Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. Kzero have a useful post on the mistakes made in targeting kids for virtual worlds.

2. The RSPCA are running an online campaign for its Million Paws event. Registration is free and allows for the creation of your own pet avatar and navigation around a virtual world. Money is raised by friends donating to your pet avatar or buying virtual goods for it.


Thanks to Jen Dudley for the heads-up.

3. A piece I wrote appeared today for independent news provider Crikey – it’s on virtual worlds and their business and education opportunities. Its been humourously titled Conroy yet to buy genitals in Second Life but business is booming.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. The US-based Spina Bifida Association is holding a fundraiser in Second Life this coming weekend:

Spina Bifida Awareness is pleased to announce the 2009 Second Life Charity Auction on Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. Second Life Time at the Justice League Explorer’s Club in Port Harbor, Steelhead.

Bid on the creations of Second Life’s finest crafters and enjoy a night of entertainment. Proceeds go to the Spina Bifida Association’s research and support programs. Lives are changed by the programs and services SBA has created to respond to the needs of new parents of babies who are born with Spina Bifida, families who are dealing with the challenges of Spina Bifida, teens who are transitioning toward newfound independence, and adults who are leading productive and fulfilling lives.

For more information, please contact Xandera Voom or Samantha Lowell.

2. Back in May 2007, ABC Island hit a snag that received widespread (and inaccurate) media coverage, with claims it was a griefing attack. Recent podcast interviewee, Draxtor Depres, has pointed me to a piece he did back at the time, so for sentimentality’s sake:

3. CyberTech News have an interesting sum-up of the licensing issues around open source virtual worlds and business uses.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. This week we interviewed Draxtor Depres for Episode 9 of the TMJ Podcast. His latest commission is using machinima to represent classic Californian literature, and the latest product of that can be seen here:

2. Habbo Hotel’s parent company Sulake has released its financial results for calendar year 2008, showing annual revenue of 50 million Euros, 4.8 million of which ended up as profit. The Australian operation is upbeat, reporting a 29% increase in revenue growth (but no figures), with more than 25 million page impressions in the past 30 days.

3. Metaplace continue to expand their in-world options with the launch of an achievements system which allows earning of Metacreds. There’s also the ability to gain Coins which can be used to buy goods in-world:

Coins and Metacred can be earned by spending time on Metaplace and interacting with other worlds and people.  Commenting and rating on worlds, spending time in worlds, selling objects on the Marketplace, making and inviting friends, and posting in the forum are a few examples.


Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. Earth Week is coming up in Second Life (18th to 26th April). All the details are here, and there’s a quick promo machinima:

2. Australian kid’s offering eKidna World is running a competition offering a year’s free membership and a family pass to Australia zoo. Each entrant is required to provide their details and the details of a friend that eKidna can contact. Entries close 31st March.

3. The 1st Annual Second Life Resident Choice Awards kickoff on the 31st March – more details here

4. Linden Lab have lost their CFO, John Zdanowski, who’s officially announced his departure. Ignoring personalities, it’s far from surprising there’d be some churn in senior management positions with a newish CEO on board.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. Habbo Australia have surveyed 4012 teenagers (12-18 year olds) on their concerns, with 81% citing the environment as a major issue, with an unsurprising emphasis on bushfires.

Habbo will be closing down for Earth Hour on March 28th at 8.30pm AEDT. What say you Linden Lab, Blizzard and others?


2. The Alphaville Herald has some stunning pictures of Metaplace builds – it shows the potential power of a well-implemented 2D platform.

3. There’s been quite a lot of focus on this week’s announcement of Sparkle, which allows in-world text chat in Second Life and in OpenSim grids on the iPhone or iPod Touch. Here’s a brief demo:

More on Sparkle once we have a closer look in the next few days.

ABC Island 2nd Anniversary event in pictures

A handful of pics from the successful event last evening. Some good trivia by Wolfie Rankin, goodmusic by Komuso Tokugawa and an overall great night thanks to the ABC Admin team.






Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. Intranet consultants Step Two designs have announced entries are open for the 2009 Intranet Innovation Awards, and they’re looking for entries that demonstrate the use of virtual worlds within the enterprise. Alex Manchester is a Senior Consultant at Step Two:

“We’ve yet to see virtual worlds really break into the internal corporate environment, but there’s undoubtedly a lot happening in this space. It would be great to see some entries this year from organisations leading the way with business uses of virtual worlds, be that for communication, training, collaboration or something entirely different.”

More entry info here.

2. The Virtual Worlds – Best Practices in Education conference is held in Second Life and this year’s is coming up 27th-29th March. You can register here.


