Build it [in SL] and they will come

There’s an interesting trait of human nature I see playing out on the ever opening expanses of the Internet. It’s evident in dramatic relief too in Second Life. I suppose it’s the combination of man’s entrepreneurial spirit and the Protestant industrial ethic that promotes work as fun.
Erase everything that came before

While the Internet and virtual worlds offer play of unlimited horizon, I find I am less likely to encounter a playful cricket than I am Aesop’s ant. And here’s where I see this dynamic playing out.

In Second Life we’re all building. Building, building. Mortgaging to buy more land, to terraform, to implement designs, the quicker to await the vast unwashed. Everybody’s doing it, but that’s the game, to build. Buy and build, actually.

On the web everyone’s building blogs, pages, platforms, venues, waiting for the bon-vivants and their big-spending ways. Build it and they shall come seems to be the prevailing assumption.

Build it and they shall come only applied to the ghost of Shoeless Joe. In Second Life and on the Internet, we all want to be builders.

There’s something too I think of the Gold Rush spirit, this time wise to the adage that the real fortunes were made not panning for gold, but in selling the picks and shovels. So we lay siege online, squirreling away what we can, situating ourselves to better sell the tools as the public rushes in. But the incoming masses need not follow a trail west, nor flee lands of less opportunity. The virtual world expands for all. We can all homestead, we need neither rail nor city centers. Room for all. How do you make a buck, where’s there’s no need for a middle man?

In Second Life what I see are new worlds unfolding, neighborhoods, theme parks, entire high concept environments, growing in all directions except more populous. I’ve even seen tract housing, like urban sprawl, except there’s no burgeoning migration. The Second Life universe is a boom town on its outer reaches, without the resources which will eventually be needed to support it. In this case, even just others to show interest.

Here’s a survey for the Blog Reader Project survey. If you want to invest the interest.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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