Colour me gobsmacked.
Is the grid so laggy that April 1st has JUST arrived at Linden Lab’s offices? I’ve just read this, and I’m utterly floored.
Don’t get me wrong….I think the Linden Prize is a great thing. For those of you perhaps not familiar with it, the Prize is an annual award LL give (to the tune of $10,000 USD which is given to the “Second Life Resident or team for an innovative inworld project that improves the way people work, learn and communicate in their daily lives outside of the virtual world” [emphasis mine, for reasons that will become clear].
The listed finalists include very worthy projects such as AIDS / HIV awareness; NASA’s Colab educational facility; the Open University (potentially the world’s foremost distance-learning university, with a global student intake of over 200,000), Virtual Helping Hands, that links volunteers who help individuals with disabilities, various education-based projects…
…and Sion Chickens….
You read that correctly. Sion Chickens. Yes. Those chickens. The ones people (allegedly) love to kill – or more particularly, the ones that eat up sim resources faster than a politician can simultaneously kiss a baby and steal its lollypop.
Now, it may well be that “raising”, “feeding” and “breeding” virtual chickens could well be a fun thing to do (even if it does see your estate “owner” suddenly ignoring you entreaties for help, or your neighbours looking at you peculiarly while holding knives or handguns or large blunt object-shaped prims….). But come on!!! Are we really supposed to believe that this sim-screwing, resource-gobbling, lag-spewing pyramid scheme actually, improves the way people work, learn and communicate in their daily lives outside of the virtual world??
Well…yes, if by “improve” Linden Lab means the potential for those suffering from the impact of said chickens conspiring via real life to locate those owning them, pay them a visit and casually persuade them as to the error of their ways*- then I suppose there might be some logic to including Sion Chickens in the list.
However, the only reason I can find for the inclusion of the Chickens among the finalists is because they apparently stimulated the SL economy in 2009, encouraging an alleged 60K of “new users” to participate in the economy by buying the chickens and their associated, um, goods.
Again, I’m not against stimulating the economy (I’m a content creator, after all). It’s a good thing; it’s healthy to see more people get involved in SL: and if they buy chickens, what else might they buy / rent? Land (they’re going to need somewhere to put their chickens); a house (where they can sit and watch over their chickens); furniture (so they can have something to sit on while watching their chickens)….
But this isn’t the (alleged reason the Linden Prize was founded. Period. End of discussion. As such, for the Lindens to place it in the final 10 is nothing short of cynical, promoting as it does the view that making money (for yourself and LL) is as merited improving the way people work, learn and communicate in their daily lives outside of the virtual world. What is worse is that if, but some godforsaken chance M and his gang actually declare the chickens their winner (or even a joint winner), then they will have undermined any credibility the Prize currently holds among residents.
If not actually reduce it to outright farce.
*aka “beat seven bells out of them”