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Re: <nettime> Dreaming of Molly Millions, the Panther Moderns and Body H
lotu5 on Fri, 18 Jul 2008 00:00:35 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Dreaming of Molly Millions, the Panther Moderns and Body Hacking


lotu5 wrote:

> Michael Wojcik wrote:
>  > Consequently, VR remains a niche field, and even shared interactive
>  > multimedia environments are mostly used for playing games. Despite the
>  > hype and corporate endorsements, Second Life is still a second-string
>  > player in Internet culture, with somewhere around a quarter-million
>  > regular users.[1] eBay has around 84 million.[2]
> 
> Your citation about Second Life is pretty dated. As of today there have 
> been 14,353,798 Second Life sign ups and 1.2 million logins in the last 
> 60 days. Massively.com has great stats for other online 3d virtual 
> worlds as well. Gigaom.com's stats a year ago show that WoW had 8.5 
> million users and all their virtual world stats combined were over 30 
> million users:
> 
> http://gigaom.com/2007/06/13/top-ten-most-popular-mmos/

oops, wasn't done with that email.

more recent stats show WoW having over 10 million users:

http://www.massively.com/2008/05/15/ion-08-a-five-year-forecast-for-mmos/

still, these games don't really fulfill the requirements for "true" 
immersive virtual reality (http://www-vrl.umich.edu/intro/#Immersive)
but they do demonstrate that there is a lot of interest in networked 3d 
social environments, which offer the possibility of imagining yourself, 
even if temporarily, in another body. This is my question, what are the 
stakes and implications of a large trend towards new forms of embodiment 
and bodily expression? Are they merely the newest emerging market, or do 
they offer the possibility for new ways of challenging power?

While you claim that "people prefer to do other things with their 
resources", market analysis shows otherwise. A recent study claims "one 
billion people will flock to virtual worlds by 2017"

http://www.massively.com/2008/06/06/one-billion-people-will-flock-to-virtual-worlds-by-2017/

That represents a lot of money spent creating a different self. also,

"Total user-to-user transactions, a measure of the gross domestic 
product in Second Life, grew 14.3% during the quarter from an annualized 
rate of $300 million in Q1 to $338 million in Q2."

and not just money, linden labs recently reported "resident user hours 
grew approximately 6% from an annualized rate of just under 350 million 
user hours in Q1 to over 380 million user hours in Q2."

http://blog.secondlife.com/2008/07/08/second-life-virtual-world-expands-35-in-q2/

that represents a massive investment of time creating this other life.

While you think that its a niche market, i think its a massive 
contemporary occurrence with serious political implications that we need 
to be thinking about critically, and not so easily dismissing.

Why are people spending millions on tatoos for their avatars in 
synthetic environments while millions of people in the glboal south are 
tired of starving and starting food riots?

If "life has become an object of power in itself", then what about 
second life or the mass consensual hallucination of another life?

-- 

gpg:  0x5B77079C // encrypted email preferred
gaim/skype: djlotu5 // off the record messaging preferred


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