3. ABC Island in Second Life hits the two-year mark since it opened to the public. We’ll write more on the milestone later in the week and there’s likely to be some celebrations in-world over the weekend.

Merged realities: events and issues for virtual worlds

1. The Virtual Worlds Research Discussion Group has another interesting session this week (thanks to Greg Wadley for the heads-up):

This week’s research discussion is hosted by Jeremy Kemp of San Jose State University. All researchers and educators are welcome. Jeremy will be talking about his dissertation research under the heading ‘How to Start Right: Lessons from a Second Life orientation for 1100 graduate students’.

For place/time details and slides, please see .

Abstract: ‘San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science is the largest of its kind in the world. Students starting the program in Fall 08 and Spring 09 completed a mandatory orientation including a section on Second Life. Most of them were able to create an avatar and visit the school’s island. Others completed a reading and quiz option. Kemp is surveying this large population and basing his dissertation on their feedback. This interactive session will ask the audience for feedback and ideas.’


ABC Island Sandbox saw the launch of a building game over the weekend

2. If you haven’t had your fill of St Patrick’s Day, there’s still time to enjoy it in Second Life until the 21st March. It’s being hosted by Dublin in SL:

Celebrate St. Pat’s online in Dublin in Second Life. Four years and running, Saint Patrick’s Week in Virtual Reality features the Traditional St. Pat’s Day Parade in Not-So-Traditional Virtual Reality and All Day Street Parties at The Blarney Stone and Fibber Magees Night Club. New this year are Irish Writer’s Riot, celebrating great Irish literature, and South by Southwest Music Festival, streaming 18 UK artists live from Austin, Texas.

Full details here.

3. There’s still time to get involved with Second Life’s 2009 Relay for Life.

4. The folks at Clever Zebra have a brief but useful overview of the five open source virtual world platforms that have or are starting to make a mark.

Merged realities: events and issues for virtual worlds

1. Habbo Australia are hosting World Wrestling Entertainment®’s Batista™ (nicknamed “The Animal”) tomorrow at 4:00pm AEST (Monday 9th March). This is a free event and the venue will be the ‘Opera House’ public room.


2. Australian educator Jokay Wollongong held one of her regular ‘Unconferences’ today and there’s some great notes and links from it here.

3. I receieved the following info over the weekend:

Researchers from the Seoul Women’s University Information Media College UX Lab (user-experience laboratory) in Seoul, Korea, are currently conducting positive research connected to “Impressions from 3D cyberspace.” We would like to invite anyone who active in Second Life to participate in our research.

We’ve done with applicants to make film to conduct a survey previously, according to 3 regions, Korea south, Japan and North America.
Now we are collecting people’s respond to questions with those videos we made with applicants. For driving people to our survey site. We will provide L$100 for each and every participants.

Merged realities: events and issues for virtual worlds

paisley_beebe_vic_bushfires 1. Australian Second Life content developers, Top Dingo, have created a tribute sculpture for Victorian bushfire victims. You can see it here.

2. Do Avatars Dream of Human Sleep? is a mixed reality collaboration between the artists of The Physical TV Company (Richard James Allen and Karen Pearlman) and MUVEDesign (Gary Hayes) on a research project supported by Critical Path, Ausdance NSW and The Australia Council for the Arts.

It’s running at Sydney’s Seymour Centre, corner Cleveland St and City Road, Chippendale, between March 10th and the 14th, at 8pm (tickets here) and you can find more information on the project here

3. Last weekend, SLCN TV broadcast an episode of Paisley Beebe’s Tonight Live which was devoted to the Victorian bushfires. It includes interviews with some of the people who’ve raised serious money in Second Life for the cause and an airing of a song written about the events of the past few weeks.

You can watch the full episode here. I was really pleased to hear how well one fundraiser went – nearly $5000 Australian dollars raised.

4. VastPark are running an event called Virtual Worlds Down Under:

What: Virtual Worlds Down Under (Free 1 hour inworld conference)
When: Fri Mar 6 11am – Fri Mar 6 12pm
Where: Inworld using VastPark Imp player
Created By: VastPark Events
Description: Event time is Australian Eastern Time. See your timezone

To access…

1. Install VastPark Imp:

2. Run VastPark Imp and use it to go to the Masterclass: vp://

Duration: 1 hour. This event will run on time (or very close!) as we’ve got a real world event group viewing out of inworld. SLCN will be filming parts of the event.


* VastPark’s CEO welcome and announcements on OpenSim and more
* Badumna project team explain and demo their P2P technology
* Postmoderna team are seeking collaborators
* RMIT – How architecture students are using VastPark and Second Life
* VastPark Masterclass2
* General Q&A for all teams

As always, if you have an event or creation you’d like people to know about, let us know.

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