Bringing Voice to Second Life

For me, Second Life has always been more about human communication, collaboration, and spirit than about technology. When I talk to Residents about their experiences, one of the recurring themes is improving our communication methods. For so many, Second Life is a place to make and meet new friends and collaborate with others, whether that’s in a business, educational or purely social context.

That’s why today I’m pleased to announce our intention to bring integrated voice capabilities to the Grid. This will enable all Residents to speak with each other if they wish, in addition to the existing Instant Messaging and group chat functions.

Many of you know that voice has always been part of the long-term plan for the Grid, and we truly believe voice can be a transformative technology that will lend more immediacy and dynamism to the way Residents communicate.


Voice in Second Life will offer high-quality communication capabilities with 3D “proximity-based” voice communication. This technology uses spatial awareness, taking distance, direction, and rotation into account, for a more realistic experience. Basically, you’ll be able to tell who is talking in a group since the voice will sound like it’s coming from that direction. We’re also working hard on an initial set of avatar animations, which change and trigger according to the intensity of speech.

A limited beta trial on a test grid launches next week, before a Grid-wide beta takes place later in March, open to all Residents. Official launch is scheduled for some time in Q2 this year, although more details on that nearer the time. There will be no additional charge for using voice for residents or land-owners during the both of these beta trial periods.

We’d love to get people involved at all stages of the beta, so if you’re interested (and serious about) participating in the initial run starting next week, please drop me an email at 3Dvoice@lindenlab.com. All you need is a headset with a microphone. This initial beta trial will occur on a test grid and will require a separate viewer download. Details will be provided by email to those interested. If you’d rather test the voice technology on your own land in the context of the main production Grid, please do not submit a request to the email above for the beta1 limited trial, but wait for the open beta2 to begin several weeks hence.

Clearly, this is a complex technology to deliver, and we’ve been working with a couple of great partners for some time now to ensure that we provide high quality voice, while not impacting the performance or the ongoing development of the Grid. We’ve worked with Vivox to provide a first-class, scalable, end-to-end user experience and brought in another firm, DiamondWare, which has perfected the 3D spatial audio positioning technology. We believe this combination will make for the most realistic voice experience in a virtual world.

We know that many of you have questions about how and when voice can be used, how it works and what the different options are. I’ll start with a brief FAQ that may be helpful as a launch point for specific answers to your questions in the blog comments.

— Joe Linden

Q. Why are you doing this?

Voice is part of our ongoing effort to create a richer, more immersive virtual environment for Residents. We feel it marks a natural progression in the evolution of Second Life, and will prove to be a transformative technology for Residents. We anticipate that voice will be particularly valuable to Resident groups such as educators, non-profits and businesses, who might use Second Life as a collaborative tool for learning and training.

Q. How long have you been planning this?

Voice has always been part of the long-term plan.

Q. Do you see this a wholly positive move? What about the Residents that want to keep their real life identity anonymous? Isn’t this encroaching on one of the main selling points of Second Life?

Our aim has always been to give Residents the tools they need to fully embrace and engage with Second Life in whichever way they are most comfortable. Voice represents an additional option for achieving this, and gives Residents the choice of speaking to each other on voice-enabled land if they wish. For those who prefer it, they may continue to use the Instant Messaging and chat functions to communicate with others. Many of our Residents have been requesting voice for some time now, so it’s clear that for those users, voice will be a boon.

Q. What will Residents be able to do with their voice capability?

There are many ways Residents can use Voice (usage scenarios are outlined below in the technical section), but we anticipate that voice will be particularly valuable to groups such as educators, non-profits and businesses, who might use Second Life as a collaborative tool for learning and training.

For example, academic institutions could use Second Life to carry out lectures in front of a large group audience or corporations could use it for customer training purposes.

Specific technical issues / considerations

Q. Did you develop proprietary technology, or is this a partnership agreement?

We’ve partnered with Vivox to provide in-world voice. Many Residents will already have tried their bright red phone booths in Second Life and our 3D integration is an extension of the infrastructure Vivox has already built out and is successfully serving many existing customers. We evaluated a number of providers and in the end selected a combination of two. Vivox provides a first-class user experience for end-to-end voice services, without impacting the load or performance on the primary Grid. We wanted to make it even more immersive, so we brought in another firm, Diamondware, which has perfected the 3D spatial positioning technology. We think the combination of the two makes for the most realistic voice experience in a virtual world.

Intuitively when you speak with someone, you want a sense of direction and distance. People who are nearer should sound louder, and the person on your right should sound as if their voice is coming from that location. Without that, the voice is flat, and hard to distinguish from other active voices in the area. Our partners give us exactly that ‘3D audio’ feel without additional plug-ins, hardware or bandwidth overload.

Q. Is voice an automatic option, how are you enabled?

Voice capability is linked to the land parcel rather than an individual Resident, so in that sense it’s automatic. The entire Mainland in the Second Life Grid will be voice-enabled by default, with individual land owners able to opt out if they so choose. Private island owners also have the ability to turn on voice as they wish if they’re on a current payment plan (grandfathered plans may require an additional fee).

Of course, if you wish not to speak, that’s fine – there will be an indicator telling other Residents that you are not voice-enabled. While we expect the vast majority of Residents to jump into voice conversations immediately, we fully understand that others may be more cautious or simply decide to stick to IM and Chat.

Q. What equipment do you need?

All you need is a pair of headphones with a microphone – just as you would with a standard VoIP service. Without a headset and mic the sound quality will not make voice communication an enjoyable experience for you or your friends – too much feedback, echo or missing words. If you’ve used one of the popular VoIP services, you’ll know what we mean.

The headsets are widely available from retail and online electronics stores at a range of prices, so there will be one for you.

Q. Can you modify/change your voice? If not, why not?

At present we’re not offering voice modulation or modification. We understand than some Residents may wish to preserve their anonymity even further by disguising their voice. Those that wish can use third party software to modify their voice, but when evaluating it as a standard feature we found the existing technologies just not able to deliver a high-quality result.

Q. Describe how the 3D spatial positioning works

Essentially this means that voices in Second Life will sound as if they are coming from the location of the speaker. So if the person you are speaking to is far away, they’ll sound fainter than one who is closer. But as they walk towards you, their voice will get louder. If you are in a group, the person on your right, will be heard on your right, and those standing to the left of you will sound as if they are indeed on your left.

Of course, all this spatial positioning is specific to you. Others will hear voice locations from their own perspective. This can obviously get quite complex in large groups of moving avatars but was necessary to make the voice experience more authentic.

You can also shout which makes your voice even louder to those standing close to you and those who were previously beyond range, my hear you. We will moderate particularly loud sounds for the benefit of Residents’ ears and also because some people naturally talk loudly or have headsets with particularly sensitive microphones.

Unlike real life, if you do have trouble hearing someone, you can turn up the volume on your computer at a local level.

Q. What are the different options available?

There will be several usage scenarios available in terms of group and private one-to-one conversations:

Scenario 1 – Residents can teleport to voice-enabled land, and automatically start speaking, with the volume of speech modified according to their spatial relationship with others.

Scenario 2 – Group conference calls for two or more Residents. This enables Residents to communicate with large groups regardless of geographical boundaries (e.g. concert setting, multi-sim events, or between pockets of land etc).

Scenario 3 – One-to-one personal communication. This enables
Residents to privately share a conversation, which can be initiated by an Instant Message. Residents don’t have to be on voice-enabled land to do this.

Q. How does the avatar express what they’re saying? Is it through speech bubbles or lip-synching?

When speaking, Residents’ avatars will become animated according to the amplitude of their voice. Residents may disable this feature entirely or easily customize it to match their mood or attitude. There are literally thousands of gestural combinations available.

There isn’t lip synching for the reason that even minor variations in timing of the voice and lips can become very disconcerting, and actually distract from what the speaker is saying. The delays could come from common issues such as minor fluctuations in bandwidth or other tasks taking CPU time. We opted for extremely high voice quality with more generic animation to address this issue.

Q. Can you shout or whisper using this?

Yes – you can do both, and whistle, sing or hum. The codec used in our implementation carries frequencies from 50Hz to 14,000Hz and is ideally suited for music and ambient sound as well as voice.

Q. How does this affect Second Life Grid/server performance? Won’t this make the experience even slower?

The addition of voice should not affect the normal operation of the Second Life Grid since the service is provided by different servers via a third party. Just as video content or music streaming is handled by systems and bandwidth off the main Grid, the voice channels are too.

Q. How does this affect the PC specifications for using Second Life Viewer?

Residents will already have noticed that Second Life works best on a modern machine with a broadband connection. Adding voice will marginally add to the bandwidth requirements, though we have optimized it so that all voices are condensed into a single mixed voice channel, customized for each client. Residents running Second Life on a compatible computer with no other applications in the background via a broadband connection will get the best results and will not notice degradation. Necessarily adding the voice channel does take some bandwidth and some processor power, but no more than other VoIP services which are in common use. Actually, the codec (Siren14) was selected partially because of its low computing resource requirements compared to other codecs of its class.

This entry was posted in Announcements & News, Preview Grid, Resident Experience. Bookmark the permalink.

527 Responses to Bringing Voice to Second Life

  1. DOA Moody says:

    Although the idea I think is cool- GREAT more lag. Like scripts are enough. We just end up using TeamSpeak or Vent.

  2. Alex Ganache says:

    Awesome! I seriously cant wait for this!

  3. Bing says:

    Great Idea, but with the current instability of the grid, packet loss issues, and network lag, this will probably be the straw that breaks the camels back.

  4. I suppose this was inevitable, but it will further divide those for whom Second Life is a truly second life, very possibly a fantasy life, from those for whom SL is an extension of their first life. I wonder if there will end up having to be a grid (from LL or someone else) where those who don’t just want another first life will be able to go.

  5. Musicteacher Rampal says:

    Are you seriously going to charge people with older $195/mo tier islands to use the chat while giving it free to the newer $295/mo tier islands?

  6. Felicat Fairymeadow says:

    “There will be no additional charge for using voice for residents or land-owners during the both of these beta trial periods.”

    This sounds like there will be an additional charge AFTER the beta, when it is implemented in the main viewer.
    I hope i’m only misreading this, or are you really planning to take money for using this new voice feature in the future?

    Lag wouldn’t be much of a problem, because the voice thingy will be on an additional server. But i’m not sure about hearing some blonde bombshell vixens talk like silvester stallone 😉

  7. Doc Nolan says:

    Amen to Veronique! I don’t even like to hear my own voice, much less those of others… My life is filled with a din of voices, TV, radio, piped-in muzak, etc, etc. (Obviously I live in a city!). In 2L I could find peace and quiet… and now?

  8. Doc Nolan says:

    The voice ‘improvement’ avoids one obvious issue… In what human language are all the voices to use? English? Chinese? Spanish? Portuguese? It’s bad enough bridging the language barriers when we are IMing (where one has time to think, compose, and apply rules of grammar and remember foreign words over a span of time)… But speaking demands faster recall and faster integration of language elements in real time… tough in one’s own language… sometimes almost impossible in another language… Good luck, but I have my doubts….

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  11. Nargus Asturias says:

    Mmm…now this is somethings sound cool enoung! 😀

  12. Otenth says:

    I can see that there are powerful reasons driving LL to add this capability, and I agree that integrating live sound will be wonderful for those using SL as a business platform and in producing live entertainment.

    As a regular resident, however, I have no interest in using voice to communicate. The fact that I can turn it off or just not use it is not a feature–it is simply a tool for making sure that something I don’t want isn’t imposed on me. I’m concerned, however, that noise will be imposed on me.

    Will I be able to turn off other people’s voices? Will there be any way for an avatar to indicate that they cannot hear?

    What provision are you making for deaf or hard of hearing residents?

  13. Results Tiki says:

    This sounds great, or will soon! I’m sure there will be options to turn it off like other sounds already. -IF- it has no impact on scalability this is of course way cool the way it’s being implemented.

  14. Felicat Fairymeadow says:

    I have to agree.. my mother language is german.. my written english is understandable (most of the time) but far from beeing perfect. My spoken english may be understood… but i’m sure it will sound horrible! maybe this would help me improve my spoken english, but the first time (weeks, months) it will be very hard…
    And it will clearly increase the voice barrier. When i think of all the new german residents, having problems understanding the simpliest readme files….

  15. Matt Simpson says:

    You must be crazy. Day in and day out there are problems with lag, network outages, slow performance. And now you want to add to the load? You have shown repeatedly that you can’t build a system that scales, that you and your “colo” don’t know how to troubleshoot network problems and don’t know how design a system that can support more than 20,000 people online at once even though you claim millions of residents. I have already considered cancelling my subscription because I think it is a waste of my money to pay for an unusable system. If my cable or phone was out as many days of the month as SL is, I would be demanding a refund.

    So adding voice would be “cool” technology-wise. Well go ahead and play. Maybe you and your “beta grid buddies” think it really hot. But I already thought SL had reached its peak and had outgrown its abilities – now I know it for sure.

  16. Isobel Zemlja says:

    I my experience from various MMORPGs, using voice chat ends up alienating those who choose not to use it. People using voice often don’t want to be bothered to have to switch back to text for someone who isn’t using voice, so the one not using voice gets ostracized and often isn’t allowed to participate in group activities. Not only is this problematic for people who don’t want to or can’t use voice (for example, because they live in a noisy area, or aren’t able to use headphones because they need to be able to hear what’s going on in their home), it’s even more problematic for people who are hearing-impaired. Rather than facilitating communication, my experience has been that voice capabilities tend to divide users and make it harder for those who make different choices (for whatever reasons) to talk to each other.

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  18. Clinton Oddfellow says:

    In my opinion, although voice is optional, it’ll wind up creating rifts in SL. For those who play SL as a true fantasy world, it’ll be difficult. Their characters may be a different age, gender, or ethnicity from who they are in real life, and will have to opt out of voice to preserve their second identity. People will question who they are because they choose not to use the voice features. There will be a whole “I won’t believe you are who you are unless you talk to me” mentality going on, which will have the inevitable effect of creating rifts between people in SL. Those who will talk, and those who won’t.

    CCC

  19. Cat Gisel says:

    So like…can we talk about this? Oh…oh wait..I see, hahah funny!
    *sigh*

    I agree also, anonymity aside, I just hope that those people whose english is not so wonderful won’t feel intimdated by this. Then again, other worlds have enabled voice..it was a mad rush at the start, and then levelled off after a while, with IM still overwhelming chosen form of communication.

  20. Azrael B. says:

    Oh NO!!! Change!!!! It’s PANIC TIME!

  21. Can a resident turn on/off the voice chat through their prefaces if they venture on to a voice enable area? I can only imagine how a griefer would use this to annoy others or how disorienting it can become inside an event or club area if we could not turn off the voice chat.

  22. Takat Su says:

    I understand why LL wants to do this. It’s cool, it will bring people. But for me, this is a catastrophe.

    At the moment, I am on par with everyone else. Noone treats me differently, I am not a second class citizen. With the introduction of voice communications, though, I suddenly become a member of a set of people that is not part of the speaking community. This is exactly one of the things I come to Second Life to escape – the feeling of “otherness” or pity that I get in real life, because I’m deaf, you see.

    For me, this does not increase communications, it will decrease it by ostracizing me from “those who use voice”. I admit, though, that this was bound to happen some time, but for me, I see the beginning of the end – of becomming marginalized. I hope that my vision is incorrect, but I fear the future now…

  23. Chance Unknown says:

    You people seriously havent been conducting your cyber sessions using Skype? Get a clue, if they charge too much you can go back to your prevoius VOIP provider.

  24. Sphere Autopoiesis says:

    This is a fucking bad idea. (pls define abusive.)

    Text is simply a different modality. If you want a videocam then implement a videocam, and leave us alone.

    Where’s the poetry of asking one to rub softly in a squeeky semblance of that other non-reality?

    Pure stupidity. — Sphere.

    Anicca. Anatta. Dukkha.

  25. Lukas says:

    Great news. I can’t wait. I’d even pay extra for it.

  26. nardo says:

    I will probably NEVER use this feature, but I guess for those of you who will, enjoy….?

  27. Atlwolf says:

    Yay, good job Linedn Lab. All you nay sayers, don’t be Luddites.

  28. Vanessa Sakai says:

    I think that voice will detract from SL. What about people who can’t her to well? Will they become second class citizens? And last but least what about the lag? We don’t need more of that. Also it will be a problem for people whose English is not good.

  29. Balthazar says:

    This new feature sounds interesting and a big step towards virtual reality in the sense of full immersion.

    But my biggest question is this. Is the voice part only for main chat as in everyone can hear it or will there be a way to select who hears your voice like if you chat in Instant Messaging?.

  30. Winter Ventura says:

    Much like my infamously pointless “post-it cam” where I would point a webcam at a postit note on my wall which stated if I was at school or asleep or what.. I suspect that this feature will be mostly used for me as a portible feed of whatever is playing on my winamp at the moment. Then I can annoy everyone with my personal brand of “music”… like some teeny bopper with their headphone jacked up to the sky.

  31. Azrael B. says:

    Vanessa Sakai Says:
    February 27th, 2007 at 8:19 PM PST

    I think that graphics will detract from SL. What about people who can’t see to well?

    God, you people are really hilarious. I’m so glad I’m reading this instead of watching reruns of Def Comedy Jam.

  32. Azrael B. says:

    BTW, will the next person who brings up “lag” please actually read the post above about why this won’t be laggy?

    kthxbye.

  33. Winter Ventura says:

    God, clubs are going to get HELL of annoying. Same with sandboxes, and infohubs.

  34. blaze says:

    Yeah, I agree, LL needs to roll this out slowly and see how it impacts the world and its culture. Charge a lot of money for it, why not? You get the revenue plus, give people what they want, and you don’t screw up the world.

    You can always lower the price moving forward.

    What’s the rush?

  35. blaze says:

    Well, charge a lot of money for it, but give deep discounts to the educational folks. Obviously it will only improve the culture there.

    But, seriously, don’t just dump this on SL with a free / low cost version.

    That really helps no one.

  36. Vanessa Sakai says:

    As far as lag goes they always say that it won’t be bad, but we know how that goes. I wonder if in a club or other large gathering with a lot of people trying to talk at once.

  37. Eric Rice says:

    It’s interesting how proximity-based seems to mimic hard-wired phones. In RL, we live in a world where wireless communication allows us the ability to move about. That’s one of the frustrating things about those Vivox phonebooths. We *have to* be there, and no other place. Group IMs and IMs in general, do afford us the luxury of moving around.

    It won’t be surprising to see Skype, TeamSpeak, or Vent continue to be used, because they exist regardless of where we may be.

    The same exists with music streaming… the community over time, had decided to share URLs for people who couldn’t get to an event, or had someplace else to be– even though the SL client and the music streaming parts are separate, music is tied to a parcel. From my understanding, this has been done for purposes of immersion, and vetoed before (even before my time).

    The thing I’d encourage everyone to watch is the emergent uses of the voice aspects of SL. It might be used for things far more creative than simple communication, since it is limited in its design.

  38. Azrael B. says:

    Vanessa Sakai Says:
    February 27th, 2007 at 8:37 PM PST

    As far as lag goes they always say that it won’t be bad, but we know how that goes. I wonder if in a club or other large gathering with a lot of people trying to talk at once.

    Do you understand how it works? Tell me. Explain it to me.

  39. Gaybot Foxley says:

    This “sounds” like fun. I look forward to it and hearing everyone’s charming voices. 😀

  40. Tod69 Talamasca says:

    I LOVE the idea!! Some of us suffer from Carpal Tunnel or RSI and typing is sometimes painful. It would be nice if I can just plain ol’ SAY what I mean & not type it while grimacing from the pains.

    Some folks seem to cry “What about the Deaf User?” Hmmmm… how did they do it before?? OH! Thats right!! TYPE!!!!

    Along the same lines: “What about the user with impaired limbs, whether from a disability or injury?” No one ever thought to ask them how they liked typing, so why should being deaf make a difference? All you gotta do is type “Sorry, I am deaf in RL, could you please type?” Not that hard to do! 😉

    What if you speak very little english? No biggie!! TYPE!!…. even though I love to hear spoken foreign languages. Can’t speak any of ’em but English, but its still NEAT!!

  41. Amethyst Rosencrans says:

    Here is a suggestion. GET SECOND LIFE STABLE FIRST. Thought you said you were focusing on stability and scalability?

  42. Jim Lumiere says:

    Well, while I see the advantage for a lot of people, and know that it has been in the plans, I have to say I’ve been dreading the day.

    I was playing There.com when they introduced voice. It split the community in two. Those with voice and those without (for whatever reason, including capability, choice, etc.).

    Events became default voice only, and trying to participate without voice was futile. People without voice became as 2nd class citizens.

    I own a market; in order to stay competitive I’ll have to enable voice even if I dont want to or am unable to use it myself? Not much of a choice, is it?

    Frankly, one of the major problems I had with voice There and expect here is that I can multi-task about 3 conversations in chat. But with voice, I can only do one. So this communication /improvement/ is really a degradation in some ways.

    Well, I dont expect my opinion to sway anyone. Nor, for any significant number to even agree with me. But I wanted to say what a sad day this announcement is for at least /part/ of the community.

  43. Esch Snoats says:

    The question I have is, which would add a whole new level to clubs, is will you be able to play music while you talk? I can see people using this for karaoke bars and stuff, heh.

  44. Jim Lumiere says:

    @31 … I gotta say that based on experience, saying “Im deaf, please type” never worked. The expected courtesy just never happened. In fact, Im not sure that those using voice chat even /saw/ the text of someone trying to participate in the conversation.

    Not to discount the point made about RSI, etc. but it is just not as clear-cut as anyone would like it.

  45. Peggy Paperdoll says:

    Well what about the live music events? I would imagine voice or audio would have to be enabled to hear the musicians sing or play. So we got 20 or 30 chatty avis out in the dance area wooting and yehawwing………how are we supposed to hear the music? Turn it down? Turn it off?

    Not a particularly great feature as far as I’m concerned. It all may be a great feature for the educational, charitable and business organizations but I really don’t think it’s feature a lot of residents are clammering for. The escort business will thrive though. But, I’ll give it to LL…….it is another selling point to get there corporate friends to come.

  46. Coal Edge says:

    I was honestly excited when I read this news on another website I check before ever logging into SL each day, so this is getting some attention. I never for once thought about the issues of people wanting to protect their “image” but since this is a world where people can be whoever they wish I can see the problem.

    I sort of thought about it in a stance of another world we may know about with voice… Of course there you can just be a human male or human female with mostly the same look, but people still talked if they wanted, or didnt if they chose not to. I actually figured this would be the same.

    No one has SAID people are forced to talk with your REAL voice if you do not wish. Why will it be an issue if someone judges you for being non voice enabled? If you worried about people who may have a “problem” with your in world persona, would you have made a furry/child/sexual difference choice?

    I look at it as a choice, but a wonderful addition that many can and will benefit from. On a business point of view, this will do great also for the fortune 500 companies who may be eyeing second life for a place to have meetings with their offsite staff for a very very reasonable price.

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  49. Ricky Lucero says:

    YAWN…. all this wasted time testing and implementing something, where that time could be spent on bigger and better things… like maybe grid stability, or grid growth.

    You guys are seriously on the WRONG TRACK all over again.

  50. Sean H says:

    A few issues come to mind for me, and I don’t really like them.

    Foremost that this could be a huge division, people who do not wish to or simply can’t talk (I know many profoundly deaf and intellectually handicapped people in SL) will be shunned by others who only want to talk.

    Then there is that hearing a person’s voice can in some cases shatter the illusion of their avatar, so while some areas will be safe (the landowner opts out) what about those areas where they haven’t?

    Will friends and SL Family you have now become offended when you don’t grant them voice rights? Will it be expected?

    People who play the other sex, another species or a different age are another thing to consider. Placing the ability for people to only want voice as their method of communication “at risk” of finding out their wife is a man.

    Also very US centric, what about non-english speakers who rely on translators or who speak english slowly, will they be locked out if they transport into a sim where the discussion is at voice speeds?

    Lastly what if some people in the conversation choose voice and others text. The speeds both run at are vastly different. While in text/text discussion you both type at roughly the same speed, when one party is talking and the other typing will impatience be lost?

    While a great idea for the Normal-Adult-USA-Human population the rest loose the equality that currently exists. If people want voice then they can use skype like they do now but to plug it into the game itself is a huge mistake IMO.

  51. Sherman Ochs says:

    I have to agree with #32…JUST GET THE WHOLE THING STABLE before you go off adding additional “revolutionary” gadgets. The frequent crashing I experience at my end breaks the fantasy of SL enough as it is. I shouldn’t have to relog repeatedly just to maintain an interchange with another person.

    This is supposed to be a big new technology–how about attending to getting it to work properly with the current features. Current performance and reliability ought to be embarassing for such a purportedly major operation.

    If I want voice services I can get them elsewhere. We also do not need to create the “audio divide” which will inevitably develop.

  52. Kathy Vox says:

    I’m really sad to see this. I thought it destroyed the community in there.com and I suspect it will do even more damage here.

  53. Captain Gemini says:

    First of all 10/10 to Lindens for doing everything they can to give Sl’ers what they want, and also for putting up with the usual negative moaners who slag everything off.

    I already use skype to talk with a few friends and my club is teamspeak enabled, though most choose not to use it. When on voice, it is very difficult to include those people who are not voice enabled, and voice does take preference over text unfortunately when you are talking to someone. It is very difficult to carry on a conversation in voice and type to someone at the same time. Yes, it will destroy the fantasy of Second Life, but it is already being used in SL, so it needs to be an integrated part of the main client.

    A massive change in attitude needs to take place within SL Citizen’s minds, that voice should be optional and not compulsory. If that fantastic looking girl you are currently chatting up “displays” a “not voice enabled” tag, it does not necessarily mean she is a he. It may be that she doesn’t sound as sexy as she looks and doesn’t want to spoil the illusion and fantasy world she has created. She may have a speech impediment that she wants to lose, she may talk with an Essex or Birminham accent 😉 Remember that great Cinzano advert (UK) of Lorraine Chase looking stunningly beautiful, standing on a sunset balcony, sipping her drink and being asked by the James Bond type male, “were you truly wafted here from paradise”. She replied in a very strong Essex accent, ” Naaah, Looo’un Aairport”. If you haven’t heard it, this probably doesn’t make sense.
    Fantasy destroyed, not so beautiful girl.

    I won’t be using voice for most of my SL experience through choice, not because I have anything to hide. But it should be provided.

    Slightly off topic, but still to do with communication, Lindens, PLEASE help get BABBLER back up and running by providing a translation software server. Babbler used Google translate or similar but is blocked by their spam protection as it see’s the numerous hits as spam. This was the most valuable tool in Second Life and helped integrate people of all languages. True SL citizenship. Please contact Max Case who has been trying to talk to you about it or check out http://www.maxcase.info

    SUPPORT BABBLER

    Well done Lindens.

  54. As long as it does not add more lag, or cause sims to crash more often. I think LL should concentrate on using their resources to make the grid more stable, rather than trying to add more capabilities. What good is a virtual world full of capabilities if everyone has left because they cannot stand the lag and crashes?

  55. superdave pegler says:

    will the voice be integrated into the client or be a seperate client as was offered earlier.

  56. Malachi Petunia says:

    I wouldn’t fret too much. I expect it will be tried at first for novelty’s sake and then people will realize why no MMO (except There) has integrated voice.

    I expect it will work as well as Quicktime in SL does, that is, not well at all.

  57. Kinzo Nurmi says:

    In real life, my secretary is less than 15 feet away from me, and more often than not. We communicate more by messenger than voice. Part of my staff is in Shanghai (I’m in Japan). Weekly we have a conference call because there are issues that it is critical to hear the others voices, and immediate feedback of vocal communication is necessary.

    Also, Japanese and Chinese is a bitch to type on a western keyboard! Try writing English using Japanese characters. For these languages voice will make communication so, so much easier in SL.

    This is going to be a huge development for content in-world…….good going guys!

  58. Dakota Kelley says:

    *sighs* I do not think this is the best idea for reasons that have been pionted out..
    the Hard of hearing , the ones that play other then what they are in RL ,
    add this one to the list. i sound like Fran Drecher had she grown up in a lousisana bayou. not the most appealing voice to say the least .
    I am quite sure that is not what people wish to hear 😛

  59. Ylikone Obscure says:

    I have a feeling that the voice feature will not be commonly used… only in special circumstances. I will bet that the majority of the population on SL is not interested in voice communications, for obvious reasons. I wouldn’t worry about becoming a second class citizen since I’m not interested in using voice… as I bet the people using voice will be the odd ones out. It’s just a gimmick that will be interesting to people at first, then will fade away.

  60. Analisa Mounier says:

    If I choose to go to a voice -enabled area, such as a club, will a huge babble of voices come at me if I am voice-disabled? Would the noise overide the music or other in-game sound effects. Would the “mute” option work as it does now?

    I think it’s an unnecessary addition to the game, people who want to can already use outside VoIPs.

  61. Alexandra Rucker says:

    To add to the “Some people won’t do voice because…” debate:

    I doubt my hardware will be ABLE to do voice AND SecondLife – my CPU is already at 100% anytime I’m running SL. Adding voice capability at my end will bring it to it’s knees.

    And… another thought… some of us have been text chatting for years, and quite simply think BETTER and respond BETTER when viewing text in chat than listening to voice.

    It’s too easy to miss something vocal in a crowd of people, or if you’re distracted by kids/pets/significant others at just the wrong moment.

    Anyone who treats non-voice-enabled as second class should probably rethink why they’re here in the first place. If they place voice chat on that high a priority, there’s plenty of telephone conference lines to call. 🙂

  62. Farallon Greyskin says:

    I was also on There when voice was introduced. And yes, it will totoally schizm the populace. Although people with voice can listento people without (seeing their chat) people wouthout voice will not be able to communicate with groups using voice.

    I sometimes wonder if Lindens ever play or played any other MMORPGs and have first hand seen what this sort of thing does to a game.

    I also see this as yet another “enevitable” but world damaging tech feature.

    I REALLY hate to have to live through this again, rechoosing all your friends and groups and being locked out becuase I HATE yaking to my computer 😦

  63. Otenth poses a good point, what about those people who cannot hear? Actual deaf/mute people who play on SL. Is there a way to disable incoming and outgoing voice communication for those people so they don’t receive an unnecessary bandwidth and processing hit for content they can’t experience?

  64. skipjenkins says:

    Well, now escorts will be able to answer that age old question…

    “How do I know youre not a dude?”

  65. Jess Duettmann says:

    There.Com has had voice for some time. Those who chose not to participate rapidly become second-class participants in any conversation. Those of us who prefer not to speak because our RL identity does not match our avie (NOT just those with different gender, in RL I am much older than my avie, my voice is harsh and accented, it would be a jarring intrusion into the SL fantasy world if I were to speak) will become disabled and left out of any interaction where two or more participants have voice. This is a Bad Thing, and although I will stick with SL through its technical growing pains, I can see it become the reason I leave SL

  66. Ylikone Obscure says:

    Where voice will be used in SL:

    1. educational classes, virtual corporate meetings, presentations, etc..
    2. to verify that that escort is really the sex they claim to be

    Everybody else will have “Enable voices” turned off in their config. People using the voices in public will be labelled “griefers”.

  67. Mikeey Garfield says:

    voice chat killed there.com

    voice chat is not nessecary to SL. those who want voice chat can use skype/teamspeak.

    this is a waste of time and resources.

  68. Sutoka says:

    Good thing you read the FAQ, right? 😉 It answers the question about lag and says pretty much no impact on the grid’s performance since it’ll be handled by servers off the grid.

  69. Sutoka says:

    Wow I really shouldn’t leave blog posts open in the browser all day, and then comment on them when I’m about to go to sleep without refreshing the window first -,-

  70. Grow says:

    Ha! No offence LL, but SL cant even handle normal chat when the amount of users you allow on, log in- let alone Voice! Stop jumping the gun! Fix transactions, TP’s, sim line crossings, typed chat delays, IM caps, Live help Lindens not knowing First Look isnt the beta grid, Rez fails etc.. To be honest, you’re just not ready! Most of the staff* are very gifted and know exactly how to implement the stuff you want added but can you honstly say the you have the equipment needed?

    * Look in a previos blog, where I C@P’d a convo I had with a Linden, she didnt even know First Look was on the main grid and said the reason my invo wouldnt load is because a screenshot of my invo was used and was roughly a month behind..

    Please dont censor this, LL. The convo was in a previous blog entry..

    Try taking a step back, forget the online “ghost” users, and fix before you add

  71. LaeMiQian says:

    A few thoughts…

    Not sure if the escort business will benefit or loose 95% of it’s workforce over this one 😛

    While Voice certainly has its uses, it isn’t about to replace text outright. SMS manges quite well despite voice being on that medium first! I see voice as complementing text, and text being very useful for less real-time-critical communication (like IM, email, letters, memos, etc.). I certainly won’t be taking random voice calls from people that are quite capable of sending me text in SL any more than I do in RL! Myt phone is for my convenience, not yours!

    While SL isn’t going to provide voice-morphing capabilities, there is nothing stopping you adding a VOX (I think that is what they are called) to your own system, either a hardware or software one. Furries can even get away with a really cheap one that will make them sound like chipmunks :-). I actually think the user’s system is a better place for the VOX than built-in to SL anyway. Would you trust the SL Grid with your identity obstification?

    And I am happy for any SLer to refuse to communicate with me in text – what better way of making sure I waste less of my time on people I really don’t have time for anyway 🙂

  72. Grow says:

    Eep, ignore the email hyper, dunno what happened there

  73. LaeMiQian says:

    Oh, and as far as LindenLabs resources goes, I got the impression the voice service is being supplied by outside sources that would not have anything to do with stabilising the grid or the client anyway.

  74. Bad move. It’s hard enough trying to keep up with a conversation as it is in a busy area, but at least with chat log you can go back and see what you missed. If you’ve got 5 people using voice chat and 2 people typing… the conversation is going to make no sense.

    I personally know several deaf people in SL. Quite how do you expect them to be able to use this?

    Broccoli

  75. Hionimi Engawa says:

    A few things about sound I’m still curious about:
    Does Second Life support EAX?
    When I move my cam underwater, the sounds do seem to get muted a little,
    but that could be software rendered, or DOES SL support EAX?

    And: Is surround sound (5.1 for example) supported by SL?

  76. Nik says:

    Voice! Great, I can finally teach English classes where students can benefit from the correct pronunciation element as well! Please make sure the teleconferencing capabilities work well, too. I love to hear my students talk…Many thanks, Linden team, and keep up the good work 🙂

    PS In my in-world experience, Skype was very noisy and unstable while Teamspeak was a total disaster…

  77. Blueman Steele says:

    OMG KARAOKE!!!

    IN DA NAAAAAAAME OF LUUUUUUUVE…..

  78. Coolkama says:

    I think that will be great to get rid of those people misrepresenting themselves in SL.

    i HATE fake people. i HATE people who represent themselves as something they are not but expect others to fall in love with them. an image of them and personality that does not represent them in any way at all.

    I understand anonimity, and thet involves not telling people about things from RL to identify you. this is totally different from misrepresentation of YOU.

    Be happy about YOU and what YOU are. if you need to fake YOU to get a friend. them maybe these people are not really you friend after all.

    Roll on voice.

  79. Loki Eliot says:

    Cant you just fix all the other bugs first please?

  80. marc8300 Beltran says:

    I must say i welcome this new step, being in europ we have different languages, some of us speak but don’t write that well in other languages so for those ppl I welcome speach into SL, paying more for it? well everything gets more expensive everyday, also in RL so ….
    SL should become a true second chance !!

