According to statistics released Friday by InWorldz co-founder Beth Reischl, in-world residents have been cashing out, on average, more than $15,000 a month over the past year. “Overall, I’m really pleased with the numbers, and while this is supposed to be fun, and hence our lower prices, it’s nice to seeRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Second Life has recently rolled out support for mesh objects. One key benefit is realistic clothing and accessories. However, Second Life’s implementation of mesh does not automatically adjust to the size of avatar bodies — and OpenSim, which is still heavily dependent on Second Life-compatible viewers — is limited inRead More →

There’s a new immersive platform in town. HostaVirtualEvent.com is focused on business users — like Venuegen and Web.alive. But it’s based on Unity, like ReactionGrid’s Jibe and Second Places’ Unifier. The advantage of Unity is that millions of people already have the Unity plugin, there’s no need to open portsRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering products andRead More →

We are going to have a metaverse of interconnected virtual worlds. Whether it evolves out from the current OpenSim and the hypergrid, or from the new crop of Web-based virtual platforms, or some combination, but we’re going to get there. Folks who got their hopes up with the VRML standards,Read More →

Back before I became a business journalist, I was a war correspondent. And I accumulated a few psychological scars as a result. In the past, I deal with some of my ghosts by lighting candles in church — I’m baptized Russian Orthodox — but multiple relocations and other changes inRead More →

Viewer developers are no longer restricted from working on OpenSim server code, OpenSim core developer and Overte Foundation president Justin Clark-Casey announced Friday. Previously, viewer developers had to wait six months after working on viewer code before they could work on OpenSim. The Overte Foundation — which oversees OpenSim developmentRead More →

As the number of Unity-based virtual platforms proliferates, and a decent viewer for OpenSim and Second Life still remains a pipe dream, we’re getting close to the point where the center of gravity will shift over. And the future of the metaverse — or, at least, the first few yearsRead More →

The OpenSim hosting industry is still young, and, though it is developing quickly, still lacking in experience and maturity. But it doesn’t mean that customers have to settle for substandard service. I’ve tried out several vendors in the past, and will continue to do so for both public and privateRead More →

I am a big fan of the hypergrid. I love logging into my personal grid. Then teleporting to my company grid, or visit friends on OSGrid, or go shopping on GermanGrid. But I don’t have any illusion that the hypergrid will replace the Internet. Instead, I believe that the hypergridRead More →

All existing OpenSim viewers are based on the GPL-licensed open source version of the Second Life viewer. All derivative viewers also have to be open source — which makes it hard to build a business here. So it makes sense that we don’t have companies coming in and investing aRead More →

A traditional lecture hall in the vAcademia environment.

Russia’s Virtual Spaces LLC has released a new education-focused virtual world platform, vAcademia, that allows for both traditional 2D and 3D recordings. The platform, which is now in beta, is being used by Mari State Technical University in Yoshkar-Ola, a city in western Russia.  Although primarily used by Russian institutionsRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids now have a total of 19,381 regions, a new high — up by 883 regions from a month ago. Meanwhile, total registered users grew to a new record high of 212,452. These numbers do not include smaller public grids, or the unknown numbers of privateRead More →

Will free land destroy grids? There will probably a winnowing out of grids that continue to charge for residential land without offering enough additional perceived value. But the end result will, I believe, a net benefit for OpenSim. More money for content creators Retail consumers have only so much moneyRead More →

A few days ago, I heard a brief talk by marketing expert Steve Harrison in which he talked about how to get attention for your message. It turns out he was speaking about how to get the attention of journalists and news producers, so, being a journalist, I was curiousRead More →

As John Rogate pointed out today, the 4096 bug — which limits hypergrid teleports to no more than 4,096 regions in any direction — is a significant impediment to hypergrid travel and to the growth of the metaverse as a whole. But, as several people commented, there is another impedimentRead More →

New Voice’s Nova OpenSim hosting company has dropped region prices to a new low today — just $5.95 for a region with up to 80,000 prims. The catch? The region is designed for low-traffic residential builds, and can support only five to ten avatars at once. And the 80,000 primsRead More →

OpenSim development — like that of any open source project — is very much focused on what developers want to do. They are, after all, volunteers, they don’t take orders. That leaves business users in a quandary — especially those without the technical skills or budgets to do their ownRead More →

Unity 3D is currently the hot platform for virtual world development and it’s going to get hotter, experts say, now that Unity has announced that their environments will soon be exportable to Flash. The announcement will “100 percent accelerate” the move to Unity, Tipodean CEO Chris Collins told Hypergrid Business. Collins wasRead More →

AVWorlds is a brand new grid — at just 26 regions, it doesn’t even make our monthly Top 40 list — but it has big ambitions. The grid launched with the highest priced land in OpenSim, but then abandoned that strategy and is now actually offering more free residential plotsRead More →

3DLES offers project management, educational support, building and scripting for educational projects in OpenSim.

