Linden Labs recently announced pricing and policy changes regarding the Openspace feature in its Second Life virtual world. Starting January 1, 2009, the upfront fee is being raised from $250 to $375, while the monthly maintenance fee is being raised from $75 to $125. As expected, numerous Second Life denizens are pissed off (a medical term) about the increase. GigaOM has reported that players are holding virtual protests over the new fees. Some players are holding protest signs, others are lighting themselves on fire, and some are moving to OpenSim, a Second Life competitor. Wagner James Au writes:
"Within 24 hours of the price hike announcement, more than 800 frustrated SL users, including influential members of the community, had registered with an attractive OpenSim variation. 'I’m moving to OpenSim!' has already become the metaverse version of the 'I’m moving to Canada!' threat we hear every U.S. Presidential election."
I never "got" Second Life. It always seemed overhyped and boring as hell to me. That said, it's cool that its players are so into it. It's even cooler that they're being active instead of apathetic about changes their perceive to be unfair. Viva la resistance!