Second Life, with a much bigger economy than that of OpenSim, also has a much bigger problem with copyright infringement than OpenSim. For instance, copybotters have long been using specialized third party viewers to duplicate creators’ content and offer them for sale, lowering demand for the legitimate versions of theRead More →

AviWorlds is coming back — again — with a brand-new business model and a brand-new technology partner. Since early 2011, owner Alexsandro Pomposelli has experimented with being the most expensive grid, and with offering land for free. He tried to have the grid hosted with Dreamland Metaverse, with Zetamex, with Kitely, and, most recently, withRead More →

While CtrlAltStudio viewer 1.2.6.43412 has provided 3D/VR access for the Oculus Rift in Second Life and OpenSim, there is another way to explore virtual worlds in VR – through VorpX. VorpX allows some applications and games not specifically designed for virtual reality headsets to work in 3D virtual reality mode. With virtual world viewersRead More →

Last week, Linden Lab said that it was no longer working on its Oculus Rift viewer for Second Life, dashing OpenSim user hopes that eventually their viewer would be open sourced and be a usable virtual reality access option for their grids. However, CtrlAltStudio’s David Rowe says that he is updatingRead More →

Second Life’s economy has a GDP of around $500 million, CEO Ebbe Altberg told The Next Web. According to Altberg, users cashed out a total in excess of $60 million last year. One user has sold around 300,000 virtual dresses at roughly $4 each. By comparison, in 2009, Second Life reported aRead More →

Google Glass might not be completely dead. According to 9to5Google, an enterprise edition of Google Glass is on its way, and it will have a larger prism display, a faster processor and slightly better battery life. Late last fall, the Wall Street Journal reported that the new device will beRead More →

In mid-June, Linden Lab announced that third-party exchanges must stop selling Linden dollars, which will effectively put all or most of these exchanges out of business by August 1. There is an English-language petition with around 300 signatures at SaveTheExchanges.com and a German-language petition at OpenPetition with more than 700 signatures. There is a smallRead More →

UK-based CasperTech Ltd, Second Life’s best-selling vendor system, has released its economy metrics. In particular, the company has released the numbers for the average merchant revenues, and sales continue to climb even after the news broke about Second Life’s new terms of service last fall. “The TOS changes haven’t had a noticeableRead More →

There’s a number of things to be said about the publicity Linden Lab recently attracted for moving developers towards a next-generation version of Second Life. It’s bad for OpenSim. OpenSim still draws the majority of its users from Second Life due to the fact that it uses the same interface.Read More →

Linden Lab is working on a next generation virtual world that would not be backwards compatible with Second Life, said Radegast viewer developer Latif Khalifa in a post at SLUniverse today. According to Khalifa, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg broke the news today at a meeting with third party viewerRead More →

Second Life is a “viable and flexible” platform for physics simulations testing alternatives and predecessors to Newtonian physics, according to a paper published last month by a professor at the Lutheran University of Brazil The choice to use Second Life for the experiment was a simple one. “As I researched a fewRead More →

In March, Second Life released an Oculus Rift-compatible viewer to a limited number of beta testers, including our own Ann Cudworth. Yesterday, an updated version of this viewer has been released, and this time it’s available to the public. It includes automatic hardware detection for faster setup and calibration, aRead More →

Designing Digitally, Inc. Develops HTML5 Version of Drive Vermont – DMV Drivers Training Online Learning System for the State of Vermont. Drive Vermont has helped over 10,000 permit drivers learn the rules and regulations of driving in the State of Vermont. Franklin, OH  – Designing Digitally, Inc., a full-service interactiveRead More →

It was good to hear Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab’s new CEO, speak at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education 2014 conference in Second Life yesterday. Ebbe addressed a number of pain points with the educator community in Second Life and brought some healthy visibility into how he sees things moving forwardRead More →

Press release: VWBPE 2014 Kick-Off “Connections” March 12 — The four-day Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference starts on April 9, and will feature keynotes by Philip Rosedale, CEO of High Fidelity, founder of Linden Lab and creator of Second Life, and Ebbe Altberg, the new CEO of Second Life. TheRead More →

Regions on Second Life are going black, creators pulling out, Renderosity and CG Textures forbidding the upload of their content to Second Life, and a new survey of content creators indicates they expect things to get worse, while OpenSim grids stand ready to welcome another crop of fleeing content creators.Read More →

The Kitely Market is significantly different from Second Life’s Marketplace. Not only because it will soon allow delivery of items to foreign grids – that’s just the biggest and most obvious difference. But there are a number of other areas where, according to Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner, the new platformRead More →

