Philip Rosedale: The Media Is Wrong, SecondLife Didn’t Fail

A nice piece from Sarah Lacy:

As anyone who has ever been near a startup knows, none of it is ever that simple, whether the startup succeeds or fails. And it certainly wasn’t for SecondLife — a company that seemed crazy initially, lauded as the next best thing a few years later, and was then dismissed as overhyped and mostly forgotten as the Web 2.0 wave gained steam.

SecondLife never went public or sold. There were chaotic transitions in management and pretty sizable layoffs. But far worse in the eyes of many, its audience just failed to grow. And in the Valley, many consider anything that’s not growth or an exit as a death. The hype cycle moved on, and even people in the back of the room were asking whatever happened to SecondLife, as Rosedale spoke.


“Did it ever sell?”


“I don’t know… Hey, did SecondLife ever sell?”


“I can’t remember…”


But Rosedale argued hard — and pretty convincingly — that SecondLife was a success. SecondLife has 1 million active users. That’s almost the exact same number it had at the peak when everyone was going ape-shit about it — when it was on the cover of BusinessWeek as the next big thing, when staid companies like IBM were building out SecondLife presences, when politicians were holding press releases inside of SecondLife, when Duran Duran and Depeche Mode were holding concerts there.


That number never fell, Rosedale says. If that was an amazing accomplishment then, it should still be an amazing accomplishment now that they’ve sustained it in a world where websites are fads that quickly come and go. More impressive, there are $700 million a year in virtual goods transacted inside of SecondLife every year. That’s more than enough to make the company very profitable.

See on

OpenSim NPCs simulate disasters

For most people, NPCs — non-player characters — are the princesses you need to save in video games, dragons you need to defeat, and shopkeepers who give advice about how to proceed in your quests.

But for David Prior, CTO at Simudyne , NPCs are a way to model emergency evacuation plans for amusement parks, hotels, banks and other large venues — even entire cities.

One customer using the technology is the European Union’s SAVE ME project, the goal of which is to develop a system that detects disasters and offers mass evacuation guidance in order to save public lives and the lives of the rescuers. The first two pilot sites will be Italy’s Colle Capretto tunnel and England’s Monument Metro station.

See on

Federal Virtual Worlds moving beyond Second Life

Several years ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration maintained more than a dozen virtual environments for online visitors to explore in Second Life. Now it operates just one.

For NOAA and other federal agencies, the focus of virtual world activity has moved beyond Second Life and diversified onto other platforms and gaming engines, according to Eric Hackathorn, a 3D Web designer for NOAA and one of the federal pioneers in virtual worlds.

“Virtual worlds are in need of some rebranding,” Hackathorn told Federal Computer Week. “Historically, virtual worlds were synonymous with Second Life, but that is no longer the case.”

While several agencies, including NOAA, NASA, Defense Department and National Library of Medicine maintain a presence on Second Life, several current initiatives have shifted to open source and in-house platforms and interagency efforts, he said. For example, DOD’s PTSD Experience invites users to learn about post-traumatic stress disorder.

“There is a lot of activity and many different use cases,” Hackathorn said, with initiatives for training, innovation and research in 3D and gaming environments.

The upcoming Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds’ annual conference starting on May 16 will highlight some of those programs.
See on

Teleport Between Kitely Worlds | Kitely Blog

Teleporting between Kitely worlds finally works! If you try to teleport to a world that is online then you’ll be teleported to it immediately. If you try to teleport to a world that is offline then the world will be started; you’ll remain active in the world you are currently in; and once the destination world is ready you’ll be teleported to it automatically.

Teleports are also connected to the website: if you click “Enter World” in a World Page, and you are already in another Kitely world, then you will be teleported to the new world. This means that you no longer have to close the viewer to switch between worlds.


Eve Online FanFest panel accused of mocking suicidal player

CCP has launched an investigation after an Eve Online panel at its FanFest convention was accused of mocking a suicidal player.

Eve Online player Kestrel wrote to CCP and Eurogamer today to complain about Thursday’s Alliance Panel presentation.
The presentation, delivered by one of the CSM council members and moderated by a CCP employee, featured an in-game communication between two Eve Online players where, according to Kestrel, one of the players clearly indicated suicidal thoughts and showed “obvious” signs of severe depression.

