Written 18 April, 2009
What Does it Mean When the Grid's Favorite Sim Sports the Red Fence of Friendship
James Au's most awesome blog New World Notes had a post about Second Life's most favorite sim for the first quarter of 2009, as determined by Koinup users. Koinup is a social networking website for Second Life.
And Koinup users selected a sim called MaxMoney as top banana.
So of course I had to go there.
And of course, MaxMoney being as absolutely fabulous and popular as it is, I was absolutely the only avatar on the island during the 45 or so minutes of my stay. It was only as I was about to leave that one person finally came by.
I have to admit the entry area is impressive. A glass floor covers roiling waves that break over banana plant-covered hills (at least in the vicinity of the entry, the land is bare almost everywhere else). Glass stairs lead downward over a stream, ending at an observation platform at sea's edge. Other stairs arch upwards to a series of meeting rooms.
The landscaping on the sim is first-rate, and the waves are well done, but except for what I just described, there is absolutely nothing on the sim.
Well, of course, except for the money exchange machines. It seems MaxMoney has been licensed by Linden Lab to trade in Lindens.
The March 2009 issue of The Best of SL was displayed at the entry, with MaxMoney CEO Maxmilian March on its cover. Okay. Good for you. The mag was there purely for hype, since touching it didn't even get me a copy.
Build and scripts were turned off, which always pisses me off slightly-- but I was still giving the sim the benefit of the doubt.
That is, until I hit the goddamned red fence of friendship, of course. I was pretty much over both MaxMoney and Mr. March after that.
So now I'm wondering-- in a world with thousands of enchanting sims with no red fences and lots of things to do, how the hell could a region with nothing in particular to do or see, a sim that was vacant during the lengthy visit in which I composed this post, a sim with that frigging red fence, be voted number one sim of the quarter? WTF is up with Koinup?
I rather suspect Mr. March advertised heavily to get his photo on the cover of The Best of SL. And may have had the fix in at Koinup as well.
I checked MaxMoney's website and compared their exchange rate with Linden Lab's. I can buy $5000 from LL for $19.61 USD. 5K Lindens from Mr. March costs $22. That's a markup, according to my calculator, of 11.21 percent.
I like to see business people get ahead in Second Life, but I have an instinctual lifelong distrust of slick operations like this, paving the road to picking our pockets with glossy magazines and fixed popularity ratings.
I mean here's someone offering the same service as Linden Lab for 11.21 percent more money. Where's the attraction in that?
And where's the attraction in any sim with a red fence?