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Town Hall 3/20/03

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Philip Linden Economy Q&A Transcript (3/20/03)
Economy Q&A Transcript
Economy Q&A with Philip Linden, 3/20/03
"You" is Peter Linden

You: Economy!
You: The reason you are all here today
You: [The economy was designed] to fairly divide up the resources of the world - land, objects, the ability to move
great distances quickly
You: The economy was also designed with positive incentives for activities which help the SL society grow and prosper
You: This would include things like object decay and recycling, increased bonus with high reputation and lower land
taxes for communities of people who live next to one another.
You: Our goal is to continually balance the economy so residents have many ways of making money and have an
understanding of what costs money and why
You: Overall while every aspect of the economy not might be the most fun part of Second Life we want to ensure that
it doesn#t confuse or overly frustrate residents
Philip Linden: Good overview, Peter!
You: Philip, the stage is yours......
Philip Linden: Perhaps I can say Hi first!
Philip Linden: Its nice to see you all here what a crowd!
Philip Linden: So I've got a big list of questions from the forums...
Philip Linden: And I brought along some data on these slides
Philip Linden: you can see how quickly this is becoming YOUR world
Tcoz Bach: Powerpoint comes to Second Life ack!
Billie Sunchaser: lol
Philip Linden: Resident owned stuff is like 90% of sales...
Philip Linden: pretty impressive
Philip Linden: The economy is about resource balancing and making the world collectively fun
Philip Linden: So that is ideally what it should be doing.
Philip Linden: We think the overall design is OK, but lots of tuning to do.
Philip Linden: You've seen us make a number of changes in the last few weeks...
Philip Linden: We're simplifying the land pricing, and also stabilizing the stipends...
Philip Linden: so that they don't change dramatically with the number of users coming in.
Philip Linden: That was good feedback from you all.
Philip Linden: Also we're going to change the voting stations to always give out a fixed total $
Philip Linden: Rather than the $/vote we see today.
Philip Linden: So these are a few upcoming changes.
Philip Linden: I've got a list of questions...
Philip Linden: But why don't we just take a few...
Philip Linden: If you want to ask a Q, chat Q...
Alexis Fairchild: How will the new economic structure affect the people who like to hold events?
Alexis Fairchild: A lot of those people rely on vote payoffs
Philip Linden: The voting stations probably affect even holding the most,
Philip Linden: as they are what people are using to make money at events
Philip Linden: as i mentioned, we are going to make the voting stations all divvy up a single $/amount per night
Philip Linden: This means you will want to pick a less busy night (unless you are really popular!!)
Philip Linden: So it should level amongst nights. Does that make sense?
Philip Linden: Every night the voting stations will allocate the same total $.
Philip Linden: So this means if there are lots of total votes, you will get less $/vote.
Philip Linden: And if less, more.
Philip Linden: So if you have a party on wednesday, and nobody else does, you get more $$
bUTTONpUSHER Jones: there was a discussion to limit the nuber of reputation votes each person can give out. this
would make reputation meaningful, and encourage good behavior rather than bad. what are your thoughts?
Philip Linden: Indeed... limiting votes per person is an interesting idea.
Philip Linden: But of course assigning a number is tough... everyone type Y or N if they like that or not...
Philip Linden: Quick survey...

[audience votes]
Y: bUTTONpUSHER Jones, Dave Zeeman, Kerstin Taylor, Valfaroth Grimm, Masaka Yamamoto, Darwin Appleby, Cailyn Miller,
Alexis Fairchild
N: Nexus Nash, Kyalisu Sunchaser, Josh Starseeker, Dionysus Starseeker, Billie Sunchaser, shelah Sunshine, BuhBuhCuh
Fairchild, juicysquid Omega, Misnomer Jones