  81. I’m torn. It’s awesome… and it’s terrible all at once.

    If I enable Voice on my store’s land… I will have to constantly worry about a new kind of griefer.. people that just walk around shouting obsentities. It will happen. I cant imagine any store/business having Voice-Enabled land unless they plan on having 24 hours security.

    Shopping in SL is a lot of folk’s favorite thing. It’s chill. It’s relaxing. If it was as loud and annoying as a real mall, it would be, well, as loud and annoying as a real mall.

    I like the private chatting idea regardless of land settings, that’s super cool. So, I’m not complaining, just saying I’m definately turning it off on my land.

  82. Tezzare J says:

    God, clubs are going to get HELL of annoying. Same with sandboxes, and infohubs.

    Hmm reminds me can we ban that stupid banana song from the whole of SL somehow…………

    Hmm yes played other MMO’s where people use team speak etc, great for a team of close friends, buteven then you end up with people jumping up and down infront of you waving their arms typing “LISTEN TO ME! HEEEELLLLOOOOOW!” because you tend to ignore chat completely and hence others around you, if whole group doesn’t have it it is Chaos.

    Well a lot of escorts may disappear I suppose or just not use voice. And so will the 45yo women playing 20yo babes too. Hmm my spoken german will be worse than my typing too. Eventually I guess some good scramplers or voice alteration will come out. I’m not good at RPing voices I’m afraid, but it would also mean RPG games could be played better too online perhaps.

    And yes will be harder for deaf people and the slower disabled people out there with speech impediments.

    I guess we can’t avoid it, I alsways hoped some games would split into voice & non voice servers to make it work ok.
    I just hope they are very cautious to implement this, but it doesn’t sound so when they have comitted them selves to a release date.

  83. Loniki Loudon says:

    This is certainly the wrong track. If I wanted voice I would be using voice. If I wanted a webcam I would have a webcam. Just how much is this unasked for feature going to mess up everything? What about when listening to the radio or in a noisey club? I need less lag, I need server stability. I don’t need no damn voice chat, been there, done it and I am not going to wear a headset all day. This is not no new cutting edge technology, this is old rehash vent or teamspeak that in my opinion is a POS.

  84. Tegg B says:

    I think that will be great to get rid of those people misrepresenting themselves in SL.

    i HATE fake people. i HATE people who represent themselves as something they are not but expect others to fall in love with them. an image of them and personality that does not represent them in any way at all.

    Be happy about YOU and what YOU are. if you need to fake YOU to get a friend. them maybe these people are not really you friend after all.

    Maybe you HATE actors in movies too because SHOCK HORROR they are all FAKE, I hear the Orcs killed in WoW are not even real Orcs, And the people playing City Of Heroes can’t really fly either, but computer controlled pixels 😛
    People here are friends of my Avatar not my RL persona though some may be friends of my other Avatars here and on other games as well, chances are 90% of us from the opposite sides of the planet will never meet in RL. Some play their RL persona’s and that is good for them, I do that occasionally too, though the HATEMONGERS think my true physical look is ugly. I don’t HATE them for it or people choosing to be them selves, but I do HATE bigots like you.

    And if I’m not happy enough about me to be me here that’s my business, this is Second Life, not First Life.

  85. Marcus Menatep says:

    i’m really looking forward to this. i used to meet up with people in-world whose skype contacts i already have and so we used this. quite good. 😛

  86. Zi Ree says:

    Comment 45:
    Second Life *always* maxes out the CPU on your computer, this has nothing to do with it being slow or anything. Voice encoding actually does not eat too much CPU power.

    Comment 51:
    Please read the blog post *in its entirety’ and understand it, before commenting on lag. The voice service will be provided by the network of an *external* company, not the main grid. The additional bandwidth needed on your end will be even lower than listening to the music stream on a parcel.

    The voice chat of multiple people will be mixed and computed on a server at the VoIP company’s network, and only then it will be sent to the resident’s viewer, thus eating up always the same amount of bandwidth, regardless of the number of avatars talking.

    I see uses for voice, I see disadvantages. Voice was available externally before, but now it will be a unified ssystem, no more “install skype, teamspeak, 25 other VoIP systems, work on linux, work on mac …”. I’m pretty sure, voice will be an option, not enabled by default, turned on or off by a click of the mouse. I also hope we get mute features for individual avatars while using voice. AND I hope that all island owners get to use voice chat for free, because even the old, grandfathered prices were quite high already, so there should be voice included 🙂

    All in all this will add another level of communication to SL. Groups of people will use voice chat as primary method of communication while others will stick to text chat. We will see how it blends together in the end…

    An excited, anticipating …
    Zi

  87. Trevor Blazer says:

    Well as DOA said more lag if you use voice on SL, but he is mostly right about Teamspeak or Vent, hell all of me and my friends use Teamspeak and have no lag by it.

  88. Great news! I’ve been waiting for such a thing since I came to Second Life. Less lies, less hiding, more realism. I just hope that it really won’t add extra load and instability, because right now, the grid is a nightmare.

  89. Arnold Wilder says:

    Would you like a can of spiv with your lag today?

    (Spam throught Internet Voice-communications)

  90. Vx Shaw says:

    I’m coming up on my 2nd SL birthday…and all the hype back when I started included chatter about some neat things that were going to be in SL by **3rd quarter, 2005** !!!

    What happened to HTML on a prim, physics, advanced prim shapes…and on and on…? Since I’ve been here, we’ve gotten flexy on cylinders, light prims, and an overloaded database. To say it’s been lateral progress would be giving SL too much credit.

    I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be neat to have voice (I already use skype), but you’re turning SL into an upgraded version of what Alexander Graham Bell created more than 100 years ago (the telephone)…ok, more like PowerPoint with a webcam and voice.

    All of you people scared about the addition of voice shouldn’t worry too much. I’d imagine that the odds that LL will actually be able to implement voice are slim. Look at their track record.

    I came into SL with plans of using it for simulating real applications. Don’t you all get it? Some of us are looking for a tool, too – not just a toy!

  91. Tijn Erde says:

    I, for one, will disable any and all voice functionality, including on my land. This is one feature I REALLY don’t want. As I understand it though, you can disable it at will and without any performance penalty.

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  93. Tegg B says:

    LOL at 66

    Yes can imagine the howls here on the blogs “I CAN”T TALK!” “TALKING IS DOWN!” “FIX THE TALKING BUG!” “WHERE CAN I POST A QUESTION ABOUT TALKING?” “MY CLASSIFIEDS ARE LOSING MONEY BECAUSE I CAN’T TALK!” “I CAN’T TALK TO THE WATER!” “WE NEED TO KICK FREE TALKERS!”

    ROFL 🙂

  94. Vicar McAlpine says:

    With the number of people (big and little) slushing around my house PC voice has never been an option for me.

    Sounds like a bunch of tekkies showing off without thinking through the consequences. Just because we can do something doesn’t always mean we should.

    On the plus side, when we hear the Lindens we will now know that really they come from Planet X and aren’t human at all. (I always thought so. They’re far too good-looking).

    Now’s the time to buy shares in voice-morphing companies.

  95. Elvis Faust says:

    1) “There will be no additional charge for using voice for residents or land-owners during the both of these beta trial periods.” What does that mean exactly?

    2) When will we get glasses that paint our eyeballs with lasers to create a truly 3d experience? Seems to be one of the last bits of Snow Crash left unpilfered.

    3) You can grief people with sound already. I had a guy standing right next to me pull out an object that played a Bryan Adams song this afternoon. I had to run away to escape the horror!

    4) Did LL actually pay money to contract out this voice development? If so, did they not realize that people interested in VoIP can go out and hook themselves up? Granted, there wouldn’t be that supercool and hypernecessary 3D spatialization feature. (I started going into a rant here about resource mismanagement in the face of a sputtering grid but decided not to – you’re welcome!) Anyhow, if they managed to get this 3rd party development deal *without* paying up front… well I think we have the answer to question #1! 🙂

  96. Missy Malaprop says:

    not that I’ll ever use this because of hearing problems… I don’t see much of an issue adding it in, unless it does make a huge split and different class citizens. I find it more likely that those that require voice aren’t people I want to waste my time with anyways.

  97. Tegg B says:

    Heey we could have a voice chat blog too , with a Linden announcing “comments closed ” 🙂

  98. Tashie Oddfellow says:

    Mainland get it free but Islands pay? *gasp* Joe i’m disappointed, not only is this extremely unfair but again shows a “them an us” thing happening, not good. How bout we fix that Group Chat thing now where we can toggle that on/off, or fix Group Notices so that people with larger groups can actually communicate with their patrons, rather than fixing it so people can hear other’s moan and groan in dungeons.

  99. Tegg B says:

    Hmm I thought it was Islands getting it not Mainland?

  100. Cancer Manimal says:

    While I love hearing you all whine and cry about being labeled a second class citizen, or being afraid your Gorean Slaver BF is gonna find out your really a guy, as well as the escort you just payed 10000L for turns out to have a deeper voice than you. I have to agree with the rejection of voice support. SL runs bad enough as is without adding another poorly implemented feature.

    I’d much rather see SL run well, Not have the massive chat lag, attach lag, rez lag, water not rendering in some places…. Even though I should list every problem facing the grid, I’m not gonna bother.
    I already stated that SL should be taken down for a day for a 24 hour maintenance run, and I’ll stand by it.

    Fix the features we already have before you break any more. Please.

  101. Jakyl Lightfoot says:

    Now, this I don’t get… Why? I’m in aggreement with most of the people I’ve read… This will just cause problems. Why not just go find something better to do….like grid stability, LLLAAAGGG!!! , ect.? More important than being able to talk…I gaurantee it!

  102. Charlotte Gillespie says:

    I choose to very rarely use sound in SL at all; generally, when I’m playing, I’m doing something else at the same time, listening to the radio or watching television or — shock — having a conversation with someone in the same room as me. I’m hardly likely to go attaching a mic (which I don’t have) to my PC and talking to random people. Everyone’ll think I’ve gone nuts!

    I can see the day when it ends up like There — walking around just seeing the speech bubble over someone’s head and being unable to converse. I’m not an “omgz I’m gonna leave coz they changed it!!11” person, but I’ll wait for the new feature to settle in a bit and see what it’s like before considering whether I stay.

  103. Lawrence says:

    So it’s to be yet another voice chat program with immersive graphics.
    to Missy in 71, it will be a split. between those who use this as a RL tool and those who play this as the name of the brand – their Second Life. Those in here ‘looking for love’, or for other RL connotations such as classes and learning, will auto-brand anyone not willing to use this. I’m appalled that LL are considering charging grandfathered island holders for it though if it’s free on mainland where the tier is exactly the same. I suspect most escort services will be out of business but I equally expect to see a lot of those treating this as their Second Life moving onto the next platform as well. Here’s a tip LL, rename it to Real Life – now with added voice.

  104. Fibonacci says:

    Make the existing feature set work. Please. I don’t want or need voice in SL. If I want voice, I can use Ventrilo or Skype. But I don’t want it. Really don’t want it! Really, really, really. There is enough noise in real life. When will you guys learn to leave well enough alone?

  105. Eva Adamsson says:

    Why do you waste resources on this, when there is Skype?!?

    Add support staff instead, for God’s sake!

    I lost 6000 L$ this weekend due to a “time out” during a parcel purchase. My complaint to “support@secondlife.com” has not yet been taken care of. I’ve soon had enough of this SLOPPY CUSTOMER CARE.

  106. C10D says:

    Funny voice, and by the first thought was, why?
    No, i wil not use voice to communicate with other residents, beacuse of a simple reason, in SL you play a role that’s away for RL, therefore you are able to make ilusion that can break when you herr hter a voice.
    Althougn nice for the porno industry, this will boost SL even more.

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  108. Voice capabilities within the SL client bring the same old hot debate that voice-enabled services almost identify with.

    On my side integrated voice chat is a 2-thumbs up for briefing and interacting with clients without leaving the environment.

    Bring on the beta testing.

  109. Fairlight Lake says:

    Pro:
    – Fast, flexible method of communication
    – Unique chance to enhance your english skills
    – Ideal for those who use SL as an extension to their RL
    – Escorts can add a new service. Woot. Woot?.. Err.. *moan*

    Contra:
    – Split comms into two: The voice-chatters and the typers, which then will effectively be unable to communicate with each other, as each of them will refuse to use the other’s communication method for one reason or another.
    – Serious impact on the immersion feel of roleplayers who created their own characters and now are stuck with their own voice
    – Hard to report Code of Conduct violations over voicechat (You can’t that easily include a sound sample with the Abuse Report if someone starts insulting you and playing hardcore sex samples over the voice chat.)

    Ideas:
    – How about beeing able to make use of the wide variety of VSD plugins to alter the voice or change it in other ways? All you need is to support VSD plugins.
    – Voice Ban Lists
    – Voice Moderator options for Groups (Who can speak, who can listen, who can do both? Easy way to switch from moderated to open, or give someone a voice, to make things easier in town hall like meetings or educational events.)

    Unclear:
    So, chatting on land only is enabled if the land owner enabled it, and if it’s on one of the overpriced islands or the mainland. 1on1 Voice chat will always work, regardless where we are, and how about Group Chat? I would think that that also would work regardless?

    Personal view:
    I am eager to try it out, but I am a bit scared what it might cause to the community in general. I do see the negative sides, but I think that, in the end, each sub-community will decide for themselves what would best suit their type of play/business. Roleplay communities will prolly stick with the text, others might switch to voice. The losers will be the few people who do not want or simply cannot adjust to the chosen communication type of their community.

    Have a nice day!

    Fairlight Lake

  110. Walter Kuhn says:

    this will divide people into some groups
    those who like voice and those who do not
    and, also the people with lower bandwidth

    it is too much integrating 1L into 2L – where will me dreams stay then.

    keep this feature away, but improve land program and lag

  111. trinity_dejavu says:

    Hurrah! LL are finally learning lessons in how to screw its user base for every last penny – if you want to know how this feels before the end of this beta period, please visit http://www.there.com

  112. Rock Rope says:

    So long and thanks for all the fish!

  113. suzi says:

    It’s not so much that I don’t want you to hear me (although I don’t), The real horror is that I don’t want to hear you. I don’t care if you’re male pretending to be female, human pretending to be a fox, or a fox pretending to be a human. I don’t want to know. I have lots of friends and aquaintances here. Hearing their real voices would change things completely. And opting out? In practice it won’t be an option.

    If and when voice comes, I’m outta here. So sad.

  114. Kathy Kline says:

    Nice feature but I can only hope LL still work on the issues they should be working on instead of introducing new things that a minority off residents are asking for.
    Sure some people will like the feature and will use it on there land but think most residents rather like the grid being more stable then it is now.
    New features are great but please follow the list of priority’s right.

    First a stable system (and not just stable at some times of the day) and after that new features please.

    Not that its worth something but just giving my opinion.

  115. Stefano says:

    SL should be a “world” where you can free your imagination and fantasies. From a psychological point of view this is most important: to “test” yourself (yourselves) inside in-world environments and relationships. I can be an average guy in my comfy home and, by night, a wild centaur in a snowy cave. And there are old men in RL who are wonderful and charming young ladies – “real” ladies – in SL.
    Voice chat kills the power of the mind. The enable/disable option is ridicolous: just another discrimination.
    We are experiencing too many bugs, but LL demonstrate once more that SL is a business platform (for LL, of course).

  116. Tegg B says:

    Hmm will chat work across sims or is this just a good excuse to bring mobile phones into SL? 😛

  117. trinity_dejavu says:

    @Vx Shaw

    Amen.

  118. Tegg B says:

    Yes when the 20yo looking escort you’ve enjoyed regularly suddenly has a high pitched 45yo voice and kids screaming in the background it will be great 🙂 Though I guess voice morphers will soon follow, Hmm purchase voices for your avatar next? Should I wear my Victoria Beckam voice today or my Christine Aguilara today?
    Or other people trying to sleep in the house at 2am have to listen to you talking & laughing. 🙂
    But it’s on it’s way regardless of the beta tests, (which of course will be mostly people wanting voice) they’ve comitted to a release date.
    Next we can force people to look like their RL selves and change the name to First Life.

  119. Quantum Daikon says:

    Another thought about this.

    My family is really going to like me talking away while everyone else is trying to watch the TV…NOT.

    LL is forcing me into the little box room on my own 🙂

    I suppose it is coming what ever but I also suspect that software will follow quickly to remedy many of the concerns voiced above. Maybe LL are indirectly driving technology towards the babel fish translator 🙂

    Quant

  120. Richard Dwi says:

    Hm. It does seem to be a good idea from a TG perspective, but then again, it seems like a bad idea too. Frankly, I’m not all that worried about this, if it works it works, if it doesn’t go back to skype, or just ignore voice chat alltogether. Good job Linden Labs, I hope to see this implemented soon.

  121. Inigo Chamerberlin says:

    So, thinking of charging me for it because I have a grandfathered island are you?
    Even though you’ll give it to the freeloaders on the mainland for free?

    NO problem! I guess you never heard of Skype conferencing?

    So – my response? Screw you.

  122. Vampirella Jewel says:

    I am very happy about this new addition. For those like myself, I suffer from a very painful muscle condition, it will bring a great deal of relief and alot more fun. I can just imagine this also opening doors for others with similar problems or even worse, those with severe arthritis or even a missing hand or two, to try out SL and broaden their own worlds a bit more. Kudos to LL for such a bright idea and making it possible for some physically disabled to enjoy the world of SL.

  123. The XO says:

    Sounds like a lot of people don’t want voice – me included!!!

    I understand LL are doing this for business reasons, so people can meet, discuss, etc.

    I suggest this…

    1. Enable voice on the test grid
    2. Build a “business” grid for meetings, etc for your corporate clients – enable voice
    3. Leave the main grid alone and do not enable voice on it

    I agree that SL should be SL, not an RL extension. This is going to ruin it for a lot of people – great, nice one LL!

    There are also some great points from people here, who do not like their voices, don’t want to be heard, want to be private, are deaf and cannot hear, can’t speak in the language clearly enough.

    I seriously recommend a “business” grid for this kind of thing, but leave this one out of it

    /me shouts into the wind “Leave it as it is, everyone is happy! Hello… can you hear me… anyone?”

  124. Drake Bacon says:

    I want a Linden to answer this question:

    When will Vivox, the provider for the voice-in-client functionality, port it’s code to Linux and MacOS? Adding this new feature will flop if it’s not out on all platforms.

  125. Rafe Wilber says:

    A very interesting idea. My biggest concern though is COST. Ok, the initial beta trials will be free, but as stated in the release..

    “The addition of voice should not affect the normal operation of the Second Life Grid since the service is provided by different servers via a third party.”

    Is this third party a generous philanthropist that will be supplying this service free? No. They will be a business, and you can expect to be billed for using their service. Of course, this is not necessarily a bad thing as it should stop non registered griefers being able to stand around shouting obscenities.

    I am concerned for others, that do not wish to use this facility. There have been a few cases mentioned in the previous posts, and I do fear that there will be a second class emerging out of this. Would make a wonderful marketing strategy…. ‘Have a Second Life where you can feel Second Class!’

    I attend ‘meetings’ in SL, and can IM people during the boring bits, but am still able to scroll back up in the general text chat to make sure I’ve not missed anything if I nip out to the kitchen to replenish my glass, or nip out to the small room. Some people at these meetings can be most ‘vocal’ at the moment, with their text dominating the window. But still others are able to have their say at the same time. If it was all voice, how confusing is this going to be?

    Now on to the selfish bit 😉 I live in the UK. Most of the people I interract with in SL are from the US. The beauty of working shifts is that I can be online when they are, and can sit up into the small hours ‘chatting’ with them. But my family need to sleep during those ‘small hours’. How disturbing is the sound of me chatting away to my PC going to be to them? How annoying would it be to the people I’m chatting with, if I’m whispering all the time? No more trips to the loo during the meetings… no more IM’s to my friends during the boring bits (hey, I’m a bloke, we CAN’T multi task).

    But it will be interesting to see how this does change our SL experience. I’m no luddite, I love technology, but we’ll see whether this will be an ’embrace and change’, or ‘reject and leave’ situation.

  126. I guess those of us who are against voice – for the myriad reasons – can simply boycott the ‘beta testing’ stage, to show our displeasure at the introduction of an unnecessary and generally unwanted feature instead of fixing some of the bugs. After all, if only 6 people go to ‘beta test’ something … it’s not likely to get implemented very quickly is it?

    I still would like to see some figures proving that this was a highly requested feature. A quick recent ‘feature vote’ search shows the most popular votes for voice chat having only 27 (#2839), 25 (#2186), 18 (#1361) voters in support. In fact, the most popular vote (#140 – from April 2005) has only 200 voters in support. Out of 4 million… that really isn’t a high demand now, is it?

    Broccoli

  127. Alex Warrior says:

    G’day Joe

    “Q. How long have you been planning this?
    Voice has always been part of the long-term plan.”

    Ummm NO, that’s a lie.

    Ohhh I am sorry – perhaps I just didn’t READ it anywhere when I first joined in November 2005.

    Perhaps none of the OLD TIMERS that started in 2003 forgot to chat to me about this “long-term” plan when we were talking of other 3D worlds that at that point had voice (you know “there” which ones I mean).

    Pffttttt – always part of the long-term plan? That sounds like such a political answer.

    I have a Q. and A. for you…

    Q. When are you going to be able to support 50,000 concurrent users?

    A. Linden Lab are looking into NEW features so they get more people signed up.

    LOL.

    Seriously guys (Linden Lab), those that have wanted to use voice or cam have ALREADY been doing so via OTHER third party companies… helloooo – I don’t need to tell you that there are THREE major companies that offer this service internationally already for free.

    This just smacks of a competitor that is planning to take on SL and you trying to get the jump on them. And I wonder how many of your Linden Lab staff you have engaged in the oppositions worlds to ‘sample’ it when they should be in SL telling you first hand of all the issues you have here.

    Honestly – coming from me – a girl that pays you US$487.50 (and my real world AU$633.75) per month, I don’t want to have 45 minutes in the morning (free time before go to work) where SL won’t load because you have 30,000 users.

    I am not alone here and I make sure my hardware and ISP are all as up to date as can be in Australia, so the problem is at your end.

    ffs – we don’t need voice, we need stability on the grid.

    Please? I am begging you! PLEASE, please concetrate on fixing the load with the users. You do realise it’s only going to increase?

    I am hanging in as long as I can, but when I can’t log, or move, or load textures, it’s not really entertainment, it’s frustration. And I might be kinky, but I am not willing to pay for frustration!

    Cheers
    Alex

  128. The XO says:

    LOL @ Coolkama. Post #57

    It’s SL! Second Life… not first life. Second.

    GET A GRIP!!!!

    If you’re unable to handle it… don’t log on again – simple!

    Go and look up what “avatar” means…actually, i’ll save you the trouble, here’s some examples.

    1. an embodiment or personification, as of a principle, attitude, or view of life.
    2. Computers. a graphical image that represents a person, as on the Internet.

    It’s a “representation”, it’s not real…. Second Life!

  129. The XO says:

    Actually… why not build in support for web cams, then we can all look at each other too.

    Either that, or I could just start giving out my postal address and you can all write to me instead

    (If anyone didn’t pick up on the sarcasm there….)

  130. Jessica Elytis says:

    Great idea!

    Poor planning as always.

    To implement properly, Residents should have the following options;

    1) The ability to not HEAR voice in SL. ‘Opting out’ only removes thier voice. I, for one, do not want to be bombarded by large groups if idiot griefers singing the Barney song. And no, Mute is not the answer. Nice try, thank you for playing, come again. I do not want to have to mute every idiot that wants to mouth off and be even more annoying hiding behind the computer screen.

    2) Extended options for voice modulation. To allow Residents that wish to continue the fantasy of their SL experience utilizing the voice. ie, vampires can make their voices sound more hollow and windy, furries can put deep growls or squeaks into theirs, etc, etc.

    I’m not against voice in the slightest, but LL needs to listen to what the Residents actually WANT on the feature instead of just putting it in how they THINK it should be. Show a little common sense business practice for once and listen to your customers.

    ~Jessy

  131. I think a lot fo major problems would be cleared up by requiring one thing along with the voicechat. Don’t make it enabled via UI, but rather by an object that will be given free to all citizens. This object would, surprise surprise, be a headset. It would immediately reveal who is a talker and who isn’t, and would relieve the non talkers from greiftalkers. It would also make it easier on the grid by not forcing a reprogramming of avatars to accomodate the talking animations and scripts, but woudl rather use the existing architecture with simply new fancy Linden brand scripting.

  132. Bear Market says:

    When have you ever heard anyone on a team speak device say anything useful? Bah Humbug!

    The growing level of bugginess of SL has been getting on my case anyway.

    Having to listen to every noob ask me “where are you from?” will probably mean it is time to move on…

  133. Pipe Hesse says:

    Anyone know if there is cross platform support for this – eg will those using the Mac or Linux clients also be able to use voice?

  134. John Horner says:

    A great idea, especially enabled by default on the mainland. We will be moving much closer to the 3D web platform with this, especially great for group meetings of all kinds, and private one to one conversations

    Some of the bigger Island Estates may have problems though because of the charging issue and tier levels of individual avatars.

    Lets take both Dreamland and Caledon as a working example. I do not have the authority to speak for either group but…….

    1) If the two island owners decide to implement the voice option they may have to increase tier levels for all across the board to pay for it, this will annoy those who don’t want it but will be forced to pay for it.

    2) If they decide not to implement voice there well be a large minority or small majority who want it and cannot have it. That will also annoy people sorry to be blunt.

    3) The Island owners may decide to create voice and non-voice enabled areas. That means people who want or don’t want it may be forced to move, again at the digital expense of rebuilding, again annoying people.

    4) Island owners who cannot afford an increase in tier to enable voice may well loose custom and thus their investment in SL

    5) The reverse could occur, insomuch as Island owners who do decide to upgrade could loose custom from those forced to pay for voice but do not want it

    a) The solution to these above problems is to enable voice across the board for all, but allow individual landowners to turn it off

    b) Resist the natural urge to charge more for it. However…..I believe most people would accept that all tier levels are going to have to increase sooner or later due to inflation, therefore suggest that in the future all tier levels may increase annually by the US equal of the Retail Prices Index

    c) Mitigate the griefing issues mentioned by giving avatars the ability to mute other individuals and introduce an additional clause in the TOS warning that obscene language in a public area can result in a suspension or ban

    Regards

    John

  135. Adam X says:

    English is not my mother tongue, sometimes it’s hard for me to understand what people are writing. I think I will loose at least 50% of voice conversation because it will be too fast for me to understand.

  136. Nad Gough says:

    Will voice chat arrive in the order you speak your lines? Text chat often does not. I think that’s a bug in SL. Not to suggest there are bugs in SL…

    Will we able to speak commands? You know, be able to do all those bug workarounds we now have to learn, remember, and do…

    Will I be able to say “I know so and so in online but they don’t show in my friends list so I can’t TP them” somehow get the system to correct that?

    Will saying “others cant see anything but my hair and shoes so take me into groups – choose a group and come back out” fix the problem?

    Will simply saying something like “my hair, my shoes, my jewelry are all up my ass after that tp. FIX THAT” get it fixed?

    LL doesnt listen to these lines now, will this new chat function listen?

  137. Jeffery Feingold says:

    Yes there are other ways to voice chat with SL users.
    However people who do chat voice are scattered over many voice services and to make matters worse over many servers so contacting a given user isn’t practical.
    The many voice chat systems aren’t designed with a virtual environment in mind. Skype is a phone like service where you pay to make actual phone calls and have voice mail. Xfire and Ventrilo are more for game “clans” where a group of gamers work in a team and the head of the team pays for the server. Etc.

    In all practical terms the only way I can do “voice” on SL right now is to record voice samples and play them back with jestures. I have in fact done just that. It’s not any good for a serious conversation but it is the only practical means of getting my voice on SL.

    I’ve tired Ventrilo and Xfire and I use Skype. They aren’t any use for SL. I’d still use Vent and Xfire if I were playing City of Villains or some other MMORPG system.

  138. Howard Sachs says:

    I am all for it. I have read just about all of the opinions here, and I saw some good points being brought up indeed. It must be optional, not forced upon us. I got no impression whatsoever that it will be forced upon us when it goes live, anyway.

    Another point was fear of the communication between keyboard chatters (like myself) and voicechatters being broken. I say we will just have to wait and see how it turns out, we cannot predict exactly what will happen, but I believe it will fix itself. We are amazingly good at adapting to changes in society, after all.

    We are far from the reality in Snow Crash just jet. Oh by the way.. keep that snowy bitmap image away from me!! Argh! *scream trails off into darkness*.

  139. Gabby says:

    Don’t like the idea, I don’t even play Second Life with sound and my english definitely sucks, I also have problems to speak, if I wanted voice, I’d be using Skype.

    If this works, of course, it will be having problems in the first day of its release, the community will be split! Some residents will require you to talk in voice in order to believe that you are you otherwise that aren’t you ?! God, don’t do this with SL….

    I want to teleport, cross sims, my money from a timeout transaction back, my lost inventory items, my hair on the right place… Ah, so many things, WHY THAT ?!

    You can already see people here saying that voice will be perfect to identify who is who, I don’t really care who is behind the other avatar I’m having fun with, I am playing a game, it’s not RL, if you want to be real, get a life and stop playing SL.

  140. Impostor Kagekiyo says:

    From my purely selfish point of view….
    …I have never sat at SL and thought ‘Gee; I wish I could hear more whiny voices/muzak/’comedy’ sound effects (in fact sometimes I wish I could turn the chat off as it spreads all over the screen…)
    On the other hand….I have often sat and thought ‘I wish I could log in/enter a sim/move around without the ‘wading through treacle’ lag effect’. Get the point? A pointless distraction from the unsexy but necessary process of grid stabilisation and management; sorry it’s so dull, Lindens, but it ought to be your priority. If we get a concurrence of 50k, how are you going to manage? The grid falls over at 30k as it is…

    Who are you implementing this for? Not musicians, who can stream, and who presumably want to be heard without every passerby’s wooting. Not those with English as a second language, or anyone who wants to compose their thoughts before they spew them out. Not anyone unfortunate enough to have land within shouting distance of a casino or club; and not any business that can afford to install a more efficient and stable conference calling system, either inworld or out.

    I’ll be opting out (as you may have guessed 😉 ), whether it costs my business or not. I don’t have anything to hide, I just don’t wanna; I don’t want to sit with a headset on for leisure, since I do it in RL already, I don’t want to wake up the rest of my house, and I flat out can’t have 3 conversations at once, like I can in IMs and chat, and frequently need to. Hopefully,there’s a charge for it and the take up will be so poor that it’ll just be a novelty.

    And to all you escort-customers whos fragile egos would be detroyed by discovering you’d been tricking with a guy…if it’s really that important, why don’t you pony up the extra for the webcam/skype-using girls already in SL? Cheapskates….:-)

  141. Zebadee says:

    YAAAAAAY more stuff to go wrong!

  142. Laura says:

    I’m with the doomsayers on this one. Voice in SL will do nothing but create two classes of people that are unable to communicate. I’m not interested in hearing voices in SL and will never use it and I’m sure there are many like me.

    I thought the webcam remark above was clever… Now all we need is smellivision and some way to exchange bodily fluids. Come on Linden, what’s the hold up? Surely you can find new ways to ruin the immersive fantasy aspects of SL more quickly than this.

  143. Donegal Ofarrel says:

    I have mixed feelings. I like the idea of having a second life that is far removed from my first life. Surely, that is the point. But I am really not that different anyway.

    Secondly, the ability to learn a language thrills me. I can be taught for free! I was already being taught Dutch and French in SL, but now I will be able to hear the pronunciation, and that really appeals.

    I like to have the choice. And if people choose not to talk to me cos I am not voice enabled, then do I really want to talk to them anyway? It’s just a form of discrimination, and I don’t need ‘friends’ like that.

  144. wudangtiger says:

    The key issue is not use – people will use it as they like, and may use chat still – no, the key issue is pricing. The blog post does indicate it’ll cost us more. That’s unacceptable.

  145. janeforyou Barbara says:

    I am shure many want RL Voice in SL– but as i se it it will be 2 classes…them with Voice and them vithout voicechat.I been in chats for 7 yares.. Vioce and non voicechats.
    In Cybertown-Oddesey.org-Jewels Of Indra and blaxxun world we use “computervoce” This worlds are web based 3D.At My sim in SLwe use only live Djs and only girls and use stream.But am not shure if the “users” in my sim or in other sims realy want to use this “voice option” If so i will need a c5 sim.I also se a other problem, how many “woman” nicks are there in SL? 70% ? How many of this are RL woman? 30% ? This is wat i herd and also more or less wat i seen over the last yare in SL-And will there be so that the c5 sims with “voice” well be less visit? or will it be more visit and the c4 sims will poof out? This are som question i ask.

    And then also the problem with talking in the mic wen you are inSL and your wife-hubby or kids or parther are in the room or sideroom and here all you say lool! no way! That wont do 🙂

  146. Pingback: metaverse.acidzen.org » voices of the residents? no, thanks.

  147. Nano Ashby says:

    Coolkama – I get the idea. Can I assume from your post that if I were to see you in a rl street I would recognise you from your avatar inworld? Your avatar is a *completely* truthful representation of your real life appearance.

    Perhaps we should all have jobs, with real time slots, pay income tax and answer to employers, like in rl? Perhaps you object to flying too, oh, perhaps you can fly in real life?

    What people do with their second life is up to them. Just as what you do with yours is up to you, criticising others personal choices is very unproductive, you will *never* *ever* find a virtual world where people are exactly who they are in real life – what on earth would be the point? why would we do it? where would be the fun?

  148. Yoko Zemlja says:

    Sooory….this is a disaster.:(
    I really love SL….nearly addicted to it …
    But this will mean I will have to leave,,,I need to be anonimous… because of cultural /religious reasons.
    SL is a wonder full tool to get “first hand” experience of other peoples situations…i.e. living as another gender, rave, et.c.
    Linden labs …you should NOT implement this untill you have a functioning voice altering -tool…

  149. Dekka Raymaker says:

    If I don’t have voice activated and someone ‘says’ Hi to me, how will I know this, will this be translated into text so I can respond to them?

    I SEE many people in SL ask a avatar a question and often the avatar they’ve asked does not reply. With text I can SEE this and always offer to help, with voice I will not have this option (unless I can see their voice). Even with the option of showing who is voice activated or not, will not help, the voice activated avatars will only ever ask other voice activated avatars a question.

    So voice will only ever work if it is translated to text on the screen at the same time, and that’s not going to happen.

  150. Wizardesssss Wade says:

    Lag Lag Lag Lag LAG!

  151. Nano Ashby says:

    Clinton Oddfellow,

    I agree, it’s going to be problematic. I for one like the quiet of sl, perhaps the wind, some footsteps, some typing, I find it very relaxing.

    I often am inworld when my partner is watching tv a few feet away, apart from the fact that I can’t speak while this is going on, I might also be listening to the tv lol (sl isn’t gripping all the time!)

    We all lead second lives here, many of us have chosen not to mirror our characteristics here (I’m not one of them, my avatar is the same colour, gender, general build etc) but I don’t think anyone really wants their first life here (shudder) so people may have made choices which are contradicted by their real voice, so there will be issues.

    What if a (rl) female is escorting inworld, and a client demands (on pain of cancelling the session) that she prove her gender, and she is in an environment perfectly satisfactory to use sl, but not to don her madonna headset and be obviously talking to someone on the computer? There is a whole diverse range of reasons this might not be good.

