The Watch – virtual worlds in the news

1. The Independent (UK) – Cybersex rules: Inside the world of ‘teledildonics’. “When I first deposited Journalist Hellershanks in Second Life, I wanted him to stand out. I gave him a shock of bright- orange hair, and a crisp white shirt, and I adjusted his height to about six-foot-four. He looked pretty good, I thought; but he was still missing something. And so, one morning earlier this month, I sent Hellershanks off to buy a penis.”

2. E-Commerce Times (USA) – Healthcare for Avatars? Medicine in the Metaverse. “In December 2007, Palomar Pomerado Health broke ground on a 600-bed hospital in Escondido, Calif. Just two months later, officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony, allowing patients, staff and others to tour Palomar Medical Center West and play with new technology deployed throughout the facility. No, this wasn’t the most rapid hospital construction in history. The ribbon cutting took place in Second Life, a 3-D, virtual world that exists entirely on the Web.”

3. CNET (USA) – Avatars to run Altadyn business meetings. “Altadyn, a company that specializes in 3D virtual-world creation platforms, announced on Tuesday that it has released a new product that will turn business meetings into a living virtual world. Dubbed Online Meeting, Altadyn’s service aims to bridge the gap between 3D virtual worlds and Web conferencing. The service offers basic conferencing features like shared presentations, instant messaging, and live conversation through Skype, but it believes its main selling point is that it uses the company’s 3DXplorer virtual platform to create a virtual world that resembles a conference room.”

4. New York Times (USA) – Immersion. “Photographer Robbie Cooper shows just how focused young video-game players can be.”

5. iTWire (Australia) – Second Suicide as Google drops bomb on Lively avatars. “Back in July, when news of the Google Lively launch reached us here at iTWire, we said that the immersive 3D world populated by avatars in which you could create your own space to chat sounded a lot like Second Life. In fact, we went as far a to call it a ‘me too avatar world’ which it really very much was. Not just Second Life but with shades of There.com and IMVU thrown in. ”

6. The Globe and Mail (Canada) – So much for my so-called second life. “My name is Edith Firanelli and I was born in Antarctica. I have short dark hair, which I hide under a wool tuque, and a hot, if unrealistically proportioned, body. I’ve got no money, no job, no home, no skills and no friends. The good news is, I can fly and teleport. The bad: I still occasionally walk into trees and buildings. I spend my days wandering around a strange, computer-generated landscape, having disjointed, acronym-heavy chit-chat with strangers called things like Dimitry Barbosa and Beautiful Barbara. Maybe one day I will fulfill my dream and get a job as a nightclub dancer (like I said, I have no skills), but until then I will stand around like a wallflower in the suburbs of cyberspace waiting for my controller to finish checking her e-mail. It’s an aimless existence, being an avatar, but someone’s got to do it.”

7. The Escapist (USA) – Over 100,000 PlayStation Home Invites Tonight. “The PlayStation Home team hit a milestone last night with the release of beta 1.0 for testers of Sony’s virtual world application for the PlayStation 3. While the release marks a series of improvements for the service, the real news for those outside the secret confines of Home is that tonight, over 100,000 beta invites for Home will be sent out to European PlayStation Network users.”

8. MSNBC (USA) – Second Life bank crash foretold financial crisis. “A string of bank collapses prompted Alan Greenspan, U.S. economic guru and former head of the Federal Reserve, to admit last month that lending institutions could not always be trusted to regulate themselves. He could have taken a cue sooner by looking at the 2007 collapse of Ginko Financial, a virtual investment bank in the online game “Second Life.”

9. Silicon Valley Insider (USA) – Exclusive: Why Reuters Left Second Life, And How Linden Lab Can Fix It. “So what happened? Is Second Life dying? No, but the buzz is gone. For all the sound and fury over recent price hikes and layoffs at Linden Lab, Second Life has a community of fanatically loyal users. Since Linden Lab derives its revenue from user fees, not advertisements, Second Life is much more likely to survive the Web 2.0 shakeout than most other startups.”

10. The Industry Standard (USA) – Linden Lab focusing on higher-end systems for Second Life. “A senior Linden Lab executive has indicated that Second Life’s client software is being developed to take advantage of more powerful computers, but did not rule out future efforts involving low-end systems. Ginsu Yoon, Linden Lab’s VP of business affairs, told The Industry Standard in an interview last week that the “core part” of the Second Life experience were best shown on higher-end computing platforms.”

Comments

  1. Stay classy, Independent.

  2. Stay classy, Independent.

Your comments

Previous Posts