Second Life

  Sitting around a table this evening (playing a game of Nuclear War) Ken, Samuel and I were discussing Second Life “great ideas”. They both enjoy hunting so after I convinced Samuel that the logging industry wasn’t likely to make a big splash in Second Life the topic turned to Second Life Hunting.

  If a person had enough land in Second Life they could create animals that would run away from people (but stay on the property). Then people could be charged to hunt. People pay large sums of money in RL (Real Life) to go on safaris. They would likely be willing to pay a small fee in SL for a similar experience. The fee could be based on time hunting, or could be based on per kill. Larger prices for less populated (and smarter) animals.

  After a person has killed an animal they could opt for a small fee to have the animal mounted, thus another Second Life occupation, Second Life Taxidermy. Along with the stuffed animal, they could have a certificate of authenticity that showed date/time of kill as well as location and various other hunt details.

  I did a quick google and was surprised to find no mentions of anything like this. Of course I haven’t spent enough time in SL to know for sure, but it sounds like the most promising SL great idea yet. Way to go Samuel and Ken!

  This idea is completely half-baked, but that’s how most of my ideas are. I’m considering an idea for which I have no domain knowledge, but again, that’s how most of my ideas are :).

  I was helping a friend move today and realized that in Second Life people probably have a need to move from time to time (need is probably too strong, but Second Life isn’t really a need in the first place is it?). Anyway, I assume that like in real life people decide that they don’t like their neighbors, or just want a bigger place. It’s probably a hassle to move their stuff from one place to another. People would likely be willing to pay a small fee to have their stuff moved into their new digs.

  I figure there has to be some way to enumerate people’s belongings programmatically so instead of physical movement, or a time consuming process of collecting each thing and putting it in a box I could “magically” move everything from one house to another given some small amount of information.

  Now, let’s figure out why this won’t work:

  1. I have only spent a few minutes total in Second Life so I don’t have much idea of how things really work in there.
  2. It’s a complete guess that you can programmatically enumerate belongings. If that isn’t the case, then this could be an arduous (read, not fun) task.
  3. Linden Labs (Second Life authors) may already have a feature that does this for you. I doubt it, but it’s possible.
  4. People may not really ever move in Second Life (this doesn’t seem likely)
  5. If it’s that easy to write the programs then lots of people will do it and give it away for free (it only takes one open sourcer to make this business model fall flat).

  On the other hand that’s why I started this blog. I have (what I consider to be) these great ideas all the time. They don’t all have to be gold mines, just one :). Of course, I would actually have to do some investigation into it to know which of the above items is true, but for now I’m happy with knowing that I have a great idea (that will never work).

  Probably the most interesting thing about this concept is the realization that “blue collar” jobs in Second Life aren’t hard work. They may be tedious, but if they can be automated that changes the game (err, life) entirely.

Update: I just found probably the biggest problem with this great idea. It came when I was reading through the Terms and Service for Second Life. This is in section 1.4 of the terms of Service:
            You agree that Linden Lab has the absolute right to manage, regulate, control, modify and/or eliminate such Currency as it sees fit in its sole discretion, in any general or specific case, and that Linden Lab will have no liability to you based on its exercise of such right. 
  I don’t know about you, but I’m not very comfortable basing a business plan on Linden Labs current squishy statements about my ability to convert Linden $ into real $. I’m actually very surprised that I’ve never read about that clause in any of the mainstream articles I’ve read about Second Life.

A while back I heard about It’s 3D world that allows you to interact with others online in a more realistic fashion than email and web sites. It’s actually quite difficult to explain now that I’m trying :).

Anyway, the point is that you can make money in the game and then transfer that money back into real $. I’ve had several ideas about ways to make money. My creative skills are mediocre, so I don’t think I’ll make a mint as a fashion designer for avatar clothing. A more likely opportunity would be writing custom scripts for movement of objects in Second Life.

More on this later.