    Perhaps as some say it will settle down into the background as an option, rather than the required standard.

    Certainly mixed text/voice chats are just *not* going to work, the speeds are totally different, and I rely on chat history as rl imposes itself on me here and there, and I certainly won’t try to talk to someone in rl and listen to someone in sl, I have enough stress in my rl without adding to it by making sl hard work, I go inworld to get *away* from stress.

  152. Kathy Kline says:

    I think Coolkama needs to do some more reading about virtual worlds.

    If you hate fake people you are absolutely at the wrong place in a virtual place like SL.

    Sorry.

  153. janeforyou Barbara says:

    omg! Also…the pro “online” sex girls will come to SL !!!!!! imaoooo-
    I can se the Escort Add : ” sexy 25 yare tall blonde Voicechat with you for only 1 USD a minn” Geeeaazzzz!! a girl will be able to make 200-300 USD real cash a day here!!

  154. *PLEASE* make the mute rules apply to this feature!! I won’t mind some idiot playing hateful rap music so much if I have the OPTION to mute THEM. Please. If you can’t hear a muted person, it would solve a lot of problems.

  155. Johanna Hyacinth says:

    A couple of technical questions for the Lindens:

    1) When you say the sound is spatialized “for a sense of direction and distance”, will that be relative to the avatar’s position (like general chat is), or to the camera’s (like sounds are)?

    2) Will muting an avatar also apply to their voice chat? And will there be a beacon for voice chat sources (like there currently is for sound sources) so that you will be able to figure out whom to mute, if necessary? (I know you plan to have animations accompanying speech, but other animations — like typing — can be overridden…)

    3) You mentioned the use of this feature in “concert settings”; will there be a way to suppress hearing the voice chat of anyone but the performer(s)? If not, will land owners be able to temporarily suppress voice chat on voice-enabled land?

    4) Since you mention headsets, will the spacialization feature be limited to two-channel audio, or will it support other configurations (such as 5.1, 7.1, etc.)?

    5) Will Busy mode suppress the reception of voice chat, as it does currently with group IMs (and general chat if the chat history window is closed)?

    6) How is this “non-voice-enabled” indicator going to work? Will it be something floating over the head of the avatar, like the group tag and name? (If so, will it be affected by the “Show Names” setting in Preferences?)

    7) Since this feature uses code from two other parties, how will this affect the Open Source code?

    And finally, a plea: Please please please please please do not make group IMs voice-enabled! Those of us who are on multiple high-traffic groups would be plunged into a nightmare, trying to sort out who said what on which channel…

  156. janeforyou Barbara says:

    Coolkama, your in SL,,not RL 🙂 I known you some sins 2001 i seen you live to i think 🙂 Let all that want to live out a fantasy do it.. dont be so hatefull to the imagination- you know all well as me that a 3D world are a fantasy,,in SL and in Cybertown or any blaxxun world that you and me know so well 🙂

  157. Great! Thanks LL!

    For the applications we do mostly – distance education, seminars and conferences, business workspaces… voice is absolutely critical. We have been using all sorts of external tools so far, I look forward to using the native voice capability.

    Answering “My spoken english may be understood… but i’m sure it will sound horrible!” english is not my mother language either, and they tell me I do have a strong foreign accent. Well, so what? People will bear with me in SL as they do in RL. Also, remember that english is not the only language spoken in the world. I have an accent speaking X’s mother language, and X hs an accent when speaking mine.

    Answering “I suppose this was inevitable, but it will further divide those for whom Second Life is a truly second life, very possibly a fantasy life, from those for whom SL is an extension of their first life.”: I am sure with the current growth of SL there will be enough sims for both categories of users.

    Answering “I think that will be great to get rid of those people misrepresenting themselves in SL. i HATE fake people. i HATE people who represent themselves as something they are not but expect others…”: my friend, I am one of those who do not mispresent themselves in SL, but if I hated something it would be intolerant people like you. Live your life, if you have one, as you want and let others live theirs as they want.

  158. Phineas F says:

    Wow, do the developers ever log in to SL? It’s already a super laggy, unstable, humongous memory hog the likes of which I’ve never seen, and they want to add something like this to it? Good grief! It sounds like the kind of typical Bad Decision I’ve come to expect from online companies, that will be followed through come hell or highwater, and regardless of what the users think.
    What good is voice when you can’t even MOVE sometimes if there are too many people in an area? Fix the problems first. Then consider something like this. Otherwise failure. It’s simple.

  159. By the way Joe…

    “When I talk to Residents about their experiences, one of the recurring themes is improving our communication methods.”

    That was communications between Lindens, and those of us who pay to keep you employed. Nice spin, but voice chat isn’t a communication method most people asked for for communicating with Linden Lab. Improved response to support emails, telephone calls not going to voicemail every time and never replying, that kind of thing is what we really want.

    Broccoli

  160. Andy Evans says:

    Will it work with Macs? This has been a problem in the past.

  161. Slartibartfast Magicthise says:

    I’ve always thought a better way to go would be implementing something like the MACINTOSH SPEECH capabilities (not sure what the windoze version of that is, or even if they have that capability).

    Speech-to-text, and text-to-speech might be more useful. With text-to-speech, you can choose what voice you wish to use. And speech-to-text would enable people to text chat without typing.

    And since these things are done locally on your machine, no lag.

    Why wasn’t this considered?

  162. Grow says:

    @63, try rereading what I wrote.. Think you only read what you wanted to *rolls eyes*

  163. Rachel Howey says:

    So let me get this right…. If I don’t enable voice then guys in SL might think I’m really a man in RL and not hassle me for sex , send annoying IM’s or lie on my sun lounger when I’m sunbathing ?

    Bring it on…..

    RH.

  164. Sakura Hullabaloo says:

    So adding voice will make communication easier and more immediate will it? Much like in RL where the majority of people have everyday conversations using braille with those who are unable to use voice?

    Those residents who are either unable or unwilling to use voice will become the ‘deaf’ members of SL society. Those who refuse to converse with the ‘deaf’ mambers will choose to walk on and start a conversation with a more ‘normal’ member of the society. Much like in RL.

    Communication will definitely be simplified by the introduction of voice, simply because there will be less of it…

  165. Zachary Calhern says:

    I think voice enabling is an amazing step forward and I shall sign up for it the minute it becomes available ( although like most things in SL, I doubt that it will work properly ). Trying to exlain things to people with typed words is hard, and offence is often caused because of misunderstandings in tone or context. However, I can see that this will upset those who see SL as a complete fantasy world. They can always opt out of the service, although this will clearly indicate that they may have something to hide. I think it is time for them to ask the simple question, where does fantasy end and deception begin ?

  166. Rocky Rutabaga says:

    My 2 cents:

    This will be a huge boon for the second most profitable profession in SL: prostitution. Having an escort talk dirty to you? I’m saving my Lindens for that!

    I can see new businesses springing up: foreign language classes and speech coaches (especially for all those SL women with the Bea Arthur voices. Did someone say it’s likely that 70% of all SL women have baritoneitis? I thought it was more like 50%.) And to the straight men out there: drag queens have been sounding like women for decades. You still won’t know you’re kissing a dude.

    We’ll also soon see if people do really roll on the floor laughing or if their asses do come off. I expect there to only be polite tittering from most AVs.

    I do worry that it will suffer from the same time lag as sound effects now have in world. At best we may all look like badly dubbed Italian actors in a Hercules movie.

    /me practices his round tones. “I cahn’t staaand ’em.”

  167. Usagi Musashi says:

    “Voice in Second Life will offer high-quality communication capabilities with 3D “proximity-based” voice communication”

    Well Joe lets fix the rest of the game first shall we love :/

    Please we don`t want a repeat for what happened inthe 1.7 client :/ Shouldnt we learn from our past?

  168. GC Continental says:

    Hmmm… I love this idea. Sign me up. If it causes lag on the client-side I can always turn it off, no?

    However, how am I supposed to cyber when my wife is in the room??!?

    Seriously, this can open up whole new avenues for second learning. Soon, we’ll be able to do language instruction. People will be able to hear when I pronounce the hard “ch” in Gàidhlig and I can stop trying to describe it in text.

  169. FatBear Flamand says:

    While it’s surely looks nice to be able to talk, wouldnt it be better to solve all the lag related issues before? Grid feels a lot when there is more residents on and voice will multiply the effect.
    Also, it’s important to think about people with slower connections and/or on more distant places. My wife’s mother lived in Japan for some years and to talk on phone was strange, delay too long. In SL it will surely be worse than plain phone, we won’t be adding to realism, but making a very strange reality…

  170. Inigo Chamerberlin says:

    WE do Usagi – it’s Lindens who don’t… 😦

  171. Joshua Perenti says:

    He he he he 🙂

    I said ever since the introduction of SIM CAPS this would come shortly after it 🙂 you called me mad! and here it is, i feel vindicated lol 🙂

    Hope all is well – its whinesday 🙂

    JP

  172. Zachary Calhern says:

    As one extra point, can I assume that all voice enabled avatars will have some sort of label with ‘English’ or whatever on? I have enough trouble as it is with the French and the Germans. What a pity we cant have manners enabled as well.

  173. Joshua Perenti says:

    Also another point, those of you complaining about *fix SL first* not to be rude or anythign, but Linden Labs now has a fair number of developers, they cant all be working on fixing bugs. There is a team working on them – see the blog post from yesterday the next upgrdae *coming when the upgrade gods allow* cures a gazillion bugs as Joshua Linden puts it (i love that term)

    There always needs to be people working on R&D and by the sounds of it, its not actually the lab who have been doing this its 2 third party companies, so kudos to the lab, fixing bugs and developing.

    Smiles

    JP

  174. Aaron Greenberg says:

    Great!
    Aren’t there more important things to be solved? For instance the bugs in LSL, the long promised features of the new physics engine? The STABILITY of the whole grid at all?
    And you plan to bring another feature in what is questionable and will cause more trouble between the players and with the technology. Where is the problem to use existing Teamspeak technologies if someone wants it like any other online games do it also?
    Somehow this sounds like SL is going in the same path like MS Windows in the 90ties: More and more features provoking more and more problems and instability just to have another catch-line in the advertising… continue moving this way and SL will become horror!
    My opinion…

  175. oldskool says:

    This is the first time I realized that my second life will have to come to an end.

    It’s not going to be possible to “just not use it”, people will use it to talk about you if your don’t use it, and people will require it to verify your Identity.

    When I first came to SL I wished i could use my own last name, I quickly discovered my place here is not living my first life somewhere else but being free to start a second fantasy life here.

    I don’t want to hear my crappy real life voice and I don’t want my friends in SL to hear it. If I refuse to let people hear I will be an outsider, again. Fantasy ruined. 😦

    Doesn’t this go against the very principles of SL, which are to let the market handle things like this ( I remember Philip saying pretty much exactly this in a town hall a year or so ago).

    It seems this decision is being made for business reasons and because you found a “cool technology” or company to partner with.

    When it was an option that people could use via third party software then people who really wanted can use it, and they could use the best of any given moment, now the community will be completely divided.

    I am an optimistic person overall but I am sure this will completely destroy the fantasy life I have created. I’m sure this will destroy or dramatically alter many relationships.

    Even if the grid was working as it is supposed to this would be a terrible decision, but with the incredible amount of work that needs to be done to make SL work the way it should I can’t believe this can of worms will be opened.

  176. janeforyou Barbara says:

    I am openminded wen it comes to Adult Gay males/girls/trensgengers/shemales, but how to controll the kids? A 12 y old girl/boy with a 56 y plummer—warning warning!!! That CAN close SL totaly! We are then in a situation were the 56 y old KNOW hes talking with a 12y, The law and the goverment come in there, am i as a SIM owner responsible here? How to controll it?

  177. #119… “It’s not going to be possible to “just not use it”, people will use it to talk about you if your don’t use it, and people will require it to verify your Identity.”

    Unless you’re cybering or participating in other ‘adult activities’ … why should anyone care what your rl identity, gender or whatever is?

    Take that one step further to furries… that’ll screw them up completely.

    Broccoli

  178. Ishtara Rothschild says:

    I can write in english well enough, but I won’t ever attempt to speak it. The few times I had to speak english on the phone I felt like a dork with my strong german accent. Aside from that, my female avatar would make a strange impression with a deep male voice 🙂

  179. History Rust says:

    Come on people! Don’t you see the biggest benefit of all???

    No more chatspk!

  180. Sascha says:

    I think this feature will disenchant the most important thing in SL:
    Anonymity in/for a second life. Why should I play it any longer.
    Regardless the bandwith which will be spoiled.
    But it’s a nice feature for those people who always thought SL is “Sex Live”.

  181. Sly says:

    For all the people who are unhappy with SL. It appears the only way to get Change is by reviewing history and when something dramatic happens to catch their attention then things will change. In my opinion we need a large enough group of people to ban to together and to send dramatic message in world to let them know how tired you are of all the extra add on’s while ignoring the fundemantal issues. They remeber Summer 2003:Revolution. The point is unless a large enough group revolts by dramatic action they won’t think it is important.

  182. Felix Duesenburg says:

    I was originally excited by the idea and was waiting for that… but this was at the very beginning of my SL experience.

    In the meantime I’m dead set against it, for the reasons pointed out by posters no. 11 and 15 above. Opting out of using voice alone will make me suspicious to others, and the ability to slip into a role entirely different from my RL will be foiled. SL will no longer be the playground for truly alternative identities, it will be brought closer to the real world.

    The usage and behaviour patterns will likely change quite a lot. SL will become a serious conferencing platform which I can imagine using in a RL business context, but the times of playful anonymity will be gone.

    I would have wished that instead we could just get rid of the stupid typing animation and have it replaced by lip animation, as requested by so many users for a long time. To increase typing speed, I was already testing the usage of language recognition software (Dragon NaturallySpeaking) and considered investing in it – requires a more powerful computer to run together with SL (ideally dual core), but works amazingly well and is moderately priced.

    But I guess all this whining is useless… the decision has been made a long time ago, and we just got used to SL the way it is while there was no voice… now the change is painful because quite a number of users won’t be able to continue as they did.

  183. Tree Kyomoon says:

    Man talk about a lot of whiners. There seems to be a loud minority here that really wants SL to remain as it was two years ago. Perhaps we can take a snapshot of the grid and move them to the old timery grid!

    Excellent new feature lindens, this will guarantee entry for all the non-typers out there, as well as make it finally possible to hold meetings with non-typechat enthusiasts (AKA 90% of the population)

  184. Carter Liveoak says:

    If voice proves to be a reason Residents leave SL, I rather expect LL will reconsider it.

    If voice, on the other hand, proves to be a capability some people use, some people ignore, and some people avoid, then just like any other complex piece of software, the feature will be there for those who care.

    Use the beta period to give informed feedback (vs. making up interpretations of what was said in the blog entry) on what works for you and what doesn’t about voice.

    For a group of folks who are engaged in what amounts to the cutting-edge of online communities, we certainly have some of vocal change-adverse people. 🙂

  185. Joshua Perenti says:

    I can see why people are whinging but consider this, if you have a group of friends that like only to chat, just chat not speak. That function is still there! Think of this as an add on!

    My theory is this, i can now walk and chat to my friends at the same time, instead of having to walk, stop open chat, type, close chat and continue walking. Great for strolls across the beach or exploring or shopping.

    Secondly at concerts the performer can still use the streaming server so it can be adjusted to be louder than the crowd banter, but now people can actually clap and whistle an dhowl and actually amek it sound like a real concert.

    And thridly for those complainign about language barriers is this not the bultimate, best oppertunity to now learn different languages, its one thing reading text but hearing the words with emotion, you may well actually be able to understand them better.

    I think this is a massive leap forward 🙂 Again kudos!

    JP

  186. Joshua Perenti says:

    An on top of that im sure if this system is interactable with LSL, im sure there will be some clever ingenious products available to mask the voices 🙂

    Fancy sound like steven hawking or darth vader anyone lol!

  187. Bull Zamboni says:

    I like seeing this added to the game as it was something I wanted from the first day I started playing SL. After having voice built into another game similar to SL it was great being able to hang out in groups and chat with friends.

    My concerns are going to be how much is Linden Labs planning on charging the community for the use of this service. I mean with the free programs out there like Skype and Teamspeak where you can chat right now are they going to keep their price down low enough to entice people to buy this service.

  188. Ishtara Rothschild says:

    Rocky Rutabaga Says:
    February 28th, 2007 at 5:17 AM PST
    “My 2 cents:
    This will be a huge boon for the second most profitable profession in SL: prostitution. Having an escort talk dirty to you? I’m saving my Lindens for that!”

    Exactly how many RL females do you think are behind the female hooker avatars? The wish to prostitute themselves (for a ridiculously low price in SL), to be abused and objectified, is quite uncommon for a woman, while it’s quite a common fantasy of bisexual, homosexual or transgendered males. The new voice support may open doors for phone sex companies in SL, but it will certainly not help the existing virtual flesh market.

    Voice chat in SL only makes sense if we can choose our voice as freely as our appearance. But well, there’s always voice mask software like http://www.screamingbee.com/News/FreeVoiceChangerWorkswithVista2222007_56.aspx 🙂

  189. Joyce Juno says:

    I side with those against it. Its hard enough following wrttien chat when 5 or more people are in a room chatting. Getting then bombarded from all sides with sound will be like drving in the sub at rushhour.
    I have the sound tunred off nearly all the time in SL. The only time I have it is when I am lietening to life conserts.

    And teh xcite and other sex voicepack around are bad enough allready. I ma shuddering when I think what you might hear then all the time.

    Those who want to communicat via voice can use teamspeak, skype or wahtever. But leave teh rst uf us out of it.

    BTW Telepot is now broken for a month and no fix in sight. How about you guys at Linden start working on that, before implementing stuff noone wants and that probably again breaks more than it fixes.

  190. The XO says:

    @ oldschool #119

    I “hear” you there too! I think may people’s SL will be coming to an end now… because people don’t want to be heard, or speak. I totally agree.

    If you choose not to, you will be viewed as “different” or will not be trusted. People do not want to reveal their true identity, not to mention the lack of privacy this creates when partners/kids/friends are around etc.

    LL – stop this road of development before you ruin SL… by all means, create a “business” grid where the “suits” can ramble at each other all day, but leave the rest of us out of it!

  191. Pingback: Blog de Pablo Mancini » Blog Archive » Los habitantes de Second Life podrán hablar

  192. Chronic Skronski says:

    I think that this new invention “the telephone” is going to put an end to those who just like to write letters. Some people do not feel comfortable speaking, and would prefer to take a few minutes to come up with their words. This Alexander Graham Bell has some nerve. And to think he wants to CHARGE for the service? It is UNCHRISTIAN! It should be ABOLISHED! Sending a voice over wires? DARK SIDED EVIL TECHNOLOGY!

    (Good job, LL… I look forward to deciding whether I want to use it or not.)

  193. Jan says:

    Well someone needs to step forward and say this. I am a transexual in real life and I live in an area/in a job where trying to do ANYTHING about this would in a nutshell utterly destroy my life, just rip it apart at the seems.

    But living as i am was causing me so much depression and sheer heartache at how ‘wrong’ being me feels that i was close to taking the final step….

    SL probably saved my life…..It was a chance to finally be me, to experience what it is to totally express my personality, look how i feel inside, dress in clothes that i actually like and would choose in RL if I could, and be treated normally by everyone around me. To be able to do that and be judged only on the merit of who I AM is the special gift that SL gives me. To all the people out there who HATE (such a distressingly powerful word :-/ ) people who ‘misrepresent’ themselves and think we should be ‘shot’ etc…i don’t misrepresent myself: everything that i choose to tell people about myself is true, i dont lie about where i live, my age, my job, my hobbies and my personality is 100% me, its not some sort of amazingly complex play-act.Anyone who doesn’t believe that…honestly do you think i could have kept up an act for months on end with good friends, lovers and a job if it wasn’t the real me?….it would have shown pretty big inconsistencies and cracks, believe me…

    The only thing i haven’t been truthful about is my genetic gender and for the one reason that i am so scared of rejection/ostracism that its like a physical pain sometimes. Its not a game like some people seem to think…i dont get ‘kicks’ out of it. I logged on to SL and created a female avatar with the intention of exploring what i’ve explained and never intended to decieve anyone…i wanted to be open and honest about who I was. Unfortunately I very quickly make some fantastic friends and discovered that i had a talent for building which i turned into a business. Quickly the sames fears as RL crept in and i just kept quiet about the truth.

    Now voice in SL comes along….like people have said, this will result in a culture of ‘well theres voice available, why can’t/won’t you speak?! what are you hiding??’ ….Sure i may get away without speaking but i WILL become a second class citizen, an object of suspicion and maybe an outcast. And what about my job as a hostess if the owner insists that the hostesses use voice?

    This announcement is the beginning of the end for me and i’m scared…

    For a fleeting moment i knew happiness. Now…..Goodbye SL and as i cant see a way out….possibly goodbye RL

  194. Bitzer Balderdash says:

    My question is “who is going to end up paying for this?”

    It is very easy to find a myriad of reasons why some groups would love to have this feature added, and, likewise, at least as many reasons why other groups would truly hate to have this. However,m ultimately, someone has to pay the USD that Linden Labs will be forking over to the third party network to run this.

    I’d say, add the feature, and make people who want it pay for it. I do _not_ want voice in SL, I have multiple paid accounts, extra tier, and pay a significant sum to LL each month. This is the first thing I have ever seen them plan to do which has seriously made me consider quitting SL completely.

    If (OK, I should say when, since there is no way LL will change their ill-conceived plans at this stage) this happens, money – my money – that should be going to pay for grid upgrades and developer time to improve the stability of the grid will instead be going to a thrid-party company who provide a service that I do not want, and will very likely lose out because of.

    Please guys (LL), I know that you’ll never drop this now, but at least, consider something like making the oh-so-many resis that you believe want this feature pay for it. If there are so many of them, it should only be a few USD a month for them, and the rest of us can know that the money we pay you every month is actually being used to make the grid work.

  195. Emil Weissenberger says:

    I’m surprised how people are begging to have limitation on their freedom to do what they like. And even worse they insist on limitations for other members of the same community. If you don’t want voice, don’t use it. If the members of the group you are member of decides to use voice, then you can still refuse using it for whatever reason, disable it. Its your decision and your last word – nobody pushes anyone to use voice. It is an option that many many people will find useful and as a software developer with VoIP background I can tell you the voice option will not affect the overall SL performance. Voice will enable academic community to communicate better, while for those making RL business in SL it will be a platform and will contribute for their participation in SL and its development. And those of you who want to use chat-only communication I guess this will not be a problem for anyone. Never used chat in skype? Never used chat with yahoo messenger (voice enabled for years)? I think, people here needed just to show their frustration with growing scalability problems and tried to find another way of bashing Lindens. They can do better, true, but they are doing not that bad either.

  196. Aaron Greenberg says:

    I wonder who the minority is, those who really WANT that or those who are deeply afraid about it? This thread reading make it quite clear. And where is the problem for the minority who wants the feature just to use normal teamspeech technologies as usual in thousand other online games aswell?
    Lindens should concentrate on the IMPORTANT features -> (HAVOK2???) and the bugs and the stability before adding concerning addons only a few want and other fear.

  197. Tijn Erde says:

    Everybody…

    I don’t want this feature any more than anybody else does. But it runs on external servers, so it won’t impact Sim performance and you can disable it on your sim/land, so public voice chat will be impossible.

    Just disable it. I will.

    If enough land/sim-owners disable this feature, it will effectively not exist. I assume practically all fantasy-related sims (about 99% of them, leaving just the no-traffic business sims) will disable voice to maintain some level of suspension of disbelieve.

  198. Ylikone Obscure says:

    We should all agree, voice capability is *EXCELLENT* for business, training, meetings, presentations, etc….
    but not for the general population and day-to-day doings.

    I will not be enabled voice on my land. I will not use voice. My bet is that most of the community will go this route. Care to place your bets?

  199. NilesArgus says:

    I’m wondering how intensive this will be on second life.
    This should be in beta for awhile before implemented.
    Its a BIG addition :-p

  200. Perhaps it’s something that should only be available to premium subscribers then? The thought of voice sex alone will probably cause many of those who never had the ability before to suddenly find some way to upgrade their account.

    Exacerbated by the removal of first land for premium subscribers, many people have been saying for a long time that there should be more reasons for people to go premium.

    Broccoli

  201. Simondo Nebestanka says:

    I think it is a neat feature that will take some getting used to. It may feel a bit strange to ‘type’ away at someone and hear them ‘talk’ back to you, or vice versa.

    When I think back to my first day in SL, I do recall being a little surprised that with all the flashy, beautiful graphics, the method of “talking” to a new friend was via the keyboard. I think being able to actually *talk* will seem like something that should have been there all along.

    Remember this is an option, no one is going to force you to buy a microphone-headset and use this feature. If you don’t want to use it, well.. don’t. I probably wouldn’t most of the time – I hate the sound of my own voice. Also using it would depend on whether I’m logged in as my male avatar or my female alt :). But for chatting with those few good SL friends I’ve made (and if I ever get my RL family members interested in SL), this would be a very welcome option to have available.

    For those who want to keep their SL separate from their RL.. keep typing! (That will be my choice most of the time). For those worried about extra lag, re-read what Joe says about it running separately from the SL servers, on a single channel, like the current audio/video streams. If you don’t want those extra streams chewing up bandwidth, you turn them off.

    For those who are concerned that *not* using voice chat will indicate deception, perhaps think about whether the people who may demand proof in this manner are really worthy of your friendship. There are lots of other people out there who would be your friend and not make those demands of you.

    However.. on the negative side is the fact that griefers will have a fun new way of harassing people. D’oheth!

    Also #120 janeforyou that is a good point. There would be a greater risk of children being exposed to a very nasty element. This certainly needs to be addressed. Of course kids aren’t meant to be there at all, but it’s obvious there are lots wandering about. LL please take this into consideration before releasing this feature.

    Peace

  202. The XO says:

    Oh… BTW…

    I seriously suggest that if people want LL to take notice, the someone creates a group called “AV’S AGAINST FORCED SPEECH” or something like that – and people start signing up to it.

    Also… someone create a vote/feature proposal to have the voice “enhancement” stopped on the main grid.

    Lastly… if nothing is done, then may I suggest an online demonstration by the “AV’S AGAINST FORCED SPEECH” group and having everyone gathered in a particular place and time????

    As “residents” are we not entitled to some rights, or some say? I mean we’re able to own land, and pay for the equipment running that land, yet we have no say! We have no representation, and no voice and that needs to change!

  203. Simondo Nebestanka says:

    XO that’s fine but it’s not forced. This is an option.

  204. Ylikone Obscure says:

    #137 Simondo Nebestanka

    Very good summary posting that, in my opinion, correctly and rationally answers a lot of the concerns people are posting about here. Before you vent, check out his posting. Good job Simondo.

  205. The XO says:

    @Emil Weissenberger #133…

    You seem to mis-understand what people are saying. People do not want this for many reasons and disabling is not an option.

    This will effectivly create a two tier society… a “them and us” and this MUST NOT be allowed to happen.

    I hope SIM owners will not enable this option if it goes ahead. If I wanted to “talk” to someone, i’d use;

    1. A phone
    2. Speak in person
    3. A webcam and mic

    I don’t want that, neither do most of the people here.

  206. Sierra Howitt says:

    So much for a “second life”. The role playing is what makes this so much fun and what about people that have multiple female and male avatars? What are they going to do? Thanks for taking the fun and mystery out of this. I guess I will have to find another VL service.

  207. The XO says:

    @Simondo Nebestanka #139:

    I think it is being “forced” onto people (in a sense), as many have said those who do not enable it will be treated differently, ignored, viewed with distrust.

    Yes griefers will have fun with this sadly 😦

    In that sense, it is “forced” upon you to use it. And may I once again remind people this is SL, and not RL or an extension of it.

  208. Chris says:

    Anyone not familiar with what happened to There.com truly should go do so now. (Summary: It died)

    Second Life – Your World – Your Imagination*

    *so long as you can sound like whatever mythical creature/gender/age you wish to play.

  209. janeforyou Barbara says:

    I got a commercial SIM-I also got clubs-I will not risk using Voicechat option for this reasons : RL phone Pro Escorts that will come and Pedophiles hunting kids-as SIM owner i am resposible for the safty in the SIM-I will never risk my inventment in SL and be closed down for trafficing RL minors- Go chekk out FBI pages.

    I been in 3D worlds 7 y,,i know this things-i will only use steam for my DJ girls and the friends i know who are. As i do now.

  210. Sascha says:

    I think nobody wants to bash Lindens here, Emil.

    But you have to understand the emotions and fear of the other people playing here that don’t want to use voice, either if they can’t speak well or don’t want to show their identity. SL is in my opinion a place used for leisure, fun, relaxation and even psychotherapy.

    If you introduce this babylonian tower this will be the first step of isolation by nations. While chatting you still can look up the dictionary or take your time to answer. This is not possible while having a live talk. And don’t forget the dialects. not everybody speaks a clear tongue understandable even for foreigners.

    It maybe a nice, advanced feature to show the possibilities of new technologies, but it will definitely split up the SL community.

  211. Well said Emil – “I’m surprised how people are begging to have limitation on their freedom to do what they like. And even worse they insist on limitations for other members of the same community.”

  212. The XO says:

    @ Sascha #145 and janeforyou #144:

    Both excellent points, and you’ve hit the nail right on the head!!! People do not want this for exactly those reasons, and I feel exactly the same – and it looks like most of this entry do too!

    @ Guilio #146 @ Emil,

    It’s not that people want a reduced service, but they understand the broader and wider implications. This *WILL* create a two tier society and rip the fabric of SL clean in two! Not to mention the other horrors it will create as jane says.

    This is a very very bad idea and I strongly suggest LL review their policy on it. As I have said before, limit it to the test grid or a “business” grid.

    This will have an adverse effect on SL for sure!

    Lastly…. LL or their “providers” will have to store every voice conversation for X amount of time. Do you really want that?

  213. Stefano says:

    Zachary…what is “deception”? Is SL a meeting of bodies or a community of souls? Do the souls have a gender? Many men/women have a female/male soul. We all have many personalities and they all have the right to “live” in a virtual reality. It helps so much when you logoff IRL. Voice chat – but lets be honest: business – will kill imagination, fantasy and the spirit itself of SL. Deception is the mix of real and second life.
    And let all cardiopathics smoke all day and night in SL!

  214. Ann Otoole says:

    Yea so we have been using teamspeak for group voice chat all along. This brings zero to sl other than a pandora’s boz of antisocial behavioral episodes.

    ok so i can see the idiots that walk around with a wooden sexual component exposed trying to run into people and waving a house artound are going to have a freaking field day with this option. They will be screaming obscenities, playing loud horrible noise, etc. How will we be able to instantly id them for instant sim ban? Will we have a spectrum analyzer tool showing each account and the aural graph of the noise emanating from their account? Or will we have to spend all our time wandering aeound trying to triangulate the problems?

    My prediction is it will be a flop and will be universally disabled across the grid because of the minority of mentally ill people that consistently try to disrupt social activities.

    OK so what you have to do is give parcel owners the right to enable voice by individual account. This way we can choose who has a voice and who doesnt. By default none. Yes that means it will be a new form of elitism in second life.

    And it will cause problems everywhere as does all new technologies or techniqwues that cannot possibly be fully tested without being dropped on the main grid. Have a rollback plan ready so you can shut the grid down and revert to the previous version instantly.

    Here is an option: make voice a subscription feature. Only available on annual subscription accounts and for an additional fee. That should kill it off before too much money is invested in it. Allowing free accounts this feature is sheer idiocy and indicates some of the Lindens never rteally spend any time on main grid at all or they would never have even remotely considered this feature.

  215. Too bad I mistyped my avatar name and the system ate my comment. I will try to rewrite it.

    There are concerns that “it will further divide those for whom Second Life is a truly second life, very possibly a fantasy life, from those for whom SL is an extension of their first life”.

    This is not a big deal imo. Wth the growth of SL there will be plenty of sims to cater to each of these two categories. I belong to the 2nd category, and wish all the best to the members of the 1st, but I doubt that the interests of the two categories in SL overlap strongly, so voice will just confirm a de facto separation that exists already.

    Yes, and I also have a foreign accent when I speak English. So what? This does not bother me in 1L, and will not bother me in SL.

    The most important point is, I believe, In Emil’s comment. If you do not want to use voice fine, don’t use it, but please do not interfere with the freedom of others to use it. Having more option to choose from is always a good thing.

  216. bladyblue Bommerang says:

    “Many of you know that voice has always been part of the long-term plan for the Grid,”

    My Town Hall transcripts have Phil Linden saying that they would never bring voice to SL. How history changes in the wink of a eye.

  217. Zachary Calhern says:

    Firstly, Chronic Skronskis post was very funny and I vote him for President. Secondly, this concern about minors in SL. I have listed a voting proposal to cover this, and if the lindens dont act, it will be to their eternal shame. (END NO PAYMENT INFO ON FILE )
    Thirdly, there seems to be an increasing sense of unhappiness with the fact that residents have no say in the running of SL. I thought about this, and a mandatory voting system where a blue ticket pops up on login, featuring the proposal, and with two buttons marked Agree and Disagree, would give a very clear picture of what residents think. A two thirds majority should be carried. Sounds good, or does it ? I run my own business in real life and I sat and wondered how I would feel if my customers told me what to do ? In truth, we are not really residents, but just customers of a money making business and shouldn’t Linden labs be allowed to do what is best for them ? Perhaps the only real step forward might be if we bought stock in Linden labs and then perhaps we might have some inalienable right to express our terms and conditions to them.

  218. I want to be able to turn OFF voice from my client without turing off all sound from SL. Verbal spam blasting from my computer doesn’t appeal to me.

    Will I be able to do that?

  219. Sascha says:

    You’re absolutely right Stefano. And the people urgently wanting this feature are mostly business related. But they neglect the fact that business needs also customers.

  220. Ceeq Laborde says:

    To everyone who complain about potential lack of anonymity and/or splitting of communities into ‘typers’ and ‘talkers’:

    VOICE CAN BE ALTERED VERY EASILY. I’M SURE SL WILL INTEGRATE SOME SORT OF VOICE ALTERING MECHANISM FOR THOSE WISHING TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS.

    You can sound like a woman even if you’re a man or viceversa. You can sound older, younger, stronger, weaker, weirder whatever.

    For god sake stop complaining and enjoy it.

    If you don’t wanna use it, nobody’s gonna force you into it.

  221. Argent Stonecutter says:

    “Of course, if you wish not to speak, that’s fine – there will be an indicator telling other Residents that you are not voice-enabled.”

    I would suggest this go the other way. If someone is voice-enabled, there’s an indicator that they’re voice-enabled. That’s how it works in “There”, for example.

    “Perhaps it’s something that should only be available to premium subscribers then?”

    That actually sounds like a REALLY good idea. It gives a real advantage to going premium, for those who want it. This is exactlythe kind of “premium premium” that Linden Labs shuld be providing IF they really want to encourage premium users.

  222. Usagi Musashi says:

    @49 yes but how many years has he been saying that ove 2 now? nothing new about this new feature we all saw it coming.

  223. Xanshin Paz says:

    Good grief. Anyone who read the Forums b4 they were downsized knows the community at large was asking for voice-a lot.

    LL promised it was in the works, and now they’ve followed through! And its not some half….baked solution, either! For their efforts, they get….major carping?!?

    As for discrimination against those who’d rather type- if you need something to worry about, there’s always more likely stuff….like the sudden onset of the next Ice Age..

    Thanks LL, can’t wait to try this out!!!