“When this communication was shown to the audience the presenter, along with part of the audience of players and CCP representatives present all had a good laugh,” Kestrel said. “The presenter went on to encourage other players of Eve Online to harass this player in the hope that he would eventually be compelled to act on his suicidal thoughts.
“This player’s in-game contact information was provided. I found this section of the presentation to be in extremely poor taste.”
The panel was broadcast online as part of the streaming of the popular FanFest event, which showcased Eve Online, Dust 514 and World of Darkness.

In response, CCP issued a statement criticising the “abhorrent behaviour” that occurred.


Post-apocalyptic Steampunk Pirates in Second Life

If I could find something about vampires or Alice in Wonderland I think this build would manage to incorporate most of the major themes we love inworld. It might sound a little strange, and it could be that the owners would describe it differently, but I think this combination works and it’s a great place to visit.

My journey began today with this photo↑ by LookatmyBack. I know he likes steampunk so I thought I’d check out the region and see what was there.


Great overview of VWBPE 2012 by Daniel Voyager

Early this morning I logged into Second Life to visit VWBPE locations around the grid and started to collect notecards/freebies which was fun. As you can see today I have updated my blog for VWBPE 2012 which I hope all my readers will like. I went over to the first event on the listings called Conference Orientation Meet-and-Greet where the SL community started to catch up and hang out.


Those who play together, stay together – study

A study from Brigham Young University (BYU) has revealed online role-playing games like World of Warcraft both negatively and positively impact marital satisfaction.The study looked at 349 heterosexual couples, dividing the respondents into two groups: one in which both spouses gamed, and the other in which only one spouse gamed.
For couples in which both spouses play, the study found 76 percent said that gaming had a positive effect on their marital relationship, particularly couples who interacted in-game.The average age of the respondents in the nationwide survey was 33 years, while the average marriage length was seven years. Of those couples in which only one spouse gamed, 84 percent were the husbands; of those couples where both gamed, 73 percent of those who gamed more were husbands.

ClassRealm: How One Teacher Turned Sixth Grade Into An MMO

Video games and education. Two passions in my life that I tend to keep separate. I’ve been on the learning side of education for the last 16 years, but last fall I made the transition from student to teacher. I was dead set on bridging the gap between my life as a gamer and my life as a teacher before the school year even started. I plastered the walls of my classroom with posters of Link, set up Mario action figures across my desk and crafted 8-bit sprites all over my board. My sixth grade students loved that I was interested in video games — just like them! As sixth graders, most of the boys in my class were more focused on Call of Duty and Madden, they had no knowledge of the magic of platformers, RPGs, or adventures games.I wouldn’t be as well read as I am today if it wasn’t for video games.
As I was describing my video-game-related teachings to my buddy Courtny, we began talking about incorporating gaming into education. Why not? I probably wouldn’t be as well read as I am today if it wasn’t for games like Pokémon Red and Blue. Games that relied on text. How else would I have known a large Pokémon was blocking Route 12? Video games are surprisingly helpful in school. They often promote reading, help students think through problems, and give players a sense of accomplishment to strive for. Courtny and I weren’t the first to think of gamifying a classroom, but maybe we could come up with the best system to date.

Students Enter Virtual World of Finance (Second Life)

Students at Maine Endwell High School have entered in to a virtual world in order to learn about financial planning for their future.
Visions Federal Credit Union provides this free educational tool.
Maine Endwell is the first school in New York State to use the game, Modoh Island.
“Our hope is that eventually it will be something that the teachers can use to supplement their classroom without our hands on in it,” says Colleen Barton, Youth Educator for Visions Federal Credit Union.
To play, students create an Avatar and start with $10,000 dollars.
They have to make choices from buying cars to paying school loans, and buying or renting a home.
“I just picked the basic schooling and I was just careful about the car, and I picked a smaller house, cheaper and cheaper car. Smart decisions for then and now I can get a nicer car and house,” says Julie, an 11th grade student.

Previous Posts