This is a post inspired by Hamlet Au. If you like ole Hammy you might want to just go read something else, Green Eggs and Ham perhaps, the artwork is fantastic.
Hammy, as he is affectionately known, has a rather antagonistic relationship with Linden Lab. I don’t know why everything he writes seems to be a subtle, or in some cases not so subtle, dig or attack at the state of Second Life. I can only speculate.
Certainly the roots of his approach can be traced back to the heady early days of the grid when he was a Linden himself, a mover, a shaker, an opinion former. An expert, no less. Only to be, like so many others over the years, let go by the Lab.
Second Life is flawed, hopelessly so. There are as many competing ideas about how to save it as there are users. Everyone has a view about where SL should be going, a personally motived opinionated desire for the metaverse to align itself with their own interests and tastes. It should be more or less social, offer a richer visual atheistic or work embedded in a web page without a client, more or less commercial, more or less like a game, more or less a business, a platform, a dream, an idea.
This basic point, so lost to hammy, is that the entire point of Second Life is its potential. The potential to be whatever those who use it desire it to be, and therein lies its problem. That same personal potential, so easily imagined is so impossible to realise. Blame the tools, blame the people who work tirelessly on them, blame the flaws and technical problems, blame everyone but yourself for what simply put is a personal failure to manage your own expectations.
Hamlet, like everyone else who found themselves swept up and enthused let his expectations run away with themselves, subsequently fell into the same trap as so many Second Life users before and since.
Second Life inspires, yet few have the ability to realise those dreams. We are not all cut out to be Caeser.
An herein lies my problem with Hammy. In refusing to accept and understand his own hand in the defeat of his initial expectations, step back, re-evaluate and learn to make the best of the hand dealt, he has been flogging his own dead horse and catering to all the other mildly disenfranchised and jaded Second life users in a very populist, and dare I say it, calculated way.
It’s easy to sell malcontent, apathy and indifference. It’s easy to shout from the side lines “You’re doing it wrong!” while at the same time having failed to grapple the very same beast yourself.
Hamlet, always one to lend his name to the popular social themes of the moment recently latched onto a Second Life meme, a virtual world mirror of the first world problems meme. A meme which simply put, pokes fun at the dramas and dilemmas of people who by all fairness have nothing much to get upset about if only they had a little perspective or perhaps patience.
In this vein and by way of response, I created a ‘Second Life problems’ meme to reflect Hammy himself. “Blogs about SL being out of date, uses Imprudence“. (By way of explanation, Imprudence is an older Second Life client, old enough not to include any of the work done to improve the user experience in the last couple of years, the most notable (yet not only) being mesh objects.)
Never one to miss an opportunity to twist something into a stick with which to beat the Lab, Hammy upon finding the very meme I had created, decided to use it to highlight what he perceived as the Lab’s failure to make SL run on his computer. A computer that when initially purchased was capable of running SL with all the pretty turned up full.
What’s happened in the year since hammy bought his gaming netbook to prevent SL from running? Nothing. His gaming netbook is as capable now as it was when bought and is a damn sight better than what the majority of SL users manage to connect with just fine.
His blog and presumably, inbox, fills up with users offing full on helpful technical solutions to his problem, solutions that will actually enable him to use a more recent client. Frankly, it’s inspiring.
Hammy’s response …
People giving me long-ass technical explanations on how to fix my problems — it’s sweet and I’m grateful, but seriously, when you think about it, it’s crazy. Why should I spend an hour or two tinkering on software when it should just WORK BY NOW? Client is 10 fucking years old. Company has been profitable for about 5 years. Yet SLers are still doing free tech support and SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT on behalf of a for-profit company LIKE THAT’S NORMAL. Why?
Posted by: Hamlet Au | Tuesday, May 01, 2012 at 11:20 AM
… demonstrates very clearly that he has no interest in Second Life or actually getting it to work, his interest is exploiting a sense of community disappointment in order to peruse his own selfish goals. A personal crusade to stand over SL’s corpse and proudly declare to the the world ” I told you so!”. It’s just a shame that SL, whatever it may be, shows no interest in dying and certainly doesn’t need to be saved.
To save time and effort in the future, I have created the following as a simple stock response to everything this
idiot man writes on the subject of Second Life.