  224. Kal Eilde says:

    Look, it’s obvious where the incentives to turn SL into a teleporty teleconferency version of RL are coming from. Why not please both your old, stalwart, street-cred customers who have given you a start with panache, and all the new suits who will give you a future of unbridled luxury, by just creating a portal-accessed parrallel universe called Second Office!

  225. Zachary Calhern says:

    When I say there is a difference between Fantasy and Deception, I am refering to the fact that SL isnt just a game with Lara Croft. It involves real people with real emotions, and when a guy chats with a pretty girl for some time and starts to feel something for her ( whether righly or wrongly ) he is going to be pretty hurt and upset if his pretty girl turns out to be a 250lb married truck driver called Steve ! If people want to be furry rabbits or a fairy, well we know thats fantasy, but the lines get blurred when its relationships between humans.

  226. S. C. says:

    Sorry to hear of this development, I think it will spoil the fantasy. I play SL with sound off, listen to my own music, chat with people in the RL room and have a rollicking time on the grid.

  227. Jan says:

    OI Linden Labs!!!

    what is the FRIGGING POINT of submitting a comment to a blog thats thoughtful and adds something if by the @!%&!!!! time its been ‘moderated’ and allowed to be included, its already burried under 30 comments and will never be read?!!

    Christ, i was upset enough as it was today…now i’ve got the added helplessness that no-one will even hear what i have to say….i feel like crying 😦 😦 😦

  228. WarKirby Magojiro says:

    ok.

    Firstly. To all those complaining about how SL is about how you play a role. it’s not. If YOU want to play a role, that’s your issue. I, and many people i know, represent their REAL personalities. SL is not a game, or a fantasy world. It is a platform. A tool. A communication medium. And if you want to build and live in fantasy worlds within it, that’s your problem.. You can simply not use it, turn it off on your land. Whatever you want. Frankly, i’m all for finding out how many of the women I know are really guys..

    Secondly. if you read the blog properly, the Voice will run on SEPERATE servers, and will have NO effect on the performace of SL. And it is compressed into one sound channel, and has only a SLIGHT increase in bandwidth requirement. No massive CPU use. NO increase in Lag.

    Thrdly. It is obvious to anyone who actually reads it, that Ll is taking great care to ensure this is NOT poorly implemented. They are doing it right.

    Fourthly. Talking griefers. Big deal. If you read the blog post, once agian. You will see that:
    1. The range of vocal communication will be spatially limited. 20m for chat, 100m for a shout.
    2. The volume will be moderated, to accomodate for those with sensitive equipment, those who naturally talk loudly, and those who choose to actually shout.
    3. Someone shouting obscenities on your property is hardly different from someone typing fu*k and hitting CTRL+Enter
    4. There is already noise griefing, in the form of sound boxes and gestures. I have one gesture that screams fu*k repeatedly.

    fifthly. For those saying just use Skype/teamspeak/whatever. The whole p[oint of this is to have it integrated, so people don;t have to use third party apps. Thus making things less confusing. And also, to allow dfor spatialised sound within sl. With volume dependant on distance from the speaker. Which currently Cannot be done with external apps.

    Sixth. Those claiming it to be an unwanted feature. Where have you been? people have been clamouring for this for months now. Many people want it, and have been asking for it.

    Seventh. Those claiming that deaf people/those without equipment will be segregated. No. Chat and IM will still exist and be as useful as ever. This is merely an option. An extra tool to those who can use it, and need it. Why should we hold ourselves back because a few people are unlucky enough to be deaf. The rest of us can still benefit.

    Eighth, and most important. To all of you SCREAMING fix the lag. Fix everything else. Stop adding new features and fix bugs. The lindens are a diverse team. Each one has different talents. Some are good with databases. Some with graphical programming, Some with user interfaces. Some with communications technology. Not all of them HAVE the necessary skills and knowledge to fix these bugs. And the ones that DO, are hard at work on it. while the rest of the team each utilise their own specialties in other projects like adding voice chat. If they stopped developing new features. Bugs would NOT get fixed faster. They would nmerely have a surpluis of lindens doing nothing, and progress would grind to a halt.

    That will do for now

    WarKirby

  229. Ike Brewster says:

    my God I have NEVER seen so many babies….

    Guess what ppl, if you don’t want voice, switch it off. geez.

    It’s the obvious evolution of an MMO, so deal. Surprised it’s not been here already to be honest….guess all you dial-uppers are holding up the line! 😛

  230. John Horner says:

    Pardon me for being blunt but I do not think Mitch Kapor and the other external investors put millions into Linden JUST to enable them to create a text only world where you can excape reality.

    The only post here that is negative about voice (post 120) is an issue I can agree with but that is not a function of voice enabled SL, it is more to do with verfication of ID a totally sperate issue.

    Providing it is optional to use I would not discriminate against people who choose not to use it in a social enviroment. Some of you lot really are afaid of your own shadow let alone your voice. Don’t you have any social skills at all.

    As for sim owners, providing the cost is modest to zero I think you will always have unhappy clients unless you enable it, on the assumption some avatars can opt out. Where IS your business drive.

    I laughed at the post about the telephone (131 Chronic Skronski )

    Some of you lot really are wimps

    Sorry to be blunt

    John Horner

  231. The XO says:

    @Stefano #148

    Quite right too. I know many who represent themselves as they like, as they feel and as they wish to.

    @Zachary Calhern #156

    What the person behind the avatar looks, sounds and speaks like is irrelevant. The feelings and emotions are still the same, and are still just as real.

    Just because “steve the truck driver” chooses to appear that way, does it make it wrong? Is he lying? Or is he simply choosing to appear as he wishes, representing himself in a way that cannot be done here. Does that make it wrong? Does that make the feelings, thoughts and emotions behind the avatar any different? I think not!

    If people want “proof” of who they are talking to, they will ASK for it and arrange a way of contact. Adding this to SL will create more problems than it solves!

    I really hope Philip is reading this and takes note of what this will do to the community, I know he’s very fond of it and hope he pays attention and hasn’t lost his way – and the rest of LL for that matter.

  232. Arkahelle Janus says:

    well, as many of other user, as a player, in lot of other game that i ever play (mmo player since 1999) the use of the voice is always killing the Role Play ,in order to be more effective in the play (like pvp game)

    Bringing it to Sl , will really create a Fence!
    Well, i’m french, and using english is not an easy thing ’cause that’s not my language, but, i’m able to understand others, and beeing understandable.

    but, if i must talk and ear english, i will be in a big problem.
    I speak with a french accent, to another player with a german accent , eared by both spanish, japonese……etc accents….we will, perhaps, managed to understand each other, even if we are not bad in english, sounds are always less accurate than words.

    In other way, what about the certain mess that can do several peoples while talking to several others peoples in the same area…
    Well, i think that a bad things, those thats want to talk each other already have several tools out of SL, and , when the others mmo are using their full bandwidth for the gamers, while the game is in the pc taking over 5 or 6 Go…, the sl client is ridiculy little, cause you load an area every time you enter this area, causing several lagg due to the enormous quantity of infos that have to be shared ,(place , script, players)and you want to add the voice in that mass of informations….

    i guess adding voice in SL is really not a priority. but, you must think “playability” is not a priority in a Game…

  233. Kenny Devoix says:

    Shakes my head unbelivable the uproar this is causing when its so simple. Common sense, if you don’t want to use voice just turn it off it will probally take one or two mouse clicks to disable it just like Video or music. If hearing ones voice is a condition of friendship then I for one don’t want that friendship.I doubt I will use it much myself because I like to hear whats going on around me and with a headset on I can’t.

    This is a option not something you are being forced to use. For as many people paranoid about its introduction I am sure there are as many or more looking foward to it and the oppertunitys it could offer.It seems that Sl is much the same as RL in yet another way as in there is always a segment of people adverse to any change they don’t personaly agree with. While some of the reasons are valid for not using voice as a whole they are personal reasons and opinions and others have valid reasons for wanting it also. My opinion on this is if it don’t cause lag,grid and database problems bring it on.

  234. Dwayanu Weyland says:

    Totally agree with Jim Lumiere above.

    IMO obviously, the result will be immediate split of the SL community, into those who don’t pay enough of Linden’s bills (fantasies like RP, furries, body image, age ;-), social geeks/nerds/losers, BDSM), versus those who Lindens hope *will* pay the bills (corporate and educational customers, ‘suits’, infomercials, stock market boiler room salesmen, television evangelists).

    Those big money paying customers have a major need to suppress the fantasy — imagine when General Motors holds a convention here, and newspapers find out that all the waitresses and hostesses were Gorean kajira’s ?

    The offered options, also obviously, do nothing to help or ease the situation.

    Charging a corporate-level fee for voice enablement, like 10 or 20 euro per 512 sm parcel per month, would greatly ease the situation.

    IMO, voice will chase away all of the old veterans, and most all of the newer population. Voice is necessary for team cooperation in World of Warcraft. It is not appropriate for teamwork running a SL business for profit.

    It is *needed*, only for those who don’t want a Second Life, but rather simply need a convenient extension to Real Life.

    This will end my involvment with SL, and my premium accounts, unless for example *all* mainland areas do not have voice, and only private islands can opt in or out.

  235. Doo Oh says:

    Segregation…….. i am sure that will violate the TOS and terms somwhere along the line.. Segregation does not mean equal opportunity

  236. Doo Oh says:

    Segregation…….. i am sure that will violate the TOS and terms somwhere along the line.. Segregation does not mean equal opportunity

  237. Ann Otoole says:

    so my voice is silenced on this one eh?

  238. Jarek Dejavu says:

    There is a cheap solution called SECOND LIFE SPEECH TOOLS (you can search for it i.e. at slboutique) available in SL for more then 3 months and needs no streaming, causes no lag and uses no real voice. It uses high quality computer voices assigned to people and voice recognition. So it converts just text to speech and speech to text. In real, this solution with which Linden Labs came out is not bad for some kinds of usage, but it realy breaks privacy. And today computer voices are so advanced that can replace easily human voices with a lot of advantages like let you speaking by voice which you will choose, with good language accent or even in another language when you will enable translator. Whats more, what was told is still logged to text etc. Maybe Linden Labs should look on this solution and see how well it works and consider include rather such solution to their Second Life viewer or simultaneously both of them.

  239. koboh zeffirelli says:

    i think is a good idea. but if the option to hear and be heard is not an actual switch i can pull or a button i can click i fear it will be so anoying to have to listen to all kinds of folks talking about all kinds of stuff. and what price will this new option have…

  240. Wadester Madison says:

    While it might be cool as a “wow” factor, I think voice should be used on a limited basis, such as training or one-to-one.

    I hope very limited LL resources are being used on this project. Grid stability is reaching critical due an explosion in growth and there doesn’t seem to be an end to that anytime soon. You don’t even have a client that runs on Vista yet even though it’s been out for 3 months (commercial, not retail). I crash at usually once a day or so under the cleanest XP desktops.

    You guys currently have a Help Wanted ad for some ultimate guide for the future of SL. While I’m certainly not qualified with all the specified experience and degrees, common sense would dictate to fix your base first before adding unnecessary fluff.

    Can I have the job?? : )

  241. DaQbet Kish says:

    Trust me when I say this will have a huge social boost for me and many others like me in SL.
    I have a competent vocabulary that is wasted because of my dyslexia and lousy spelling.
    And I have a great voice.
    I’m giddy with excitement.
    🙂

  242. Neo Rebus says:

    @118 Joshua Perenti: By god, I think all the programmers at LL *should* be dedicated on fixing bugs! There are too many of them that cause too many instabilities and crashes. LL comes out with statements time and time again that “We are focusing on fixing bugs and stability issues before new features” in order to justify not fulfilling other feature requests, but then they prove, like this time, that they’re just working on their own pet new features instead. Each new “upgrade” brings more bugs and more instability and more problems. LL needs to halt the backwards movement, and the only way they can do that is to actually FOCUS on getting rid of bugs.

  243. Kurt Jano says:

    For me, Secondlife has always been about choices. Voice activation will just another choice. Yes, it will divide certain groups and people – but isn’t that the case already. I welcome any change that enhances our Second Life!

  244. Ishtara Rothschild says:

    A few more thoughts on this:

    It’s inevitable that, with the introduction of voice technology to a virtual environment, it will soon become a requirement and anyone refusing to use it an outsider. I’ve seen it in traditional MMORPGs, where team speak became a requirement and refusal to use it the reason for refused guild applications. In an environment like SL, which is (despite some marginal phenomenons like IBM or Adidas that are on board for some media coverage and will be gone again soon) first and foremost about virtual sex / online relationships (if Phil likes it or not), voice chat will have an even greater impact. All those free-account cyber-johns who join for one reason only will jump on the prospect of cybersex combined with phone sex, and all the sim owners trying to attract visitors for the quick buck (i.e. the majority) will support it.The problems I see here:

    – Efficiency. As a medium to transmit information, voice chat is a big step back. I can write twice as fast as I speak and absorb written information at least five times as fast as someone could read the same information to me. In a packed bar or club with dozens of people speaking at the same time, I have no problems following the written chat, but I don’t want to imagine the same environment with voice chat.

    – Sophistication. Written chat is usually more sophisticated than spoken language. I might think “Aw shit this’s so f*cked up”, but what I write instead is “*sighs* why can’t things just work as intended”. In written chat, I can take the time to carefully formulate the information I want to transmit. I can re-read what I wrote, correct my sentence structure, smooth out things that could sound insulting or be misunderstood – and do all that in the same time or less time needed to voice my first, more primitive thought.

    – Privacy. In the usual EQ-clone MMORPG, the worst thing that could happen is that someone recognizes your voice and finds out that you dress up in shiny armor in your spare time to pretend being a Paladin. But SL? “Hey, aren’t you Oswald F. from accounting? Yeah, I work there too. In the management. What a coincidence to meet you here… well, I’m just checking this out, wanted to see what SL was all about, don’t know how I ended up here. Nice latex outfit, by the way. If you dont mind the question: what were you just doing with this horse? It looked… odd, to say the least”. Aside from such situations, many people’s voices sound quite similar. I’ve often been mistaken for one of my relatives on the phone, and often thought “hey, this movie actor sounds exactly like…”. Just imagine what questions the online behaviour of a “voice-twin” could raise in your circle of friends.

    – Personality. Aside from the obvious gender identification problem, many people aren’t satisfied with their own voice. Just as their RL looks, their RL voice is just not what they want to represent themselves with in a virtual environment that allows being an optimized version of oneself. Why would anyone who’s satisfied with their RL appearance and voice need a virtual second life? Some people stutter, some are too shy to speak with others, some just have a “funny” voice – written chat poses no problem for them, but the need to speak will confront them with their RL issues in their virtual dreamworld escape.

    – Language barriers. Non-native english speakers usually don’t have much problems reading and writing in english, but speaking / understanding spoken language is a totally different thing. Voice chat will raise barriers where communication worked flawless before. I’m not even able to understand a fellow countryman with a strong bavarian dialect, much less someone with a broad texan accent.

    LL, please wake up. Educators and businesses in SL, yeah, nice dream, but please stay on the carpet and realize that the majority of users (and paying customers) just want the good old semen-stained fantasy world where everything is possible. Just cross-read the feedback – most users prefer to stay as anonymous as possible and want the usually unattractive reality to stay locked out. The businesses are here to sell japanese cars to age-playing gorean furries, not to hold virtual voice meetings in an adult 3D disney world.

  245. Ardra says:

    Impacts on lag and lack of chat or IM transcripts aside..

    No need for rolepay residents and genderbenders to freak… you could use any number of voice change apps on your PC…

    (Sorry for those of you with Macs or Linux Machines)

    Or you could put an inexpensive hardware voice change box on your Mic Line in.

    Of course it would be cool if LL were to offer a “change voice” feature similar to “change appearance” with a couple of present signal processing functions for male>female and female>male as well as sliders for pitch, reverb, flanging, compression, chorus, etc.

  246. Kris Langdon says:

    If theres no charge, its cool. If they charge … i will stick to skype … 🙂

  247. Emil Weissenberger says:

    @ The XO

    I understand what you mean. I think the root of the problem may be found at how people percept SL – as a possibility to escape from RL, or as a platform for business and richer way of communication over the internet. I’m quite new in SL but I respect the people who build the amazing sites in SL which I believe were inspired by the first kind of perception – alternative world. However, I believe there is a reasonable part of citizens that are like me and have dreamt of this kind of world as a way to enrich and make communication better. Having respect towards personal visions will only be good for SL so voice-disabled island/region will not frustrate me or make me complaining. The babylonian tower is a problem, but is a problem even with the text chat, although there are services for automated translation. I haven’t said voice communication doesn’t have negative sides – it does – griefing (but permissions should solve this), new possibilities for the porn industry (I find it quite disturbing), etc.
    I believe this kind of potential problems have to be faced by the community itself – why do you allow cybersex in SL anyway? – because it is part of the freedom that the world gives and the community quietly accepts it, and part of it even stimulates it.
    Rather philosphical questions, but hey, even virtual, SL is a world powered by HUMAN brains and we have to expect all kinds of human-driven disorder and faults – how do we fight with that?

  248. Ishtara Rothschild says:

    “Exactly how many RL females do you think are behind the female hooker avatars? The wish to prostitute themselves (for a ridiculously low price in SL), to be abused and objectified, is quite uncommon for a woman, while it’s quite a common fantasy of bisexual, homosexual or transgendered males.”

    There are quite a few RL females who work as escorts in SL. They’re not all gender imposters. Some are “voice whores” looking for customers who wdn’t be reached though other marketing channels, some are bored housewives passing the time while the baby is asleep or whatever, some just get off on the idea, and I know of some women who are strippers and/or escorts in both RL and SL.

    Ishtara makes an intersting point but she sounds like someone who has never actually tried escorting in RL. “Objectification” is a vague concept, so it’s impossible to say who’s being objectified and who isn’t. But “brutalization” is something pretty easily recognizable which most SL escorts don’t run into that often and don’t put up with when they do. In my limited experience as a not-very-busy SL hooker, I have never been harassed, really— let alone brutalized. Even the absurd guys who want to be your pimp will go away quietly after you politely turn them down.

    It probably is true that more RL men than RL women engage in SL sex with or without the exchange of Lindens. This is because men are less effected by the societal norms in American and most other cultures which say that sex just for the sake of sex is a bad thing… and the woman should have just enough sex to keep the man around and no more.

  249. Alexis Cronenwerth says:

    I come to sl primarily to roleplay and so do a good deal of the people I’ve met here. Except for business savy people who use SL as a vehicle for their dealings, I can’t see the advantages. It will certainly put a damper on the roleplay “fantasy” aspect of it for me. For those of use who come here to escape into another realm, the “real life” intrusion of voice creates a divide that is needless and unwelcome.

  250. Stefano says:

    Zachary: If you want a pretty girl open your door and walk RL streets.

    WarKirby: SL is what you want it to be. Thats all.

  251. Athena Sterling says:

    Guess I’ll just have to hook up my mic input to my mc808 sampler… That way every time someone demands some vocal response, I’ll just broadcast a loud irritating noise, and eventually people will stop asking.

    This could actually be kind of fun… lol

  252. Joshua Perenti says:

    @166 – Granted there are lots of issues but ever heard fo the phrase to many cooks spoil the brooth? If you have to many programmers working on the same problems then its wasting their time.

    There is an effective management system for bugs jira.secondlife.com take a look, lindens are assigned bugs to deal with and do. And mor eimportantly as mentioned above somewhere not all staff have skills in relavant areas. Some are good with digi comms, graphic programming, UI interfaces, process, DB’s etc… so you know put people to work on what they are good at!

    JP

  253. cyberonx link says:

    I LOOK FORWARD TO VOICE CAPABILITIES …… and hope it all works out, TY, – – X

  254. Alphonso Pidgeon says:

    It strikes me that real time voice chat is not being recieved well already. One solution to this would be to have a voice to text interface, like Dragon Dictate or something similar, so the in world experience would not change, but residents would be able to speak thier replys, and have the computer convert them into text. Thiswould be the ultimate answer for people who’s typing is not great, but still allow people to preserve their anonymity.
    Just my opinion.
    Al

  255. Chris Anthony says:

    ummm……..

    I’ve been thinking of getting land, getting my own place, learning to build, script, etc. but I haven’t. Why? Because the place just seems so unstable & for much of the time. Can’t tp. Animations stuck. Crash. Crash. Crash. Floating hair, floating shoes. I can’t see you but you can see me. Oops – how did I become a midget? Hey! Where did my $L20 go & why haven’t I been paid the $L 700 I just supposedly won? Why is everything stuck in my crotch?

    hmmmm…………..

    I guess that wasn’t about voice enabling, was it?

    I just don’t understand why you would roll out anything new while there are obviously so many things wrong with what you already have!

    I won’t be going Premium until the place is stable. Either way I seriosuly doubt I’ll be doing live-chat.

  256. Please put moderation control PER LAND. This would allow land owners to set capabilities. There should be some indication as to whom is talking, which i’m assuming the animations will take care of.

    Thoughts:

    Give a pie sub-menu for communication controls.

    Right Click Person -> Communication -> Voice

    Moderated
    – Land limited speaking to those on access list and/or group
    – “shouts” only allowed by list… (think a PA system here)
    – Users can be given +v / -v via a PIE chart click on the person (think meetings)
    – Users can be given +m / -m via a PIE chart click

    +/- v = Voice
    +/- m = Moderator (can give/take voice)

  257. Chronic Skronski says:

    Know what else is funny? I bet the same people bitching about SL being split by voice/non-voice are the same people who insist that the free accounts should be second-class citizens.

  258. Tangletwigs says:

    Some excellent points here I cant really add anything constructive, I just see adding an internal VOIP servce to SL as a retrograde step. People who want it have many other ways to get it (including me)

    As for lag – if our avatars go into spasm mode when we shout, talk, whisper or whatever surely this creates some extra load somewhere in the LL = SL client chain even if the actual voice processing is done somewhere else ?

    Please please listen to the voice of your customers LL and think very carefully about implementing this.

    Oh and FIX what you already pffer as a product before you add more fluff if you really need too. Please.

  259. The XO says:

    @ Athena #169:

    ROFL and PMSL – very funny! That should do the trick lol

    @ Emil #167:

    Again I understand what you are saying, and even agree with a lot of it but I truly believe this will forever split the community. SL isn’t a tool and it’s not a game, it is a place created by thoughts, people and hardware.

    I don’t want to see people treated as “second class residents” because they don’t use voice. Mark my words, that will happen.

    If we really really must have voice, by default it should be disabled in SIMS and residents settings. Those who want it, can then enable it, but I really think it should be limited to business and test usage.

    I have given a lot of thought as to what SL actually is. I even talk to people in RL about people I know in SL, and I did wonder for a while if I was actually going crazy. The answer is no, because after a while a lot of people actually do the same thing.

    SL isn’t a tool or a game. It’s our world which we have created in the way we want it to be, with our things, our content and our friends. Your avatar isn’t you, but it is your thoughts and your emotions and feelings. It is the non-psysical representation of your consciousness and a way for your consciousness to “appear”.

    That is what SL is, and the very reason it is so successful! This will be ruined by adding voice, as your “physical” side is then dragged into it.

    SL exists as a collection of minds and consciousness, the moment physical aspects are bought it then it becomes no more than a glorified dating/chat/meeting place. Thats all.

    SL works now because it’s somewhere between the places and people can express themselves as they wish. I am fascinated with the how and why it works, what keeps people here, what is SL, how people interact. It is truly amazing and fascinating. This is all at risk 😦

    For all those of you who want a “tool”, try Netmeeting, Skype or another piece of business software – or go to the garage and find a wrench!

  260. Peaches Gapchenko says:

    Well I’m tickled pink! I think it is a great idea…as long as it is affordable after the beta testing phase. I can’t wait to hear the voice of my UK boyfriend…and for him to hear my southern belle USA accent. I think it will be a wonderful option…those who don’t want it don’t have to use it..but for those of us who do want it..it will be awesome! Thanks LL for continuously working to improve my incredible Second Life!

  261. Joshua Perenti says:

    Also another way of putting it to all the people about complaining fix sl first. Think of it like this as plumbers seam to be a theme today.

    A boiler is a complex piece of equipment, similar to a bug on the grid. BUt do you send 40 plumbers to fix 1 boiler? NO you send 1 or 2 and they work at the problem. This is similar to what the lab does, assign a linden or two to a problem in their area of expertise.

    Logical if you tihink about it.

    JP

  262. Kari Niven says:

    I hope whatever competition SL has coming up in online and running by the time this voice chat launches fully in SL and divides the community and ruins relationships inworld.

  263. Dwoozle says:

    @ The XO #173

    Bravo

  264. robinho aarde says:

    this is really in response to a lot of the comments on deaf users. I used to work as a support worker for a blind person, now in his case having voice enabled will allow him to at least experience the technology on a new level

  265. Ishtara Rothschild says:

    Joshua Perenti Says:
    February 28th, 2007 at 8:00 AM PST
    “A boiler is a complex piece of equipment, similar to a bug on the grid. BUt do you send 40 plumbers to fix 1 boiler? NO you send 1 or 2 and they work at the problem. This is similar to what the lab does, assign a linden or two to a problem in their area of expertise.”

    No, they let the plumbers decide for themselves. They can either go and work on the boiler, or stay at the office and paint the wrenches pink. Guess what we get, a working boiler or pink wrenches.

  266. trinity_dejavu says:

    @Ishtara Rothschild

    ZOMG – HAHAHAHAHAHA

  267. Lyn Mimistrobell says:

    Apart from anonimity, speach- or hearing disabled people and potential lag, I don’t understand why a team of developers is working on speech when there is still so much to be fixed.

    Lyn

    Poll: Will you enable speech?
    [ ] yes, both mine and others
    [ ] not my own, but others yes
    [X] no I will have it disabled

  268. jerry usher says:

    Please…. this is a fantasy world ….. keep it as such and allow the citizens to retain their on-line identity!

    Install voice communication only when you can provide the functionality to enable the player to take on a voice which matches their character

  269. Zachary Calhern says:

    I do have every sympathy with those people who feel that SL is changing in a way that upsets them. The move away from a role playing game, into virtual reality is inevitable, especially as LL wants to increase the involvement of big business. As for people having to make the assumption that all avatars are not what they seem, and if we want reality we should stay in the real world, well I think thats pretty much how I do think, and by the way Stefano, being gay, I would be very happy if ALL the girls in SL turned out to be guys ! This doesnt, though, take away the fact that I know people that have been hurt by the inevitable confusions. I dont make friends in SL, because I dont have the necessary skill to type and read chat lines at the same same time, so I get hopelessly lost. Voice will be a great benefit to me, but I do see that to some people it is the apocalypse.

  270. Rocky Rutabaga Says:
    February 28th, 2007 at 5:17 AM PST
    “My 2 cents:
    This will be a huge boon for the second most profitable profession in SL: prostitution. Having an escort talk dirty to you? I’m saving my Lindens for that!”

    There are some SL escorts who do offer voice chat or even video already. They use tools such as Skype or a new invention called “the telephone” along with SL.

  271. Ceera Murakami says:

    I absolutely do NOT want voice capability in SL. I won’t use it, I won’t pay for it, and I will disable it anywhere that I control.

    This will be terrible for roleplayers or anyone who does not interact in SL solely a virtual representation of their real world self. I’m sorry, but my teenaged male wolf doesn’t sound at all like my adult female vixen, and neither of them sounds like my adult female Human or adult male Human. In text I can make each of those alts have a unique voice and personality, complete with dialect differences. I can make each one a believable, unique individual. In voice that will be impossible.

    It will out every person who plays a cross-gender role. Probably this will put 80% of the dancers and escorts in SL out of business! (Ohhh. she won’t use Voice… she must really be a guy…)

    It will out every person who plays a character that is greatly younger or older than their real self. Hard to believably interact with a sweet young thing whose voice sounds like your grandmother! Or to be taken seriously as an adult if you happen to sound like a teenager.

    It will place non-English speakers at a disadvantage. Thick accents will make a lot of people unintelligible. It will also screw over those of us who communicate in other languages as part of roleplay. Ceera can, in text, be said to flawlwssly say something in Japanese, or in French. My Player can’t do that in Voice, though I can make myself understood in those languages.

    Personally, this should be “opt in” by default, and those who choose to activate voice capability should be the ones wearing the tag or icon that says they are voice-capable. I do NOT want to see “This person can not hear” tags floating over all the RP players that I interact with, and I know for certain that the vast majority of MY friends and associates will NOT choose to use voice!

  272. Joshua Perenti says:

    Poll: Will you enable speech?
    [X] yes, both mine and others
    [ ] not my own, but others yes
    [ ] no I will have it disabled

  273. Marianne McCann says:

    For myself, I doubt I’ll ever use this tool: please dun make me hafta.

    Mari

  274. Kathy Morellet says:

    While I am certain that, for many, this will bring a much better experience to their SL lives, I, for one, will never use it.

    I have to agree with the sentiment expressed above about how this will affect the deaf or hearing impaired residents. How will they be able to communicate with those who choose to use voice only?

    Also, in venues like live concerts, will we be forced to listen to the din of voices thus drowning out the music? Reminds me of the current problem of cell phones in theaters.

    I do hope that there will be an option available to turn off the voices of others without losing the other sounds available in a venue. I also hope that there will be some indication that an avatar is totally deaf to your voice communication.

    And, if you refuse to communicate with me or or mistrust my identity simply because I won’t talk to you then, your loss not mine. I probably don’t want to know you in that case anyway.

    Just my L$2 on the issue.

  275. You all have brought up some really GOOD points here.. But did you read the LL post all the way through? Voice will be a “feature”- like chat and IM are.. they will be usable IF you seclect/choose to use it- if you decide to not use it, I think it will disable itself- and therefore, your voice won’t be heard- and you won’t hear others.. about “cliiches” (pronounced “clicks”) well, you get those anywhere you go.. real life or virtual! are there cliches here in SL?? YOU BET! Oh well.. You’ll get used to them.. and, if one feels compelled to chastize another because they don’t wish to talk.. POO on them! I mean, so WHAT chances are, they are getting chastizeed for other reasons.. I think its a GREAT idea.. as long as it doesn’t impede on the performance of SL as it is right now.. I think LL really NEEDS to address the LAG issues on some of the parcels.. (and it would be nice to know WHY SL continues to crash at startup over and over and over..) thats really whats keeping me from buying some land- I just don’t see the lagging issue improving anytime soon.. and $300/month for a parcel I: 1).. can’t log into reliably and 2).. once in, I won’t be able to stay in! okay, thats was my 2 cents.. I think Voice is a GREAT Idea.. and I can’t wait to try it out.. maybe I should apply as a beta tester.. hmmm

  276. laylah says:

    I hope there will be a function that disables voice calls or what they end up as totally. I know I would HATE to have to hit decline every other 2 seconds because some freak wants voice chat with me.

  277. TalisDro Molinari says:

    Mmmmmm, yeah. More smoke and mirrors from the boys and girls at Linden Labs! Something is broke, things are buggy? Roll out something shiny and new to distract the masses! And….don’t look behind the curtain! Really, it’s nothing new. Always simpler to roll out new features than to fix whats wrong with it all.

    As for the debate in regards to Mainland getting it, and Grandfathered sims possibly having to pay extra to get it? First off, saw a few island owners calling the mainland ‘freeloaders’. Hate to burst your bubble, but….SOMEONE is paying tier on that mainland. And usually without the bulk discount you island owners are getting. So in all fairness, mainland generates more tier revenue for them.

    Secondly…They don’t call them grandfathered contracts for nothing. It means that you have a contract stating you get certain services for X price. Says NOTHING about new services. If they wanted to, they could deny grandfathered contracts any and all new features which were land based, and would be perfectly within their rights to do so. Trust me when I say LL has a large pack of lawyers whose ONLY job is to sit around all day and think up ways LL can give it to ya without the lube. Don’t get me wrong, tier prices are crazy in comparison with what you would pay a month for a DEDICATED server, and not these shared ones. And usually with less down time and better customer support. Just…. don’t expect to have your cake and eat it too, mmkay?

    And LL…. Don’t give me that ‘It will add no strain to our servers’ BS. Yeah yeah….It will be hosted by 3rd party stuff. Yeah, that means it wont be AS taxing as hosting it yourself. But you’re talking 3D sound here. So either A) your servers will be having to focus more data and actually pay attention to EVERY last avatar’s position, aside from the chat range which is just a blunt figure. Or B) You’re going to attempt to shove your number crunching onto the 3rd party….oh, wait….you’re probabally going to do that aren’t you? lol Poor suckers, doing business with LL.

  278. Alexia Cournoyer says:

    *sigh* now i will have to contend with the aggravation of people harassing me because i won’t speak. this on top of refusing to give out my skype details or any personal details.

    As a rl extension, sl is ok. I can understand why they’re doing it. If you look at the demographics, the under 25s primarily see it as a rl extension, whilst those over that usually see it as a game.

    I suspect it will eventually settle down and become one of those things where either the texters or the speakers will have their own subgroup and will probably never venture from it. Just as all those non english speakers, furries and others do. The subgroups are almost invisible in the general sl landscape, and so it will be for whichever group ends up the minority in this split.

    just a thought: can you imagine the nightmare the welcome areas will be? ugh

  279. Emil Weissenberger says:

    @ The XO #173

    About the crazyness, I wish I could have the SL camera in RL 😉 I’m talking to my RL friends about my SL neighbours, and so on. I think that is going to *become normal*, if it isn’t yet.

    I totally agree on what you say, definitely SL is expressoin of mind and consciousness and physical aspects of RL may change the way of perception and decrease the effect of imagination, but only in the case where you are communicating totally in the context of “in-world”. In this case text chat is the best way. I understant it as if you watch a movie based upon a novel, and actually reading the novel. When you read, your imagination works. The movie version is destined to spoil the immagination. Speaking of “in-world” context, once you jump out of it, say a business meeting with several people, that try to accomplish RL tasks, then you fall in shortage of good communication, and chat while sometimes very good may become obstacle. So, your idea about separation of voice for business usage and text for only-in-world experience sounds reasonable as far as it does not separate the citizens in different grids. I think this kind of separation will be achieved with options for the land-management tools – the same way some islands or regions forbid flying (a true dream, affordable in SL).
    Once again, the community will be separated only if it allows it itself – think of it as SL allowing furry clothes and skins – does this separate the community? And, I am sure the voice option will evolve to have voice-mutation capabilities, maybe even to create your own voice – and again – positive and negative sides..never ending story.

  280. River Senyurt says:

    Although technological great i fully support 175 and similar opinions. This is the places where we want to have fun, relax and have a Second Life, not for it to become real total first life. But i am afraid that LL’s business plan is to turn the grid into a extension of RL (ie be the new web ) so lets see how many will enable voice, although there are some good softwares out there to use synthesized voice (something LL can add even , not voice changers but just synthesized voice). Im and typing is part of the immersion which will split the world in two nowl. Even in MMO’s some opt to use indeed ventrilo some always prefer to use typing only and indeed groups are formed around voice users and IM users, it is a definte split.
    Then again a diverse world is always interesting 🙂
    Pink wrenches no boilers.:)

  281. Gil Druart says:

    The XO is so right .. but since my normal mode is sarcasm …

    Gosh! Linden have discovered how to make a conference call between an arbitrary number of less-than-totally-disciplined people work! They’ve solved the more-than-one-person-speaking-at-a-time problem! In the process presumably knocking off the much more trivial problem of sharing limited bandwidth amongst an arbitrary and varying number of real-time audio channels.

    Presumably after that technology is sold to rl – where these remain unsolved problems – we can all look forward to the abolition of tier fees aided by the kickbacks Linden receive from the VoIP operators ..