Linden Lab has cut its land and setup prices in half for educators and non-profits, the company announced this morning. “We’re pleased to announce an update to Second Life pricing for educational and nonprofit institutions,” the company said. The offer is effective immediately, and applies to any accredited educational institution.Read More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 25,248 regions, a new record high. They also reported 295,411 total registered users and 19,505 active users this month, both of which are also record highs. The previous record high was last October, when the 40 top grids had 25,202 regions. The numbers dropped dramaticallyRead More →

Second Life is a killer app for Oculus Rift. Here are ten reasons why — and why OpenSim will get there first. 1. Quality, content and creativity Now, before you skip ahead to post a comment about how Second Life has been overrun by furries and 14-year-olds, take a moment toRead More →

Kitely, an on-demand OpenSim grid, cut off support for the official Second Life viewer today, as did the Brazilian social grid Meet3D. “We had to take this step because Linden Lab, the creators of the Second Life Viewer, have released a new version that no longer works with OpenSim,” Oren Hurvitz,Read More →

Students learning to drive in Vermont are getting an edge on their written exams thanks to an online tutorial with animation filmed inside Second Life. Vermont’s Department of Motor Vehicles reported this month that would-be drivers passed their written tests significantly more often after it deployed a virtual tutorial createdRead More →

[Editor: A couple of years ago, Chris Ravensoft was an actual paying customer for Second Life Enteprise, a behind-the-firewall version of Second Life, designed for companies who needed a secure, private space for internal collaboration, training, and rapid prototyping. In the summer of 2010, Linden Lab shut the project down.]Read More →

When asked about the difference between Second Life and OpenSim I frequently explain that, for enterprise users, having a region in Second Life is a lot like having a page on Facebook — and using OpenSim is like having your own website. This was recently underscored for me by myRead More →

Over the course of two years, we designed and ran a simulation for the University of Richmond based upon Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” in the virtual world of Second Life. I wanted to enable my classes to change the ending of Poe’s tale, ifRead More →

OpenSim’s top 40 public grids gained 580 new regions over the past month, hitting a new record high of 23,231 regions. Meanwhile, the total number of active public grids is now 118, with 20 new grids added to our list this month — not counting private grids, Sim-on-a-Sticks, and gridsRead More →

Rivers Run Red was a pioneering 3D content development company in Second Life. No, make that THE pioneering content development company. The company brought major brands to Second Life — and was featured in a Businessweek cover story. Just last year, Rivers Run Red had about 30 regions in  SecondRead More →

One of my teeny tiny pet peeves is when people harp about Second Life being a game. This is often followed by declarations that games should not be taken seriously. Therefore, Second Life should not be taken seriously. But putting the benefits of play — such as learning, teamwork, relaxation,Read More →

Second Life had the potential to be the 3D AOL, to usher in a new age of immersive 3D environments. It failed not because it was too complicated or difficult to use or tried to do too much at once. After all, AOL also was a one-stop-shop: shopping, forums, email,Read More →

The Global Conference on Gifted Education held its eleventh global virtual meeting in Second Life last week, taking advantage of the platform’s global reach. “Information can be accessed from anywhere in the world,”said Leslie Graves, member of the Executive Council for the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, whoRead More →

Because of its community and stability, Second Life is still the destination of choice for companies looking for a virtual world platform, said experts participating in a Second Life Community Conference panel about choosing the right virtual world. “Communities are amazing in Second Life,” said Chris Collins, CEO of Tipodean Technologies.Read More →

Image: maple / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In recent months, the amount of innovation coming out of the OpenSim community has been staggering. Hypergrid travel is not only more secure, but now supports cross-grid friendships, messages, and landmarks. OpenSim providers are hosting their regions on-demand and in public (and private) clouds, offering full regions for under $10Read More →

Press Release: Virtual Library of Birmingham opens its doors for public exploration Birmingham, U.K. — The Virtual Library of Birmingham, built by Daden Limited, has opened its doors to the public allowing access two years before the real life building is ready for occupancy. The Virtual Library of Birmingham allowsRead More →

You cannot compare Second Life and OpenSim. One is a social world. The other is an open source piece of server software. You can’t even compare Second Life to individual grids using OpenSim as their backend software. Second Life has around a million users logging in each month, while theRead More →

Second Life is a tipping point, and has been precariously balanced there for months. Average daily concurrency has been slipping since the start of 2010, according to data from Metaverse Business. In fact, according to Tateru Nino, concurrency in Second Life is at its lowest level in two years. TheRead More →

Kitely offers OpenSim hosting in the cloud — ridiculously easy to use and ridiculously cheap for low-traffic regions. Now, anyone can have their own sim up and running in less than two minutes, at a cost of $0.10 per region per month — yup, ten cents — with an extraRead More →

