I am feeling extremely depressed, disheartened, and discouraged today, the final day of the year.
You might be surprised to learn that the majority of the responses I received to yesterday’s Sansar “call to arms” blogpost have been negative, not positive. People are no longer inclined to feel positive about Sansar.
If I could summarize all the negative responses, they all pretty much run along the lines of: “We gave, we gave some more, we got burned, we’re not giving any more. Linden Lab made too many mistakes, and Sansar is doomed. I’m not responding to your call to arms to try and save it.”
Furthermore, I have had several private conversations with long-time members of the Sansar community over these past few days, partly in response to the Comet project set-up fiasco (to which I sadly contributed to the overall miscommunication). And I have heard a great many disturbing things, about which I swore promises that I would not write about them on this blog. So I will not.
But I can say this.
The small remaining Sansar community (those who have not already given up, packed up, and left) are largely feeling fearful, mistrustful, betrayed, and angry. By and large, they no longer trust Linden Lab, and by and large, they feel that they are not being listened to anymore. Communication between most LL staff and most Sansar users has broken down to the worst point that I have ever seen it in the three years that I have been part of this community. Small wonder the Comet project lead to such rumour-mongering, hearsay, and finger-pointing.
Linden Lab staff working on Sansar are currently stressed beyond imagination, scrambling to fill in for laid-off coworkers as best they can. I have also heard rumours that key LL staff who survived the October layoffs, but then quit after them, have not been replaced—hardly a promising sign. Because of their high-stress work environment, LL staff are making mistakes, which are often taken as signs of ill intent by an already distrustful user community (again, the Comet project is an example).
In my opinion, the entire Sansar community—both staff and users—is now so broken, so distrustful, and so dysfunctional, that I fear it will hasten, instead of forestall, the failure and shut-down of Sansar. When well-known, long-time members of the Sansar community tell me they are planning to shut down their worlds completely, and take their items down from the Sansar Store, it is a sign that there is something terribly, terribly wrong within the virtual society, within the virtual world, we have all built together. It breaks my heart more than I can say.
I now realize that I can’t fix this current mess by anything I say or anything I do. So, instead of rallying the troops to try and save Sansar, I have decided that the best thing for me to do is, simply, to walk away.
I give up.
I can’t fix Sansar’s problems, and trying to stay and fix them is making me more and more depressed, and negatively impacting on the rest of my life. So for my own personal mental health, I am leaving Sansar.
I’m sorry. Like those who responded to my call to arms yesterday, I realize that I have literally nothing left to give anymore.
I realize that I have now changed my mind for the second time in two days about Sansar. That in itself is a strong sign that I need to step away from the platform completely, and give myself time and space to heal.
I will still continue to write this blog, but I will be taking an extended break from Sansar, and not writing about it at all. I will continue work on the Metaverse Newscast, which is currently on hiatus while I teach myself digital video editing, to take over that task from my producer, Andrew William. There will be no future Metaverse Newscast episodes about Sansar for the forseeable future.
I hope that you will understand my decision. But even if you don’t, I expect you to respect it. Thank you. And I’m sorry if I let you down.
Good-bye, Sansar. It’s been a fascinating three years. But it’s over. As part of my decision, I have left the official Sansar Discord server.