The Drax Files 38: economic empowerment in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

I found this article interesting – more so for the conversation between Inara and Drax that she shared after the video than the video itself.

In the video, Eboni Khan says that SL has a very low entry barrier for businesses.  I agree – you can set up an in-world store or one on Marketplace in minutes.  However, that doesn’t guarantee that your business will be successful.

With the advent of mesh (and having to learn related programs like Blender or Maya or Z-brush or the like), I feel like the barrier to having a successful business has increased.  Maybe it has, maybe it hasn’t.

When I first landed in SL, most creating was done in-world.  When I started looking into making clothing, I realized I would need to learn Photoshop to really do it well.  So I began learning Photoshop.

To make clothing these days, it needs to be mesh.  Yes, there are still those who prefer system clothing, but most prefer mesh.  You can buy templates of course, but to be an ‘original’ creator you need to make your own.

That means learning a 3D modeling program, learning how to rig the clothes to the SL avatar and all the various mesh bodies (something that almost everyone seems to find horribly tedious, if my Plurk timeline is to be believed), and then dealing with things that sound difficult – UV unwrapping, making your AO maps, then dealing with textures, including spec and normal maps in addition to the traditional diffuse maps.  It’s enough to make your head spin.

In addition to all of that, it would seem then that people would, of necessity, spend more time in out-world programs (like Blender) than they do in-world.

What about you? Do you feel it is more difficult now than before to have a successful business in SL? 

The 38th video of The Drax Files World Makers arrived on Wednesday, June 8th, focusing on fashion designer Eboni Khan, who has been designing women’s apparel for the last decade, marketing it…

Source: The Drax Files 38: economic empowerment in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

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4 thoughts on “The Drax Files 38: economic empowerment in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

  1. Not to mention the most important factor….that you are creative and in tune with what would be a design that would make a person want to buy.

    1. True – like Inara mentioned in the article, there is much more that goes into running a successful SL (or RL) – marketing, social media, accounting, creativity – not everyone can be good at everything! 🙂

  2. I think a fair percentage of folks came into SL wanting the social aspects firstly, maybe the titillation if they’re really honest, and there are many personal reasons for that which really shouldn’t be judged. After they had got over that (burned, spit out or whatever), then they might see the creative possibilities and that they might make a bit of real life money out of it, maybe achieve some virtual fame if that’s what floats their boat. That’s more than enough of a temptation to get going on the creative front. Yes, it was much easier at one time to create – although you’ve always had to have had the “omg that is cool” factor to really take off. It is a huge learning process nowadays, all the Events want original mesh which requires that a designer learns a 3D generation program such as Blender or Maya, then there’s photoshop, gimp, paintshop and all the more expensive graphics programs so that you stand out. And it becomes something quite different to what one might have originally intended. In fact, for some designers, it becomes a job with all the marketing, stress and keeping up with everyone else and it’s no different to what they were trying to get away from back in real life. I’ve heard that story oft repeated by various designers I’ve talked to who are nothing more than stuck to the building platformers. In the meantime, the not so talented rest of us stand on the sidelines and wonder what the heck happened to the game, why it got so competitive and serious. Art, however you define it, is at least supposed to be enjoyable. But when you add all the rush to be successful just because… it makes me question the whole ethos of what SL has turned into.

    1. Yes, I agree – SL should be a place you go for enjoyment. And I know there are plenty of creators who have alts for that very reason. I’m not as social in SL as I used to be, either – I tend to stay on my platform and work as well. I think perhaps the original draw was fun, but as RL has changed, people are looking for creative (and fun!) ways to support themselves, and SL is certainly a way to do that. Now if I could just figure out how to do it myself! 😛

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