Am I being premature? Second Life has outlived its many obituaries. This is not an obit. At the same time, only the most ardent SL-cheerleaders would deny that the virtual world has stagnated. In the case of education, I expect no more than a gradual decline in participation.  Other worldsRead More →

Press Release: Second Life’s New Leader: Rod Humble Becomes CEO of Linden Lab MMO and Gaming Industry Visionary to Bring New Life to Second Life SAN FRANCISCO — Linden Lab®, creator of 3D virtual world Second Life®, today announced that Rod Humble has become the company’s Chief Executive Officer. HumbleRead More →

Press Release: Tipodean launches Canvas, a Web-based viewer for Second Life and OpenSim, which is built using Unity 3D Tipodean Technologies is pleased to announce the preview launch of Canvas, a web-based viewer for both Second Life and Opensim. Licensed from IBM, Canvas is unique in that it is highlyRead More →

The Immersive Education Initiative, a Boston-based non-profit coalition, announced today that it will offer free land, and free migration services, for educators working in Second Life’s Teen Grid. The Initiative currently provides thousands of OpenSim regions to members around the world through its Education Grid project,  Aaron Walsh, founding directorRead More →

UPDATE: TalentRaspel has lowered its price for exporting Second Life regions. It now starts at US $273 (200 Euros)  per region, and is based on the complexity of the build. Vendors are offering full-region migrations from Second Life to OpenSim at prices starting at as little as $80 a region.Read More →

When I first rezzed in January 2007, educators were investing heavily in Second Life, both its Teen and Main Grids. Throughout the “hype” era that ended the next  year, and amid the inevitable backlash against SL by mainstream media, many of us in education defended Linden Lab and its platform.Read More →

I hate that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach when I know something has been lost that I care about. After my initial shock of hearing that Linden Labs was dropping education discounts, I immediately communicated with colleagues (most of whom I have never met in person) aboutRead More →

Today, my scale shows that I’ve lost 20 pounds over the past three months. In addition, today at my doctor’s office, I learned that, my blood pressure was down, and so was my body mass index. But this wasn’t on a diet or exercise plan. I didn’t stop eating carbsRead More →

Last week, Laura Crane Trust, a non-profit which provides support to teenage and young adult cancer patients in the U.K., had decided to build its virtual world in OpenSim. Jonathan Tyreman, the charity’s online development coordinator, originally wanted to go with Second Life but decided to recommend OpenSim to theRead More →

Press Release: Daden selected for new genetic screening virtual application Virtual world solution specialists Daden have been awarded a contract to create the laboratory functionality to enable scenario-based training as part of the University of Leicester’s SWIFT project in Second Life. Based on Daden’s open-source award winning software PIVOTE, theRead More →

The lack of mesh imports has long been a problem for enterprise users of OpenSim and Second Life. But Second Life is about to start open beta testing of mesh — and OpenSim won’t be far behind. According to OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey, the OpenSim team will adapt theRead More →

Press release: Wiecha Receives Grant to Study Face-to-Face vs Virtual Health Education for African-American Women BOSTON — Boston University School of Medicine Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs John Wiecha, MD, MPH, in the Department of Family Medicine, has received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) American Recovery & Reinvestment ActRead More →

Update: “As Philip has mentioned, Linden Lab has discontinued the Second Life Enterprise development program,” Adam Nelson, Linden Lab’s Executive Director of Monetization, told Hypergrid Business. “We will continue to honor our beta customer commitments and contracts, but will not be accepting new customers for the beta product. Second LifeRead More →

The TeenGrid has low traffic compared to Second Life’s mainland, and its primary renters — educators — pay half of what Second Life’s other customers do for land. It makes sense for them to close it down, from the standpoint of basic economics, but bad in another sense. The educationalRead More →

Press Release: CyberWatch Launches Virtual World Environment for Learning, Training and Global Meetings Second Life environment will extend services to national members in virtual space. Washington, DC., August 15, 2010 — The CyberWatch organization announces today the launch of a 3D online virtual environment in Second Life. The virtual islandRead More →

Press Release: VenueGen Offers Free Migration Solution for Second Life Business Customers RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC- –  VenueGen, provider of a 3-D virtual meeting platform for collaborative meetings, training, and events today announced a migration solution for users of the Linden Labs Second Life virtual world platform. Linden Labs Second LifeRead More →

Linden Lab announced 30 percent staff cuts today, and also promised a Web-based viewer for Second Life. While a Web-based viewer would be a significant benefit for companies interested in using virtual worlds for quick meetings and public conferences, a more sobering note is that the announcement of  “strategic restructuringRead More →

