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    I think you are 'spot on' about the ease of use when talking about Zinga and others. It has been covered here before about the work it takes to learn to use some of the 3D environments and especially some of the massive downloads. Entropia is a 6 gig download! Also there is no standard for controls, in-world rules, etc. I have heard the arguments that the controls are simple to use and that is the end-user's problem, but that attitude is why those places fail, in my opinion. ZInga appeals to the end user because it is simple to use, you don't have to even leave your social network to play, etc. The user has to climb a learning curve for Entropia, SL, Blue Mars. Not to mention that as these games/worlds are requiring more and more computer power to run. It's like they assume everyone has a rippingly fast connection and a gamer level computer. Unfortunately alot of people are still running internet surfing machines with embedded video and these won't work well with the new worlds. They can play Yoville and such easily with these machines. The old saying is true K.I.S.S (Keep it simple stupid).I have been watching dis-placed There people trying out Blue Mars for the last couple of days and listening to their complaints about lag, speed, etc. It points to the fact that people want to just launch and go. They don't want a complicated set of instructions and heavy downloads. Others may say that it is the users fault, but I think that with that fact known, virtual worlds must pay attention whether they think the users are ignorant or not.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Casual games fit the schedules of cube dwellers who sneak in a round in as much time as they check email. Simplicity is key as you and Bruce point out, but also low and non-intense asynchornous engagement.

    The game can't be the scheduler. Bluntly the cliche that applies is "I have a first life. I don't need a second life." The hype cycle that IBM's Sam Palimpsano generated with the millions he gave Wladavsky-Berger to become a faux VR prophet and the subsequent piling on of new consultants ("metaverse futurists") didn't help the perception that there is something flakey about wanting to be a gnome warlock.


    GAMES are played by many
    Platforms that demand people MAKE the game for them FIRST- will be played by much fewer...

    why?-- er.. theres no games.
    why? - er. all the vc money did was pay for some tools and some hype.

    I do agree that light-weight worlds are a general direction that we will see growing. But I don't think that rich clients are going to go away. Rather, they are going to specialize more - a light-weight client for rapid access, and a rich-client for more involved activites (perhaps highly detailed content creation).

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