Philip Linden: Let us think about a design on that a bit...
Philip Linden: I'll take a note, think, and perhaps post to forum...
Philip Linden: We'll think about something
Dave Zeeman: How about a way to see what our base and bonus stipends are even if we aren't making them in full?...
Dave Zeeman: That greatly affects how much I purchase
Dave Zeeman: that's for sure
Philip Linden: OK... thats a good point.
Philip Linden: We'll see if we can get something more prominent into the account history.
Masaka Yamamoto: I'm curious as to how you will deal with the buy/selling of items, if perhaps (and this is
hypothetical) everyone learns to code their own
Masaka Yamamoto: It more or less kills the buying market if someone can just copy someone's else design.
Philip Linden: Code their own? Can you explain a bit?
Philip Linden: Oh I see...
Philip Linden: M, you can't copy objects which are set 'no copy'.
Masaka Yamamoto: Script their own weapons to make them better, so if they see a weapon then they can surpass it with
an equally good/better weapon.
Philip Linden: Even once they are sold.
Philip Linden: For clothing there is a bug that we need to add this capability... but with all else,
Philip Linden: You can restrict permissions in the object panel.
Philip Linden: But there are a few bugs... we'll get em.
Philip Linden: So you can definitely control your own stuff.
Darwin Appleby: I like that it's a virtual democracy, where no crime is allowed by rules setI like that it's a
virtual democracy, where no crime is allowed by rules set up by administrators. Thats what people have been after for
a long time.
Philip Linden: Thanks, D.
Philip Linden: Our goal is to make it your world.
Darwin Appleby: The thing here is, dishonosty and being a meanie is still possible. There should be some kind of
trial of just being mean or dishonest.
Philip Linden: Central controls are to be minimal
Philip Linden: I think as we have zoned areas we will look into that.
Darwin Appleby: ok
Philip Linden: Folks living in areas will be able to hold trials, put others in jail, etc.
Darwin Appleby: great
Philip Linden: Imagine the wild west jail!
Philip Linden: But restricted to areas... not everywhere/global.
Philip Linden: OK... next?
Alexis Fairchild: There was talk that certain sims will have higher costs to build than others... will this include
mature sims, or just certain portions of sims?
Philip Linden: It will not be limited to mature sims....
Philip Linden: The pricing of land and ratings of sims don't need to be related.
Philip Linden: More/less expensive sims just seem cool... a good variation to have.
Philip Linden: So we will try them out, and ultimately let you all decide pricing.
BuhBuhCuh Fairchild: Im interested if you guys may have thought of giving us an infrastructure to control rental type
of agreements, and contracts and such
Philip Linden: Ah... contracts!
Philip Linden: Yes I agree we need contracts and escrow agents, right?
Philip Linden: We are going to put those things in, but probably not for a while.
Philip Linden: But totally get that we need to do it.
BuhBuhCuh Fairchild: hah, I'm alreaady renting
Philip Linden: I know... BBC the slum lord.
You: What are the different ways I can earn money?
Philip Linden: OK... to make money you can:
Philip Linden: Get a stipend (just wait its weekly), do a civic project...
Philip Linden: Sell things to others,
Philip Linden: Put in a voting station, or have parties.
Philip Linden: Win K's lottery...
Philip Linden: The list goes on!
You: next forum question....
You: What happens if my account balance goes negative?
Philip Linden: Now thats a good one!
Philip Linden: You can never go below -$1000.
Philip Linden: We stop taxes there... unlike RW it make no sense to be deep in debt.
Philip Linden: I'll let you all think about why.
You: How do the leaderboards impact stipend and bonus?
Philip Linden: The general idea is that doing 'good' in the world should give you a bonus...
Philip Linden: so that for example great builders can build more.
Philip Linden: So what the system does is adds up a number of reputation stats,
Philip Linden: and gives a bonus on that result.
Philip Linden: Reputation can be in behavior, building, or appearance.
Philip Linden: Yes....
Philip Linden: The rate mining problem is a standard
Philip Linden: thing one sees in all economies
Philip Linden: Where one thing can be swapped for another.
Philip Linden: But we will look at ways to weaken that behavior...
Philip Linden: Like the limits we discussed at start of this meeting.
Philip Linden: So I think there are good statistical things we can do.
You: What are the main goals considered in the design of the economy, and what kinds of weights are given to each of
those considerations. To put it another way, what kind of behaviour is the economy supposed to encourage?
Philip Linden: Right!
Philip Linden: So of course we are still tuning all this, but...
Philip Linden: The economy should encourage generally appealing behavior, and fun sites/building/events
Philip Linden: So the voting stations and reputation capture that
Philip Linden: (with the bugs we mentioned)
You: another forum question......
You: How close do you think the current economic system is to the final system?
Philip Linden: The overall design is quite solid, but we will still tune the variables
Philip Linden: Scripting [as a separate ratings category]... thats an interesting idea... didn't feel like it was a
separate category.
You: whats the deal with height tx?
Philip Linden: OK... so that's a good one!
Philip Linden: Height is kindof a social priviledge (like teleporting)!
Philip Linden: Its fun to do, but not everyone wants everyone to do it.
You: or see it
Philip Linden: Fun to build high, but not always fun it its your neighbor.
Philip Linden: So we thought more $ for tax with height was the right design.
Philip Linden: And thats what we did... do all agree?
Valfaroth Grimm: where doe sthe height tax start?
