The Gap and the Lag Monster

Here I sit. In the virtual space of Second Life I’m sitting inside a detailed facsimile of the United Nations. In meatspace I’m sitting in front of a partially-rendered 3D screen image of that virtual space.

Why am I blogging this? Because the lag is so bad I can type this entry and not actually miss anything on the screen.

Why is this irritating? Because Thomas Barnett is also “inside” the virtual UN making a presentation and discussing his new book.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not the unfortunate circumstances surrounding this particular presentation that bugs me. It’s that considering the level of attention Linden Lab has given this presentation the last few days, one would expect better coordination (or at least waiting to upgrade the software client until afterward; the new release isn’t even 48 hours old!). One would expect something like “external scripts” to be turned off so that chatter in the open channel wouldn’t include stuff like “SuperFlightEnhancer Version: XX01.b.x025: Ready to rocket you to the moon”. One might also expect an introduction to include a request asking that those in attendence turn off their virtual gear (scanners, multi-gadgets, bubblegum(!), aso) as those things eat system resources and contribute to lag. And there are other things one might expect as well, assuming the presentation was well-planned and executed in such a way to ensure things went smoothly.

But here I sit. And so does the 800-lb lag monster that has planted itself on my lap. I just wish I could see Mr. Barnett’s in-world slideshow.