- I had some thoughts on this too, but MMO veteran Damion Schubert beat me to the bunch with his post on Second Life: 'When 10 Hours Is Not Enough To Appreciate True Awesomeness', specifically referencing Wagner James Au's GigaGamez article backlashing against the backlash.

Schubert explains: "For a while, the Second Life backlash was going so strong that I was considering, albeit briefly, actually whipping out a couple of posts in defense of the Linden Labs boys and sticking up for them, just to be contrarian. But to be honest, I can only take so much of the fanbois who keep trying to explain, in patronizing terms, that we simply don’t get the vision of Second Life. I get it. I read Snowcrash. Second Life is no Snowcrash. Second Life is a marvelous experiment with some real potential behind it, but it has severe issues holding it back in both design and technology, and until it actually addresses them, it will never even get into the same ballpark with its own hype."

He particularly seizes on complaints that Second Life criticizers haven't played the game long enough: "That’s right - 10 hours is not enough time to make an honest assessment of the Second Life experience. By comparison, my games rack is full of games that didn’t survive an HOUR of playtime. Electronic Arts (and most other companies) force their designers to obsess over the first FIVE MINUTES of gameplay, because most games don’t even survive THAT. Okay, someone reviewing the game should probably give it a tad more time than than but… 10 hours - not enough!"

Schubert's conclusion: "I personally played it for about 5 hours, most of which was a bewildering struggle with the interface, and a desperate attempt to find any player created content that wasn’t broken, partially textured, furry in theme, or so whimsical it was clearly an inside joke to its creator... I’m a professional game designer. I work in this space for a living. I have a vested interest in finding this information. I failed miserably. What makes you think that Joe Sixpack will make even half the effort?"

For what it's worth, GameSetWatch deliberately paid a game journalist to check out Second Life from the in-world game perspective, and what he found was interesting, but ultimately didn't keep him around.

In fact, I noticed a recent blog post from the journo in question, Mathew Kumar, which reveals: "It is amusing to me that I haven’t logged in once since finishing my Letters from the Metaverse column for GameSetWatch... I guess I find this funny because despite all the hype, as far as I can see, Second Life hasn’t made any of the improvements that are required for it to sustain the interest (I’m sure that 90% of the “residents” logged in a few times, got bored and left) or even give me the urge to log back in." So - not case closed, but I think it's a valid viewpoint.