Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. The ABC’s Island in Second Life continues to have a bunch of activities going, with regular building tutorials back on the agenda and plans underway for Easter events.

2. The University of Western Australia has released a book: 100 Treasures of UWA and one of those treasures is the UWA’s Second Life presence.

3. Some great brain food on virtual goods and intellectual property rights can be eaten right here.

4. As of now, the number of registered virtual worlds accounts is just under 1.2 billion. Even when you factor in people like me with fifty accounts, there’s still a lot of people to meet in-world.

5. In case you didn’t realise, Linden Lab is like an ultra-fit blind-man positioned under a falling piano. Head piano-tuner and CEO Rod Humble has thanked everyone for their input on what they’d like to be doing in two years in Second Life.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1.  Daden in the UK have released a paper – ‘The Future of Virtual Worlds”, which puts forward some interesting forecasts and issues. I disagree with some of the timelines in particular (I think forecasting out to 2050 for anything is at best fanciful) but it’s certainly a document that could start some useful debates. You can download it here.

2. Composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is making his first foray into Second Life on Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe at 8am on December 5th SL time. As an aside, he’s trying to get 900 people worldwide to form a virtual choir – details here. You have until the 31st December so get cracking.

3. The beta version of Viewer 2.4 for Second Life is now available . Features include an auto-updater, improved preferences menu, graphics improvements and the ability to do scripting in an external text editor.

4. Expat Aussie and ex-Linden Labber Chris Collins has released Canvas, a lo-fi ‘Second Life in a web browser’ offering. Some screen shots and comments from Chris over at NWN.

5. It’s nearly a month old now, but this post by Edward Castranova on the role of virtual worlds and the (mostly) worldwide recession are well worth a read.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. After four months back in the CEO’s seat, Phillip Rosedale has taken a step back again. It’s hard to fathom the current Linden Lab strategy at present. Tateru Nino has a good wrap on the issue here.

2. For some impressive avatar dancing, Australians can tune into ABC 1 and ABC 2 in coming weeks:

When The Physical TV Company’s new film Entanglement Theory screened in Italy in May this year, media headlines read “Avatar dancers land in Naples” and articles went on to describe “the first dance movie that sees human dancers in a performance dialogue with their avatar” (DanzaBlog). When Entanglement Theory screened in New York at the famed Dance on Camera Festival in January it was dubbed the “best” animation on the festival by The New York Times, which went on to praise the film’s “new vitality”. Entanglement Theory, recently described by Australia’s RealTime as “a seductive reverie” now lands on Australian TV screens, with broadcast premiere screenings on ABC2 on Sunday October 31 at 8:20pm and ABC1 on Sunday November 7 at 4:20pm.

More info here.

3. Second Life Viewer 2.2 is now available.

4. Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe provides another week of engaging TV. Guests include guests CelesteAngelique Zapatero, Co-Founder Positive Arts, Creative Director Club One Island; Tip Corbett, classical/compositional improvisation for piano and Ignatius Onomatopoeia, Faculty Member of University of Richmond.

5. Multi-grid currencies continue to grow on the OpenSim platform.

6. Virtual Justice sounds like an interesting read and is likely to be available free online via Creative Commons in the near future.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. There’s a solid lineup on the latest Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe that’s well worth checking out – there’s talk on the scrapped community gateway program and the future of Linden Lab.

2. Tateru Nino continues to fire on all cylinders with some great yarns on the Emerald Viewer and the disappearance of more staff at Linden Lab.

3. Most readers here won’t need convincing that more mature web-based virtual worlds are the likely future growth trend, as they are already. HTML 5 will play a big role in that, as you can see with this stunning project. You’ll need the Google Chrome browser for it to work properly though I know some people have found it works ok in Firefox.

4. Twinity have gone retro, offering 50s style fashions and furniture.

5. Fancy a trip to the Czech Republic in 2011? Then think about presenting a paper at the 1st Global Conference on Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds. You have a month to submit an abstract.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. Want to win 140-thousand Linden dollars? Then make a machinima and submit it to the University of Western Australia’s competition.

2. Veteran platform OLIVE has announced new pricing and a perpetual licensing model.

3. The dynamos at ReactionGrid have launched Jibe, a web-based world based on the increasingly popular Unity3D engine.

4. Frenzoo are now offering 3D chat rooms.

5. Kzero have an excellent summary of a piece of research conducted on children’s play in virtual worlds: do take the time to have a read. 52% of those young children surveyed used virtual worlds regularly and there’s some incisive discussion on the interaction between marketing, parents and children.