I’m regularly asked why I give more coverage to one company or another, or why I’m biased against particular grids or platforms. And, it’s true. I do have a bias. You see, in my day job — I’m not actually running Hypergrid Business for the money — in my dayRead More →

Use this script to put a Google graphic on any prim. Clicking on the drawing in-world will automatically refresh it. You can use it to create a white board for an in-world presentation. You can allow several people to edit at once by sharing the Google Doc with them. OfRead More →

Linda Kellie, whose free content has made her website a go-to destination for folks making their move to OpenSim and needing content, has released her first OAR file (free download here). This complete region includes a small freebie store with starting avatars, animations, and a large collection of textures. ThereRead More →

Any grid owner that makes a living by renting out premium residential regions should start planning ahead — for a future in which the effective of residential regions drops down to zero. Free is already here Of course, there is nothing new about free regions. OSGrid and other open gridsRead More →

Kitely users will no longer be able to copy and export content that they don’t have copy or transfer permissions for, the company announced today. Previously, users could make full duplicates of entire regions, or save full regions as OAR files, with a simple click of a button. Now, KitelyRead More →

Second Life builders and designers coming over to OpenSim might think that it’s the same thing, except for the lack of support for some high-end vehicle physics scripting commands — and bigger prims. In fact, OpenSim actually offers some unique benefits that designers should be ready to take advantage of.Read More →

Two OpenSim grids have been attacked — OpenNeuland and Wilder Westen — and the attackers may be going after others, said Kai Ludwig, director of Germany’s TalentRaspel virtual worlds Ltd. and owner of the two grids. The attack hit Open Neuland yesterday and Wilder Westen today, he told Hypergrid Business. “It’s probably bot-based,Read More →

Role Play Worlds, a 43-region grid dedicated to fantasy-themed role playing, will close next month, the grid announced today. Residents will have until September 23 to make backups, export builds, and cancel orders and subscriptions. “We dont have the time and energy to keep working on RPW as before, that’sRead More →

Press Release: Finalists Named in International Serious Play Award Competition SEATTLE – A panel of experts have selected 20 games as finalists in the 2011 International Serious Play Awards, a recognition program honoring outstanding examples of corporate, military, health care and school/at home learning titles. The games will be featuredRead More →

Offers furniture, plants, sculpted stairs, wristwatches and a selection of other miscellaneous objects, including scripted vehicles.

The HGExchange multi-grid marketplace delivers products to OSGrid, Haven, Nova, AnSky or MyOpenGrid .

A selection of free textures, terrains, and a handful of starting skins.

Free clothing, textures, animations and scripts, created by Fleep Tuque.

KatiJack Studio is a virtual design firm specializing in landscaping and building which offers region terrains on its website.

A nice starting collection of free skins, hair and textures for OpenSim and Second Life users, all original creations.

Free, large, Creative Commons-licensed content collection, which includes avatars, clothing, furniture, buildings, scripts, plants, terrains, textures, and hair and other attachments.

Jeff Lowe is the maker of the BrainBoard, a collaborative note-taking tool for brainstorming and planning.

Virtual world development company working in Second Life and OpenSim.

Jon Brouchoud designs virtual environments, 3D experiences and serious game applications in Unity3D, Second Life and OpenSim.

ARCH Virtual provides resources and design services to clients using Second Life, OpenSim and Unity3D.

US $150 per month for a four-region simulator on the Starlight grid. Building, consulting, and Second Life migration services also available.

Daden offers consulting, design and building services in virtual worlds, with particular expertise in the areas of web and real world integration, and creating interactive virtual personalities.

Creative Twists Designs offers design, building and other services for companies considering Second Life and OpenSim deployments.

29 Euros (US $33) a month for up to 45,000 prims. Includes hypergrid, groups and voice. Free varregion upgrade.

US$19 ($25 AUD) a month with a US$37 ($50 AUD) setup fee for a 15,000-prim region on the education-focused JokaydiaGrid. No currency. Hypergrid-enabled.

US$29 a month for a full region on the German-language social grid Dorenas World.

US$5 a month for a 15,000-prim region on the AviWorlds grid, no setup fee. Hypergrid, Vivox, Kitely Market, varregions available, local AV currency.

$35 a month, located on the AnSky grid, for a 15,000-prim region. Hypergrid enabled, Vivox voice.

$15 a month for a 15,000 prim region. In-grid currency, hypergrid, and varregions available.

$25 a month for 15,000-prim region, located on OSgrid, Metropolis, MyOpenGrid, or any other open grid, either private or hypergrid-enabled. Mini-grids also available.

US$ 9 (8 Euros) a month for a 15,000-prim region on the education-focused, French-language hypergrid-enabled Logicamp grid.