The Second Life and OpenSim platform are the best bet for educators, according to a white paper released today by virtual worlds research firm Daden Limited. “It is the only one offering reasonable graphics with in-world building tools, and as a result high levels of flexibility,” wrote author David Burden.Read More →

Press Release: Murrow Center 3D Newsroom Debuts in Second Life A Shared Media Experience and Citizen Journalist Training Center Sponsored by the McCormick Foundation PULLMAN, Wash. – The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University and the McCormick Foundation are partnering for the creation of the MurrowRead More →

New Orleans law firm Jones Walker has been conducting meetings and training programs in Second Life, the company announced this month. “We created office space where we could conduct meetings, make presentations, provide training, and explore the applications of Second Life to the law firm environment,” said chief marketing officerRead More →

Two major things happened before the World Wide Web took off in a big way. One was the fact that individuals were able to create Web sites and link them to other Web sites. Once individuals did it — individual researchers, individual teachers, individual hobbists, individual company employees — theyRead More →

I was reading something about how a small cadre of vocal power users can skew the development of a virtual world platform, and it got me thinking about the kinds of things corporate clients I’ve worked with have asked for in the past. Oddly, these are things that don’t evenRead More →

Total regions on the public OpenSim grids increased from 5,613 in September to 7,246 in December — a growth rate of 29% for three months, or an annualized growth rate of 177%. By comparison, resident-owned regions in Second Life reached 23,900 in December 2009, up 6% over December 2008. AtRead More →

Press Release: AI Learning Center Being Built in Second Life The IEEE Computer Society is developing an Artificial Intelligence Learning Center (AILC) on IEEE’s island on Second Life and is looking for participation from those interested in showcasing the use of AI technologies in virtual worlds, robotics, Web, and smartRead More →

Second Life is being held back by an “elite group” of users, according to Forrester Research, Inc. analyst Tom Grant. There is an ” Iron Law of Oligarchy,” Grant wrote this week. “Over time, a subset of customers emerge who participate regularly in user group meetings, discussion forums, the commentsRead More →

Press Release These days, City Tech faculty and students are happy to oblige if anyone tells them to “get a life.” That’s because several classes are involved with developing the College’s presence in Second Life (SL), a virtual digital world created by its more than nine million “residents,” where alterRead More →

Social networking tools dominate communication over the web and this is not limited to sending simple messages between friends but can also include interaction and collaboration within virtual world environments such as Linden’s Second Life application. The targeted use of Web 2.0 social networking applications provides opportunities for communities ofRead More →

As the number of virtual worlds proliferates, Second Life is beset on all sides — niche worlds, big social worlds, high-end worlds, inexpensive worlds, browser-based worlds, kid worlds, business worlds and many more. Today, Second Life has the clear first-mover advantage when it comes to mixed-use social worlds, but consumerRead More →

Amsterdam-based architecture firm Dedato has moved into its new headquarters — a building originally prototyped in Second Life. Rakeem Buaku, who coordinated the virtual construction, called the project a success, and told The Arch Network that he would definitely consider using virtual worlds again for future projects. The architecture firmRead More →

Press Release: 1 Billion Hours, 1 Billion Dollars Served: Second Life Celebrates Major Milestones for Virtual Worlds Linden Lab Shares Statistics Revealing Tremendous User Engagement and the Largest User-Generated Virtual Goods Economy in the World SAN FRANCISCO — May 27, 2009 — Linden Lab®, creator of the virtual world SecondRead More →

Linden Lab has debuted a new portal for enterprise users, which features case studies of business uses of Second Life and offers a free tour of the Second Life environment. “For those of us working with enterprise clients, the new page is a welcome relief from what came before —Read More →

When I show people around OpenSim, the first question they ask is: “So this is like Second Life? Only worse?” Which is a valid question. Any particular OpenSim world — like, say, OSGrid, or OpenLife, or ReactionGrid or WorldSimTerra — is small and puny in comparison to SecondLife’s grid. ImagineRead More →

According to OpenSim core developer Charles Krinke, there are 330 key functions in Second Life – and 300 of them have been fully implemented in OpenSim. Of the remaining 30, half have to do with vehicle physics, he said. These are the functions that allow virtual passengers to ride inRead More →

Many people think that the OpenSim platform was reversed engineered from Second Life’s browser — but this is not actually true. It was actually built based on eavesdropping. No, not on company phone calls — on the communications between the Second Life browser and the Second Life servers. Servers areRead More →