    LMAO – or would if it weren’t going to divert resources from stability and scaleability ;-(

  282. Vivienne says:

    Noone needs another noise. Noone needs people hanging round at places disturbing the communications of all the others by chatterbox attitude. It is hard enough to follow the conversation in chat history alone, once there are more than a few people in chat range.

    Noone needs a two class population, divided by the way of prefered communication. And the advantages in daily life? Hey, I would not even know from whom the voice will come from in case there will be more than two or three unknown residents in chat range.

    Voice will be another hype, not more or less, it will not contribute to the really needed stability issues or keep hardware demands on a tolerable level. It will just mess up things additionally for a while until it will fade away for it s incompatibility with virtual worlds like SL.

    Voice may be allright for one on one communications or within a closed group of people, but not for public areas, where it will cause annoying communication desasters.

    Most of us are not in SL for another phone call or webcam show, and SL will never reach the quality of RL webcams for real communication, anyway.

    So…just another unnecessary gadget for atracting new customers – which will cost further stability and cause less communication standard.

  283. Fiend Ludwig says:

    I am deeply opposed to voice chat in SL unless you provide a bomb-proof way to add effective voice masking. SL is all about a *second* life – my voice is an exclusive feature of my first life and I want it to stay that way.

  284. Lots of love/hate here. I see pros and cons.

    What I do want in the client is the ability to simply not have to respond to people via audio if I choose to- in preferences -and that same option should be able to assure that that extra amount of bandwidth, no matter how small, is not used by people who choose not to chat with people.

    I’m a very textual person. I don’t appreciate spoken discussion as much because it is hardly as accurate and it isn’t as permanent. However, I could see where some voice would be useful. There are reasons why people write stuff down – it is more permanent. I always laugh a little on the reversal of cultural progress. Writing permitted world cultures to pass things on to future much more efficiently than voice. Who wants to listen to a podcast of the Encyclopedia Brittanica?

    And why do people sign things?

    Yes, voice is all well and good, but I’m not likely to use it – and I’m certainly not a roleplayer (apart from my avatars being non-human most of the time).

    Go forth and give us voice. But give us an Off button that puts the burden on the talkers, and allow me a ‘No Talkee Mode’ by default, where people who try to talk to me get a message that says something like “No, I’m not really a penguin, and I choose not to have audio on. I prefer text.” 🙂

  285. Edwin Marvin says:

    I hate the idea, more lag for starters. We already have chat lag ruining timing, this will just make it worse. Also, as this is a fantasy world, what if one chooses to be somebody of the opposite sex? You are bridging the gap between fantasy and reality.

  286. Mick Centaur says:

    I think its a good idea but the only problem is: When i am building i dont want people talking to me (i would rather people type it in),Verbal language,And i dont want people talking anyway it will ruin relationships, (like people said further up the thread) and I personaly think the voice modulators are a good idea then it hides identity and can be fun to mess around with.

  287. S. D. Modiano says:

    Hmm…

    and the 15 percent of SL that are male, that have chosen the female avatar… what do they do now?

    S.D. Modiano

  288. Allison says:

    I think this is a lousy idea. It’s one of those ideas that sound good on paper, and before implementation everyone says “yeah let’s have it,” but post implementation, it’s going to have unintended consquences.

    Today if we want to use voice, we can always run Skype. But one of the things I love about SL is that the only sound I hear is the sound of the waves and music. Now I am going to hear chatter as well?

    Additionally, I think you’ve just killed the RPG aspect of this game and you’ve killed the cross cultural aspect. Now everyone is going to subdivide even further, and I don’t see how that is a good thing.

    I’m sorry Linden’s, but this is going to ruin the Second Life experience as you are working to make it more and more like Real Life, which makes me think “why bother, I already have that.”

  289. Linda says:

    Someone mentioned that people not wanting LL to implement voice are trying to limit the freedom of others to use voice if they want to. If you don’t want to use voice, just don’t use it.

    The problem with that is its kind of like smoking in a restaurant. Those who choose not to smoke still have their experience degraded by the smokers. If a smoker and nonsmoker go to a restaurant together, one of them is going to be inconvenienced/irritated. Even if nonsmokers go and sit in the nonsmoking section, smoke drifts over from the smoking section. Bars and dance clubs (except where prohibited by law) are always 100% smoking sections, making nonsmokers second class citizens. Thats why I love living in California where smoking is banned from all restaurants, bars and clubs.

    In a voice enabled SL, groups of talkers and non talkers will find it hard to hang out together. Even if they decide to hang out in a non-talking sim, they may be influenced by second hand talking (voice IMs, voice groupchats).

    When the smoking ban went into effect in California it provided a nicer atmosphere for everyone. Smokers and non-smokers now mingle more readily and nonsmokers like me actually feel free to go to a bar or club (which I rarely did before the ban). Smokers can simply step outside for a few minutes to get their drug fix. Lack of voice provides similar freedom on SL. Talkers can talk anytime they want by stepping out of SL and into the real world. Allowing talking in SL will bifurcate the society between talkers and nontalkers and make nontalkers uncomfortable in most settings, probably causing them to log on less often, or leave all together.

    I will be a non-talker. My land will be non-talking land. But I’m afraid I will lose half my friends and maybe my business (I’m an escort). I am female, but log in either from my private (but not soundproof) office at work, or my semiprivate (but not soundproof) office at home. I don’t think my boss would appreciate hearing me having voicesex in the next office, and its not appropriate for my son to hear certain things coming from his mother in the next room. Also, typing things about being tied up and used sexually is much less personal then actually voicing the behavior. I’d rather not cross that boundary. Clients will probably think I am a man because I choose not to use voice.

  290. Figgy Newman says:

    I already use my voice on SL. That’s what happens when you have a microphone, a “tuner” object to which you have access, and a streaming server. I guess what they’re aiming for is *two way* voice communications, rather than one-way DJ chatter… and if people don’t want to hear me, they just stop streaming and demand I put music on.

  291. HoJo Kilda says:

    Interesting idea, but one I won’t be using for a variety of reasons, all of which have been stated above here:

    1. I live in a noisey city, with tons of traffic, construction and other background noise around me all the time. I also do not live alone in my small apartment and my constant speaking would disturb others.

    2. Like others have said, I believe this will divide people into classes and distrupt many relationships personal and business alike. I’ve invested a good deal of money into my SL projects and I hate to think that I will have to keep up with the Jones in this way, in order to maintain my business.

    3. I DO NOT need to hear people talking in order to have a great SL experience, in fact I’d prefer not to. This is fantasy to me and not reality. I do not want to have to hear a din of people’s voices in my club while I’m trying to relax, have fun and enjoy music. In fact I don’t want to hear you at all! I don’t even like speaking to my friends and family on the phone, text based communication such as email is my preferred mode of communication for a variety of reasons: I can take my time and carefully illustrate my thoughts more eloquantly with the written word. I have the convenience to respond at my own pace and frankly there is more then enough noise in the world. I like peace and quiet, to listen to my music or simple silence and not be bothered with the din of human noise.

    4. Lets not forget language barriers and dialects. With the majority of SL residents being English speaking, it’s going to make it more difficult to communicate with people who speak other languages, not easier. In text chat, foreign language speaks have time to think and translate words and phrases. With speech enabled, they will not have that luxury and will be cast aside by the majority or find themselves essentially banished to areas where their native tongue is the majority.

    Anyway, just my thoughts. I don’t think this is really going to help anyone except big business.

  292. Pelthar Beaton says:

    There are many people (thousands and thousands) who can’t understand spoken english too well (for various reasons). Sure, they can turn voice off, but that also means they won’t be able to hear other people (using voice) talking at all! It’s like turning half of the chat off in places where voice is enabled! Sure, they can type, but that will force people to also type, to have a conversation.

    My english is good enough, so I can understand spoken english pretty well, but my girlfriend doesn’t, so I will be able to go to voice enabled events, while she can’t.

    It’s not an option for her.

  293. sirhc DeSantis says:

    Hmm – in RL I am a male deep voiced mid atlantic accented 7 foot albino goth with cats eyes and a voice activated *schlong* so voice would not be a problem. I won’t use it myself but would be willing to ‘voice’ for anyone else – say L$ 500 and hour? 🙂

  294. Mrs. Showdog Tiger says:

    Dearly Darlings,

    DaQbet has a point with spelling. I too am dyslexic, unlike Ms. D. I have lovely diction….but sound extremely young unless I am singing. My husband Maneo has that South-Philly getting older and deaf mumble going on…I can see the frown on his face now when people say, “What did you say….?”

    I do think this will be a nice too for all the enducational folk. I for one, would love to do a series of lectures on dogs.

    I am however not keen on spending more money for this service. B. Rhodes turned me onto Skype and I’m happy talking to my SL friends with that tool.

    As for causing a socio-economic schism, I don’t think so. Second Life is already fractured into many segments for this to be a root cause of fragmentation. Including I might add, Linden Labs showing favoritism to some players over others. (The implied statement that Islanders will pay before Mainlanders– I own property in Green.) If one person gets charged we all should get charged for this service…if you opt for this function of course. I don’t think you should be charged if you don’t want this and don’t use it.

    You all have a lovely Day!

    Ever Yours,

    Mrs. Showdog Tiger

  295. The XO says:

    Poll: Will you enable speech?
    [ ] yes, both mine and others
    [ ] not my own, but others yes
    [ ] no I will have it disabled
    [X] VOICE IS THE DEVILS WORK AND SHOULD NOT BE ADDED TO SL

    🙂

  296. There are a ton of programs out there that will take a male voice from the mic and make it sound female before it goes onto the internet. Once SLers realize that, they’re not going to assume that every woman with Voice turned off is male, since males will be able to Pass as females even with Voice turned on.

    Re the comments that SL will become two split communities, Voicers and NonVoicers: well we have a bunch of divided subcultures in SL already. What I foresee for my Ranch is to expand the land, and have Voice Ranch and NonVoice Ranch area. I will use both areas myself, since sometimes at home things are going on and I can’t speak into my mic.

    Voice will be seriously helpful to some people, so I don’t think it’s right for anyone to object to SL adding that Choice.

  297. Exuberance LaFleur says:

    A view from a slightly different perspective…. I am thrilled Voice is coming to SL even though i will be using it in a limited way, because like any tool it does have it’s dangers. (especially the “no payment on file” sexual predators who we know are in our community , now using voice as well)

    1. I am a voice actor in RL

    i would really enjoy having a chance to express my creativity and imagination in the medium that is most natural to me. I would also liek to have the chance to market my services to those educators , business people or other who would like to present them selves in a speech format but don’t prefer the sound of their own voice or their own skill at representing themselves in speech.if the community decides business and education should take place in designated area s with voice , as it does now really that is fine wiht me

    2. Voice can be a useful tool when text just won’t do.

    As a person constantly dealing with poor connections as i travel for work it would be nice occasionally as chat lag grinds us to a halt or a store takes 15 minutes to rez in to hear a pleasant business owner who is sincerely nice (and honestly folk sit is the intent of a persons speech that matters far more than the quality of the voice saying it) answer my question about whether they have an item i want or not. Voice announements upon entering to take off lag creating HUD’s adn prims could be very helpful before you enter a performance venue adn then voice could be disabled inside maybe to stop cross chat.

    3. I am slightly dyslexic and some nights typign in Chat is just hard.

    So why don’t i use my free skype all the time and when won’t i use voice?

    1. I work with sounds lal day sometimes i really like silence and the slowness of speech that allows me to compose my words..my friends forgive my typos till it becomes impossible somenights to understand me.

    2, i dont can’t speek any oterh languages but i can understand some and when babble ris workgin i can get along ok , and i love my international connections in SL.

    3. It will break the illusion of who i wish to be in second life sometimes if i want to be taken seriously …there is no way i am using the voice i use for upscale luxury products that is my real voice when i am relaxed smiling and having fun.

    SO in short, i will use it sometime snad otehr times i wont . i imagine community usage will standardize, IF this ever works just as we all develop our one rules of polite acceptable behavior. we’ll bounce some greifers adn continue to be the non-conformist that we are and tel poeple to sod off who wont let us live virtually as we wish. ( please get rid of no payment on file though! creepy! )

    Thanks for Reading adn someday listening if you wish 😉

  298. HoJo Kilda says:

    Also good point about the sex trade here Linda… I am in that line of work too, and if I wanted to do phone sex, I would have done that a long time ago. Voice makes cybersex far to personal for me to be comfortable with as well being that I live with someone in a RL relationship. He knows what I do here, but he really wouldn’t want to hear all the intimate details. SL to me is a wonderous fantasy world. I come here to get away from reality and be someone else for a few hours a day. I don’t need to hear your voice in order to communicate and I’d prefer not to.

    I have a feeling that this is going to completely turn the sextrade in SL on it’s head and destroy many businesses. If that is the case, all of the money and effort my partners and I just poured into our new club/resort will be for nothing.

  299. Alphonsus Peck says:

    I for one HATE the idea of voice. SL is a fantasy world. We have different bodies, different ages, and in some cases different genders. I have no interest in breaking the fantasy. Voices would do just that. Suddenly, age, race, dialect, ennuciation, speach impediments, and just a general shyness about our real voices becomes an issue. This is going to happen, but it further blurs the line between reality and fantasy, and will, to me, significantly detract from the experience.

  300. Pingback: Voice is Nearly there in Second Life! « Madame Maracas’ Blaaagh

  301. Arnold Wilder says:

    @voice disguisers, they are not needed at all:

    For all the males:
    ‘But you sound like a man’
    ‘Yes, I am a woman and I am using a voice-disguiser so my real voice is hidden’

  302. Anna Eisbar says:

    Voice will split SL in 2 parts, true. And that’s good 🙂 A little civil war never hurted anyone !!!

    On a more serious note, when people will realise that simultaneous voice convos in a virtual world are MUCH harder to follow than in RL (acurate voice localisation is nearly impossible in a virtual 3D world unless you have 5.1 or GOOD headphones), most of them they will go back to typing.

    Another reason why you guys shouldn’t be worried about the voice chat : probably 99% of the people spend big effort and L$ to make their avatar look sexy and appealing (with moreless success…). Now will an idealised and very sexy looking avatar still be that attractive with Mr or Mrs Everyone’s voice ?

    I’m not worried.

    🙂

  303. Linda says:

    I am going to log in to the test grid and help test the voice implementation by being a non-voicer with all voice functions disabled.

    If only talkers log on to test it, LL is going to get the idea that its the greatest thing since sliced bread. To give them a better idea of what it will do, non-talkers need to log on to the beta test too. Who is with me?

  304. The XO says:

    People that say “just turn it off” don’t really get it do you? Think about it for a few moments before saying “well just don’t use it”

    Think of the broader implications.

    We have seen here that most do not want it because of privacy issues, RP, keeping RL and SL apart, boundaries and community cohesion!

    It will have a negative effect on users, SL businesses and the community as a whole.

    LL should concentrate on doing what they do best, rather than trying to be everything to everyone and potentially tearing Philips world that he loves so much apart!

  305. Ketra Saarinen says:

    I. HATE. PHONES.

    IMs are bad enough for me, but voice chat is right out.

    I think I’ll get a sound file of a Chorus of men and women saying “F-Off!” for those that want voice verification of my RL gender. It’s none of thier business, and frankly, anyone who needs to know about my RL, has no place in my SL.

  306. Ann Otoole says:

    follow the money. it always leads to the truth. sl will become what everything else becomes. a marketing vehicle for big companies.

    IBM has 24 sims per the press stories. they will want voice for their meetings.

    oh excuse me? since when did the sl resident community decide we wanted sl resources being used by thousands of IBM employess for their day to day business meetings? doesnt IBM have enought technology to have their own video conferencing system?

    Well i guess the investors will have their way and eventually this dream till devolve into something none of us want. At which point we will all be off in the next dreamscape that better technology has made possible.

    Time rolls on. people change. As did the original dream of sl change into a mass marketing medium. We can’t go anywhere in sl now without seeing garulous billboards for rl products. Granted the lindens have no control over sim/parcel owners pimping out their virtual property for rl capitalism. those new sims cost a lot.

    Would have been better to have sl a pay to play world period. As are the metaverses that have not been infected by greedy capitalists.

    The antisocial minority will dictate all voice capabilities be disabled across the grid except in commercial venues that are private access.

    As for the benifits of voice in sl? where? teamspeak and other perfectly good well performing low impact voip systems have been srving the needs for group voice chat all along. To say we needed voice in sl to add a further layer of defects is ludicrous. If you want voice chat set up a teamspeak server and have a ball.

    Appears the majority of respondents here are dead set against this feature. And, if the stats jane mentioned are true, the majority of sl users will be dead set against voice chat since the majority of sl is masked identities. So exactly where does this “the majority wanted voice” come from anyway? it’s fictitious. this is a feature needed by IBM and other big companies.

    Welcome to sl, the video conferencing system owned and controlled by the elite fortune 500 who will decide what you wear, see, hear, say, and do.

  307. m2 Moo says:

    @ post 120 by janeforyou Barbara-
    “I am openminded wen it comes to Adult Gay males/girls/trensgengers/shemales, but how to controll the kids? A 12 y old girl/boy with a 56 y plummer—warning warning!!! That CAN close SL totaly! We are then in a situation were the 56 y old KNOW hes talking with a 12y, The law and the goverment come in there, am i as a SIM owner responsible here? How to controll it?”

    have you not heard of myspace? how about people that lurk in chatrooms? these ‘cyber predators’ have existed online forever. Second Life itself breeds these kinds of people by encouraging the ‘do anything’ mentality. granted, voice will obviously make this worse, but its not like it wasn’t already happening.

    i agree with the group saying that people who want to use voice should just use VOip or other services that MMORPG players have been using for years. Every other MMORPG would have certain benefits from having voice capabilities, but its the irresponsibility of the users that make it unimplemented. people who want to use voice take their own initiative to seek out and talk to others that want to talk, or have a reason to need to talk (like being on a team or clan).

    other than for education and businesses, voice seems like it would be used by a select few normal residents, griefers and the sex industry. if those are the areas that LL wants to give more power to, i guess this is the right track.

  308. The XO says:

    @ Linda #197

    Great point! Count me in! I will be logging into the test grid and “typing” at the people whilst they rant and shout at me!

  309. Sami Tabla says:

    A reality to me… at least… is that SL is… at it’s base… just a big ol’ chatroom with fancy graphice. And.. as a medium that is chat driven… the “written voice” tends to express it’s self differently than the spoken word. And “that” is the beauty of chat… seeing “deeper” into a side of a person than one normal perceieves. Seeing a depth… that… you would miss if they were “just talking”.

    Sure.. the aim is some sci-fi driiven “virtual reality”… but… lets not forget the benefits of “chat” in gaining a deeper insight into the thoughts of our fellow residents.

  310. John Horner says:

    Poll: Will you enable speech?

    [ ] yes, both mine and others
    [ ] not my own, but others yes
    [ ] no I will have it disabled
    (X) Yes I will use voice in appropiate circumstances and when it does not cause problems

    Will I discimiate against avatars who choose not to use voice

    ( ) Yes
    (X) No – but I would expect Island owners to provide it as a service providing the cost is not prohibitive and individual avatars can opt out

    Thats my view.

  311. Mrs. Showdog Tiger says:

    Dearly Darling,

    Linda, that is a wonderful idea!

    Ever Yours,

    Mrs. Showdog Tiger

  312. lupinefox paz says:

    SL is a cutting edge technology platform and as such I say – why not add voice. Myself, I doubt I will use it since I’m a Fox and would just make fox noises! It’s important you can disable using and hearing voice in your client and on your land.

    For business this could be a boon and LL needs to pay the bills so they should charge for it if they can. The more they charge, the less non-business users will use it and that’s fine with me.

  313. Web Page says:

    The implication that there may be a charge for this is disconcerting because it immediatley creates more class walls. Charges should be per parcel ONLY.

    From a technical standpoint, all you really need are speakers to listen. This should be possible at no charge EVERYWHERE speech is enabled.

    On one hand, voice chat will be unattractive to many users (ones who type well and speak badly). On the other, many additional people will have access to communication (most people can talk) so overall I can see this as an important addition – inevitable in the long run – but I’d rather see it added to a system that WORKS. SL upgrades frighten me.
    Is this the time to add to the CONFUSION?

    How will you be able to identify which avatar is GRIEFING? Will it be possible to mute individual avatars?
    Will LL have transcripts so that reports can be made effectively? It’s one thing to have a naked avatar sidle up to you and TYPE “hubba hubba”… I’m not paying extra to have it in my ear.
    Opposite to what I think you’re proposing, I’d prefer to opt-in individual avatars than need to opt-out of each anonymous FREAK.

    The basic technology (proposed) doesn’t sound frightfully hard compared to what’s needed to make it attractive or even usable at large.

  314. Hiro Market says:

    The problem is that, for me at least, voice completely breaks immersion.

    Having used Skype with SL for some business meetings the degree to which it kills immersion is alarming. Instead of being intent on SL and to some mental degree ‘in world’ I’m mentally dumped out and SL starts to look like a rather silly game I’m watching on screen. True it’s faster for that type of meeting to work in voice, but it’s only because the meetings are about SL that I’d bother with SL, as SL offers *nothing* over whiteboard and other collabrorative tools (actually it’s much worse as you can’t draw graphics inworld)

    If voice is so great why do my kids spend hours on IM to their friends instead of just skyping them? IM offers something different to voice, it’s more considered, easier to be witty, can be reviewed and pursued at a slower pace not to mention all the anominity and other issues above.

    Voice in SL is not necessarily a bad thing, but it should be treated as off by default and introduced with extreme caution.

  315. Bibi Book says:

    “Our aim has always been to give Residents the tools they need to fully embrace and engage with Second Life in whichever way they are most comfortable.”

    Okay: When will we have the (working) building tools we need?

    Sorry, but my very first thought on this was “Idiots. That is exactly what we do not need”.

    90% or the input, people wo have visual abilities is visual and not audial input. So those 90 % should be cared and in addition the tools needed for visual impaired people to participate.

    I will wait, what really happens, but I see some major problems:

    1. If Voice is used, more people will not understand, what others say.

    2. It adds a totally new griefing feature. Just come with two people and play some crash music in an event.

    3. it will add additional lag (to server and or client – depends on technology)

    4. It will divide SL in language/regional zones mor than chat does now.

    We cannot disable typing sound now in events without disabling all sound including the applause or the enviroment like sea shore.

    – Will people be able to select sound, they do not want to have?
    – Will voice from one parcel, that has voice swap over to other parcels like now spatial sound?

    There are already possiblilities to have classes with voice, if one wants. So having language classes canot be a reason.

    And to one comment: yes, it is a self-limitation, if you have no voice. But this limitation includes, that people not hearing well, have not to beg to repeat, speak slower or, if totally deaf, to beg for typing the text, one says. In RL you have additional gestures and mimimic and all. In SL you will not see that! Nobody can read from avatars lips.

    For Yongnam my decision is made already: all parcels I have access to will have voice disabled. I am not willing to exclude me or other people from communication.

    And please do not forget to add the marker “voice music” and “stream music” to music events and parcel listings and TP Landmarks. So me and others can decide, if we want to go there or not.

  316. Marianne McCann says:

    @157

    SL is not a game, or a fantasy world. It is a platform. A tool. A communication medium. And if you want to build and live in fantasy worlds within it, that’s your problem..

    Your World. Your Imagination.

  317. #194 “Voice will be seriously helpful to some people”

    Apart from escorts … examples please. I can’t think of any real use, especially any that warrant the time, effort and costs involved to everyone.

    Broccoli

  318. Kenny Devoix says:

    Poll: No I will have it disabled, I will only enable it when I chose to use it. However I do see it as a benefit for those that chose to use it fo it will save the need to run another program along side SL.

    As far as those go who don’t want to see this because they don’t want to use voice. its simple don’t use it. I don’t like Video(movies,tv,ect) in SL because it causes huge lag so I disable it, my choice, but I also don’t sit and complain about those that love it because that is their choice and I respect that. Show respect for others choices and they will show respect for yours.

    People need to lose the assumption that SL is a RPG game,it wasnt designed as such. Its aptly named,a Second Life, a virtual world where people interact in a way that has never been tried before. Face it it is a experiment that will change the way the net is used in the future and we are all beta testers here. If LL don’t make it work then another company will improve on this concept and do it. The way I see it is that we either adapt to changes or are left behind.

  319. Cynthia Ohara says:

    Voice technology is available, and so it shall be used.

    Voice technology will divide Second life. There is no question. There will be no choice.

    Those who have the technological savvy and the financial wherewithal to embrace voice technology will survive and flourish. Those who are unable to adapt, for whatever reason, will be labeled “not voice enabled”. The savvy ones will speak to us and not have time to wait for our typed response. Those with the financial wherewithal will build yet more guarded, private enclaves near which the ‘quiet ones’ will be made to feel unwelcome.

    The label “not voice enabled” will evolve in spirit, if not in print. The ‘quiet ones’ who are not able to tweak our computers so that they are in synch and therefore unable to use voice technology will become techno-dolts. Those of us who simply can not afford yet another bit of hardware or increase in our monthly internet bill will become deadbeats. Perhaps worst of all, the ‘quiet ones’ will be looked upon as having something to hide and will become liars.

    Second life will become that much more just like real life.

    What a shame.

    Progress for the sake of progress is the philosophy of a cancer cell.

    Sincerely
    Cynthia Ohara

  320. Stephe Erhler says:

    I suppose the few people who posted here about wanting this to be “more realistic” of each avatars RL have a right to this opinion but IMHO if you want realistic comunication with other people in RL, why not just use a web cam and microphone? That’s old techology.

    As far as:

    “It involves real people with real emotions, and when a guy chats with a pretty girl for some time and starts to feel something for her (whether righly or wrongly) he is going to be pretty hurt and upset if his pretty girl turns out to be a 250lb married truck driver called Steve !”

    Maybe you should be rethinking your RL altogether. Voice morphing will shortly follow so how then will you demand proof? Sounds like you should be somewhere else (match.com ect) if you’re looking for a RL partner? Maybe “Steve” would be a good match for you! 🙂

    This IS a fantasy world and I feel SL technology allows people to see other people in a way RL doesn’t allow, without the prejudice created by a person’s external appearance. You see the person as their mind wants you to see them and their inner self comes through. For me, some days it’s a 20 something year old cutie, other days its a tall slinder pink skunk (lately, more often a pink skunk!). I’m neither in RL, so should I make my AV look like a -not all that attractive- 48 year old so I’m not decieving the above poster?

    I see this just splitting SL into “talkies” and “non-talkies”. I have no intention of using this and if someone demands I do as a requirement for friendship, -laters-! I just feel it’s going to make it harder to meet new people and will make comunication more difficult not easier on the mainland.

    I agree this technology should NOT be used on the mainland and should be used only on private islands so sex traders (phone sex lovers) and suits can use this as needed at an extra cost, they can afford it! My 2 cents.

    Stephe Ehrler

  321. Valkyrie Eclipse says:

    The addition of integrated voice in SL was inevitable – let’s face it, typing takes too long. What if every conversation you had in RL had to be typed? The bagboy had to type “Paper or plastic?” every time? So in that respect it is a necessary step in the evolution of 3D worlds.

    There are a ton of related societal issues to squabble about, but integrated single-client voice is coming one way or another. It HAS to.

    Of course, it would be much better if the focus was on making a stable client and platform that can actually handle the current growth rate before worrying about shiny new bells and whistles. 😉

    But, voice or no voice, translation is always going to be a major issue here in SL. How about providing some corporate support for Max Case’s Babbler and deBabbler? See http://www.maxcase.info. That was a hugely useful tool that could translate back and forth in 8 languages (in chat) by using screen scraping and Google, only Google now flags it as an attack because it was so popular, so it does not work anymore. Google is working on a translation API, but not telling when that will be ready, so supporting this existing tool would be a very useful interim move. Since it all goes through Max’s web server, most likely a single phone call from SL to the right people at Google would restore this much-needed functionality. So how about it, guys? Can your people call Google’s people and get this working again? Please?

  322. Loniki Loudon says:

    Day before yesterday I went all day before I realised I never even turned on my speakers. I turn my head slightly to the right and theres my TV and Sci Fi has good programming on mondays and tuesdays. Most of the time there is nothing I want to hear on SL anyways unless I am listening to a stream. I keep stuff like wind and footsteps and all this other “emmersive” annoyances turned off anyways.

    I have bought pretty pianos and people have given me music boxes that typically work horrid. Most times I have to click on something two or three times before the sound file actually plays and when it does, it stops for long periods before the next segment and sometimes I never even hear them.

    This new “feature” is gonna crash the grid. Fact is it doesn’t really take much at all to crash the grid now. I was at a class 5 packed sim on the weekend and crashed 4 times the 30 minutes I was there. Sure the audio may be on another server but all that directional stuff and spatial recognition is in the code of your client.

    This is what we call a pipe dream. Not sure how it got that name though… Maybe cause pipes clog or sound is distorted or hollow sounding in a pipe? Maybe cause they are trying to jam too much BS into our small pipes? Maybe because LL dreams of a day their pipes were big enough to handle what they try to send us now?

    So here is how I see it happening… (Disclaimer: What you are about to read is based on actual preconcieved ideas and names have been changed).

    Loniki Loudon arrives at club XYZ to check on a vender that refuses to respond because of lag. Big Bob see’s her land and immediately makes his move in his perfect nuub spiked hair. Loniki walks very fast to get away but does not seem to be moving at all.

    Bob Bob makes a sexual innuendo in voice chat but it doesn’t go through. Loniki in the mean time is still trying to get to her mall spot and has managed to to move 10m dispite the fact that she has a shoe up her butt.

    Big Bob makes a second sexual innuendo that once again does not go through. By now Loniki realises Big Bob is indeed trying to communicate and not knowing his intent types “You talking to me? It looks like you are talking to me”, “try typing cause voice doesn’t always go through”. Loniki grins knowing that sometimes typing doesn’t go through either.

    >>>System Message; Big Bob invites you to a Private Chat>>System Message: You have declined Private Chat with Big Bob

  323. Pingback: Katharine’s Second Life » Blog Archive » Bringing Voice to Second Life

  324. @207: “Your World. Your Imagination.”

    Heh heh. Great point, Marianne. Starting to look a bit ironic! But then, you can’t keep people from logging in just because they have no imagination. Can you?

    @209: “The way I see it is that we either adapt to changes or are left behind.”

    Waving at Kenny from my happily left behind position. Feel free to adapt. Your World. Your Imagination. Mine too. 🙂

  325. Persephone Milk says:

    There was a point where Philip seemed to realize that adding voice to SL could have a negative impact on the community. He felt it was inevitible, but he wanted to do it right. He suggested that adding voice would be done in a very careful way, with sensativity to the vast majority of residents that do not want to use voice. He talked of an opt-in model where voice would be disabled accross the grid by default and only enabled by parcel owners and residents that wish to use voice. He said residents that wanted to use voice would be able to travel to voice-enabled parcels, but those that did not want to use voice could simply avoid these areas. Philip seemed to understand that if he did this the other way around, as an opt-out model where voice was enabled by default, forcing people to opt-out and wear an “I don’t use voice” tag, that he would be creating a dynamic that would split the community apart and ruin Second Life for a lot of people.

    So what happened? Why the 180 degree change on this?

    For my part, I have used voice extensively in Second Life, and find it very helpful, particularly when collaborating on projects. However, I have no interest in using voice in most circumstances, and with most of the people I communicate with. It is already very easy for me to use voice when I need to. Putting this into the client would make it a bit easier, and I welcome this. However, it should be the exception, not the default.

    Add this feature if you must. But please flip this model around and disable voice by default. You may lose a few geek points, but your community will be stronger as a result.

  326. Ceera Murakami says:

    I, too, will make a point to spend some time on the beta grid with voice firmly disabled, and will be actively telling anyone who tries to talk audibly to me to “Type it, or go bug someone who can hear you. I can’t use voice functions, and I am not the least bit interested in doing so.”.

    And I repeat my request that it should be the people who WANT to use voice who have a symbol marking them, not those who do NOT want it!

    Personally, if I turn off “Voice” as an option, for myself or on my land, I do not want to see ANY indication on anyone as to their voice capability status. I already said in my personal or land preferences, I DON”T WANT VOICE, so why should MY experience be intruded upon by reminders that someone else does or does not want that option?

  327. The XO says:

    @John #203

    You expect Island owners to provide something for you? Right… well maybe if you pay for the land then you can tell people what to do!

    Moving on….

    Lastly, I don’t want some derranged s*x mad pervert coming up to me and asking me to strip. It’s bad enough seeing half naked people wandering around the SIM trying to hump anything in range, now I’m going to have to listen to them moaing and groaning.

    I don’t think LL fully thought about this, or the wider implications of what it will cause. (#173 and #187 if you want to know what i mean).

    Next time… a little consultation of your user base might be a nice idea LL before they decide they are unhappy with your heavy handed tactics.

    I think a poll should be conducted for things like this, which affect the user base and community as a whole, rather than it being “announced”.

    If people want it more like RL, then fine, lets do that. Lets have an elected government that consults, plans, etc, etc. Great! Just what I need sitting in RL, using SL to simulate RL again. I’m here for SL, not RL otherwise I wouldn’t bother logging on.

    Grrrrrrrr!

  328. I tried to post by my new address (never used before on this blog), but these post are still in the moderation queue. So I am posting this from my old address.

    To all those who are against voice. You are offering many arguments against voice. I understand all of them, and even agree with some. But, please, understand that some of us prefer using voice, and that for some applications voice is important.

    Also, I respect your freedom to choose your SL. Please respect my freedom to choose mine.

    I will enable voice in my sim. You will not enable voice in your sim. Then where is the problem? Those who want voice will come to me, and those who do not want voice will come to you. There will be thousands of sims for speakers, and thousands of sime for chatters. And the magic of markets will ensure that the % of speck/chat sims will reflect the % of speak/chat users.

    More thoughts:
    http://transumanar.com/index.php/site/second_life_growing_up/

  329. Web Page says:

    Poll: Will you enable speech?

    [ ] yes, both mine and others
    [ ] not my own, but others yes
    [ ] no I will have it disabled
    [X] Yes when I remember to turn it on and have reminded the one or two friends that I actually want to hear to do the same and we are in the same location. Otherwise I’ll just use skype.

    This brings up the fact that I generally have SL sound off. I have a stereo that makes my computer sound pointless for music and I’ve almost always found the usual SL jumble something that I want to tune OUT not into. So if you talk, I’ll be deaf. Keep that keyboard around if you want to tell me more than hubba hubba.

  330. Cheyenne Bellmand says:

    I am very excited about voice coming to SL.When you have a disorder like dyslexia it is very hard for me to respond fast with poor typing skils to .I love playing in SL it makes the world my play ground
    Being exposed to all the creative people in SL has been a very enriching experence for me i love you all.Even with all the lag an other problems SLhas at times their the best keep up the good work we do appreciate all your effort you put into this game to make it the best it can be a big THANK YOU hugs an kisses to you all

  331. Vonba Elcar says:

    The real issue about SL having voice capabilities is it would put up boundaries
    instantly between citizens purely based on our accents, as no two people on the planet sound the same. Until we truly have a universally spoken language that we all understand I think the resources of Linden labs would be put to better use on fixing what we have right now in SL.

  332. Ann Otoole says:

    main grid is open

  333. Karmalina says:

    Pardon me for thinking rationally, but I think you can um.. not use the voice feature? I’m sure people that really like you will type if need be =P. Also, what about the ones of us that voluntarily “be ourselves”? Should we not have the ease and comfort of using voice because other people don’t want to use it?
    I think it’s a fantastic idea and won’t make all that much difference in people’s roleplay experiences and whatever you people are biznatching about. Just say “I’d rather chat.” If people can’t handle that they’re buttheads.

