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Friday, August 26, 2022

An open letter to Philip Rosedale

 (For others, Philip Rosedale was the creator of Second Life, and recently returned to Linden Labs as an Advisor.)

Dear Mr Rosedale,

Look at me, getting all formal and old-school...

Just read an article/interview with you from Axios on Nov 29, 2021.  Quoting from the Article, "Of the metaverse, he says: “I think what we've learned — and somewhat with some sadness, given the work that I've done, I would have to agree — is that it's not for everybody, and maybe it's never for everybody.”

 You may be right.  Then again, almost nothing is for everybody.

 I will offer a perspective for you, that it is for a lot of people who may not even know it (still) exists.  Autistic people like me.

ASD folks have trouble in particular with face-to-face interactions. No actual face-to-face in SL.

ASD folks don't make eye contact much. No eye contact in SL, at least not person to person, avatar to avatar isn't much trouble at all. And no one knows if you don't make eye contact, or stare, which can also be an ASD "thing" for some.

ASD folks are often non-verbal. Some, sometimes, can manage a bit of typing.  SL again.

ASD folk don't do well in crowds. Haven't noticed as much problem with virtual crowds. A little, but not near as much.

Sensory issues are at the core of much of ASD. SL does stimulate the senses, but not as much as RL for sure.

And some stuff I just flat can't do -- drive a car, fly a plane, drive a boat or a submarine or a spacecraft, or even swim -- I can do in SL.  Those aren't purely ASD issues, and neither I suppose are the others.  Might want to talk to author Nathan Lowell about that, he spent some years working on exactly that.  (Sorry if I'm being presumptuous, Nate.)

So maybe it isn't an issue of "not for everybody," but rather of not reaching out to everybody who might find it enjoyable, healthful and liberating?

Seems like everyone who's created an online social-network-ish thing has had it turn out to be something other than they'd planned.  Why would yours be different?

Something for you to consider, I'd think.

Thanks for your time.

Griz

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