Tuesday, January 19, 2010
#8 The Cornfield by Linden Labs
I was surprised to find that one of my top ten favorite things in Second Life from last year was made by Linden Labs. You see, Linden Labs image is in no way edgy or hip in the same way that a company such as Apple have fashioned themself into. On one side LL have created this fantastic virtual world which is so completely frontier its stunning. Yet on the other side their image is eye pokingly boring. In world they are not known for building interesting things. LL needs to perhaps create a quietly cool image of themself. Maybe rename Second Life some kind of Matrixy thing like "The Grid" or something. "Hey I will meet you at that exploding cyber cafe on the Grid later" sounds much cooler than "Hey I will meet you at the welcome area on Second life later". I have met quite a few people who have never been to Second Life yet many of them had the view that its a place where people go who are unhappy with their first life. I mean it is called second after all. Its like having another try at things if you are socially constipated. Anyway, I digress.
The whole existence of the Cornfield was a type of mythical legend previously. The only way you knew it existed is if you had done something fairly bad but not terrible in Second Life. The Cornfield is a penalty box of sorts, but a unique and funny one. If you were lets say a cronic griefer, and Linden Labs had decided that you really needed to sit down and think about what you did. They would, rather than just suspend your account, instead make it so that each time you logged in you could only appear in the Cornfield. A place with nothing to do but wander endlessly down rows of corn. Actually there are a few other things you can do. The TV set, I understand, played old episodes of Leave it to Beaver and I love Lucy. You could also climb on top of the red tractor and seed the rows in the garden. Much like comic book villians Second Life has diabolical scripters who bring down whole sims. These bad boys/girls attempt to break out of the Cornfield but instead become children of the corn. Strangely they still log in to go sit there.
I loved the Cornfield. The dry humour of it. I don't for a second think it rehabilitated any of those sent there nor do I think the Lindens thought that it would. They were just having fun. "WTF lets make a big assed Cornfield hahahahhahahah!. Yeah with a crappy red tractor hahahhahhaha and a TV they can only watch black and white shows on ahahhahahahahhaha" I hope thats how the conversation went when they thought of it. So good for you Linden Labs you are number 8.