As many of you know I love ‘Second Life gets real’ stories. As part of our 21st century Christmas I was wandering around Second Life yesterday with my dad and I was struck by a few things about the game Tringo. Tringo is a popular multi-player skill based casual game that was developed within SL. All the players put some Linden dollars in the pot at the start and the winner takes the lot. It has been described as a cross between Tetris and bingo.
It is interesting because:
- The owners of the IP behind the game licence the ‘game unit’ to landowners who then operate casino style areas where people play the game (the game we were at had 20-30 players)
- Host avatars are present – real avatars driven by real people who are equivalent to hosts/hostesses in real casinos who we believe get paid for their services
- It is the first game developed within SL that has then been licensed outside it (now available on the Game Boy Advance)
- People play it in SL instead of on purpose built sites where the interface could be more efficient
I am on the lookout for SL based product companies and this sort of thing is encouraging evidence.
On the downside signs of scalability problems within SL were clearly visible. The main scoreboard struggled to keep abreast of events, there were problems starting a new game and avatars were being discouraged from having moving features (like hair that moves in the wind) because they slow the game down for everyone.