The meaning of Second Life

Games are games, even OpenWorld games have a beginning and End game and most importantly progress, levelling up and LOOT.  It’s been years since I logged into my Second Life, the new Terms of Service are simple and clear enough.

1.3 Your User Content is not confidential; You represent that your Content is original to you (and/or your minor child).

Well, I could not be bothered to install the viewer to see how my Avatar looked after all these year but for the most part my Second Life is dead.  I have little or no impulse to be online all the time and could easily get live on a cruise ship with slow latent satellite internet at sea.

In a few short weeks, I’ll be experiencing a new level that scares the crap out of me – Hong Kong.

28 Years ago, I should have known better

On reflection, I now crave the simplicity of my life in the 90’s.  The flow of data was slower, less widespread and simpler to secure as not many people knew it was there in the first place.

Today, we are swimming in data flows and everyone is their own system administrator.  iOS Beta 3 is now available, I can’t see the differences but no doubt the vendor is crunching an exabyte of test device data.  I’m still hooked on the Screen Time application.

I’m part of the generation that didn’t realise what it actually meant to push all end-users to be Network-centric and eventually dependent.  Now, turn off the Network and all hell breaks loose.  The option to live an offline digital life is now cumbersome, awkward and attracts suspicion as to why you are “not online”.

Data availability

28 years ago I knew users would have to be on the network to make data availability work, now I realise that helping to create that dependency was a mistake.  And like South Londoner, Michelle Wallen sang so wonderfully as Pica Paris “I Should’ve Known Better”.

Back in days of the BootLeg

Of course, it creates a nice arena for Data Privacy specialist like me.

Getting to know you…Getting to know all about you

iOS 12’s new features are perfect for self-analysis. The built-in Screen time feature is just the sort of transparency an users now need.  A pure non-technical approach to analytics give you granular control over your downtime, App time limits and content restricts.

My screen time is 77% down from last week and it’s very fitting as I was using social networking frequently with a Loved one.

Here’s some interest stats about me from ScreenTime

I picked up my phone 30 times a day
Once every 35 minutes after 14:00
I get around 13 notification a day

The most obvious use of this new resource is parent control, although I deliberately changed by device usage behaviour based on these stats.

Many of us won’t want to know these statistics.  The truth about our device dependency is confirmed and proved.

Ignorance is not always bliss.

Privately flaccid

Do we act differently when we are aware someone is watching? Probably yes, but eventually we ignore it to take advantage of “free” services.

The next chapter in the Life is Strange Universe was touted as “a free game” but today it seems it’s just a free demo that leads into Life is Strange 2 ($39.99).  Fine, I can accept that but more and more the privacy notices have become so upfront that I swear it has an impact on my experience.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit

After accepting the privacy notice and actual choice, 
I proceeded to the game wondered around my character’s 
bedroom then kitchen, interacted with a few items 
wondered outside the house in the snow and then 
deleted the game.

It would be curious as to the analytics the publishers get from my underwhelmed one-time gaming experience.

Love is not Free

Today Ghost Recon® Wildlands Open Beta goes Live to the general public for 120 hours.

It’s a standard strategic move to grow the community before the game goes on sale and for the most part an excellent experience for all types of players.

You can tame her but careful, she bites

Open Beta’s is a boost of Oxytocin or a School Boy Crush 10 times the normal levels.

The downer comes pretty fast as you realise you haven’t got the resources to play the game for any extended period of time.

No dedicated time

No enough money to buy the game in the first place

….and no one to play with.

It sucks and you wonder,  why play the Beta in the first place?

Well, like Love, better to have a neurotransmitter dopamine rush for a short time than nothing at all.

Dopamine is commonly associated with the ‘pleasure system’ of the brain


Beautiful and Big

Escape the madness into Ghost Recon

I set my alarm for 1:30 am so I could have a dedicated Beta testing session with Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands.

The environment is absolutely beautiful transporting to Bolivia. After running around like a n00b for half-an-hour I figured out how to join a session with friends.

The game feels like a hybrid of FarCry and The Division so it fails to deliver a jaw-dropping first-time experience.  However, the sheer scale of the map points towards an adventure with over 6 months of steady gameplay.

It was kinda interesting meeting fellow Beta testers in Live chats and game sessions, some of whom were paid handsomely to keep you playing the game.  Point being that the developers need as much player experience data as possible for the final release next month.

Final verdict:  80% chance that I’ll buy a physical copy on release, especially as I’ve just completed FarCry Primal.