Philip Linden: Oh thats a great one... !
Philip Linden: Height measure is above ground level.
Philip Linden: OK lets talk about disasters.
Philip Linden: Natural disasters seem fun, but they might wreck content work...
Philip Linden: And since building is so hard/special/rewarding, there doesn't seem a good way to do it!
Philip Linden: Yeah grid crashes are the tornados
You: When (if? no, when) this game goes big, Linden dollars will start to have a real value for people. They will
show up on ebay and so on. What will be the Linden Labs policy towards this? Encouragement? Tacit acceptance? Do
everything possible to stop it?
Philip Linden: This is a big question... will we sue ebay?
Philip Linden: The answer is NO
Philip Linden: We will not interfere with commerce between users.
Philip Linden: So if you sell L$ thats your choice.
Philip Linden: But we didn't want it to be something we sold, so that all would initially be even.
Philip Linden: We want money to equal WORTH in-world, not RL.
You: What changes in behaviour do you expect to see, in terms of sale of goods and services when the game moves from
a few players in an "everybody knows everybody" society to thousands of players?
Philip Linden: Well when we have 1000s here (and with your help we will!)...
Philip Linden: The economy will of course become more stable.
Philip Linden: Large wealth will become increasingly interesting.
Philip Linden: But we think things will not change tremendously
Philip Linden: Yes darwin?
Darwin Appleby shouts: I like max govermnet participation, so why not have government jobs held by citzens?
Philip Linden: Which would you like to see?
Darwin Appleby: maybe treasury
Darwin Appleby: or tax
Philip Linden: Thats funny!
Philip Linden: What about venture money... here is a question?
Philip Linden: Would you all like to see users funding projects, or Lindens funding projects?
Philip Linden: Its an interesting question.
Alexis Fairchild: I think that certain projects, like George's Washintom Monument should be Linden funded
Philip Linden: Probably it will be both.
Tcoz Bach: If there weren't a lot of project getting funded maybe Linden could add some
Philip Linden: But I am curious as to thoughts.
BuhBuhCuh Fairchild: NO LINDEN FUNDING!!!
You: What changes in behaviour do you expect to see, in terms of sale of goods and services Misnomer, you had a
Jean Cook: lindens need to hand out less money I think
Philip Linden: So less Linden participation in investment?
Jean Cook: in the real world you dont get paid to have a party or an event
Misnomer Jones: If I by a square for 50 it stays 50 even if later local values soar
Philip Linden: How about a mechanism for setting a price on your land?
Philip Linden: Would folks like to see that?
Philip Linden: We still have to release/buy...
Philip Linden: So there is no way to sell.
Philip Linden: Is that what you want, M?
Misnomer Jones: release should be at current local pricing not at purchase price is what Im getting at
Philip Linden: I see....
Philip Linden: M... there is a bit of that already...
Misnomer Jones: I think it s/b like now for public land, supply & demand
Philip Linden: Neighbors affect each other's taxes.
Misnomer Jones: only for owned land too
Philip Linden: So that is sorta similar.
Jean Cook: I would like inactive accounts to have land and objects deleted
You: jean, that will happen
Philip Linden: Yes, J, we are doing that.
Jean Cook: awsomre
Bel Muse: when does the feeding fenzy begin?
Philip Linden: In beta it is hard, cause noone is paying yet...
Philip Linden: So hard to define in/out.
Philip Linden: Right... we have to be careful with that.
Philip Linden: Yes... we are going to think about that problem too.
Misnomer Jones: so is dynamic land pricing for owned land going to be considered? please?
Philip Linden: misnomer... we'll think about how to do that. Post a thread too.
Misnomer Jones: I have
You: OK, its starting to get late
Philip Linden: I want to stage dive!
You: so many thanks for showing up
Philip Linden: Into the arms of my adoring audience!
You: support@
You: Please use the header
You: "Economy Questions"
You: so I don't lose it among all the others
Philip Linden: We'll start doing this regularly....
Misnomer Jones: Thanks for listening to us and being responsive
Dave Zeeman: awesome
Philip Linden: Make it a regular thing!
Philip Linden: This is a great way to talk... OK can I dive?
Dave Zeeman: yep!
You: thanks for comming, we are motivated by you guys
bUTTONpUSHER Jones: yea!
Catherine Omega: woo, philip!
Sinatra Cartier: can i get
Philip Linden: Thanks for having me!!!
Sinatra Cartier: can i get an autograph
Jean Cook: philip i think i love you
You: yahooo!
bUTTONpUSHER Jones: lol
Catherine Omega: hahaha
shelah Sunshine: lol
bUTTONpUSHER Jones: repelled!
Sassy Apple: hahahha
Alexis Fairchild: Thanks a lot Phillip and Peter
Kyalisu Sunchaser: implement crowdsurfing!! :P
Philip Linden: Do you guys want better fee controls?
Jean Cook: lol
Dave Zeeman: YES
Casval Epoch: You can still walk up to teh side of teh building and people can hear whatever's going on
Philip Linden: We'll build some stuff.... good feedback.
Catherine Omega: I've been saying for a while that an "object contents" option is a good way of fixing things like
Philip Linden: How do you mean, C?
Catherine Omega: if you could take a cube, apply a 100% alpha texture to it and define it as "indoor", which would be
like phantom, only less so.
Catherine Omega: then you could script it to only allow certain users in... keep weather out (or even make a cube of
fog or water)
Sassy Apple: would be nice to see in rain in world once in awhile
Philip Linden: rain... OK. We used to have that actually
Sassy Apple: well bring it back
Philip Linden: OK we'll look at rain.
Catherine Omega: object contents, Philip. Trust me, it's the way to go.
Philip Linden: I see, C... .
Philip Linden: I will think on that.

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