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Must we have sim re-starts in the middle of events?

On Thursday we had a full house when Linden Labs deleted the stage side of Music Island. Previously the start time had been delayed 10 minutes when the audience half of the venue was re-started and everyone who had arrived at the top of the concert ran over the sim line and onto the stage. Subsequent arrivers landed in the ocean or were re-routed to other sims or simply had the program crash on them so that it took awhile to gather an audience to begin the concert.

While this might be understandable during an impromptu event, this event was on the official Second Life calendar of events. How hard would it be for Linden Labs to route sim restarts around scheduled events? Or, to check for high occupancy in sims and delay re-starts in 1 hour increments perhaps 3 times before disrupting popular content.

Doesn’t this just make business sense?

During the same week a colleague from virtual music let me know that he had been engaged by Blue Mars to PLAN for musical programming in that virtual world. I adore Second Life, my community and friends are here. However, hearing about a virtual world that made planning for content part of its mandate really made me realize that this is the way things should be.

Right now most of what makes Second Life worth a second visit is the varied and rich array of neat things to do that are largely created and staffed by volunteers. We get burned out. We get tired of the lack of memory in SL that eclipses our accomplishments of years when the “flavour of the day” new project duplicates our work. We get exhausted by gibes from colleagues in RL. We fund stuff from our own pockets as events in SL seem unable to scale as for-profit, nor gain sponsorship/grants for not-for-profit.

And then on top of all that Linden Lab comes along and says, “Oh you’ve given up two paid days of work a week to run a concert series in SL this year. Silly you. We don’t have time to give any attention to your concert schedule ourselves. Now we’re re-starting the sim on you because our time is more valuable than yours or the performers or any of the 50 or so avatars in your audience.”

I suppose I shouldn’t take it personally, shouldn’t feel it as a slap in the face for all our work over the past two years. But I do.

We weathered it. We had a laugh. Some found it a bonding experience. I used to feel the same way. I was sure that this would be fixed. The value of content would be appreciated.

But these days I think more and more that I’m whistling into the wind. If RL music doesn’t care and the decisionmakers in Second Life don’t care, why should I be spending my time, taking a pay cut, stressing out and so on to coordinate events that are tossed aside so casually.

Beginning to be another burned out SL volunteer I’m afraid.


  • Chrissie
    Posted March 9, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    This has happened to three events I've been to in the last two months. It's just appalling

  • AldoManutio
    Posted March 9, 2010 at 9:09 pm


    Linden Labs seem to be entering another of those phases of research wherein they relaunch sims on a regular basis…much the way it was a couple of years back when Wednesdays were the days to avoid doing anything serious in there.

    It wold be nice if LL could get a schedule together for these things the way they once did …

  • Kate Miranda
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Yes a schedule would be another way to avoid this kind of complication. Veteran SL'ers usually cope very well but newcomers are upset or put off by the disruption. I have had some people say to me that they've re-thought performing in SL or running musical education events in SL when they see this sort of chaos.

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