During the last few years I've had people ask about Second Life, the 3-D virtual world you can access through your computer. Now, last May I wrote a piece about this unusual environment titled "Sitting Around in Second Life," ...
Nice introduction to what SecondLife is and how to use it, include video embeds.
UA students step into virtual city Arizona Daily Wildcat While Virtual Harlem already exists and is open to anyone who wishes to create a personalized avatar on OpenSimulator and participate in the virtual world, students will be able to contribute...
While Virtual Harlem already exists and is open to anyone who wishes to create a personalized avatar on OpenSimulator and participate in the virtual world, students will be able to contribute to the world through the virtual class next year. The content students create, including artwork, music, presentations and poetry, will remain in Virtual Harlem.
DrFran Babcock is seeking insight from oldbies as part of a project entitled “The SL Oldbie Project“. What is the SL Oldbie project? Well I’ll let DrFran’s words explain it a little:
“My aim, in attempting to contact early members of SL, is to explore what the experience was like for them. Things now are so different than they were when I rezzed in 2006. I can’t imagine what it was like to operate in a world that really was being created by the people who lived in it in 2002, 2003, and 2004. I am hoping that a number of interviews with oldbies will shine a light on the birth of this virtual world.”
Evidence is piling up about the many ways in which our virtual lives spill over into our actual lives. A new study, for example, finds that those who immerse themselves into robotic avatars in role-playing video games for significant periods of time grow significantly more resistant to pain in their actual lives. Hidebound traditionalists find this difficult to stomach, but they can no more hold back a civilisational shift towards virtual worlds that they could restrain the march of mobiles or social media.
This Tuesday, we have a very special event scheduled: our first ever Guy Fawkes Day celebration! To keep the event I/C, we've given the familiar tale a slight retelling, to better fit into the Neo-verse.
Time: 5 November 2013 from 6pm to 9pm, SL-time Location: NeoLondon Town Hall [NeoVictoria SIM] Event Type: in-character, party, (known, and unknown characters welcome) Organized By: Myomy Resident and Kitiarafox Resident
We're inviting new players to this event and we're hoping to get a large crowd of regulars together for some IC fun. Read the full post for some I/C "history" on the holiday.
On Saturday October 19th, a panel of legal experts – real-life attorneys – sat down at the Rose Theatre, Angel Manor in Second Life to discuss the August 15th changes to the Second Life Terms of Service, address questions on the matter and remove some of the FUD which has built-up around the subject.
The article has links to the real-time recording and a helpful overview of what was covered in each.
The latest development this week relating to the recent TOS change that Linden Lab made is that The United Content Creators of Second Life group council has sent a letter email to Linden Lab to request a meeting to work things out. The letter has been to sent to Rod Humble and to Peter Gray. Hopefully soon they will respond and they will start to resolve TOS related issues/concerns that the SL community has.
I don't see any upside for the Lab meeting with anyone about this ToS change; it would just open them up hightened liability if someone decides to sue. Still, its good to see some of the SL users trying to engage them.
The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 28,186 regions, a new record high and an increase of 578 regions since this time last month. They also reported 309,792 total registered users and 18,442 active users this month, a total of 281 new registered users and 520 new active users.
If we look at the actual behavioral patterns and actions from Linden Lab, their priority is to foster that diversification of the company into something different (and ultimately valuable for acquisition or IPO at a later date). We already see this ongoing with siphoning off the profits from Second Life to fund unrelated products such as rebranding the company as not a virtual environment company but a games company, complete with its own distribution platform (Desura). This is something that is expected and taken straight from the playbook of Electronic Arts.
From the playbook is not a games publisher that likes to play nice with pre-existing content distribution methods (like Steam) or even their own community, but instead just making their own everything or transferring IP to themselves and cutting out the creators (When they bought out the company responsible for Plants vs Zombies, they immediately fired the whole team and kept the IP). For Electronic Arts, the distribution platform is called Origin
Will Burns opines the only way to force Linden Labs to rethink their new ToS is the reality of a Class Action lawsuit.
Asil Note: I had some issues getting it to load on Firefox, but that might have been a problem on the ISSUU platform when I visited the first time, because its working for me now. It looks great, nice cross-section of articles and lots of well-done photos.
Bixyl Shuftan traveled to Inworldz this week to interview Tuna Oddfellow and Shava Suntzu about their move there following the closing of their show the "Odd Ball" in Second Life. They talked about why they made the decision to move their performance, and why other residents should take heed about the content creator property rights in Second Life issue.
Interesting read on why these creators decided to abandon Second Life, following Linden Lab's decision to change their ToS so "all your creations belong to us".
Ain't No Wedding Like An Incredible World Of Warcraft Cosplay Wedding Kotaku Reader Craig was married in Taiwan the other day. His wedding, as you can probably guess from the headline and images, was not your normal, everyday nuptials.