The three top businesses in Second Life are land sales, item sales, and (presumably — no hard data available) sex. For businesses looking to explore Second Life, however, these are the worst businesses to get into right now. First, land. It might seem a no-brainer on the surface: rent landRead More →

I’ve been playing around with a beta account on Metaplace — a new 3D virtual world, something like Second Life. If you’re looking for a place to start, Metaplace is by far simpler. No download required — it works in a regular browser. It’s in beta, so it’s not fullyRead More →

These last couple of weeks have been problematic for many of us using OpenSim. The OSGrid, in particular, has had more than its share of downtime as a result of ongoing software upgrades, and links between regions break frequently because of incompatible software versions. So in planning the location ofRead More →

Nineteen years ago, a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and accompanying seizures cost Marianna Monentes her driver’s license and landed her in the hospital. After a few years of dealing with medical issues, she found a new path in Second Life where she learned to make virtual jewelry. In 2012, sheRead More →

VisionZ HG Magazine will be celebrating its second anniversary on March 15 from 1 to 3 p.m. Pacific time on the 3rd Life Grid. “Our focus is on all things happening in the Hyperverse, those spaces connected via the hypergrid protocol,” said editor Sunbeam Magic. The event will feature a live performance byRead More →

US $6 (R$20) for a 15,000-prim region on the hypergrid-enabled, Portuguese-language Virtual Life Brasil grid.

Alife Virtual reported a dramatic increase in active users this month, to 1,576 unique monthly visitors, but those stats may not be accurate, according to technology expert Magnuz Binder, who has previously submitted patches to OpenSim. In his non-OpenSim life, Binder is a former academic focusing on technology and now works asRead More →

Digitaleisure, one of the new grids created in the wake of AviWorlds’ latest flame-out, has been forced to rebrand as SkyLifeGrid due to legal issues. The original name and domain was too close to that of Digital Leisure, an online gaming company. Digital Leisure paid for the domain transfers, said SkyLifeGrid owner JoshRead More →

Corrections: Well this story made people mad! But when I’m wrong, I’m wrong. Here are three corrections: 1. The question of who is handling the finances is a he-said, she-said situation. If the she-said side of it is right, then associating an innocent person’s name with this mess is theRead More →

Virtual Life is now home to a couple of new skill-based games that offer visitors a chance to win real money, grid founder and CEO Keith Sparkman told Hypergrid Business. Froggy Leisure, a gaming company known for its presence in Second Life, and also active on the Avination and YrGrid,Read More →

According to researchers at Stanford University, one of reasons people get motion sickness while wearing virtual reality headsets is that in real life, our eyes get more light bouncing back from near-by objects than from distant ones. In a typical virtual reality headset, however, all the light rays are comingRead More →

Mal, Maria and Tara are joined by Petlove Petshop and Cinders Vale for wide ranging discussion, including reflections on Relay for Life in Second Life, changes in the Terms of Service, the eighth closing of AviWorldz, the falling price of land in OpenSim and the latest improvements in OpenSim metrics.

The biggest choice every new grid makes is whether to enable hypergrid or not. Every single grid up until now has opted for either yes, no, or sometimes. Newly-launched Exo-Life, however, has picked a different path. It is on the hypergrid, but connects only to eight other grids. Currently, of theRead More →

The total number of regions on OpenSim’s 40 largest grids fell for the second month in a row, only the second time this has happened since we started keeping track in mid 2009. The major reason for the loss is the closure of ScienceSim, an Intel-backed research grid that hadRead More →

There are many reasons why I believe that virtual worlds are not dead, dying or disappearing. In fact, I believe that they are gaining momentum and are becoming more and more impactful as the technology gets better and more real world business cases are indicating the value of these environments,Read More →

Zoe, a prototype AI bot, lives in her own house on OpenSim. (Image courtesy David Burden.)

[Editor: Recent OpenSim upgrades have substantially expanded support for NPCs — non-player characters — also known as bots or AIs. NPCs are typically used in games, as enemies for players to defeat, or characters who help the players in their quests. However, they are also increasingly being used for business.]Read More →

Press Release: PPD and ProtonMedia Win 2011 Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation Award Microsoft recognizes ProtonMedia for the second consecutive year for its innovation in life sciences with its ProtoSphere virtual collaboration technology LANSDALE, Pa. — Microsoft Corp. has named PPD, Inc. and ProtonMedia winners of a Microsoft 2011 Life Sciences Innovation Award, recognizing their innovative useRead More →

I’m ending it. Beset by criticism on all sides — okay, just one side — I am officially going cold turkey on “real life.” The phrase, that is, not the living itself. I’ve never been a big fan of the wording “in real life,” but haven’t noticed to what extentRead More →