  334. Lucinda says:

    Anyone remeber the movie “Sing’n the Rain”…for some reason this movie comes to mind in regaurds to this issue.

    **The blonde bombshell silent screen actress steps her full lush lips part and then……then with voice like mouse on crack says”Ah CANNNNNN’T STAND’m!”**

    Or Video killed the radio star???

    Chat will come no stopping the gennie now it’s out the bottle..the real question is how long until people start hiring vocies doubles? heehee

  335. Kenny Devoix says:

    @213
    Waves back at Veronique 🙂 Exactly what I was saying,differant visions,views and expectations, and just cause they are differant don’t make them wrong.

  336. #179 ” being gay, I would be very happy if ALL the girls in SL turned out to be guys”

    Not every guy with a female avatar is gay, you know. That’s a rather broad – and offensive – assumption.

    Broccoli

  337. Frank Elderslie says:

    I would look forward to (a successful, cheap) implementation of voice in SL. I came to SL as a poet, in order to promote myself as a writer, and have found a great writing community here.

    However, I would like to do more than type my poems in during readings. I know I’m quite good in public performances, but it’s hard to get timing down while typing – much less changing the timbre of your words.

    Certainly we could use Skype or some-such, but it’s a bit of a logistics headache for our needs, as is streaming audio.

    -Frank Blissett (SL Frank Elderslie)

    ps: Regarding escorts, IMHO this will actually INCREASE their value. It seems to me that voice-enabled escorts could comand at least as much as phone-sex lines. Certainly there will be some escorts who will (for reasons others have noted) steer clear of voice, and their prices will just as certainly be depressed. However, there will also be escorts who jump at the chance to “talk the talk” and will bump up their prices as a result.

  338. The XO says:

    Lets all log to the beta grid, with a title saying “Please type – I don’t use voice” and stay there until they get the message!

    Either that, or I may just type “What?” or “Pardon?” anytime anyone speaks to me.

    @Persephone Milk #214: Agreed! If they have have have to use voice and there is no way around this, then “opt in” is better, rather than “opt out”. Personally, and in agreement with many here today, I don’t think it should be implemented whosoever.

    So much for them listening to their users!
    “Yes, of course we’ll introduce this carefully, thoughtfully and in a sensible manner” *WHACK* “Voice is here!”

    /me watches the tumble weed blowing across the emtpy SIMs where people once flocked

  339. Web Page says:

    212 “pipe dream” came from the same place as “you must be high!”

  340. hugsalot says:

    Okay first of all. Voice chat did NOT kill there.com. Voice chat was in use since it’s beta, and believe it or not, there.com IS NOT DEAD!

    It also didn’t really segregate (split) there.com’s users from those who had voice, and those who didn’t. Noobies who didn’t have a PAID membership didn’t have voice anyway (nor anything else useful to do), and those people were already segregated.

    The only real problem I see with voice chat in SL is with griefing noobs. Since creating an avatar account is so easy with no real validation process anymore, they will use this and run around disrupting everyone with loud and obnoxious sounds. And this will go on and on. At least there.com only allows paid members to use voice.

    One good thing is at least we will be able to spot some underage users on the main grid, and kick them to the teen grid.

  341. Cordwainer Hax says:

    Hello everyone.

    I just joined SL a few days ago and this is my first post. After checking out Ishtara Rothschilds’s link to Screaming Bee’s Morph Vox Pro, I did a quick Google on “voice changer software” and it revealed several different voice changer programs already available. For those concerned about losing their SL identity, it appears that many of these programs allow you to customize your voice just as you would customize your avatar’s apppearance.

    Also, I was thinking of some of the artistic possibilities, as some others have mentioned here. Imagine (dependeing on the technological capabilities) being part of a barbershop quartet, an a capella group, or even (on a grander scale) a full chorus with members from all over the world. How about a virtual Shakespear in the Park peformance? Libraries or bookstores could have authors stop by for readings from their works. The potential seems endless.

    As for the concerns that people have raised here, I hope that someone from Linden Labs reads through them as they raise several important points about privacy, potential abuse and unforseen consequences.

    Anyhow, just thought I’d weigh in and glad to be here.

  342. Web Page says:

    #179 ” being gay, I would be very happy if ALL the girls in SL turned out to be guys”

    #221 Not every guy with a female avatar is gay, you know. That’s a rather broad – and offensive – assumption.

    I can see it’s broad. Not sure that it’s offensive unless unless you’re insecure.
    But it’s NOT an assumption. Read it again
    “would be … if” does not mean “they are”.

    Looks like humor to me. I laughed.

  343. Red Barnes says:

    This is terrible,why not work on lag,something that effects everyone.
    When friends hear my voice , and they will want to, my friends list will quickly be depleted. IM acts as a buffer between my muddled thoughts and my “finger nails on a blackboard” voice.Goodbye flirting , good bye sweet girl friend . What a drag.

  344. Korneilius Worthington says:

    #41 Actually there is another game that has integrated voice in to gameplay….

    @57 Second Life is an escape for me and thousands of others. I don’t use it to cruise or to find true love. So I can be as fake as I want. Besides, from what I see, SL is the WORST place to find it. There’s a 1/1,000 chance of finding that right person there. Just my 2 cents.

    In general, voice is a very bad move for LL right now. People are very frustrated with the grid as it is. It’s over populated, laggy, and almost non-functional when there’s a large number of people online.

    What about restricting the grid when it gets too full like you said you would? Or was that just a lie to keep all your customers from throwing rotten tomatoes at you?

    I told my mother about my endeavors and investments. And you know what she said? “That company is a leech. Maybe if you had invested a lot earlier in the game it would have made something from it.” Needless to say I’m still not giving up yet.

    Voice will indefinately seperate the Second Life community. “If you can’t talk on microphone with the rest us, you’re up to no good” kind of mentality is going to be running rampid and it’s going make people that just plain DON’T WANT TO become an like the lepers of SL. Because “Anyone that doesn’t want to talk on a microphone with me has something to hide” right?

  345. Julie P. says:

    I am a male in real life who is recently coming to terms with transgender (TG) issues. I use a female av and mostly keep those details to myself, though my SL partner and several close friends have known since day one. Now, with the potential of this “no voice chat!” tag over my head, it will single me out as someone with “something to hide.” It may be something I’m hiding, but it’s my own business and no one else’s.

    SL was my method of quietly and privately dealing with those TG issues and this voice chat system will potentially cause me to have to explain myself to complete strangers at every turn.

    SL serves its purpose fine in its present state (not counting the bugs). Please think your “innovations” out more carefully in the future, Linden Labs.

  346. Korneilius Worthington says:

    #224 you say it like segragation is a good thing…tell me then, are the facilities for noobies and paying customers seperate but equal? I highly doubt it.

    And if There.com isn’t dead, what are you doing here?

  347. Freddy Pimpernel says:

    Ja ja geluid, kan soms makkelijk zijn, hoop dat door vertragingen het geluid ook verstaanbaar blijft, wel goed om m’n engels te verbeteren!

  348. #225 “I can see it’s broad. Not sure that it’s offensive unless unless you’re insecure.”

    I never understand why questioning someone’s sexuality being offensive is only because the person being questioned is ‘insecure’.

    If someone accused you of shoplifting and you knew you were innocent, how would you feel if someone said you only objected because you were insecure? Of course not.

    Broccoli

  349. Pingback: Nexeus Fatale » Blog Archive » Can you hear me now? GOOD!

  350. http://www.diamondware.com/about_press_20060906.php

    Seems like they’ve known about this since September. I wonder why it took Linden Lab so long to tell us?

    Broccoli

  351. Mongrove Goldblatt says:

    Coming Next in Second Life: You can not only grief with stupid behaviour or griefing gadgeds, no! – Now you can even use your OWN voice to let everyone know that you are completely retarded!

    And everyone not activating the voice, will be untrustfull or what ever?
    And you complaining about those who pretend to be someone else… what’s the sense in that? Its FANTASY! If I look how many there are unable to roleplay with text, I don’t want to be forced to listening to the voice of such bad actors or someone whose accent (like mine) makes it almost impossible to understand something.
    With text I have at least a chance to have SOME imagination of a roleplay, and if that’s possible and the avatar is looking good I don’t give a damn if there is a 58y old fat guy sitting behind a hot warrior chick or something. This is fantasy! If I want a real woman, I get a real life, go out into a real bar and experience a REAL woman instead of an avatar…

    And serious, what are you Linden guys doing there? When did you play Second Life last by your own and experience what’s going on there and what is really NEEDED to be resolved?
    When those issues should be gone, you could start to look how you can bring the opportunity of creating a voice SUITABLE to an avatar, if that is possible at all – just a suggestion…
    Untill then someone can have Skype or Teamspeak or what ever when wanted voice without having a whole sim keep crashing because of the load all the babbeling will produce…

    regards
    MG

  352. Sascha says:

    I think this discussion can go on forever.

    The fact is that voice will be implemented. You can’t do anything about it. But what scares me are the posts of some people here. Did nobody ever read for example this nice book called “Second Life Guide”?
    Cite:”As you know by now, Second Life” gives you the freedom to pursue your dreams and interests”. This is not real life! If you want real life chat, go to Yahoo or anywhere else.

    Also the lack of understanding the positions of other people is ashaming. If you’d know a bit of human relationships and social behaviour/networks, you would realise that just saying “I don’t use voice chat” will be like an eject from the sim. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t use it, but even if I’d use it, I’d use a voice mangler, not to hide my gender but my privacy.

    And btw. which application needs VoIP in SL??? Is SL now really only one commercial application more where you are exploited like in RL?

    I can listen to ten people chatting, but only to one speaking.

  353. Maya Sperber says:

    Hm, let’s have a look at the pros and cons that are for me in this feature.

    Pro
    – The lazy couchpotatoe I am wouldn’t have to make any efforts typing
    – communication with people from my native tongue may gain speed

    Contra:
    – I don’t have a microphone/headset so I would have to buy one.
    – I don’t have the time to sort out what I want to say
    – The only foreign language I speak is english and it’s a hard time for me actually trying to speak and for others to listen
    – BIG Flaw: Talking is gone in no time but written text lines will stay until you delete them so If someones talks to me and I’m not right there I have no option to ever see or hear this message again
    – On a usually day I’m having like 3 to 5 conversations at the same time via IM. If I had to choose which one is voice, what about the others?
    – I’m usually not sitting in front of my computer for more than like 5 minutes in a row so I don’t like the idea of tying myself to the pc by using a headset.
    – I don’t want to hear other peoples bad music taste or squeaky children voices.
    – I don’t want my illusions about the people I know in SL be destroyed.
    – I will never buy a mic and use this feature and this will cause a lot of people to question my honesty I guess.

  354. Bubba B says:

    so if some people have it and some people dont, do we have to use voice and chat to communicate with a group? The lack of sync would be awful. Just one of the potential problems I can see. While there will be some marvelous new opportunities for specific situations, I think it will result in general chaos and massive frustration. While the concept is intriguing, I must add my disapproval to the decidedly negative response here.
    Perhaps if voice was introduced as a ridiculously overpriced option then the corporate and educational accounts could pursue their voice based projects within specific locations and leave the rest of SL to a consistent, chat-based community.

  355. Smoj Xeno says:

    I’m deaf, so now your going to descriminate against me as well

    Thanks !

  356. Allison says:

    > Bubba B Says: February 28th, 2007 at 10:00 AM PST
    > I think it will result in general chaos and massive frustration

    Well said. Imagine how awful the club experience is going to be with this feature where you hear a din of talk amongst the music. Imagine how fun it is going to be when a griefer pops in and decides to provide some aural feedback into our ears.

  357. Ketra Saarinen says:

    Since this is still yet to hit Beta, then I vote:

    Make voice Opt-IN not Opt-out!

    In fact, those who are headed to the Beta Grid, instead of protesting by not speaking (which won’t stop LL from implementing voice anyways) Ask for Opt-In instead of Opt-out!

    We’re not going to be able to stop LL from doing this. So lets remind LL what the original plan was!

  358. Gala Alva says:

    in general, i think it is an awesome idea. ( we are already using teamspeak ), but this is all with friends.

    i want to choose who i want to hear. the thought of coming to some place and have irritating people singing barney songs while i shop for a latex outfit… would somewhat not get me in the “mood”, nahmean?

    the idea itself is great, but should be very finetuned. to listen to 40 citizens on a rp sim… killing my eardrums- not good not good.
    it should bean option just like a video stream, to have it turned on or not. and please not to to listen to every joe and his shmoe and hearing some manly voices coming from a vixen.

    lmao i cant even imagine this in these ” top listed clubs “! bunch o hosts screaming “tip your dancers and hosts” hahaha!

    and yes’ lag will come kidz… 3rd partie or not… i lag like hell with video, but with everyone yapping…oh boy!

    also there should be a choice- as in on my lands… for the landowners to allow individuals to talk – and not everyone that comes there – unless i want to give them the option to talk.
    it is our land, we may communicate among us – but i certainly dont want some noobcake with a arousey voice asking me ” wanna ****”! now on the other hand.. the ” working ladies/ lads ” might be delighted about this feature.

    nah… ya gotta fine tune this a whole lot… LL- and then lets talk about it again.

  359. Wiz Doji says:

    Lots of people are concerned about this feature. Most concerns seem to center around maintaining anonymity and worries of a bifurcated world of voiced and voiceless avs.

    LL could solve these problems by making text-to-speech part of this feature. Such a feature would take the words we type and convert them to a voice that could be heard by others on an equal basis with the real voices.

    In the av setup, users would select their “voice” just as they select their body shape now. One user might select a sultry female voice…while another user might select a gruff guy voice.

    The assurance that voice support works “without impacting the load or performance on the primary Grid” actually made me laugh. Since the performance of the Grid has been so incredibly poor and unstable, this might be true.

    Rather than doing this, I wish Phillip would tell his engineers that their first job and primary focus is the stability of the Grid. In fact, LL should immediately stop work on all new features until the Grid has been up and stable 24/7 for a period of 90 days. That would go a long way toward creating a viable Metaverse.

    Don’t worry. I’m not holding my breath for THAT announcement. 🙂

  360. Ishtara Rothschild says:

    Valkyrie Eclipse Says:
    February 28th, 2007 at 9:10 AM PST
    “The addition of integrated voice in SL was inevitable – let’s face it, typing takes too long. What if every conversation you had in RL had to be typed? The bagboy had to type “Paper or plastic?” every time? So in that respect it is a necessary step in the evolution of 3D worlds.”

    Typing takes too long? I don’t know how fast or slow you type, but there’s a reason that still every author, every reporter, every secretary types longer texts instead of dictating them to a voice recognization software. And it’s not only the typing, also the reading. While typing may be only twice as fast as speaking (in my case), I can read multiple times faster than I can listen to people. I can follow the chat of a dozen people typing at once without getting confused. I can cross-read a large amount of chat, quickly scanning for important information. I can log my chat, re-read important conversations, search for specific words. I can copy and paste that “paper and plastic” if I need to repeat it a hundred times. I can understand every person on the planet, regardless of dialect or accent, and type accent-free english myself. Sorry, but using speech over written chat again is backwards evolution.

  361. Adam X says:

    Will voice chat have “history”? I don’t have to look at the screen 100% time when chatting now, cause chat lines dissapear after 30 seconds and I still have history window.

    And I can read what 3 persons typed in the same second, but hearing many persons talking at once will be imposible to me, at least with my poor language skills.

  362. Impostor Kagekiyo says:

    ‘pipe dream’ is a reference to the delusions brought on by smoking opium from a pipe…

    (one of the earlier attempts at flight from reality; more harmful than SL and debatably more addictive 🙂 )

    So; we’ve found another way to make new players shell out real $ just to get in, by purchasing a headset, have we? Speaking as someone who wears a headset every day for work, once you’ve worn one for a 40+ hour week, the novelty really wears off, believe me….and the last thing I want to do on the weekend is wear one at home.

    Still, anyone who wants to speak has the freedom to do so…just like I have the freedom to ignore you. But no kvetching when you get abused and have no record of the conversation, or when a sex club moves in to your sim and SHOUTS Jenna Jameson’s latest hits 24/7, m’kay?

  363. Rock Rope says:

    Well, that’s it!

    I’ll just refer to Douglas Adams Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, what the dolphins said when they left earth. “So long, and thanks for all the fish!”.

    I’m just glad I’v “only” invested my time. It’s a pitty now that we finally was able to include multiple speaking cultures in one world. I won’t be able to keep up with voice, in an english speaking world, so this is it for me.

    See you all in our next life:)

  364. Cocoanut Koala says:

    Voice in SL – bleh.

    coco

  365. jamie Cheeky says:

    great! yet again deaf people will be alienated…joy I cant wait to not be able to follow any conversations any more.

  366. Eryn Curie says:

    Blah. I’m underwhelmed. If I want voice chat, I’ll use Skype.

    SL voice won’t happen to have the unfortunate side-effect of more in-world lag, even if I don’t use the blasted thing…will it?

    Please god let the answer be NO. >_

  367. Allison says:

    > Wiz Doji Says:
    > February 28th, 2007 at 10:16 AM PST
    > LL could solve these problems by making text-to-speech part of this feature.
    > Such a feature would take the words we type and convert them to a voice that
    > could be heard by others on an equal basis with the real voices.

    That’s an interesting idea. It would solve the privacy problem. But it won’t solve the noise clutter or aural griefer problem, but still, LL should implement what you recommend if they are going to shove vox chat into SL.

    >Adam X Says: Will voice chat have “history”? I don’t have to look at the
    > screen 100% time when chatting now, cause chat lines dissapear after 30
    > seconds and I still have history window.

    good point.

  368. Keshia Renegade says:

    I think it’s great I do play roles on sl and to me it is a game not rl.. but I will use voice sometimes and I will refuse to ue voice at other times if someone is upset that i won’t voice with them they can go to hell I am here to make myself happy and have fun not to cater to anyone else.. with that said.. if you don’t want voice don’t use it.. if someone ostracizes you then.. o well go hang with people who won’t *shrugs*

  369. Lola Machin says:

    Thanks to Toto they discover the wizard is not really a wizard at all, just a man behind a curtain. They are outraged at the deception. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wizard_of_Oz_(1939_film)

    At least a couple of instances I stopped talking to friends just because they revealed too much about their RL in SL. Why I was such a jerk? Because it broke the illusion of SL. If I wanted RL, I would not be in SL. The activities and plays in SL allows everybody to let their imagination run wild to explore boundaries that may be impossible in SL.

    A potential solution? Divide SL into two worlds: RL using SL, Pure SL.

    For those that wants to use SL to find their RL love partners, good luck to you. But remember that outside the door of your RL home, there is an actual RL. For those that wants to keep SL separate from RL, we will need to be more discriminant of the ones who want to impose RL on us.

    Voice in SL? Bad, terrible and horrible idea. Nothing more annoying than a griefer asking me on the first chat line “Do you want to webcam?” Now, I will have to deal with the additional “Do you want to voice talk?” But then again, those are people that I would not talk in RL, so why do it in SL?

    My selection on the poll:
    [x] No, it will be disabled

  370. hugsalot says:

    @227
    I’m just saying the segregation already existed before they introduced voice chat. They are the only people who don’t GET voice features. Voice chat in SL won’t hurt there.com, like everyone thinks it has. There.com it SELF is to blame for their problems, not their voice chat feature that’s been around for over 3 years now, and they are still online.

    As to why I’m here? What does that matter? What’s wrong with playing both SL and There.com? Why does everyone have to use only one service, and not the other? I like both services, and I still use them both. Who cares about “brand loyalty” if you enjoy both services, and you haven’t been screwed by either of them?

    My point is that voice features will not hurt Second Life, nor has it hurt There.com. And I find it ridiculous seeing posts on here of people running around like chicken little thinking the sky is falling for SL, when they bring in voice chat.

    And deaf people will NOT be alienated, you can still TYPE for gods sake… not like your keyboard will just disappear. That will be the fault of prude and/or lazy users who don’t wanna type.

  371. Jim Lumiere says:

    Wish I knew if Joe or any other Linden is actually reading these comments.

  372. hugsalot says:

    @224
    I understand and agree with how you’ll eventually not want to talk to someone anymore after you’ve learned to much about them. But again using voice that won’t make that any worse or better since using it is still an option to use, or not use. I mean this “spoilage” of friends you make has already occurred with out voice chat. So what difference will it make anyway?

  373. hugsalot says:

    You know I find it funny how I only see posts here mostly about how voice chat is a bad idea. After all people who are happy with idea, and aren’t inclined to complain about it, won’t be posting here about it. Cept me, and few others who might be posting on here that support voice chat.

    Just because there are a lot of people posting here negatively about this subject doesn’t mean that’s the majority of everyone’s option.

    Frankly SL should have had voice chat years ago.

  374. hugsalot says:

    Also I’d like to have a separate MUTE for voice chat, on a per avatar basis, and still be able to see their text chat and IM.

  375. @244: “A potential solution? Divide SL into two worlds: RL using SL, Pure SL.”

    I have a feeling it will come to that, Lola, or something like it, whether from LL or other companies. A 3D virtual world in which the purpose is to extend first life has its own “rules.” A 3D virtual world in which the purpose is to allow imagination to run wild has different “rules.” The division already exists in SL. Voice chat will just make it more obvious.

    “But remember that outside the door of your RL home, there is an actual RL.”

    LOL! I know, and it’s a pretty darned good simulation too. Why would I want another?

  376. Stefano says:

    For those who take themselves and SL very very seriously. For those who say SL is a tool for their business. For those who bow down to the Tech God. Well, a little effort: pay a monthly amount for your voice and leave the community in peace. You are going to get millions of USD right? You are the next Nobel, at least Newsweek’s covers. So…a little effort please.

    And please, please…stop the “you-can-disable-it” stuff! Women of SL, if you disable your voice you ll be immediately “banned” as men. This is for sure.

    @ Ann [200] – “follow the money. it always leads to the truth. sl will become what everything else becomes. a marketing vehicle for big companies. (…) Welcome to sl, the video conferencing system owned and controlled by the elite fortune 500 who will decide what you wear, see, hear, say, and do”.

    My hat s off to you.

  377. Allison says:

    > Just because there are a lot of people posting here negatively about this
    > subject doesn’t mean that’s the majority of everyone’s option.

    We shall see. As someone upthread said, I’m sure IBM wants this.

    > Frankly SL should have had voice chat years ago.

    We’ve been getting along very well without it. And when I’ve had the need to couple SL with voice chat, Skype has worked nicely.

  378. Vala Bade says:

    I think this is a plan to reduce traffic on the grid, because I suspect that people will leave. I have enough problems with understanding reps from foreign call centres who call on the phone, never mind having the same problems in my leisure activities.

    What’s next, live web cam feeds. Lets just destroy the elusion and fantasy totally Linden.

    Somebody had a suggestion that you use Text to speech.
    Great idea. Allow a plug-in into the client so that people can optionally use the feature if they can spare the extra CPU cycles and have the hardware. The resident doing the speaking can then configure how they want their voice to be heard by everybody else.
    No additional servers, that you should be using to improve performance of what you
    have anyway, no additional bandwidth which is still an issue for some of us, especially on ADSL circuits with metered traffic limits, and people with disabilities don’t feel any more alienated, this alienation now coming from a game of all places.

    Also Linden, think about this.
    With world literacy levels at an all time low, this is a great medium to encourage people to improve their skills in a fun way. My own typing speed and accuracy has improved immensely since playing SL.

    Voice in SL isn’t an improvement. A client that runs for more than 30 mins and rezzs the view in a reasonable time is.

    SL has does great things when it comes to inter-nationality communication and your about to ruin all that. Don’t tell me that you can opt not to use it, because all that will happen is you will sub-divide the population into those that want to, and those that don’t.

    Heres an off the wall idea, do something radical.
    Ask the residents what they think!

    However, as has been demonstrated time and time again on the blog, you don’t listen, so when it all goes sour, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

  379. Allison says:

    > And please, please…stop the “you-can-disable-it” stuff! Women of SL,
    > if you disable your voice you ll be immediately “banned” as men.
    > This is for sure.

    Thanks for pointing this out. I won’t use it because I don’t want another level of harassment. As it stands today, I get guys sending me IM’s thinking they can talk filthy to me because I’m female. And for those of you who just don’t get it, no, I don’t travel in world wearing skimpy outfits. My dress and behavior is always professional, but it doesn’t stop the comments.

    It’s bad enough reading that crap, but I certainly don’t want to have to hear it as well.

  380. Kathy Morellet says:

    @245 “And deaf people will NOT be alienated, you can still TYPE for gods sake… not like your keyboard will just disappear. That will be the fault of prude and/or lazy users who don’t wanna type.”

    Ok, so deaf people can still type. But they cannot HEAR what is being said to them. Unless the person talking is also typing what they are saying at the same time? I think not.

  381. XChandler says:

    I look forward to it. It will help make SL a bit better in some aspects.

    Don’t we all assume the beautiful women are really men? I do.

  382. Arrianna says:

    While I love SL, there is a lot that goes on in world that I think is less than appropriate. We all know that underage players get through and some people are very into age play. I can’t imagine adding voice to a scenerio like that. Yes, it happens everywhere, including any free instant messaging service, but SL has the visuals to go along with it. I really think voice is a bad idea. There are free services like Skype and Teamspeak. Why not let those be the means for voice, like they are now?

    And Help Islands are going to be chaotic.

  383. John Horner says:

    (Post 250) Veronique

    I honestly do not see any difference between Sl and RL.
    VR via SL is just another form of communication that is at a far higher degree than the more usual 2d web.

  384. “VR via SL is just another form of communication that is at a far higher degree than the more usual 2d web.”

    Would that ‘higher degree’ be half of the women being guys, and half of the humans pretending to be animals (furries)?

    Broccoli

  385. Vanessa Sakai says:

    Again we get another feature most people don’t want instead of a more stable grid. How about this only enable it on islands but not the mainland. That way the big corperations can have it and the rest of us can have SL.

  386. Vanessa Sakai says:

    Also we know how when a new feature is added what happens to the stability. It would be better if they made it more stable first.

  387. Missy Malaprop says:

    people are insane to say this wont cause lag. It can use up more of your bandwidth, causing lag… but more importantly it will cause server side lag. Read everything they want it to do, its not a completely seprate voice chat system. Its based off things going on in world, where people are standing, how close they are to you… etc…. where do you think these sound servers are getting that information from? Some of it can be done client side, but not all of it, it will have to put more work on the main grid servers.

  388. Lola Machin says:

    (Post 382) John Horner,
    “I honestly do not see any difference between Sl and RL.”

    Geez, John, nice world that you lived in. Full of vampires, furries, Gorean, and lots and lots of weird and funny people. Could you please pass some of your purple pills to the rest community? We may need them to be coherent during the snow crash.

    Whispering to the guys in white coats: “At the count of three, grab him and put the straitjacket.”

  389. Lola Machin says:

    Missing 🙂 on post 387…. 🙂

  390. @382: “I honestly do not see any difference between Sl and RL.”

    OK. Personally, I see a big difference. More importantly, I *want* a big difference. Otherwise, I’ll just stay in RL. After all, RL rezzes pretty much instantaneously and doesn’t crash except when I do. 🙂 I put up with SL problems because SL gives me what RL can’t. If you just want more RL, fine. I don’t.

  391. Darth Juniper says:

    It looks like they are planning their approach to this sensibly, i.e. over a longer time period rather than “next week, voices are on”. Don’t forget this is being beta tested so problems like too many users babbling at the same time will enable them to calibrate the range etc at which individual people can be heard. The spatial location will help enormously with this, the ear is pretty clever at isolating sounds this way.
    I’m all for this – if people don’t like it, they don’t have to use it. It’s like Videophones in 1970’s sci fi – they predicted that in the future everyone will have them and see who they are talking to, and yet the technology has been in place for ages and almost nobody has. If people don’t want to speak thru SL, then they won’t. And there will doubtless be a “turn other people’s voices off” option in the settings, as there is for streamed music etc. So I am in favour.
    If people don’t want their voices to be heard as it brings too much RL into SL, then simply don’t speak.

  392. Sierra Howitt says:

    @382: “I honestly do not see any difference between Sl and RL.”

    😉
    I always get this site, http://www.getafirstlife.com confused with http://www.secondlife.com also.

  393. Ming Chen says:

    I have a feeling that *some* of those upset even with such a cool feature is worried about their actual age being revealed on an 18+ grid. :O

    I think its neat. Yay.

  394. Kevin says:

    Poll: Will you enable speech?
    [X] YES, YES, YES, both mine and others
    [ ] not my own, but others yes
    [ ] no I will have it disabled

  395. Jalyssa Mabellon says:

    As a woman who was blessed with a very deep speaking voice, this is going to be like going to be like high school (and college) ALL over again.
    “You sound like a man!”
    Well, at least we can opt out.
    But on the flip side, the other day an SL friend and I were talking about VoIP and how cool it would be to talk to people all over the world. Plus my sister wouldn’t have to Do Yahoo Messenger w/ Voice AND SL at the same time to talk to her friends, so I guess it’s a good step for LL and at least SOME of us will also benefit from it.

  396. The concept is wonderful. But good programming practice is to get rid of existing bugs before adding new features. It is Linden Lab’s failure to follow this fundamental tenet of good programming that has lead to the persistent instability in the Second Life client and server code.

    As a paying customer I beseech you to address the existing database and bandwidth issues before adding new complexity. If you do not take care of the fundamentals you will see your customer base snapped up by a competitor who does, and you will be remembered as a great “proof of concept” that never quite got it right.

  397. Ceera Murakami says:

    Announcing Second Life 2.0 Beta 1 :p

    System requirements:
    * Desktop Cray computer (for bandwidth and processing speed)
    * T1 direct connect to the Internet (Not Shared)
    or
    Internet II Broadband with conpression.
    * Headset for voice access
    * Webcam
    * Telecheric sensory-feedback body suit.

    Features:
    * Standardized Human-only avatars, that atuomaticaly match the Player’s Real Life body shape.
    * Facial features of actual Player (from web cam) overlaid on Avatar face in real-time.
    * Actual Avatar voice heard in real time.
    * No recorded animations – Avatar mimics the Player’s precise body movements and getures.

    Please… don’t head this route. If I want a picture phone, I’ll go buy one.

  398. Pingback: nonsmokingarea.com » Blog Archive » roundup for 2007-02-28 … Second Life

  399. Teresa Graziadei says:

    Well you know I think voice chat is going to work, but it will have rough spots. It’s a big adaptation, and people don’t adapt unless they have to, and they kick and scream all the way. Here are my personal rough spots:

    I don’t think it’ll be easy to talk with the same freedom I type, because of the setup of my house. Other people will hear me. I may have to move my computer, which is a big deal. I’ll miss that freedom.

    I’m going to have to negotiate quiet with anybody else in the vicinity when I use SL. That will be a pain.

    I’m going to lose some language skills. I’m verbally fluent in two languages, but literate in five. I sometimes use the read-only three in SL and I won’t be able to do that as freely. Furthermore, I speak all my languages with various accents, due to a crazy past. Some people are gonna have a hard time with that.

    I’m assaulted by noise all day long. SL has been a refuge from it. It won’t be. Loud music and loud voices are on the way, and loud commercial advertising won’t be far behind.

    An argument I don’t think is valid is the thing about identity. We’re all avatars, for heaven’s sake, and avatars are not, as far as I know, restricted to having to choose one of two sexes. As far as I’m concerned, any shaped avatar can and should speak with whatever voice it can. Or not. Let’s remember, avatars are avatars, not people, and it’s ridiculous to hold them to people’s limitations. We don’t fly in RL, either, but I don’t hear anyone complaining that avatars can.

    Well in the end all I can do is what I’ve done all along: go to SL and be the personality I am, in the avatar that I feel most authentic in. I don’t see any real reason to change that.

    I do wish, though, that a little more effort could go into making the SL we have work decently rather than putting in new bells and whistles. Performance lately has really sucked and I find I’m gong to SL a lot less then I used to; it’s just too much work.

  400. audiomind says:

    http://www.there.com/

    Welcome to your new world.

    Sounds cool, but in reality its implemention spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E for LL and its users.

  401. Tomas Hausdorff says:

    I personally couldn’t possibly care less about voice chat in Second Life. If anyone really wants to talk, can’t they just use one of the dozens of voice applications? I certainly do *not* want to hear a dozen people babbling when I go somewhere.

    In terms of desirable features, how about Vista compatibility? Or perhaps more generally, how about basic stability and performance? Or possibly one of the oft-promised technology updates like upgraded physics (E.G.: Havok), improved script performance (E.G.: Mono), or heaven forfend, HTML on a prim?

    Voice chat…about as useful as tits on a boar, I think the saying used to be.

  402. Lazarus Longstaff says:

    This is sheer idiocy. Those interested in this sort of functionality already use other VOIP services; why load the client with bloat? This is just another in a long line of pet projects that are nothing so much as tacked-on crap that complicates existing issues, and further provides for confusion in a codebase that is already unmanageable for all practical purposes.

    I used to think I wanted to work here, but anymore I’m not even sure if its worth the trouble to even log in.

    /me points to continuous efforts at ‘scaling’ the infrastructure, to fix things like teleporting, inventory issues, search features, etc, and today after the update I teleport home to find my boots up my ass yet again.

    Just what the hell are you people smoking anyway?

    Signed:
    absolutely disgusted

  403. Fenrir Reitveld says:

    Those who I want to hear my voice (and conversely, want to hear my voice) have the option to do so NOW, without any Linden magic or effort necessary.

    My question is, how do I turn this off and how do I never, ever hear a single damned fragment of speech from Second Life?

    People talk to me all day long in my first life. Talk talk talk. One of the reasons I like SL because it’s an escape from that, and all I want is to hear the same crap I do on other unfiltered voice chat systems. (Such as Xbox Live, PC games that support built-in voice chat, etc.)

    I am not “cautious”. I have nothing to hide, concerning my voice.

    I just don’t want to be freaking disturbed, and I see this as yet another method for people to annoy me. (Especially since the mainland will be auto-voice enabled.)

  404. Ann Otoole says:

    All the pretty girls are not men. It’s pretty easy to spot them really. Most guys know not one thing about how to dress properly. As guys or girls lol.

    Anyway… The sim owners will have the choice to not have voice. Most large clubs will opt out of voice chat to a: reduce lag, and b: keep the clientele, and c: retain the merchant space renters.

    So its pretty simple. do not patronize any merchants who are present in voice sims. Do not patronize voice sims. In general, ignore voice as a feature completely. then the tables are simply turned. Voice enabled sims will be clogged with idiots griefing with voice. Fine. Finally a way to get them off in some other place.

    I really do think LL needs to make a seperate grid for commercial users/interests. and make them pay heavy bucks for the service. same or more than the telcos charge for video conferencing. I.e.; Phillip, your a goob if you don’t think your being used at the expense of your fanatical sl resident followers. wake up pal!

    Of course if LL did this the commercial interest would immediately vanish and sl would return to what it is supposed to be in the first place.

    Phillip, forget not the roots on which sl was grown. Read all this information in this blog. discard voice until the day comes your code is 90% defect free and your network can withstand 400% anticipated demand. engineering effort is being burned on a feature that is not wanted by those who make sl what sl is. Alternatively, you can tell us you sold out. it’s ok. really. after all, money is everything isnt it?

  405. juan lachman says:

    voice (audio) is fine, why not continue with (video) web cam.
    just one person to another, like f. eks. life messenger and skype.
    If users find it not accaeptable, they can deny to connect.

