Divorce news brings surge of Second Life signups

An old saying goes "There's no such thing as bad press, so long as they spell your name right" which is normally attributed to P.T.Barnum, but there are a few quotes attributed to Barnum that weren't his, so we'll take that with a grain of salt. Right now, it seems more proper to say "There's no such thing as bad press, so long as there's a whiff of salaciousness about it."

The mainstream media's spent the last few days spreading around a story about a UK couple who are getting a divorce because the husband apparently won't stop fooling around online. Maybe she was taking it too seriously. Maybe he wasn't taking it seriously enough. Either way, it is serious enough now.

Now, much of the actual reporting about the couple, their situation, and Second Life (their most recent haunt) is pretty much utter tripe. Badly researched, poorly informed twaddle, really. But that doesn't matter, because it is causing a bit of a veritable torrent of new signups to Linden Lab's virtual world.

User-run new-user-support groups have been encountering difficult-to-manage numbers of new users who are trying to figure out the service, and are working to try to attend to as many of the new users as possible to ease their initial experience. Some Second Life volunteers say that the new user orientations "are beyond overloaded". Signups have as much as quadrupled over the usual rates.

It is quite possible (and indeed even likely) that nearly every one of those new users will be lost when they regretfully discover that Second Life just isn't all about sex.

Anyone who thinks that the ordinary person in the street wouldn't be intrigued by such titillating and salacious tales ... probably doesn't really know people very well.


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This article was originally published on Massively.