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2:07pm on Sunday, 18th February, 2007:

Ofof Revisited


I was looking at Ofcom's open consultancy document concerning the future of public service content in the "digital media age", when I came across this gem:

And more than 2.5 million people now pay $10 per month to play Second Life (http://secondlife.com/), a media experience so innovative that it is prompting a reinterpretation of the idea of video games.

If more than 2,500,000 really were paying $10 per month to play Second Life, the good folks at Linden Labs would be buying themselves real-life jet-propelled hoverboards. Sadly, though, some 2,460,000 of those 2,500,000 don't pay a bean. The 2,500,000 figure is "residents", ie. sign-ups (and it's over 3,000,000 now). Sign-ups aren't subscribers.

Second Life is indeed worth looking at, but because of what it is, not because of what it isn't — and it isn't a virtual world raking in $25m a month in subscription fees.

It's bad enough that few journalists do their research, but when regulatory bodies don't, then what? If I can see Ofcom's document contains flaws in the parts I know about, how can I trust what it says in the parts I don't know about?

Ofof, where are you?

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).