The reaction we saw from CGTextures and Renderosity is disproportionate and, especially in Renderosity’s case, it crosses the line and shows a petty, overly dramatic and essentially bullying attitude towards the very people that paid Renderosity good money to buy its stock content
Under the terms of the class action settlement, Linden Research has agreed to return up to 100 percent of the U.S. dollar balances in the Class Members’ accounts to their PayPal accounts within 10 days of establishing the validity of the claim. Linden will also return up to 100 percent of the balance of linden dollars by converting them to U.S. dollars and will waive Second Life’s commissions on the currency exchange. Linden Research also agreed to pay for virtual property and virtual items once the validity of each claim is determined.
Invisible Cities is a mixed reality opera playing in Los Angeles' Union Station, and if you can attend this weekend or next week (when the show ends its run) you absolutely should. It's easily the best live public art I've...
SL News Alert At some point late yesterday night (24th October 2013) Peter Gray who is the Director of Global Communications of Linden Lab sent an email response back to Kylie Sabra regarding the concerns that the ...
Mike Leopard, creator of the iDreamsNet Hypergrid List Two of my biggest challenges when exploring Hypergrid-connected regions across the multitude of Opensim-based grids have always been: 1) finding places where people are currently visiting and...
With the recent elimination of the 4096 region distance bug, there’s no need anymore to complicate Hypergrid directories with grid coordinates or “upper, middle, lower” categories. Now, anyone can jump from any Hypergrid location to any other Hypergrid location.
Researchers at Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab is researching how sexualized depictions of women in video games can make women feel like they are objects, and that it may alter their perception on myths related to rape.
The research by Bailenson and Fox suggests playing sexualized avatars in virtual worlds "changes the way you think about yourself online and offline." ... "It used to be passive and you watched the characters," Bailenson noted. "You now enter the media and become the protagonist. You become the characters."
After the new TOS came out I had to decide if I still felt comfortable being associated with the LEA, not the members but rather the concept. One thing I do in both first life and Second Life is try to convince artists that they and their art are worth something. You see, artists are quite often taken advantage of. People will pay a plumber to fix a sink or a roofer to fix a roof because it is a skill they do not possess themselves, and they accept and recognize that. However, most people also can not paint pictures as an example, yet they will suggest that it would be great "exposure" to put things in their Law Office or Hotel. When I was just out of art school I was convinced to do 25 pen and ink drawings for an expensive coffee table book.. for "exposure". They thanked me in the back of the book. And somehow I felt like they did me a favour. They probably paid everyone else but me.
Well known artist Bryn Oh announced today that she has decided to step down from her position at the Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA). One of the founding members of the LEA, Bryn says her departure was directly prompted by the recent and controversial changes in Linden Lab's Terms of Service, in particular the revamped Section 2.3, summarized well by Inara Pey back on September 11. (Many other bloggers have also discussed the implications of the ToS changes.) Whether Bryn's gesture will add any fuel to this fire remains to be seen, but in the meantime I would like to express my thanks to Bryn for her work with the LEA and for advancing the arts in Second Life.
Asil Insight: How sad that Bryn Oh is leaving LEA (one of the best of the Lab's outreach programs). Sad for Linden Labs and for the Second Life community. But is good to see an artist stand by their principles. Linden Labs could take a lesson from their example.
Hypergrid Business New OpenSim release supports groups, export perms Hypergrid Business A new official release of the OpenSimulator server software was released yesterday, version 0.7.6, with out-of-the-box support for groups and profiles, many...
Tired of seeing your content be carried to other grids via hypergrid teleport? This new version of OpenSim supports export permissions, first developed by Avination and Singularity back in March.
Curators Futurecity launch Paynes & Borthwick Gallery – a real-time virtual replica of an actual gallery space, due for completion in autumn this year, at the Paynes & Borthwick development project on the banks of the River Thames in West...
I tried to visit the virtual gallery [http://unitytest.gopagoda.com/wp/?page_id=15] and got a "505 Error Not Found" page. Seems like a cool idea, but not so much if its not working. Are you able to get the gallery to load? I'm using Firefox v24 with the newest JAVA and Flash plug-ins. Also tried with Opera and Internet Explorer. Same error on all three browsers.
4 Oct 2013 Update: The page now has a link to http://unity3d.com/webplayer/ .. appears to require that we install this software to get it to play. I have to do some research on the plug-in before I decide on installing it. Generally, I won't install a web plug-in that doesn't show up on the Firefox Add-In boards. When I search those for "Unity Technologies" or for the "Unity Web Player" I don't get any hits.
The only other thing I can think of is if they were planning on closing down second life and selling it. I imagine, theoretically, they could sell it for more if they owned the entire thing from code to content. A new owner would have the freedom to make drastic changes if they had to, but perhaps without that new TOS they could be wary of being handcuffed.
Here's a sad breadcrumb: "...it seems Madpea might leave as a result of these new terms."
Maybe if enough quality creators leave, the Lab will re-think this new ToS.