Saturday, February 24, 2007

Proposed Singapore Island Sim in Second Life

Some people say that "Typical Singaporeans" cannot think for themselves. That Singaporeans tend to wait for the Government to tell them what to do. Well, either this bunch aren't your typical Singaporeans, or the "wait for things to happen" attitude is getting less pervasive.

The idea of a Singapore Sim in Second Life was first mooted at the Real Life meetup for Singaporean Second Lifers. Now we have people like Alvin & other SG SLifers who are getting the idea moving further from "talk" to "actualisation".

Alvin wrote that he's going to fund the Singapore Sim for a start, so that the idea can move forward. Hat tip to you, man!

There was no mention of any fund-raising efforts. Maybe Alvin recognises that fund-raising efforts might not go very far, plus the accountability (for the real cash that's raised) that goes with it.

But here's an idea -- raise funds not in terms of real-world dollars but in Lindens, L$ (the SecondLife currency).

I'm not sure if Linden Dollars could be used to offset the costs of maintaining a Sim. If not, it could go into buying goods or services for building Singapore Island.

So here's my pledge for the Singapore Sim: I'll donate at least 80% of sales proceeds from my works on SL Exchange. It's pittance, but at least I'll be able to do something meaningful with my L$.

I suggested earlier that the Singapore Sim could be funded in part by private and government funding. Just occurred to me the Singaporean Second Lifers (SgSLs) could try for the MICA Creative Community funding once the Singapore Sim is initiated.

Other things I'm prepared to contribute as part of setting up the Singapore Sim (I didn't promise that I'd be good at any of them; just that I'm prepared to offer it, heh):
  • Help set-up and staff the public library service in the Singapore Sim;
  • Give free "live" or recorded music concerts (tips will go towards Singapore Sim);
  • Help set-up, maintain & moderate (where necessary) an emailing list for SG SLifers. This list is open regardless if you've signed up for SL;
  • Assist in orientation tours for those new to the Singapore Sim;
  • Assist in organising & conducting Learning-related sessions in the Singapore Sim

BTW Alvin, how come I wasn't informed of the SL meetup? Did you "accidentally" forget me? LOL.

The cynics might think I'm using this opportunity to promote my items. Well, I seriously doubt if my sales will rocket by publicising it like this. I'm not likely to get rich from selling my stuff in Second Life, not at those prices.

I started selling my SL Guitars around Oct/ Nov 2006. Eight guitars have been sold thus far. At L$50 per SL guitar, and deducting the SL Exchange commission of L$3 per item sold, I've have L$376. That's USD$1.30 after four months.

But suppose sales really sky-rocket. Hundreds of thousands buy my SL guitars after learning about the fund raising efforts. What's to guarantee I'd be truthful when declaring my revenue figures? Other than myself, no one can look at the actual data. I might be hording 80% of the revenue, donating only 20% but yet declaring the opposite.

In truth, there's no way of knowing (short of me giving you access to the reports). All I can say is -- to paraphrase what Siva said to me -- in the online world, all you have is your credibility.

Same concerns apply to me as well, if I were to give my L$ to Alvin. How would I know he won't pocket the extra?

It's down to trust. This may not be much to go by, especially after the NKF Scandal. But I guess so long we do things with our eyes-open (i.e. fully aware of the risks), then it's our choice that matters.


  1. Didn't you get the email on group notices? Within SL, under the SL Singapore group information, General tab, if you didn't tick on "Receive Group Notices", probably that's why you're missing the emails on the notices I've sent.. :)

    Anyway, no worries, its never too late!

  2. Neat and thorough ideas... I'm sure many of us have thought about setting up a "virtual Singapore" in SL as well, it's just a case of who does it first. I'm totally supporting this idea and agree that we need to be creative with the representations to prevent real-world infringements of any sort. Let's do it! :)

  3. Not sure if this is something you guys wanna explore but i briefly ran this idea by a friend from STB (to see if they could sponsor it somehow) and she said it could be an interesting project.

    IM me: tyra fierrens

  4. Anonymous10:10 pm

    erm... FYI...
    this bunch of people ARE with the government.

  5. Correction, Anonymous: Although some of the SL Singapore members are employees of government agencies (myself included), the idea of a Singapore sim in SL is purely a grassroots effort, i.e. done in our personal capacities. Besides, there are quite a number of Government agencies, so working for one agency doesn't automatically mean we have access to another (we're far from being the "higher ups"). So contacts from people like Aileen is very much welcome. Thanks.


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