Tuesday, March 31, 2020

News and Commentary: Coronavirus Shut-ins Leading to Slower Internet, and Slower Second Life

When the news stories of people being told to stay at home started going around, social introverts whom felt happier online than engaging in plenty of public events could be forgiven for feeling a little smug. While extroverts would have to struggle to get used to the routine, people whom already spent a lot of time on the Internet and other places such as online gaming and virtual worlds, notably Second Life, seemingly wouldn't have to make any sacrifices.

But as it turns out, Internet introverts do have to give up something: the higher speeds they've been used to.

Articles, such as one in Fortune magazine, suggests that with more people using the Internet due to the people staying at home, the result is comparable to more traffic on a road leading to slowdowns. Several services such as Netflix and Youtube are reducing movie quality.

So what does this mean for Second Life? While periods of glitches and lag are nothing new to the virtual world, a number of my friends have told me it's been getting worse. While Sony made the decision to reduce downloading speed in response, Linden Lab is unlikely to mess with the quality of data transmission.

What can be done about all this lag? The best way is to go to one's Preferences and reduce quality, draw distance, or both. For those whom it's already low, they may have to avoid coming on peak times.

So it seems for now, we're having to deal with "Corona lag."

Sources: Fortune, PC Magazine

Bixyl Shuftan

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