Second Life splattered by Grey Goo

Written by Ryan Garside

November 20, 2006 | 11:33

Tags: #goo #grey #life #second #server #servers #virus

A plague of rings that self replicate has infected the virtual world of Second Life. It may not be the Black Death, but it's causing a bit of a stir for the people over at Linden Labs.

The problem, which has been caused by a worm attack named 'Grey Goo', is creating a massive load on the Second Life servers and thus slowing everything down. The worm works by creating what one user nicknamed 'Sonic Rings' which then replicate when players interact with them.

The official Second Life blog currently reports that the Linden Lab technicians are trying to fix the problem, taken from the site:

" [PST 2:44PM] An attack of self-replicators is causing heavy load on the database, which is in turn slowing down in-world activity. We have isolated the grey goo and are currently cleaning up the grid. We’ll keep you updated as status changes.

This is the second virus/bug to hit the Second Life world in recent weeks. Many Second Life users have abandoned the game (is it a game?) after the use of the CopyBot. This program allowed users to copy creations without paying any money to the original designers, leading to an uproar that Second Life Community Manager Robin Linden, had to address:

"This product has caused tremendous worry among content creators who want to understand how its use may possibly affect their business. In particular, they are concerned about theft of their creations, and the potential for unscrupulous people to undercut their prices and essentially take away their business."

These aren't the only troubles for the ever growing Second Life revolution. Many of the hardcore users are angered by the massive influx of 'tourists', people who sign up for free, jump into the world and spend no money. The problem, cry those who are trying to earn a living out of the game, is that the servers simply cannot take the 1.5 million or so users that are registered for the game.

That number is set to grow further still as the game's reach grows. We reported a few weeks ago that there will soon be a newspaper in the Second Life world and that Duran Duran performed a virtual concert – hell, maybe bit-tech should set up an office in Second Life?

Did you get a glimpse at the Grey Goo worm? Let us know in the forums.
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