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Scott Moore

Hey, sorry I missed you when you were in th area. Glad to hear you had a chance to talk some with the L2 folks.

Want to watch an architect do a little mental dance when you discuss virtual worlds? Remind him that avatars don't need to use the toilet. You might be surprised how much design centers around things the placement and size of toilets and how many people are involved. Being free of this one constraint can seriously change the design of a space.

Personally, I think this is where online public space experiments have trouble translating to physical space. The physical and safety needs of being online (a computer; network access; a unique, secure and persistent identity) don't match up with the physiological and safety needs identified by Maslow. Folks tend to then ignore these basic needs and leap to the social ones. Eventually, these basic needs push themselves to the fore and undermine the loftiest of social goals as phone lines go down, systems stutter under load, accounts/passwords are stolen and privacy violated.

This isn't to say that Second Life or LindenLabs are going the wrong direction. I am saying that there's more to it than building a mock public space and expecting to translate patterns of use online with physical patterns of use.

How about using a mobile connection to emulate your mock-up inside a physical space? (Like, where are people when they ask to use the toilet, when are people stopping to talk to each other, etc.) This could assist in evolving a physical space.

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