  406. Desdomona Christiansen says:

    I think bringing voice to SL is a great idea. I already use voice as I play and find it definitely enhances the experience. I think what a lot of the folks here are missing is that voice is opitional. If you wish to use it, its available, if not you dont have to. Seems simple enough to me. Thank you to second life for enhancing my own.

  407. Annabelle Vandeverre says:

    I have tried really hard to believe the best about LL. I’ve only been here a few months and I was buying into the your world, your imagination stuff. It all seemed pretty cool to me.

    But this drives home the point that LL – at least at the top level- doesn’t need the creative early adopters anymore. In fact, they are lifting not one finger to make the online experience work better for their existing customer base, while announcing things like this that just serve to draw media attention to themselves.

    They’re chasing corporate bucks and the masses that follow like sheep: “ooh…it was on a TV commercial – let’s go see! Cool, we can all drive Nissans and talk to our friends at the bar just like in RL!” Now I’m waiting for Walmart to move in and shove all the little content creators out of business.

    There will be a two-tiered society. The people who want their SL to be separate from RL, and don’t use voice, and the people for whom SL is a mere extension of their RL, who do use voice. I can see voice/no voice zones developing. People advertising their parcels as noise free and such. But guess what? The ones who draw in the most money for LL will win in the long run.

    I don’t like to rant, and I’m usually a defender of LL. But this is hard to stomach.

  408. Jenna Harley says:

    I would like to say thankyou for this as having juvenile rheumatoid arthritis it is extremely painful for me to type all the time.
    I know it will take some implementation,but I will be happy to have it. I already talk to a few people on msn voice while in SL so it will be wonderful not to have so many programs running which means a better SL reception all round for me..I have been waiting for this..Thankyou so much.

  409. Sin Poitier says:

    Nice….like Skype in SL….
    No problem with the language barrier…just talk to ppl with your same language, and problem resolved.

  410. Stefano says:

    From the moment that:
    1 – you cant keep companies out of the mainland – they want take control of the whole grid.
    2 – you cant put business and other markets of illusions in a special grid, like the teen grid (no offense).
    3 – you cant make them pay a monthly amount for their most important voices (a good idea imho, but they ll say: “Thanks we ll go on with our Skype”).
    4 – you cant make those residents who love to hear their lovely voices pay, because they ll say: “Thanks we ll go on with our Skype”. And I’d like to ask them: “So why dont you go on with your Skype and leave us all in peace?”. And they say: “Its an option…you can enable/disable your voice”. And i say: “Its not an option, because all women with disabled voices will be marked as men”.

    All of the above stated, i think the only solution is a Poll. I am absolutely sure the voice chat will never “harass” our second lives.
    Some will surely say: “LL are a company, not a democracy”. Ok, if our opinion is s**t and the market rules, well in the market’s logic we are customers – many of us paying customers. “There” is not dead, but its a desert. Do LL really want to build cathedrals in the desert?

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  413. Ann Otoole says:

    All the pretty girls are not men. It’s pretty easy to spot them really. Most guys know little about how to dress properly. As guys or girls lol.

    Anyway… The sim owners will have the choice to not have voice. Most large clubs will opt out of voice chat to a: reduce lag, and b: keep the clientele, and c: retain the merchant space renters.

    So those who choose to opt out of voice can simply patronize places that do not have it enabled at the sim level. Therefore most “popular places” will not have voice anyway.

  414. Isabelle Frangilli says:

    Since LL employees really don’t read these long replies, (and if they did, they certainly don’t take them into consideration) why not send your comments directly to Philip and Zee and crew. Their email addresses are very easy to come by. or send them a notecard in world.

    It would have a much greater impact than the flailing that goes on here, day after day.

  415. Chronic Skronski says:

    Smoj Xeno: “I’m deaf, so now your going to descriminate against me as well.”

    At the risk of sounding insensitive, GIVE IT A REST AND GET OFF THE CROSS. Should LL remove the ability to build because there are those who do not have artistic talent? Should scripting be removed because there are people who cannot code? I suppose I should just pack up my guitar and give up my job as a musician in Second Life because you can’t hear me as well?

    Accusing LL of discriminating against you because you are deaf is absolutely ridiculous.

  416. Inuyasha Cannned says:

    I think voice is a good idea,but i dont think it is a good idea at this time,becuase you have way too much lag.

  417. Kat Trebuchet says:

    Many of us use our phones more for text messaging than talking already – is this a giant leap backward??

    As an educator and businesswoman, I’m excited about the possibility of using voice in the classroom or with customers in seminars. I really think this option is valuable there.

    As a role player in my free time, I’m disappointed Linden is making this a part of the mainland for several reasons:

    – by putting this in the grid, you just further divide the haves from the have nots – those of us using less than state of the art equipment already struggle at times

    – adding it as a default service is simply financial – will free players have to pay, thereby alienating some more from the grid? I’ve already seen friends drift off into economically based cliques ,now let’s further divide voice from non voice, right?

    – I agree with all who point out the difficulty with simultaneous conversations across locations – I can’t stand conference calls, now thats the new paradigm for interaction?

    – it does reduce the fantasy factor – in sl I’m never hoarse or have a cold, or sound like I just woke up. I don’t sneeze, my words sound just like the person I’m chatting with imagines them.

    – written communication is inherently more intimate, more revealing and more interesting than vocal, as I can read and reflect and choose my responses and phrasing much more carefully and thoughtfully

    – I’m not the world’s best on the phone anyway – I hate the damn thing, now my favorite past time is going to a party line system of communication? Disembodied voices attached to avatars – oh joy?

    No thanks, LL – I’ll be limiting myself to guest lectures and classes – but then I can do that without your program, can’t I?

  418. yetto says:

    ACtually this will be fun, cos when it lags and i sink through the ground i can yell “AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!”

  419. John Horner says:

    Lol Lola Machin I know what you mean but its all human expression, just great art in another format.

    I hear there is a guy who attendes most IBM virtual conferences as a penguin, but as they said it is how he chooses to express himself.

    There is some great art here in SL, you guys, girls, and other assorted genders just need a little self confidence to express yourselfs. You are in fact underselling yourselfs, seriously

  420. The XO says:

    LISTEN UP LL! Seems like the vast majority of people on this entry *DO NOT* want worthless voice communication – as it’s been said, we’d use another app for that. This is SL, and thats why it works. Don’t ruin it.

    Keep voice comms for business sure, but not on the main grid 😦

    Conduct an *independent* poll of your users, go on, I dare you. Unless you don’t want to see the results? 😉

  421. les says:

    Knew it had to come. Know it will devide. Also know it will annoy the hell out of me. Like being on the @#$& phone all night.

    I personally dont have any use for this.

    There very much needs to be a button or slider to disable voice spam. I’m sure you have it all planned out. (lies)

    …mutes you all!

  422. les says:

    The part about an addition fee is pretty funny 🙂

    Anyone got any pitchforks and gas? Seems the lindens have completely lost their collective minds. Might need slight lynching to get a clue.

    What about that story that the high land fees already pay for “continued development”, which is a joke in itself?

  423. Coventina Dalgleish says:

    Ah nice the game engine does not function now so you add another whistle. You state that it will not interfere with grid operations because it is handled by out of game servers. Well does that mean that the game has no interface with the off game servers. Hmmm wish you could show me how that will not effect the grid as there has to be interface between the two. Just more eye candy. there are plenty of services that allow you to use this completely separate from the game. Just another way to suck bandwidth. Well the game barely works now this will be the load that crashes it. Another revenue source, oh and I am to be penalized because I supported you before you increased the costs of Islands seems to me you do not want the core of senior players any longer.

  424. tiyagar says:

    i think it is awsome, but there will be missunderstandings with accents, [awsome cos id get to hear hot american accents lol] but still, the new daily word will be please repeat that i didnt understand.

  425. slfountain says:

    As I am planning research on SL via PhD, this means more work. Either transcription, although perhaps there is an IT solution to that. But it sounds great – interesting to discover the social implicationd of hearing people. How will cross-gendered avatars cope? Will there be problems for E2L speakers with strong accents?

  426. Stefano says:

    Thank you John. I am sure we were all waiting for your encouragement. Personally, i like to undersell myself with some…creatures. So if you come and see me here in Florence in my study i ll grant you an affordable nice chat. Seriously.
    Ah btw “yourselves” and not “yourselfs”…Better the voice chat uh? 😉

  427. Whilst everyone talks about “fixing existing stuff before adding new stuff”…. Torley sends a grid wide message saying they’re aware of ongoing problems with … well everything really and there’ll be a blog entry soon.

    And with less than 28,000 online? No login restrictions either?

    Broccoli

  428. Rex Cronon says:

    Let me see if I get this right.
    The SL servers send data to diamondware/vivox servers, about what users are in the sim.
    The SL client opens port(s) to dimondware/vivox servers, to send and receive sound streams. Are the streams encrypted? How many ports are used?

  429. Wake UP says:

    What I find most disapointing is not so much that theyre enabling voice but that theyre framing it as if the majority of the community has been overwhelmingly requesting it when the reality is that the majority has always been overwhelmingly against voice in SL. The desire to keep voice away from SL by the vast majority has always been made clear to Linden Lab by this community.

    Even Philip Linden has been long publicly quoted as being a stern advocate of keeping voice out of SL as Persephone Milk so accurately reports here…

    “There was a point where Philip seemed to realize that adding voice to SL could have a negative impact on the community. He felt it was inevitible, but he wanted to do it right. He suggested that adding voice would be done in a very careful way, with sensativity to the vast majority of residents that do not want to use voice. He talked of an opt-in model where voice would be disabled accross the grid by default and only enabled by parcel owners and residents that wish to use voice. He said residents that wanted to use voice would be able to travel to voice-enabled parcels, but those that did not want to use voice could simply avoid these areas. Philip seemed to understand that if he did this the other way around, as an opt-out model where voice was enabled by default, forcing people to opt-out and wear an “I don’t use voice” tag, that he would be creating a dynamic that would split the community apart and ruin Second Life for a lot of people.

    So what happened? Why the 180 degree change on this?”

    But that is to no avail. This is just another of a series of recent events that should make it obvious to everyone that we have lost our beloved SL to corporate businesses and commercialism. There used to be a time that LL asked for our input and even *gasp* listened. Now they simply drop unnanouced bombs and have cut out all venues of communication with the common resident. SL will soon be as scattered, cold, and bland as the WWW.

    It is a very depressing realization.

  430. The XO says:

    I didn’t even get a grid announcement 😦

    Keep up the “good work” guys, you really know how to keep your userbase happy.

    When does TL (third life) launch? 😉

  431. Minnie Trottier says:

    Okay so I guess I’ll keep my volume OFF when this gets implemented.
    While I like the idea of being able to voice chat to my sl hubby while playing SL, I’m not overly inclined to hear absolutely everybody else as well and like others have said, muting everybody individually is not a good solution either.
    If we’re going to implement this we need the ability to pick who, when, where, how many and for what without having to mute everybody, turn off the sound, or reconfigure the entire computer everytime we teleport. Basically, IM only or In Room chat, kind of chatroom like would be my first suggestion. That way I can talk to my hubby in sl and not hear everybody else.
    As for the argument that conversations are going to get confusing, it would seem to me that if one wanted to include everybody in a conversation, many things would have to be said and also typed in chat so as not to leave anybody out.
    Voice is a very selective option that needs to be well configured to work properly, otherwise everybody will be talking at the same time and many places will become unbearable.
    I’m not against voice, I just want it to be well configured and properly controlled.

  432. Ylikone Obscure says:

    Hmmm… I was just looking at the votes and there are indeed a lot of people requesting voice capability and a lot more that voted for it. Seems that somebody wants voice added… just not the people posting here.

  433. Persephone Milk says:

    I am not against voice. I think having integrated voice, built right into the client, is a wonderful option – and one that I will probably use from time to time. What I am against is Linden Lab creating a situation where people feel they must use voice, or risk being seen as dishonest or unfriendly. Philip seemed to be sensative to this:

    Town Hall 3/16/06

    Philip Linden: I’m not sure, but I agree that voice would be great for those who want it. It may be that we just open up SL enough, like with better XML-RPC out, etc, that we get that for free. There are already some solutions like that in SL. But really voice chat should be done with 3D localization of the speaker…and that may be easier for us to do. But honestly I’m not sure which way we will go.

    Town Hall 04/06/06

    Philip Linden: There’s a lot of conversation in the community and there’s been a lot of conversation in this office about voice and voice chat. People in Second Life obviously have a lot of different discussions about how effective voice chat can be, whether it should be something that is broadly available. People often talk about There.com and about how voice works or doesn’t work there. Obviously theres a couple of big sides to the discussion.

    Voice is very fast and powerful and expressive as a way of communicating. On the other hand there is a certain magic and power to communicating quietly, communicating with text. It allows people to preserve their identity, or their real life identity, in a way that is very appropriate and consistent with the kind of, you know, new world aspects and new identity aspects of Second Life. So that is something we’ve really thought about a lot.

    It’s not an easy thing to match everybody’s desires on this. One design idea I wanted to throw out for discussion in this program, and then in the forums or email or otherwise after this, was if the ability to do voice communication between people was tied to the parcel of land. So it was something you’d click a check box that said “enable voice chat” on a land parcel?, and then the people that walked on to that parcel if they had headphones on and wanted to use would just walk up to each other and voice chat would just work.

    That method might be more appealing as a socially balanced kind of approach, because it wouldn’t then allow people to kind of exclude each other by standing and using voice chat anywhere in Second Life while the person standing next to them either couldn’t or didn’t want to, but it would allow, by using it on land, people to create something like an education center where it would be turned on all the time. So I wanted to throw that out, that idea of voice chat on parcels of land as something for people to talk about and think about it.

    It seems to me it would be a better idea, a little bit more consistent with the way Second Life works. Also, I think it is consistent with things like the idea of streaming onto a parcel. You stream live music today by parcel. You walk on a parcel and you hear live music. Under this model you would walk onto a parcel or chose not to, and when you were on that parcel you’d be able to chat, just a thought.

    Town Hall 05/18/2006

    Philip Linden: Well, we’re thinking lots right now, there’ve been lots of people using voice in Second Life, as everyone knows already. We’re doing it right now. There are also some amazing possibilities with voice. There are ways to, even prototypically, extend Second Life to use voice pretty effectively – tie that to property, tie that to objects, etc. So, I think that we’re definitely going to see a lot of voice use. Our concerns have been, and continue to be, great ways of bringing voice into Second Life that don’t alienate those who don’t want to use voice. You know the risk that you increase the communicative capability, or the sort of bandwidth, if you will, of communication, while at the same time reducing it in a different way by forcing people to lose some of the freedom that they have in defining who they are is tough – that’s a hard tradeoff.

    Having said that, I think that we need to think positively about voice in general – in other words, we need to as designers, look at what people are going to do anyway very rapidly, and then say, ‘Is there a way we can accelerate that, or make that work better, maybe add features, capabilities, or implementation details that tend to make it easier to protect people’s privacies where they want to have those privacies?’ Again, that’s not a specific direction, but I guess the answer I give is, I think we’re closer now to feeling like voice is something that Second Life needs, but we’re still troubled by exactly how to do that effectively, and we’re thinking about it right now.

    Town Hall 7/7/06

    Philip Linden: The issue on voice is that we are playing around with this, like others are. I don’t have any specific this is what we’re going to do when we are trying the systems and playing with it in world it is very powerful for certain kinds of communication, on the other hand, I can’t just “be” Philip Linden and keep anonymous as I can when I type. We’d like to see voice filtering and masking, but the technology isn’t very advanced yet and it’s just sort of infuriating. If there is technology that can change your voice, age, gender, and you can’t tell — I’d love to see it.

  434. Jim Lumiere says:

    Thanks, Persephone, for adding some of the historical Linden thinking on this. Would that a Linden had stepped up to the plate to do that, but …

    Anyway, thanks for pulling those quotes together, they are very useful to the on-going discussion.

  435. Vanessa Sakai says:

    There is an object in my sim that keeps shouting. Its going to be a lot more annoying with voice.

  436. Vanessa Sakai says:

    People should keep in mind that SL is fanisty not RL.

  437. I’m certain this has already been said, but this seems intriguing, to say the least, so I’ll repeat myself. This will definitely benefit certain industries and may eliminate the need for external VOIP applications, but it sounds more like a feature that should be reserved for premium accounts.

    That said, it will probably dent RP, but I don’t think significantly. The market may have to adjust prices to compensate for people faking identities, but really, how long did you all expect to be able to be completely anonymous? Just disable it, if you don’t like it and tell others that it upsets you. If they insist on some sort of verification, you should ask yourself about the morality of maintaining said illusion in the first place.

    I also recommend implementing land-based tools for disabling it, similar to flight.

    On a negative note, I wish priority would be given to overall stability and automatic updates, as opposed to new features. There are a lot of good requests in the voting backlog that should be looked into!

  438. amari gable says:

    I am very concerned with how this will cause more drama and problems in SL – although great for communicators and meetings and things of that sort. My personal feeling on one to one inteactions will add another level of the crossover into real livel connection that I can only see major problems. There are real “defective people here” and it is scary to me.

    Here is where people might have bad things happen – I just cant see it being the best innovation. I truly hope I am wrong. All I see right now is alot of hurt people.

  439. Feedback Principle:

    What happens when a person uses speakers and a cheepie microphone? Does the voice software account for feedback?

    SCREEEEEEEEECH! Is this thing on? SCREEEEEEEEECH!

  440. Avalord says:

    Spoken language is a great step forward in developing the world, not only technologically but socially. Yelling “no change” is no way of seeing things when it comes to SL. People whose first language isn´t english like myself, won´t be intimidated. For some it will become much easier. Both ways may well exist side by side… I see it in World of Warcraft: I speak cause its faster and more efficient. And at the same time I write because especially jokes sometimes travel so much better in written form 🙂

  441. Stefano says:

    @ Leam [425] “you should ask yourself about the morality of maintaining said illusion in the first place”.

    I think – as said and said and said above – that illusion is the sum of the selves dancing inside a soul and around the one(s) the soul is interacting with. After all, its the “magic” in the words of Phil Linden.
    “Immorality” is not the free expressions of imagination, but – i.e. – LL’s excessive wish of growth, that allows a horde of under aged to enter SL via “easy accounts”.

  442. Vanessa Sakai says:

    Anoynimty has always been one of the main points of SL. Until it can be perserved then their should be no voice like Philip Linden originaly said.

  443. Jewels Parks says:

    Dont matter what people want or say lindens will have it there way. Just like taking money from newbies and rating will be sl’s way or no way

  444. Gazz Galatea says:

    Oh please no. Take one look at There (www.there.com) and you can see why this is a bad idea.

    For one is becomes a big unlogged condit for grefiers. Fowl language, racest, sexest remarks, people piping their favorite music or whatever.

    Then there is always the people that never set it up right. So you are standing there talking to someone who has their mic set too low you can barely hear them up walks someone that has it set so high it blasts your speakers with clipped overdirven speach.

    Plus you have to think about the bandwidth, seems recently the gris is having enough trouble with that. Just think about people using this as a free VOIP client. Plop down in a camping casino and yack for hours.

    Sure it sounds like a good idea but dealing with the voice greafers and poor implementation is one of the main reasons I left There.com

  445. Slartibartfast Magicthise says:

    I have a head like a potato, so a headset is out of the question for me. Plus I’m stupid, so a headset would probably end up going up my nose like everything else.

    This is clearly a personal affront to stupid people with potato heads. Thanks a lot. I think I’ll go defenestrate myself now.

  446. nessa says:

    @ 425 – Leam

    “That said, it will probably dent RP, but I don’t think significantly. The market may have to adjust prices to compensate for people faking identities, but really, how long did you all expect to be able to be completely anonymous? Just disable it, if you don’t like it and tell others that it upsets you. If they insist on some sort of verification, you should ask yourself about the morality of maintaining said illusion in the first place.”

    Do you think furries, nekos, vampires and the whole myriad of other fantasy AVs are an honest representation of what those people look like in real life? Of course not, noone in their right mind would think that for a second. But given that, why do you feel that should extend to human-like avatars?

    All of SL is a fantasy world, if your or someone else’s fantasy or ideal is to represent just as you are in real life, you have as much right to that as someone else who chooses to be someone or something very different.

    As insensitive and judgemental as it is for someone to say that those who wish to be their RL self in SL are simply lacking imagination, or are downright bores, or to subject you to prove that your SL identity is indeed similar to your RL, your comments to those who choose to be different are just as insensitive and judgemental.

    I’m a brunette in RL, my AV is a blonde because I was unhappy with the way my RL hair colour looks on it. I wear clothes I wouldn’t dare walk out the door with in RL, in part because that’s just what general SL fashion tends to be like, and because I can. I’m far more flirtatious than I am in RL, in part because I just plain enjoy it, and because I can feel less socially akward and be more confident.

    Am I “faking” my AV’s identity? Up to a point: in RL I tend to be rather quiet, shy and reserved, especially around people I don’t know and I’m very easily intimidated. Voice tends to bring all those qualities back out, because it is just too “real”. As others have pointed out, women will constantly be subjected to prove their gender so I get the choice to either be assumed to be male, or come out as someone who’s AV’s personality doesn’t match the real me. Neither option is appealing or much of an option, so I’ll definitely shy away from meeting new people, and stick to close friends who I at least feel more comfortable with and who already know what I’m like in RL.

    Maybe you should take an objective, critical look at how your AV differs from your real life self, the way you behave, the way you interact, what activies you participate in and then ask yourself what right anyone else has to ask you to justify any of those things? You’ll find the answer to be: “none”.

  447. Theia Lesnie says:

    You say this is to bring us more richer “virtual” experience. Bringing you RL voice in virtual reality makes it only more real.

    More lag.

    People that dont have voice chat will get ignored by the on going voice chat.

    There is enough issues as there is already.

    ————————————————————————-

    Leave the voice chat for people that want one to skype / teampeak whatever.

    Personally this could ruin my SL experience completely that means that I will take my 1,000USD invested in SL out permanently.

  448. Caden Rolland says:

    This adds a new avenue for harassment and will create untold number of “issues” which will need to be dealt with.
    Having solved few of the old issues this will be a good time have low hopes for a fun time in SL till this all gets ironed out.
    Or are you guys prepared for this onsluoght better than you have been in the past?
    Te month this is released would be a good time to not be on too much or take on projects.
    Have fun.

  449. Increasing the power of SL users to communicate with each other is said to be one primary goal of adding voice to SL.

    There are a number of other features that could be added to the SL to increase the program’s usefulness as a communications tool.

    Being able to send people email from within the program would increase the program’s usefulness as a communications system.

    Being able to do filesharing between users would increase their ability to communicate with each other.

    Being able to display HTML pages on an inworld browser would increase SL user’s communicative capabilities.

    Many things that would increase the ability of SL users to communicate effectively with each other have nothing to do with enhancing the 3D virtual environment or increasing one’s sense of immersion in the virtual world.

    Is Linden Lab really trying to maximize SL’s usefulness as a communciations system, regardless of whether additional capabilities increase one’s enjoyment of or immersion in the SL virtual world, or is LL concerned only with improvements that attempt to improve the virtual world experience, such as 3D spatialized sound?

    If LL does not provide SL with a full set of communication abilities that don’t have anything to do with the 3D virtual world, then the absense of such non-virtual world communication tools provides an opportunity for competitors to provide a full featured communcations system that uses a virtual world as one part of a integrated system that includes video chat, email, voice, file sharing, blogs, forums, etc.

  450. Pingback: Talking To My Self - Sue Baskerville

  451. Kawazoe Kukulcan says:

    This is a long time coming and the VR world of “There” has had voice since day one..and a great add to Virtual Worlds. I look foward to it and there has never been an issue of bandwidth the graphics do more then anything to drain bandwidth. I think it will connect more people and add to the world as a whole…hats off to L.L. for bringing true communication to S.L.

  452. Max Kleiber says:

    Voice?
    no… just…

    no.

  453. Vanessa Sakai says:

    How about opt in instead of opt out? How about a charge for land owners to have voice on their property? I have found that one way to reduce lag is to mute the streaming music, voice will increase lag.

  454. Manuel Lopez says:

    It sounds like a good idea, however, I am worried about that “beta testing period”, indeed for me it seems after that there’ll be a charge for it. It’s ok, tho, so far (about 3 weeks) the experience has been great and I’m sure it will continue to be so, voice or not. Just please, if possible, don’t charge for it, consider it a new way to gain more attention, I believe it will work that way and thus pay itself, since I’m totally aware it will require an infrastructure, material, software and so. C’mon, be as nice as you’ve been so far…

  455. Usagi Musashi says:

    Voice have been it the palns sin before 1.7. we we to get it it 1.8 client. But it never happened. I just feel its not worth all the extra problems…..And some of us just can`t do it because i be doing most of my connecting from work in about a week. Can`t do voice in my office.

  456. thom gibbons says:

    what happened to LL’s position of never bringing voicechat to sl? well i imagine it went right out the window once the big dollar corperations who are invested in and who LL is trying to woo into joining up started crying for it. it seems noone really has it figured out yet…..LL no longer gives a rats a** about the little guy in sl…if you arent a multifigure line in theyre spreadsheet your opinions mean exactly crap to them….im sorry but this is the way i see sl going, now dont get me wrong i love the place and the ideals that “your world, your imagination” represents but i am afraid that those days of sl are long gone, sadly the goal of LL has become “gain the numbers with which we can attract big investors” after all art does imitate life so i suspected sooner or later the little guy would be wiping the proverbial sh*t from theyre brow.

  457. Soilent says:

    Depending on how you define “lag” voice might add to it or not.

    But those 3rd party servers, in order to make their spatialized sound depending on position, distance and so on, need information from the grid: getting 3D coordinates from everybody logged in, every second, or so.

    Who will provide that info?

    I guess that’s the “internal presence service which keeps track of who is online, where they are and how to talk to them”.

    Oh, the very same service that was altready overstrained with filtering the people serach by online/offline?? *)

    Interesting …

    *) see http://blog.secondlife.com/2007/01/26/changes-coming-to-searchpeople

  458. michilumin says:

    “Anoynimty has always been one of the main points of SL. Until it can be perserved then their should be no voice like Philip Linden originaly said.”

    I gotta wonder what happened to that.

    I admit that on its face, this move looks questionable and disruptive; and true to what is being said to the contrary, that’s been said about many things in SL and we’re still here.

    but it’s a big change in dynamic. and is risky to some elements of SL. It just depends on if those elements of SL are ‘core’ still, and relevant.

    I think that’s the issue at hand, not simply the implementation of a feature: is Second Life still about having a “second life” anymore. Or is it now moving towards being a digital projection of the first.

    I will say, that, indeed, one of the above two paradigms is more profitable than another; something that becomes of utmost important in the world of VC pressures, where growth begets approval from those holding the funds and frustration from those using the platform.

    Can you guess which?

  459. Aodhan McDunnough says:

    @Joe

    Voice is a good idea for things like cozy friends conversations and for lectures. Could you address the following issues I have with voice?

    1. Voice spamming. With chat text it’s easy to tell who is spamming and you can mute the person even if he’s out of range or logged out. How will this be achieved with voice spammers?

    2. Inappropriate communication. If someone starts mouthing profanities how does one locate who is doing it and furthermore how can such harrassment be reported?

    I feel one solution to the above would be something along the line of friendship requests. That is, in order for someone to hear you this person must have explicitly accepted your request for a voice link. This can be overridden per parcel in order that voice can be open to hear for lecturers (voice access list) or all-open in the case of open discussions.

    But certainly we CANNOT have default voice-on.

  460. Pingback: Why? Why now? « The Lapointe Square

  461. Aodhan McDunnough says:

    addendum to post 440.

    Missed one thing: IVM (instant voice messaging). Temporary conversations can be opened (subject to acceptance) and permissions cease when the conversation is closed by either side.

  462. Simon Nolan says:

    /me wonders how many of the people that are complaining about voice in SL actually bothered to read beyond the post’s headline. So many of the things people are complaining about are answered right there. Read people, read!

    @ Suzanne Bakersville: SL is a 3D immersive environment, not a generic desktop environment. Features that enhance that environment should be the priority, IMO. Those that duplicate existing internet services, like full email, without some compelling new way of presenting it seem to me to be pointless. If I want to send an email, it’s really easy to switch to my email program and fire one off. Why does it need to be INSIDE SL? (Besides, if you really want to do email inworld, talk to your favorite scripter and mention llEmail). To me, voice chat seems to be a much more natural fit to this virtual world than arbitrary, full-on email capabillities.

    Myself, I’m looking forward to voice! I’ve already been using Skype with some of my friends. We’ve noticed that we stop IMing and inadvertently leave out of our conversation people who aren’t in the group chat. It will be so much more fun and easy when, for those who have enabled chat, everyone in our little cadre can hear the whole conversation. The 3D spatializing sounds perfect. I’m looking forward to enjoying that in my favorite group hangout spots!

  463. Ceera Murakami says:

    Stock reply for anyone who insistently pesters me to turn on voice chat, even after I have declined or ignored their audible yammering.

    *Plays pre-recorded sound file*

    Soft, whispery feminine voice, barely audible – “Oh, all right. I clearly said no, but if you really insist… You wanna hear me? Come closer. Closer. That’s it, babe. Now listen…” followed by a shrill blast from a police whistle, at maximum volume…

    Treat it like an obscene phone call.

  464. Ceera Murakami says:

    I do not want to be forced to wear a visible icon or tag 24 x 7 that labels me as unwilling to use voice chat. I don’t want all my roleplaying friends to have those tags on them, either. Especially when voice chat will explicitly be banned from the parcel and from all roleplaying activities.

    If I turn off this unwanted feature, then as far as my Sl experience goes, IT SHOULD NOT EXIST. I should not hear anyone yammereing away, and I should not see any distracting visual indication of whi is or is not “voice enabled”.

    You like voice chat? They you can have your avatar wear a dorky-looking headseat in-world. Leave the rest of us alone.

    I’ve already added a note to my profiles, telling people to turn off their mike and type, if they want to communicate with me.

  465. Timelord Tardis says:

    Funny thing is I rarely ever have the sound turned on at all in SL. Between all the standard Windows bells and whistles, SL’s ui beeps and wonks, other users HHHHOOOOWWWWLLLIIINNNGGG, and playing stupid sound clips over and over again, crappy old 80’s music streaming in every other sim

    SL is best experienced in COMPLETE SILENCE!

  466. Liz Saenz says:

    This feature should really be turned off by default, and should be an opt-in. I’m sorry Linden Labs, but in the week I have been a member, I get countless of comments that would qualify as obscene phone calls if they were done via telephone. There is no way I want to *hear* all the rude and lascivious comments. Gross!

    Please get your heads out of the sand before you deploy this feature.

  467. Dun Dailey says:

    SL has included multiple speaking cultures in one world beautifully. Talking to people all over the world, I have been struck by how similar we all are. It has helped that we have been on one enjoyable playing field, experiencing each other in print without having to handle the rapidity and accents inherent in speech.

    I came in to SL seeing it as the future of the internet, where people can experience increased closeness to others through interaction in a virtual environment. Whether someone chooses to make it an extension of his/her RL, or chooses to make it a fanciful alternate reality, it is a neat, enjoyable medium where it can all happen together.

    To push what we have to be more real by incorporating speech is like pushing a book to be a movie. The movie will have merits, but it is not quite the same thing, and usually disappointing. I have only to look at my kids talking in chat when they could as easily be using the phone, to see that chat definitely has something going for it.

    Why not keep what has been so beautifully built as is, and create a voice-enabled land mass to meet the needs of businesses, educators, and those who choose to live and play in a voice environment? Then everyone could enjoy life in SL as they are most comfortable and happy. If a situation arose in a non voice-enabled environment where voice contact was desired, the parties could simply TP to some voice-enabled area, and do it. I’m sure there would be times when people in the voice-enabled areas would want to go to the other areas, too. Residents could enjoy experiencing the other world without having to live in it. The option would be there, why wouldn’t everyone be satisfied?

    Change has to come, but it is up to us whether the change serves us, or whether we are at the mercy of the change!

  468. Wake UP says:

    @ Simon Nolan>”SL is a 3D immersive environment, not a generic desktop environment. Features that enhance that environment should be the priority, IMO. Those that duplicate existing internet services, like full email, without some compelling new way of presenting it seem to me to be pointless. If I want to send an email, it’s really easy to switch to my email program and fire one off. Why does it need to be INSIDE SL? (Besides, if you really want to do email inworld, talk to your favorite scripter and mention llEmail). To me, voice chat seems to be a much more natural fit to this virtual world than arbitrary, full-on email capabillities.”

    SL is a 3D immersive environment, not a generic desktop environment. Features that enhance that environment should be the priority, IMO. Those that duplicate existing internet services, like SKYPE OR VENTRILO, without some compelling new way of presenting it seem to me to be pointless. If I want to TALK IN SL, it’s really easy to switch to SKYPE OR VENTRILO and TALK AWAY. Why does VOICE INTEGRATION need to be INSIDE SL? (Besides, if you really want to TALK inworld, talk to your favorite FRIEND OR GROUP OF FRIENDS AND MENTION SKYPE. To me, full-on mail capabilities seems to be a much more natural fit to this virtual world than forced and unnecessary voice integrated capabillity.”

    Sound familiar?

  469. DigiKatt Shaw says:

    This would probably work great with my blue tooth headset. My laptop is blue tooth! I don’t know if I want to pay more money for it tho. Oh what am i saying… i *know* i don’t want to pay more money for it. Shouldn’t it be included in our tier or membership charges? Just how much is it going to cost? That’s what I’d like to know.

    Digi 🙂

  470. aEoLuS Waves says:

    YAY!

    Good idea! Its not a problem to not use it and go with a 3d party program.. You can use it to verify if someone is an addult..

    Or if your escort ir realy a woman/man LOL..

    Anyway, keep up the good work.. Can you make the voice disable button on specified avatars?

  471. aeolus… yes maybe you can use it to find out the gender of your ‘escort’ really is female, if you’re into that kind of thing. But really, honestly… is that the best use you can think of for voice chat in-game? Some escorts already offer skype/messenger voice services outside of SL so it’s hardly going to make much of a difference to them.

    But for age… my rl partner is 22 yet sounds about 14 on the telephone. How do you get around that one?

    Whilst, naturally, there are some ‘benefits’ – although it seems mostly to the business community rather than the average user – there seem to be far more negative (harrassment, griefing etc) uses of this option.

    I say again – make it a feature of ‘premium’ membership, unless the landowner pays a supplement. Then for the business customers who want to be able to hold ‘virtual conferences’, they can just pay the extra. For the user that wants to voice in SL, if they aren’t premium, then they have to pay for it, so the additional costs involved to Linden Lab aren’t yet again being absorbed by just the minority who do pay.

    Broccoli

  472. I have to say I am very excited about voice coming to SL but I gotta believe its probably just another avenue of revenue stream for LL.

  473. #373: well said!
    The most active and louder people who are commenting on this blog are complaining, but I also think a silent majority of residents either want voice (this is my case as voice is required for the applications I am mostly interested in), or do not really mind.
    These users will behave like adults: if they want to use voice they will use it, if they do not want to use it they will not use it, and they will respect the freedom of others to make their own choices.

  474. Bitzer Balderdash says:

    @442 Simon Nolan…
    >”Myself, I’m looking forward to voice! I’ve already been using Skype with some of my friends. We’ve noticed that we stop IMing and inadvertently leave out of our conversation people who aren’t in the group chat. It will be so much more fun and easy when, for those who have enabled chat, everyone in our little cadre can hear the whole conversation.”

