UPDATED: Second Life Town Hall Events with Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg, April 20th

Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg, whom I have slowly gotten to know over countless Sanar Atlas Hopping events over the past year, is a pretty cool guy. He’s had to juggle a lot of balls in the past few years, leading Linden Lab as they continue to support, develop and expand Second Life’s features while building a next-generation VR-capable metaverse platform with Sansar. It’s not an easy job. Sometimes, no matter what he does, he just can’t win.

The following announcement was just published to the Featured News section on the Second Life website:

As part of our year-long 15th anniversary celebration, we’re making numerous appearances inworld to talk about Second Life and the Second Life roadmap directly with our communities! These  ongoing meetups and events will provide opportunities for you to interact with and ask questions to Linden Lab executives and staffers.

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To kick things off, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg will be holding two “Town Hall” chat sessions on April 20th at 9:30 a.m. (SLT/Pacific) and 1 p.m. (SLT/Pacific). Ebbe will be sharing his vision for Second Life in 2018 and beyond, as well as taking questions from the community. Got a question for Ebbe? Post it in the Community Forum thread “A Conversation with Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg” in advance of next week’s meeting. Questions will be selected from submissions for as many as can be answered in the time frame. To join either meetup, head over to one of these Town Hall Regions in Second Life on April 20.

So, you have one week to submit your questions for Ebbe to the linked-to forum thread above!

UPDATE April 23rd: Linden Lab has posted a compilation video of questions and answers from both sessions.

UPDATE April 24th: Inara Pey has posted an excellent summary of the Town Hall meetings on her blog, with audio excerpts.

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Use of VRChat and Sansar in China

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Shanghai, China. Photo by Li Yang on Unsplash

Wuhao, a Chinese user on the official Sansar Discord channel, has shared some information about the current state of VR gaming and social VR in China. He said:

I have feedback from Chinese market. At present several thousands of young Chinese are playing VRChat because of the advertising effect from bilibili, a video sharing website popular with young Chinese. VRChat Chinese community have became the largest virtual world community over Second Life Chinese community based on a view to active QQ Groups (Chinese Discord). The movie Ready Player One is also very popular with young Chinese. But Chinese still have common unstable network problem causing slow loading or uploading in Sansar, and even can’t download the client.

He posted an image of a problem that many Chinese seem to face when trying to use Sansar:

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He also said, in answer to a question as to whether or not VRChat is easier to access:

VRChat should be easier to access in China because it’s a game in Steam.

(I wonder when Linden Lab will release Sansar on Steam?) He added:

VR players are still not mainstream gamers. But more and more Chinese VR [gamers] are buying HTC Vive which has better support than Oculus Rift in China. For me, I only use Steam VR and [the] Oculus Store.

In response to my question about how he is able to run and use Sansar in China, he said:

I use [a] VPN. So I don’t have problem to enjoy Sansar. But many of my Chinese friends and even some Creators in SL who want to develop Sansar really have a common network problem for Sansar.

When asked if he has any information on how common Windows Mixed Reality headsets are in China, he commented:

Not sure. Based on my life in China, I haven’t seen a real AR/Mixed Reality headset product yet and also haven’t experienced one. But it’s no problem to experience VR here even in a small city.

Thank you for sharing your perspective with us, Wuhao!