SpotON3D is a small commercial grid, with more money and programmers than customers. It has developed three innovative pieces of technology, two of which nobody cares anything about, and one, a browser-based viewer plugin, that got people all excited. Including me. It’s a great little piece of functionality, and anRead More →

SpotON3D will address the patent issue in a discussion on the first day of its Content Creators Expo in Second Life. Philippe Pascal, SpotON3D’s developer program manager, invited Hypergrid Business readers to attend the Expo, including those concerned about reports that SpotON3D has filed for five patents on OpenSim-related technology. ThoseRead More →

Thanks to a “small bounty” from Birmingham, U.K.-based Daden Limited, OpenSim has new NPC functionality — otherwise known as non-player characters or bots. “Having this functionality broken was becoming a real pain for us, as having NPCs and autonomous avatars in virtual worlds is a lot of what we are about,” DavidRead More →

Kitely users will get at least one more free month of hosting, as the company’s billing system has been delayed. “Due to the time we’d spent improving OpenSim in the last couple of months we are a few weeks behind schedule,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business. The companyRead More →

The Aurora-Sim distribution of OpenSim now supports mega regions of unlimited size, according to an announcement made this weekend. That doesn’t mean that the regions offer endless land to build on — buildable land is limited to the size of the underlying region, either a standard region or a variable-sizedRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids now have a total of 18,498 regions — up by 1,539 regions from a month ago. Meanwhile, total registered users grew by almost 12,000 to 206,098. Avination, InWorldz lose ground Both of the top commercial grids — Avination and InWorldz — lost regions over the past month.Read More →

Regions start at $30 a month for a 12,000-prim region, with no setup fee. Full grid hosting starts at $45 per month.

SpotON3D has actually filed five patents, not just one, SpotON3D CEO Stevan Lieberman, an intellectual property attorney with Greenberg & Lieberman, said at an outreach event Sunday morning. He did not provide any additional information about the patents at the event, though the company website offers a few hints. Thank you to Vanish Seriath, whoRead More →

Despite the patent controversy, and public relations problems that ensued from it, SpotON3D has a good product. It’s viewer plugin wrapper might not be a technological breakthrough, but it feels like a big technological breakthrough. No other browser-based solution — neither Tipodean’s www.BuiltBuy.me, nor 3Di’s Rei, nor Rezzable’s Unity-based viewer —Read More →

At a public forum today, an OpenSim grid executive told the audience that creators could lose their intellectual property rights if their work is copied. This is a common — and harmful — myth that may keep creators from sharing their work. In fact, you cannot lose your copyright ifRead More →

SpotON3D attempted to address the controversy over its plans to patent technology for putting an OpenSim viewer on a webpage in an outreach event this morning, but some of the company’s toughest critics failed to show up, the company failed to answer key questions about its technology, and the meetingRead 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 →

AvWorlds has announced that the company will be releasing a Facebook plugin this week, allowing users to quickly create avatars based on their existing Facebook identities. Those without Facebook accounts — or who don’t want to expose their identities — will also be able to use Yahoo and Google logins,Read More →

Competing OpenSim hosting companies are concerned that SpotON3D‘s viewer plugin patent isn’t original, will hinder innovation, and that the company isn’t playing fair with the broader open source community. Other developers, however, say that SpotON3D’s innovation can help energize OpenSim adoption — and the patent, if it is granted, mayRead More →

Avination may deploy the Havok physics engine for its grid. This is the same physics engine used by Second Life. “It is being considered and talks with Havok have started,” Avination grid manager Melanie Thielker told Hypergrid Business. “The content of these talks are under NDA [non-disclosure agreements.” OpenSim grids normallyRead More →

A lot of folks sit around complaining about not having a decent Web-based viewer for OpenSim and Second Life. (Okay, maybe just me.) The existing stand-alone viewers require that users download and install the software. There’s nothing wrong with installing software, but as more applications migrate to the Web, folksRead More →

Virtual worlds gained 214 million new users in the second quarter of 2011, according to virtual worlds research firm KZero Worldwide. It was the largest quarterly increase since the company began tracking these numbers in 2008. Second Life, with 27 million registered users, continued to hold the top position inRead More →

Until yesterday, I’ve been keeping up with — but haven’t been particularly concerned about — the Google Plus real names controversy. After all, I already used my real name in all my social networking and the only complaint I have with virtual worlds is when I can’t use my realRead More →

First of all, I’d like to thank all the creative folks who are creating original products and distributing them in freebie stores on OSGrid, JokaydiaGrid, GermanGrid, FrancoGrid, and many other locations. OpenSim has come a long way since I started writing about it two years ago and it’s now possibleRead More →

OSGrid, the largest grid running on the OpenSim software, is celebrating its fourth birthday this weekend with parties, games, tours, and training classes. OSGrid currently has 6,896 regions and more than 63,000 registered users. By comparison, the next-largest grid, ScienceSim, has around 1,800 regions — but many of those are scalabilityRead More →

I’ve been traveling around the hypergrid a lot lately enjoying the new hypergrid landmarks, friends, and messages — and updating the Hyperica directory. And I’ve been amazed at how far the grids have come. Areas which were bare or under construction when I last visited are now looking finished andRead More →

US$12 for a 15,000-prim region on OSgrid, any other open grid, or as a standalone. No setup fees. With Web-based management console, hypergrid, voice.

