After all, the mainland continents are almost lost in the vast ocean of private islands and micro-continents. Every year the ratio of private islands vs. mainland seems to grow and grow. So where is the demand for contiguity?

We have to understand first and foremost that the drive towards private islands away from the mainland is mostly due to two reasons: control (i.e. the Estate Tools) and aesthetics (i.e. creating a space that actually looks nice outside the visual chaos of the mainland). Some other minor issues, like the ability to have 100 avatars in the same private island (as opposed to the far lower limit on the mainland) certainly are important; also, having “empty sea” around a sim will noticeably reduce lag.

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