I may have been premature when I announced that immersive movies were the killer app for virtual reality. What was I thinking? Who wants to spend two hours in a bulky headset? Obviously, the killer app for virtual reality is going to be music videos. The length of a songRead More →

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 forRead More →

Changchun is a city in northeast China known for its auto plants. “We’re the Detroit of China,” said David Deeds, IT manager and teacher at the Changchun American International School. “Except that they’re still making cars here.” The school, which was founded four years ago, is affiliated with an autoRead More →

Chris Lineberry is the principal of the Florence Virtual Academy in Florence, Arizona, about 60 miles southeast of Phoenix, serving students in grades six through 12 who live in the district – or anywhere else in the state. The school currently has 23 students, and enrollment is expected to riseRead More →

Teesside University is piloting a quarter million pound (US $400,000) citizenship education project in OpenSim this year. The project, which will eventually involve as many as 900 high students in the UK, will be officially launched in January. The entire project is scheduled to run for 18 months and isRead More →

This month, the Youth for Christ charity celebrates its second year in Second Life. But the big party will be held in OpenSim, the charity’s new home. The reason? The Second Life Teen Grid, where the YFC has been offering support and mentoring programs for at-risk youth, is closing atRead More →

NASA’s OpenSim-based Moon World — a quarter-million-dollar project —  will go live on December 1, allowing students to experience what it’s like to live and work on a NASA moon base. “It helps students understand the geography of the moon,” said Charles Wood, executive director for the Center for EducationalRead More →

• Clients three times as likely to complete virtual treatment program as face-to-face program • Outcomes ‘as good or better’ as at physical treatment centers • Private OpenSim grid operated by ReactionGrid, more stable than Second Life Preferred Family Healthcare, Inc., is a substance abuse treatment organization with headquarters inRead More →

In a recent post, I wrote about how the Club One Fitness program in Second Life helped me lose 20 pounds, lower my blood pressure, and make permanent changes to my lifestyle. A skeptic might read that and say: “Well, sure, you spent four hours a week in support sessionsRead More →

Update: The Chat-World project has moved back to Second Life. According to the Laura Crane Trust, cancer is the most common form of non-accidental death in teenagers and young adults in the UK. The Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to funding research specifically into cancers affecting young peopleRead More →

Virtual worlds run by non-profit organizations focus on providing a low-cost platform for other non-profits and individuals. To many in the non-profit sector, in-world economies belong on for-profit grids like Second Life and Blue Mars. However, some non-profits running grids on the OpenSim platform are beginning to embrace in-grid paymentsRead More →

Bernhard Drax (s Draxtor Despres in Second Life) has produced a nice report about using virtual worlds to cut down telecommuting time — and create a greener work place.

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 →

Analyst firm ThinkBalm has created a virtual reception room for Web site visitors, using the 3DXplorer virtual worlds platform. ThinkBalm is  an independent industry analyst firm focused on work-related use of the immersive Internet — so the new three-dimensional, immersive environment was a good fit for the company’s mission. TheRead More →

Crescendo Design, an architecture firm based in Madison, Wisconsin, is doing some innovative work in virtual worlds, using the OpenSim offspring RealXtend. “The virtual experience isn’t right for every client, but for those who are more tech-savvy and have newer computers, the virtual experience can provide an invaluable means ofRead More →

Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland will become the first UK university to offer a comprehensive virtual world creation course, the institution announced this summer. The course, available to fourth-year computing students, will cover the design and development of 3D virtual worlds, using the OpenSim and Second Life platforms. Creative computingRead More →

The $50,000 price tag might scare off smaller customers, but IBM’s Lotus Sametime 3D product is designed to help large enterprises start holding virtual meetings. The product – released at the end of June — includes integration with corporate directories, with the Lotus Sametime chat service, and includes conferencing toolsRead More →

The company is in Singapore. The owners are in Thailand, Moscow, and Shanghai. What’s the most convenient location for the annual corporate meeting? Hint: it’s got dragons, a spaceport, and a red light district. You might think – China. But the company actually picked a place much cheaper to travelRead More →

Mike Joyce – that’s Michael R. Joyce on imdb.com – is a Hollywood producer. You may have heard of him from such projects as “Battlestar Galactica” and “Jewel of the Nile.” “The kind of work I did was line producing,” he said. “I did whole shows right from scratch. IRead More →

Few companies today actually need a virtual world — but yours could be one of them. Here’s how to tell. Are you in the education business? Take for example, Tom Hood, president of the Maryland Association of CPAs. His group has conducted about a dozen events in Second Life overRead More →

According to Ralf Haifisch, a virtual worlds developer, what we’re seeing now is the emergence of a new Internet. And he knows what’s he’s talking about – he was the first one in his part of Germany to run an Internet host there – and sent me a document dating back to 1991 attesting this fact.

If you want to see how the OpenSim platform works in practice – and who doesn’t want a glipse of the next generation of the Internet? – you might be tempted to come to the OSGrid, the largest public OpenSim deployment that’s out there right now. Don’t. If you want to see a nice, stable OpenSim project, go to the Folk Cafe at Grid4us.

If you’re looking to see what a good OpenSim deployment looks like, I strongly recommend the Folk Cafe and the surrounding German village region on the Grid4us OpenSim grid. How to get in: If you already have an OpenSim account, see below. If you are new to OpenSim: Step One:Read More →