    Apart from those who don’t have a mic, or login from the office(such as I occasionally do), or have friends or family nearby at home, or whose firewalls fail to allow the new port-set out to the new servers…. so, once this feature is in place, you’re planning to just ditch any of your current friends who fall into any of these categories.

    When people are openly admitting that they _already_ have stopped typing to others who don’t use 3rd party voice, how can _anyone_ honestly believe that this will not split the work into the talkers and the typers?

  475. Pingback: The Voice of Reason « The Fountain

  476. “how can _anyone_ honestly believe that this will not split the work into the talkers and the typers?”

    I really do not see what the fuss is about. I will be a talker AND a typer. I can imagine situations where I will prefer talking, and I can imagine situations where I will prefer typing.

    I am often in busy mode in SL. With voice, I will often be in busy and silent mode. I do not think I will use voice in SL more than 10 or 20 min per day. But I am *very* happy that the option is there for when I need it.

  477. Avalord says:

    @451 There will be a split, just as there will be winners and losers if a change like this occurs. Some people consider themselves to have pleasant voices or even have them, others don´t.

    But with all the pros and cons in the discussion and with the majority opposed consider just one simple fact:
    Voice if it´s well done and technically working is much more efficient than typing. The internet is huge. So SL won´t do it, a competitor will and over a not-so-long period take over. Just call it evolution…

  478. In reply to Linda: “Someone mentioned that people not wanting LL to implement voice are trying to limit the freedom of others to use voice if they want to. If you don’t want to use voice, just don’t use it. The problem with that is its kind of like smoking in a restaurant. Those who choose not to smoke still have their experience degraded by the smokers. If a smoker and nonsmoker go to a restaurant together, one of them is going to be inconvenienced/irritated. Even if nonsmokers go and sit in the nonsmoking section, smoke drifts over from the smoking section. Bars and dance clubs (except where prohibited by law) are always 100% smoking sections, making nonsmokers second class citizens. Thats why I love living in California where smoking is banned from all restaurants, bars and clubs”

    I am a smoker who would never smoke in a public place in the presence of nonsmokers, regardless of whatever restrictions are or not in place. Since I know that second hand smoke can objectively harm nonsmokers, I refrain from smoking in their presence. So I agree with you that I must not smoke in the mall, and never smoke in the mall.

    But I do not accept any restrictions to my right to smoke at home or in situations where my smoking cannot do any objective harm to anyone. I smoke at home, and if you don’t like that, just don’t come (this is just for making a point: actually I do not even smoke at home if there are nonsmokers around). So, in practice I think with some tolerance on both sides the world is big enough for both smokers and nonsmokers. There are of course people who see things as religion wars and just cannot tolerate lifestyles different from theirs, but honestly I am not interested in their opinions.

    Same for voice in SL. You will not allow voice in your sim. Fine, when I want to talk I will not come to your sim. I will allow voice in my sim. Fine, you just don’t came to my sim. Where is the problem?

  479. The XO says:

    I give up…. there are so many points against, and the people who are arguing FOR it, are not paying attention and reading WHY this will affect things in a bad way – or don’t seem to understand that your avatar is a REPRESENTATION of your consciousness, not you!

    Besides, if you want to verify your escort, why not use a regular phone service and pay for it, rather than being a cheap skate and trying to get your thrills for free!

    I think the sooner we all wake up to the fact that LL *seems* to have sold out it’s user base to the “big corporates” the better. As individuals there is nothing we can do 😦

  480. The XO says:

    @Giulio Perhaps #452

    The problem is that there will be segregation and distrust between “voicers” and “typers”. It will split SL in two.

    Imagine for a moment…. you are a “typer” and go to a voice enabled SIM, no one is going to bother talking to you, because they can’t be bothered to type back. You will be totally ignored.

    Now from the other side… a “voicer” comes into a text only SIM and starts talking. They will end up annoying the “texters” because they are causing noise and disrupting the flow of conversation. End result, most likely kicked out.

    There you have it, so it begins…. typers and texters begin to go their seperate ways. Not good considering many businesses will suffer.

    LL should stop chasing the big corporates for $$$ and concentrate on organically growing it’s user base and making it’s cash that way – or at the very least find a balance that is suitable to both. After all, this is “our world, our imagination” isn’t it? Didn’t we help make this place what it is? Maybe I dreamt that one……

  481. John Horner says:

    424 Vanessa Sakai Says:

    February 28th, 2007 at 3:15 PM PST
    People should keep in mind that SL is fanisty not RL.

    —————————————————-
    That is not true.

    Second Life is a platform evolving into an application or perhaps a distributive media. Of course within this world is the potential for creativity, which includes role-playing and fantasy.

    But there are many other applications available in world, and many other potential uses of which role-playing and pure escapism are only a part

  482. Stefano says:

    Once again:
    Second Life is – as stated – “Your world. Your imagination”.
    SL is a community of souls, personalities, mes and yous beyond RL’s status quo. Second Life is not an enhanced communication system nor a business tool for all pervading companies.
    The possibility itself of a voice chat is AGAINST SL’s spirit: women whit disabled voice will be marked as men; men with a female soul in a female avatar will be forced out. “Prove me who you are” will be the constant refrain.
    Its all in its simplicity: you who “need” voice, you so involved in your “clever” projects and/or “fabolous” biz, you who dont toss a coin for the others – well you ve got Skype. Use it, and leave the community in peace.
    As i said above, its time for a Poll. This is a turning point.

  483. #455 “Second Life is a platform evolving into an application or perhaps a distributive media.”

    That’s the problem with evolution in any form – mutation from its original form.

    If they’d just left Second Life as a “game construction kit” then most of the 4 million signups would still be here playing, and paying too. The reason people don’t stay? Because the media and marketing hype supports “come and make money easily” and people leave when they find they can’t. Adding voice will not change this one degree.

    Broccoli

  484. The XO says:

    @455 John Horner #455:

    SL is not a tool, or a business application. It is a world, a country – and even Philip Rosedale (Linden) has said those very words himself! If you want “other applications” go and use them, they already exist on the open market.

    @Stefano #456 and Broccoli Curry #457:

    I totally agree with what you have both said, and have been saying the same thing throughout this blog! I can’t say it any more plainly than that! I love SL, I love MY SL and i don’t want it ruined because of some new fangled feature that isn’t wanted and will only tear it all apart.

    Maybe others should make comments once they have spent time in world, and developed their SL, their frends, their places. Until then – don’t comment because you don’t know what it’s like!

    This is a turning point, and a poll or consultation is needed – with fully verified and audited results. I bet this will never happen because LL know that it will show most do not want this.

    /me sends LL a bucket of sand… oh, wait, you’ve already got plenty there! Time to start listening to your users guys…. this is a *hot* topic and people want an open, honest debate.

  485. Cali says:

    I’m for it. It’s a step forward immersion. Compared to not-integrated voice programs it will be environmental. But I won’t use it or want to hear avatars with people’s natural voice, except when I want reality. Which I’m not really looking for since I can already cam and use a mic, or just go out.

    In my experience, with games (SL is unique, so i have to use the games example) it just removes the feel when you hear a voice that doesn’t fit with the character. I don’t care about the person behind the avatar, I care about the character they create. I use SL because it’s all creativity.
    Imagine a tool for scanning your body in 3D and turn it into an avatar (in the future, some platform will implement it for sure). What it does is that it projects a part you in a virtual world, there’s no creation behind it. Again I would want that technology to become available, but I wouldn’t use it like I use SL or care about people who project themselves as they look. I would use it for meetings or such things.

    Well that’s the same thing for voice, until voice modification become widespread enough (if a decent tool becomes available) to make some places visited by “really virtual” residents. Then I won’t go to place where people go for reality.

    It’s not really about anonymity, self-esteem, problems in your real life, “broken hearts” (hey, if you want to see what a person looks like use cam sites) it’s just that I mostly use SL as a platform that allows for creativity and escape, not “The Matrix”.
    I don’t want SL shaped for exclusively for my personal preferences, it would even be counter productive for future developments that interest me, but it’s obvious a lot of people think alike or at least use it this way.

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  487. John Horner says:

    I don’t want to get into a troll war with you guys but I do disagree with you, and quite frankly do not understand why you are so against natural speech, after all Sl is another place or world and in any place speech is common.

    I think it is a bit like the debate over silent movies vis-à-vis talkies, I think there is a degree of fear among some but I see no need for it.

    I will say one thing bluntly though and that is SL is not a place for you to spend your time as a pure game, it is a platform that enables anything you want, and after reading again though this blog there are a significant number who want or will try speech. If you want a pure game with rules try Microsoft’s Age of Empires, Doom variants, or other single or God/Multi player programs.

    If you want just to build and talk without an economy and money try Active Worlds, similar in some concepts to SL but far more a game or chat application although I have never seen more than 200 odd logged in at any one time

    SL is something different; it may have the potential to evolve into something better by a square of magnitude than the more usual 2D net, thus enabling a broad catholic church of users doing all things. It seems to me some here would wish to throttle this concept at birth and to be frank I wonder why

    Finally I conducted an initial straw poll in world, again the initial consensus was positive albeit with one against using it for himself but not against general use for others The issue that remains, and seems open to argument is not enabling speech itself but the technical and cost issue of it (of which I personally feel should be neutral for all who wish to use it)

    Regards

    John

  488. Persephone Milk says:

    It really seems like a lot of these concerns would be mitigated if Linden Lab merely flipped the proposed model around:

    Add voice, but make it disabled by default accross the grid. Let parcel and sim owners enable voice on their land, and charge them a fee for this. Those of us who wish to use voice, or provide a place for others to talk, can enable voice on our land and pay the cost of this. This will work great for businesses.

    For the vast majority of the grid, voice will not be enabled – and those that do not wish to use or be bothered by this kind of thing can simply avoid parcels where voice is enabled. And, because voice will be disabled by default, voice will not become the standard means of communication in SL – so those who choose not to use it will not be outcasts.

    Are you listening Linden Lab? This is the model Philip originally suggested, with sensitivity to the community. Please, add voice, but think more deeply about how you are doing it.

  489. Stefano says:

    @ Persephone [460]

    A very very good idea. But please think of this: why the Lindens are insensibly quickening the voice chat issue? Why this 180° rotation? Why Philip’s loud silence in this blog?
    Market rules. And we are lucky the blog is still open.

  490. Kim Lowey says:

    This will be a tragedy of biblical proportions to SL. A large part of SL population came here to escape their RL and be what they want here. Adding voice makes it impossible for them to continue their existence in their chosen role and their only option is to leave SL. I know a number of sims that will probably shutdown because their owners will be forced to leave SL. And this is not only about men impersonating women or women impersonating men, or old people acting young and vice versa, or disabled acting super heroes, but many people have RL relationships and spouses who would be shocked and hurt if they’d get to listen the SL voice conversations.

    What some people do not understand either is that people can form very deep relationships in SL that have a deep emotional impact on their RL, too. Many of these relationships will be shattered and many, many people will get hurt really bad.

    As long as we use text communications none of the above will happen but adding voice will change everything. It seems that Linden Lab does not understand that this is the most far reaching decision they’d ever made, such that will change SL forever. So what will happen is that SL will become a playground for young, single hetero people (SL=single life?). The rest of the population has to go somewhere else.

  491. Drozler Eponym says:

    I, like many, have mixed emotions about it. If the system would provide some very basic voice alteration capabilities, I think many people would be more comfortable. While I think it would be nice to have a better idea if the person on the other end of the AV is of the gender represented (or not, if that is your preference)…it is also obvious that many folks don’t want to break down one more partition between SL and RL. Unfortunately, people being people (in RL or otherwise), this is probably doomed to create a brave new world of “Haves” and “Have-nots”.

  492. Tone says:

    I believe it is a terrible idea. Like others have said, there is always the option of using Skype or other VoIP (which are free fro PC-PC chats) systems alongside SL.

    It is pretty inevitable that voice will be added now, but it must be thought through and implemented in a way that will minimize a divide in class. I think that enabling the mainland by default could be a bad move, will already make it more chaotic than it already is!

  493. The XO says:

    @John Horner #459:

    I think you are misunderstand (maybe not) what people are getting out of SL…. they do not want a “structured game” or indeed a “game” for that matter. What they do want is a place where they can express themselves, in a format and a way in which they desire.

    SL is a “place”, created by representations of people, a collection of minds co-existing in one place. It was never designed as a tool, or a platform…

    No body wants to “throttle” anything, it’s just a case of what is best for SL and it’s community of residents. People have almost been on the verge of accusing the people who want to type of being Luddites, which is clearly not the case.

    People have worked long and hard at their SL’s – some for many years now and therefore they will be protective of them, and I totally understand that.

    This really needs more contemplation, consideration and debate before it’s pushed out any further.

    At the very least, yes, voice should be disabled by default… but it will still create “no go” areas for both typers/speakers as I mentioned before.

    Along with many, I don’t find or see the use for voice as many have said they are happy to use external applications… AND… when talking they tend to ignore “typers” – so it already happens. I also remember someone saying they “didn’t want to be on the phone all night” and another saying “there are things I’m happy to type, but not say”.

    As for the Linden’s silence…. I think they are probably reading and keeping an eye on it, seeing where it will go. Although a comment or something would be nice.

    This is a turning point, as has previously been said… what happens next is a bit up in the air.

  494. I assume that Support Parcels or Voice Support Groups will be created so that users with problems and comments can speak to Linden staff using voice, right?

  495. Lina Olaria says:

    I live in a very noisy household with not much chance of quiet until late late late at night. This won’t be a useful option for me most of the time.

  496. Mare says:

    Will this be for Premium members only, or all Residents? Thanks.

  497. Persephone Milk says:

    @ Stefano [461]

    Although there are certainly people that want voice in SL, this is clearly not being driven by cries from the community to add voice. There simply has not been any signficant movement among the community demanding voice – those that want it are already using it though third party tools.

    It seems to me there are three reasons Linden Lab is adding voice. First, because it is a really neat technological advancement that for some will increase the appeal of this place and increase the ablity to communicate – at least in certain situations. Secondly, they see it as a potential revenue stream. And thirdly, some businesses really need this kind of thing. Think of an insurance company with CSRs trying to communicate complicated concepts though chat versus voice.

    It seems to me that there are two reasons that Linden Lab might want to do this accross the entire grid, as opposed to the original model that Philip suggested. Firstly, they may have some overzealous technical people running this project that simply do not understand or care about the social impacts of what they are doing and simply think that making this work everywhere by default is a really neat thing to do.

    But there is another reason … driven by business again.

    If voice is used sparingly by residents … it will not matter that the insurance company has it enabled on their sim. People will arrive and not be accustomed to using voice. The CSR can speak all she wants, she will not be heard. And the potential customers will still try to chat.

    So you see, voice will not work for businesses unless or until it becomes ubiquitous.

  498. Sierra Howitt says:

    Hear that noise? Its the sound of all the fun leaving the SL experience. All that “funny” stuff that happens because of anonymity is also the engine that has been driving the growth of SL. I guess the Lindens are finally going corporate and will go the way of google and youtube. Its too bad, this has been such a fun social experiment.

  499. Kenny Devoix says:

    In a recent post it was said “What they do want is a place where they can express themselves, in a format and a way in which they desire.” What if a person wants to have voice to do exactly that?? Also who decides what is best? Those who think voice will be the instrument of the devil or those that see it as a welcome addition? Many differant views and visions of SL exist. No one is being forced to use voice here and in my understanding it can be disabled easily. In protecting your own views of what SL should be your trying to take away the freedom others that may have a differant view and vision of SL such as voice. What I am getting from this is that the opinion of those that don’t want voice is more important then those that want it. Also many understand completly what is being said here but just don’t happen to agree. Does that make them automaticly wrong??

    For the record while I support voice comming to SL I doubt very much I will use it often and it will be disabled 99% of the time.

  500. Vivienne says:

    Do they read this? React on it? Or is this blog VOICE ENABLED already?

    LOL***

  501. Heh, I do think this is good and bad, and heres why… (I mainly think its good though lol):

    Bad..
    Simply because people are afraid that they will be forced out, but if people read through this blog, alot of people are in this boat, persoanlly I can’t see this to be standardised or become the norm, because most people will want the privacy.

    Plus with the factor of a certain percentage wont want the ‘immature age group’ (mainly the AWOL Teenagers) shouting constantly down your ear, its easy enough to ignore their text as it is their voice.

    I do feel sorry for the people that are hard of hearing, its a shame ‘voice to speach’ programs arnt precise, as that would more than likely ease their minds. BUT, saying that, if you’re worried that your friends or others will just stop talking to you, then I dont think you’re giving them much credit. People are nice enough as a whole in SL to accomidate others, I certainly would. I’m sure others feel that way too.

    GOOD!…
    Education being one of the biggies, being able to get across your points faster, answering questions with ease and interacting more with students is a big deal…. to be able to explain yourself better and make sure everyone understands without having the class take 6 hours lol

    BUILDING (YAY!!) My god this would make my life easier with the people I build with, most creators confine themselves to escape the trails of typing every so often, whilst concentrating. To be able to chat withough clicking on the chat bar, typing, then clicking to get out of focus and continuing, then doing it over once someone desides to respond… meh, makes a lot of builds become agrovating… this on the other hand would allow me to multitask… and yes, guys can multitask too lol

    Convaying Emotions… I mean who hasnt accidently taken someone the wrong way from what they have said, only to find out that they were joking. One good aspect of this is you can finally hear your friends for who they are, rather than taking it the way you think. Online relationships too. ALSO, to be able to tell if your partner really is a woman/man! lol Tiz why I stick to RL relations lol

    Theres loads of things that can be considered to be good or bad with this move, but atleast the options there, use it, dont use it, might come in handy to the people who dont want it implimented one day. And, then again, you might have a convo that makes you wish you’d never started…. but its an extra, like text balloons…

    I also think some people that have posted really need to stop skipping reading the introduction and FAQ text, as they keep bringing up things that have already been answered….

  502. Stefano says:

    @ Persephone [465]

    Exactly. Thats why i said its impossible to keep companies out of the mainland. Voice chat will involve the whole grid.
    And thats why i keep on saying: we already have Skype and other similar tools. So the voice chat issue is nothing but an unnecessary and chaotic pretext.

    @ The XO [463]

    Thanks again for your lucid explanations.
    Typers/speakers will be chaos, but – as i said – the *voice* itself (enabled or disabled by default) is against the spirit and the essence of SL. The voice *itself* will split the community.

  503. on a further note, lol I do like all the… “NO! IS THIS THE END OF SL??”.

    I so wish RL was like this, would be much more amusing to see people running around the streets shouting… “OH NO!! PEOPLE ARE TALKING TO ME!!! ITS THE END OF THE WORLD!!!!!…. GET UM AWAY!! SHOO!!”

    I mean daym…. I’m suprised GM foods are still on the shelf… lol

  504. Stefano says:

    @ Kenny Devoix [467] “No one is being forced to use voice here and in my understanding it can be disabled easily”.

    OMG…..Once again and again: if a woman disables her voice she will immediately banned and marked as a man. This is for s u r e.

  505. N.O says:

    LL: do you want voice
    You: no

    LL:dont u want to hear the voice of random ppl in the malls and clubs even though, theres no way to know who is saying what.
    You: no i dont

    LL: In ur group wont it be nice to have everyone speaking at the same time and many others also typing, well u can’t identify the voices with the avis but u get to hear random people.
    You: no i dont want to hear random voices in various accents, dialets and languages. i have no use for that.

    LL: do u think we are wasting resources with this voice thing, when our programmers should be working to stabilize the grid, i mean classifieds dont even renew anymore.
    You:yes u are

    LL:we want to make sl commercial, like the rl world. were ppl are less the same. we dont like imagination, these are negative things, we want the corps to control the mainland. I love the many boring sims of rl companies. they thing i love most is that they have no charactor, no imagination just like rl. So voice would make it more like new york city. have u gone to the times square sim. or the nbc sim. its empty now but tomorrow it would be web4.0.
    You: more power to u, i dont wont to shop in virtual circuit city, their rl store is nicer, or virtual apple store, the store downtown is nicer too. They are welcome to secondlife but they should have more imagination.

    voice is very localized, not the best way to meet people outside your local area or country. People speak differently across the world. the easiest way to understand each other is text. we type more alike than we speak. and again the big issue is that in online worlds u dont know were the voice is coming from. Just annoying to hear voices in the dark, not knowing who is talking or what they are talking about.

    We are not impressed by the re-creation of rl inside sl, thats too easy to do. this is a virtual world u have the freedom of creating whatever u imagine. its dosent show much imagination to redo rl.

    LL: would u disable voice from your store.
    You: mostly likely I would disable it.

    LL:would u use voice at all
    You: i may use it to talk with close friends on IM only.

    LL: but we want to support educators more the fantasy loving gamers
    You:u can support educators, but in a class only the instructor needs to talk during the class, its even better for the instructor to just stream a recorded video of his instruction to the class. then they can discuss over text. only one-on-one classes are suitable on voicechat.

    for business meetings, unless u are speaking with ppl u already know, its not easy to moderate a group of ppl that dont know each other over voice. it may work in some cases but again, i wont go to sl to have a business meeting. is sl now a business meeting tool.

    I think if some want to use sl as a collaboration tool, they should just use the available tools and technologies to build sl into that, LL dosent have to build something new into the viewer.

    LL: dude, we are paranoid of competition, we want to make sl the best platform on earth. we have other plans too, i’ll let u in on it, we want to add word processors, so u can type and print ur documents inside sl. We even working with open office to add an excel alternative inside sl, so u can make presentations. We want to beat bit torrent in file sharing too, imagine 4 million residents sharing files and typing documents thru us. so many new things are now possible to add into sl and we are going to add all of them.
    You: sl is entertainment for me. i can type on word. excel is easy to use. damn u really have no talent. this is boring. please leave my sim. Work on the grid, i was billed 10k for ads but my ads did not renew, fix that first before u compete with bit torrent. I have to go now. i’ll turn my security back on. and u would be ejected.

    LL: sorry, when big corps came i lost my mind, i’ll try to be a good boy from now. no more voice, they can use skype or whatever its called. i know u are one smart resident. please continue paying classified ads we would check the server and network packet losses. we havent forgotten about the asset server, this is why ur Ims are capped every day customers not getting what they buy from ur store. thanks mr N.O.

    LL: one last thing, can i add u on my friends list and where is a good place to camp?

  506. Kenny Devoix says:

    @472

    And how do you know this for a fact? I and many others will just see it as a person who is protecting their privacy and respect it as such.Anyway those who arn’t paranoid will.

    Its funny that so many here on this blog say that no one wants it and in the next breath are so worried everyone will be using it that they will be outcasts. Think about it,kinda a contridiction to the belief that no one wants it isn’t it? If no one wants it, it will not be widely accepted and the social division problem is a moot point.

  507. Sen Pixie says:

    Well, I usually don’t post here – I’m content to read and learn. But I have to pipe in on this one. As a paying customer and land owner, this may very well mark the end of my SL experience.

    Why? Many reasons. I go to SL to unwind from a very stressful and time consuming RL job where I deal with large amounts of people every day. I will loose most of my desire to play if it just simply gets LOUD.

    Much of the time I spend in SL is when I get up early and my house is still asleep with the sound off on my computer. Only being able to communicate with some people by listening and talking would seriously hamper my playing time (yes, I know, I don’t have to use it, but don’t want to NOT be able to communicate with a large portion of the SL population).

    Last, RP. No, I have no desire to deceive my friends in SL. BUT, my SL personality is very different than my RL one. I have carefully forged my SL personality based mostly on the time and thoughtfulness that typing text allows. I can… manage what I say much more. The SL fantasy for me is about using SL to improve my RL self, and voice would really hurt that, if not destroy it. I have built my SL personality over almost a year, and try everyday to make my RL self more like that.

    I want my SL to remain separate from my RL. Why? Not for any grand conspiracy, I just like it that way – that’s what SL is for me. I do NOT want to be judged on that fact. I get judged enough every day in RL. SL should not implement a feature that encourages the sorts of things that many of us enter SL to escape.

  508. This is really like talking to the wall.
    We will respect your freedom not to use voice. Please respect our freedom to use voice. The grid is big enough for all.

    It appears that the main concern here is that everyone will assume that female avatars refusing to speak are men. But look, given the demographics, I already assume that most female avatars are men. Or better, I would assume it if their gender interested me, which is not the case.

  509. #472: “Once again and again: if a woman disables her voice she will immediately banned and marked as a man. This is for s u r e.”

    Once again and again: I will only assume that she, or he, or whatever, does not wish to talk at this moment. I will also disable voice on occasions, for example when I am talking on the phone, and will not worry, or care, about what others will or will not assume.

    I am afraid some posters here are so focused on their own sexual preferences that they assume everyone is. Believe me, most of us just don’t care.

  510. Stefano says:

    @ Giulio (l’ineffabile) [474]

    /me sighs
    Giulio…you can find ALL the concerns just reading above. Using the mousewheel or “pag up”…Hope there s not a bug in your pc. My screen says you are #474.

    @ Kenny 473: “If no one wants it”…
    I know what LL want. Thats all.

  511. Wake UP says:

    @ Broccoli Curry > “I say again – make it a feature of ‘premium’ membership, unless the landowner pays a supplement. Then for the business customers who want to be able to hold ‘virtual conferences’, they can just pay the extra. For the user that wants to voice in SL, if they aren’t premium, then they have to pay for it, so the additional costs involved to Linden Lab aren’t yet again being absorbed by just the minority who do pay.”

    This is an excellent idea Broccoli. Make it an opt-in feature for a nominal charge. It would serve as an extra source of revenue for LL and benefit all involved fairly.

  512. Wake UP says:

    @ Persephone Milk > “It really seems like a lot of these concerns would be mitigated if Linden Lab merely flipped the proposed model around:

    Add voice, but make it disabled by default accross the grid. Let parcel and sim owners enable voice on their land, and charge them a fee for this. Those of us who wish to use voice, or provide a place for others to talk, can enable voice on our land and pay the cost of this. This will work great for businesses.

    For the vast majority of the grid, voice will not be enabled – and those that do not wish to use or be bothered by this kind of thing can simply avoid parcels where voice is enabled. And, because voice will be disabled by default, voice will not become the standard means of communication in SL – so those who choose not to use it will not be outcasts.

    Are you listening Linden Lab? This is the model Philip originally suggested, with sensitivity to the community. Please, add voice, but think more deeply about how you are doing it.”

    This is an even better idea!

    So many good ideas on this blog. Hopefully someone is listening.

  513. Kathy Morellet says:

    Wish this discussion was happening on some other forum like venue because once it hits 500 replies here it’s over. 😦

    I said in my original post to this topic that I could see where having voice will enhance the enjoyment of SL for many people. I also said I would not use it.

    I am not against the implementation of voice and I think it would be far more productive to talk about how those of us who choose not to use it will be able to get along with those who do.

    The fact is, many of the concerns expressed are already happening so, what’s the difference? I have already lost several potential friends, even though we seemed to be getting along just fine, JUST because I refused to share an RL photo of myself or because I refused to talk to them on Skype.

    I said it before and I’ll say it again… anyone that shallow isn’t someone I want as a friend anyway.

    I do have other friends who use Skype often with others but are happy to accept the fact that I don’t want to. One of them has turned into my very best friend in SL, after my partner of course.

    I have also been accused, on many occasions, of being a man simply on the basis of not being willing to voice chat or share a photo to “prove” I am what I am. Again I say, if you are that judgmental, I don’t want to know you and could not care less what you think.

    Voice implementation IS going to happen. It IS inevitable. So why don’t we try to work together to find ways for us all to get along rather than constantly bashing the technology and each other?

    My AV in SL is an extension and reflection of my personality. What I say and do in SL has more to do with who I am as a person rather than what I look like in RL. I don’t need nor do I want to know what you look like or sound like. If you treat me with respect for my choices then I will do the same for you. If you are not willing to accept that, then, please, just go your own way and leave me alone.

  514. #467: “What I am getting from this is that the opinion of those that don’t want voice is more important then those that want it”

    Well said Kenny. Of course they wish to think that their opinion is more important than the opinion of others. This is just human. But rationally, they should realize that it is not. And you people can be sure that LL would not have dedicated resources to implementing voice without evidence that a very significant % of users, and perhaps a majority, wanted it.

    Anyway – this debate will fade away soon enough. But the insight into people’s mind provided by the comments to this blog has been very interesting. It is clear that those who do not want to use voice will be left in peace to their roleplaying, in their communities and sims where voice will be banned. But some people are not happy with being left in peace. They also want the “right” to decide what others can or cannot do, even when it cannot impact them. This is, of course, unacceptable.

  515. Vivienne says:

    Haha, the wanting of a “right to decide what others can do or cannot do is unacceptable”? So what are you doing in SL, where the Lindens decide on almost everything all alone, like french sun kings?? Having fun?

    Voice will ruin SL as it is. I bet. But it will not ruin the Lindens. I bet.

  516. peter says:

    Once more voice against voice in SL. One of the important things I like in SL is silence. Natural sounds are so relaxing, and in quite place, communicating with people, I can go much deeper and express myself much sincere. On this way, communication between avatars is pure, and delicate communication between two souls. Voice will destroy that.

    I know some womens and mans that have avatars of opposite gender. In most cases they are very nice persons, and many people are happy to be in their company in SL (I dont think about sex). AND THEY ARE NOT FAKE! They are living some esential qualities of their inner being in different body on some other world – in Second Life. It is SOUL, being that is not man or woman. Elements of reality will destroy them.
    Some womans has males body in SL. I heard some of them, that they now much better understand males and their way of thinking. They tried to be males in SL, and I heard some of them talking that it was most important experience in years. Now, they are much better wifes and they much better understand partners. Same case is with mans.
    The point is: if you on any way, voice or anything, destroy elements of SL like fantasy land, and bring elements of reality, you will destroy main force behind the SL. And if you force out a man avatar I know that is driven by Soul that in RL has women body, I will be disappointed. I will lose friend that teach me a lot, because others will ask him to speak by voice. And suddenly, nice and wise SL friend with beard, that teach a lot of people about interesting things, has soft female voice? I hope you will not destroy SL.
    Keep it like fantasy place, but with elements of economy or whatever, and protect it like that. SL is on beginings, and on this way will have success.

  517. Cruci Halberd says:

    I agree completely with what Kathy Morellet has said. There was a time, I shared my home phone number, my work phone number, my picture, but now my profile reads I will no longer do so. I know who I am.. I portray the same in game… You will either accept me, or see me walk away.

    Although I do feel that this will be a valuable tool for those who wish to use this feature. Good luck with it. Whether that will cause even more lag, I guess we will have to wait and see.

    I guess those of us who will not use this feature, will be known as
    “The Silent Minority”

    Cruci

  518. Come on Vivienne, be an adult.

  519. Grow says:

    480 Giulio Perhaps Says:
    March 1st, 2007 at 8:47 AM PST

    “Well said Kenny. Of course they wish to think that their opinion is more important than the opinion of others. This is just human. But rationally, they should realize that it is not. And you people can be sure that LL would not have dedicated resources to implementing voice without evidence that a very significant % of users, and perhaps a majority, wanted it. ”

    Writen proof right there that it will divide SL totaly. “them” and “us” Nice going..
    I personally dont give a hoot if LL implement it. (1k L$ says it wont work anyway :p ) So there ya go Giulio, there’s now “us” “them” and “the others who couldnt careless and just want SL to be realiable” 😉

  520. The XO says:

    I cannot believe the sheer arrogance of some of the comments on here, such as “it’s not a problem” or “just disable it” or “you’re pretending to be something you’re not”

    That is not the issue here!

    Yes, sometimes it is like talking to a brick wall as someone said…. I think people who want to keep typing have also listened and responded to the “pro voice” few. However, those “voicers” don’t seem to want to pay attention of the “typers” or the broader social, yes social implications this will have.

    If you don’t understand that there is more to SL that it being a platform, a tool, etc then I really don’t think you’ll ever understand, and it’s not just about people who like to “RP” either.

    Broccoli and Stefano, along with others (sorry, too many to mention) have made some really good points here – so before jumping in with “all keys blazing”, start at the top of the blog and read through.

    As for the ridicule that some have decided to post (mentioning no names in particular) I feel that is uncalled for. No, SL is not like RL – thats for certain. Thats why it works, thats why it’s popular.

    Well I guess this is really going to be a case of “get of my SIM if you’re a typer/talker”. The two will not mix together, that is for sure… as I have said imagine trying to have a conversation with a group of talkers when you’re typing – nearly impossible and the same the other way around – very irritating to typers to have someone rambling on and shouting causing a disruption.

    This will split SL, and this time it will be a massive devide (unlike furry sub-culture as it’s been put), this will literally create a “them” and “us” or “haves and have nots” type of mentality with certain SIM’s being unusable for some.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…. people don’t come to SL for a dose of “extra RL” – they come to be in SL, to be in the world that everyone has created in an almost perfect image. The reason I feel so passionatley about this is because here in SL, maybe we’ll have a chance to get it right for once, as we don’t seem to be able to do that in RL.

    It is the end of the world as we know it, and no, I don’t feel fine…..

  521. The XO says:

    The only thing I hope is that;

    1. It doesn’t work and never comes to fruition
    2. If it does get implemented, it’s such utter cack that no one bothers to use it!
    3. People decide they just don’t want it, so don’t use it
    4. If it does split/ruin SL, then maybe the Lindens will look back and say “ooops, they did try to tell us”

    I think it’s important to listen to the userbase, as being so involved and “up close” with the SL project they (Lindens) “cannot see the wood for the trees”.

    Yes I understand Lindens spend time in world, but as much as the rest of us? Probably not… so please, at least listen and consider the opinions of your users that make SL what it is.

  522. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

    Having never done any other online program – ever, this is just fine. Let’s have the Lindens work through the SL terrorists that now destroy entire SIMS first. Voice is W A Y down the list.

  523. #479: Kathy – “My AV in SL is an extension and reflection of my personality. What I say and do in SL has more to do with who I am as a person rather than what I look like in RL. I don’t need nor do I want to know what you look like or sound like. If you treat me with respect for my choices then I will do the same for you. If you are not willing to accept that, then, please, just go your own way and leave me alone.”

    Exactly. In SL (and also in RL), I accept people on their own terms. If you do not think I need to know what you look like in RL, then I don’t think I need to know it. I have many good friends in SL who do not choose to reveal their gender, age or look. I respect their choice and never ask. If they do not want to skype or meet in RL, of course I assume they do not want to reveal their age, gender, or something else, but think “this is none of my business” and continue to value them as VR-only friends.

    But this is, I think, what every normal and decent human being would do. Many people here are making the very wrons assumption that other SL residents are sociopathic thugs out to get them. This is wrong, most of us are normal people like you.

  524. #484 “people don’t come to SL for a dose of “extra RL”

    Wrong assumption. People come to SL for many different reasons, including a dose of “extra RL”. For example I frequently come to SL to meet friends and people on the other side of the planet, in VR settings that look real enough to suspend disbelief. We meet for both fun and business, we use external voice systems like skype and teamspeak, and we all want the native voice option to be implemented as soon as possible.

    Since I do not question why you come to SL – you are, from my point of you, warmly welcome to come to SL for whatever reason you choose, I do not really understand why you question why I come to SL. As they say it should be everybody’s world.

  525. Rex Cronon says:

    oh, I think I know why voice chat was added.
    There needs to be a “SL Idol” contest:)

  526. I’ve never known Linden Lab to say “oops sorry” when something we told, begged, bribed and shouted to them not to do turned out to be a huge pile of steaming rectal output.

    Maybe we should add llApologise() to the LSL request list? Or will it always return a Null answer?

    Broccoli

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