US $15 a month for a 15,000-prim on-demand region. Easy OAR exports and imports, voice, hypergrid, megaregions.

Aurora-Sim is a hot, fresh, new distribution of OpenSim that promises some nice features for grid managers (see story here) but, until this weekend, its users were cut off from the rest of the metaverse. That compatibility problem has been solved, and residents of OSGrid, FrancoGrid, and most other gridsRead More →

Update: Please people, stop linking to this post! Unless you are actually an OpenSim user this is not relevant to you at all! This article is about a very, very, narrow niche use of Unity that’s only relevant to a small handful of people. I understand that Unity is not aRead More →

Two major players in the OpenSim community have recently joined ReactionGrid in promoting the Unity 3D platform. In addition to ReactionGrid’s Jibe environment, we now also have Second Learning’s Unifier environment, and a product from Tipodean to convert OpenSim regions to Unity scenes. Jibe starts at $50 a month, Unifier atRead More →

It’s been a record-breaking months for OpenSim, with the top 40 grids passing 16,000 regions and 200,000 users for the first time in history. The total number of regions on these 40 largest public grids was 16,959, an increase of 1,669 regions since mid June — the biggest single-month increaseRead More →

If you’re launching a new grid, your number one problem is lack of content. Whether your grid is a corporate office complex for your employees, a campus for your students, or a large social and roleplaying world for your residents, they all need clothes, skins, hair, shoes, furniture, productivity tools,Read More →

If you’re treating your virtual workers like regular staff, but paying them as contractors, you might be setting yourself up for a lawsuit — even if you’re paying your employees in a virtual currency. At least, that’s the opinion of Donald C. Dowling, Jr., partner in the international labor andRead More →

Paris-based Cariama, a multi-grid marketplace, wants merchants to know that they can sell their goods to six different OpenSim grids, plus Second Life — without paying any commission. Those six grids are 3rd Rock Grid, Avination, InWorldz, Open Neuland,  Sim World and UFS Grid. It’s been making that pitch sinceRead More →

Educators and companies looking for free, Creative Commons-licensed starting regions for their corporate or school campuses should take a look at Universal Campus. These four regions were originally created by OSGrid president Michael Emory Cerquoni — also known as Nebadon Izumi in-world — for the Institute of Genomics and Bioinformatics atRead More →

Intel’s Distributed Scene Graph — the technology that allows OpenSim to handle thousands of avatars on a single region – is now available for download. In the future, the technology will become part of the standard distribution of OpenSim, core developer Justin Clark-Casey told Hypergrid Business. “No timeframe on this, though,”Read More →

Japan’s 3Di Inc., the first vendor to release a business-friendly Web-based viewer for OpenSim, has cut back its development work on the platform in favor of Flash-based virtual environments. “Apart from our existing deployments, we’ve scaled back new development on OpenSim,” 3Di technical group manager Norman Lin told Hypergrid Business.Read More →

The Commerce & Marketing Track of the Second Life Community Convention, scheduled for August 12 through 14 in Oakland, California, is looking for presentation proposals from Second Life content and service providers. According to track leader James Neville, one keynote speaker is already scheduled — Rik Panganiban, who will talk about non-profitRead More →

HGExchange, a new online marketplace for OpenSim goods launched today, with live delivery to OSGrid, MyOpenGrid, and Haven. It is not the first online marketplace to deliver items to multiple OpenSim grids.  Cariama delivers products to 3rd Rock Grid, Avination, InWorldz, Sim World and UFS Grid as well as to SecondRead More →

The recently-released OpenAvatar kit for open source avatars could help enterprise users of virtual worlds reduce vendor lock-in and, eventually, lead to significant improvements in the appearance of avatars, VastPark CEO Bruce Joy told Hypergrid Business. VastPark is an Australian immersive environment vendor that has both commercial and open sourceRead More →

OpenSim’s volunteer developers have launched a foundation, the non-profit Overte Foundation, which expected to solve the licensing problems that keep OpenSim server developers from talking to viewer developers. “One of the main reasons for creating such a foundation is so that we can drop the six month contribution barrier between OpenSimulatorRead More →

I subscribe to a lot of virtual world-related blogs in my RSS reader (click here for the bundle) , and follow a lot more on Twitter (click here for the list). Here are the five that I check in on daily. i live in science land Ener Hax posts daily (with a littleRead More →