6. Relay for Life 2010 in Second Life was once again a big suspense. Get a glimpse here. 53 million Linden dollars were raised, which is 221-thousand US dollars: an amazing effort by any standard.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. The USA’s National Space Society had their machinima awards ceremony last weekend, in conjunction with the University of Western Australia. There’s some superb machinima featured – you can view them all here.

Also, don’t forget to check out the May winners of the UWA’s 3D Art competition, or go have a look yourself in-world. The scope and quality of the work on the UWA sim never ceases to amaze me – it would now have to be one of the largest virtual world art repositories.

2. Mandy Salomon has a good piece on the troughs and crests of virtual worlds adoption by business and government.

3. Koinup have announced they have an app for the iPhone / iPad under development called Metaverse Wallpapers.

4. Speaking of iPhone / iPad apps: we’ve added some more feeds to our Metaverse Reader app, including the Second Life Grid Status feed. If you use the app and have a feed you’d like to see added – drop us a line.

5. One of those new-fangled web-based virtual worlds, Habbo Hotel, has just turned 10.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. The winner of the 2010 Linden Prize has been announced – with the Tech Virtual Museum Workshop coming up trumps. A worthy, but unsurprising winner.

With our parochial hat on, we were hoping for a UWA win but kudos anyway for being shortlisted.

2. It’s quite the week for virtual worlds development company news. First is the creation of a new Canada-based production company called Startled Cat, a joint effort between Remedy Communications (AKA Doug Thompson / Dusan Writer) and The Virtual Worlds Story Project.

Second – California based Eveny Technology, Inc. and Indiana based Global Virtual Holdings, Inc. have signed off on a joint venture called Virtual Development Center, Inc. Their focus is OpenSim, with the plan to provide an automated OpenSim solution for new business / NGO users of the platform (Disclosure: Global Virtual Holdings are a current advertiser on The Metaverse Journal).

3. Twinity are holding a competition to find the most popular fan location for the World Cup.

4. 3D avatar modelers Evolver continue to grow, partnering up with 3Dvia.

5. It’s no real surprise, but Moshi Monsters is experiencing explosive growth. Even less surprising is the announcement to churn out a raft of Moshi Monsters books – expect to see stands of them in a local bookstore next year.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. Paisley Beebe interviews the University of Western Australia’s Jayjay Zifanwe in her latest episode of Tonight Live. You can watch it here.

2. If you have a Nokia Smartphone and want some tasty virtual worlds wallpapers, you might like to check this out.

3. The Second Life economy for the first quarter of 2010 hit an all-time high. In case you missed it, Tateru Nino has her perspective on the announcement.

4. Space-based MMO EVE Online is running a competition to increase it’s female player cohort. Apparently only 5% of players are female currently.

5. Kzero recently updated their virtual worlds by sector reports for the first quarter of 2010 – check out an example here.

6. If you’d like to get some in-depth visuals of Blue Mars, it’s worth browsing their Flickr stream.

7. We’re still keen to reprise our V2 series of profiles on couples or friends who have met in a virtual world. Here’s a previous example – why not throw your hat in the ring?

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. Virtual RP is a French OpenSim grid that launched yesterday after four months development.

2. Want to test out a potential tattoo design on an avatar before making a lifetime commitment? Obsessive Ink may be worth a look.

3. Linden Lab have provided some more examples of what Viewer 2 is doing for enhancing in-world content.

4. The UK elections are turning out to be a dud as far as virtual world presences go.

5. There’s been quite a buzz about Blue Mars offering a cloud-based service. Here’s one of the better stories on it.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. The US-based Global Kids are holding a Winter 2010 Roundtable on Virtual Worlds and Nonprofits on Monday April 12, from 12-1pm PST (7-8am on Tuesday 13th AET) on MacArthur Island in Second Life.

The purpose is presentations from six nonprofit organisations on “their initial explorations of Second Life and other virtual worlds, and how they are thinking of integrating these virtual tools into their organizations’ respective missions”. Those organisations presenting are: Child Welfare League of America, Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia, Hip-Hop Education Center, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland, Inc and V.O.I.C.E. Community Development Corp.”

2. As covered last week, the M Linden Art Show hit the University of Western Australia in Second Life and on UWA’s physical campus as well. There’s a great round-up here. There’s also a machinima of the launch by Chantal Harvey that you can view:

3. Linden Lab have announced a significant upgrade to their new user orientation experience. There’s some in-opinion on it here and here to name two. If you want to see it for yourself, you’ll need to register yourself a new avatar.

4. Terra Nova has a great piece on where social worlds like Farmville fit into the scheme of things.

5. Our Metaverse Reader iPhone app now has a userbase numbering in the hundreds. Version 2 is about to be submitted for approval and it contains some big enhancements, and we’ve already added a couple more sites to the app. Why not check it out for yourself?

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