I just spent an hour Googling around for this because half the tutorials out there are for older versions of GIMP, so they no longer work! But I needed some quick gold and silver textures — and this technique works for silks, as well. Here’s how to do it. CreateRead More →

Exo-Life, a small social world, has completed its move from Zetamex to Dreamland Metaverse hosting this week. Zetamex and Dreamland Metaverse are the two leading hosting companies for companies, organizations and individuals running private OpenSim grids. How they switched The migration process was very straightforward, Dreamland CEO Dierk Brunner told HypergridRead More →

Anyone who has worked on the production side of virtual environments can attest that content creation and scene development is a costly and time consuming endeavor. Depending on the complexity and fidelity of the scene, production can easily become the highest expense of the project. In more traditional virtual environmentsRead More →

Update: Craft was back up earlier than expected, on Monday, October 6. See this post for details. OSgrid went down with RAID problems in late August and still hasn’t recovered. The Next Reality Grid was hit a week later. Now Craft, an open, non-profit European grid popular with artists, hasRead More →

The folks at Oculus VR have posted videos for all the keynotes and talks from their Oculus Connect conference two weeks ago, so if you weren’t able to get to San Francisco, here’s your change to catch up on what you missed. Watch the Oculus Connect introduction below. Then theRead More →

Bassima Alansary came to virtual worlds in secret. Her family and culture forbid her from having an avatar, or from speaking to men even in virtual settings. She lived in Saudia Arabia, in fear of being punished for the simple desire of wanting to learn to speak English. “When IRead More →

We all love OpenSim. That’s why we’re here. But some of us aren’t as good at communicating it as others. One reason could be that a large part of the human population, especially the technically savvy and the creative folks, hate the idea of marketing. They’ve been the victims ofRead More →

Island Oasis pulled in the highest overall scores in the fifth annual OpenSim grid survey, narrowly edging out The Adult Grid for first place. Island Oasis is a top-ten grid by active users, making its high score even more surprising, since scores tend to diminish over time as grids get largerRead More →

For my hypergate portals, I’ve been using a texture I made a few years back, before I really knew my way around GIMP. So it’s a little jerky. Tonight, I made a new texture and it’s much simpler and easier than the first time I did it. First, you makeRead More →

The Fifth Annual OpenSim Grid Survey is closing tonight and many of the smaller but still worthwhile grids still haven’t received enough votes. So later on this year, I’m doing another survey — one of favorite hypergrid destinations. What is the best place to go shopping? To hang out withRead More →

In the face of criticism from GLBT groups, Facebook has rebranded its real names policy as an “authentic name” policy and apologized to the community. “In the two weeks since the real-name policy issues surfaced, we’ve had the chance to hear from many of you in these communities and understand theRead More →

Reddit, a major tech-oriented social network and news site, has revealed plans to launch its own cryptocurrency backed by shares in the company. Reddit recently raised $50 million in financing, which gives the company a valuation of $500 million. “Led by Sam [Altman, president of Y Combinator, which originally launched Reddit],Read More →

Press release: The Immersive Technology Alliance Announces Metaverse Working Group AvaCon, Cloudhead Games, SiliconArts, Cubicle Ninjas and More Join Alliance October 2, 2014 – The Immersive Technology Alliance (The ITA) is pleased to announce that AvaCon will be leading a working group pertaining to the development and interoperability of the metaverseRead More →

It’s going to be a busy month, with Oktoberfest and Halloween parties across the grids. One of the biggest Halloween celebration this year is probably the InWorldz Frightfest, on the InWorldz Event sims which will run from October 17 through Oct 31. Island Oasis will hold its Halloween Party on October 31.Read More →

OSgrid’s files could not be recovered by a simple cloning of the damaged drives as hoped, the grid announced today. Instead, the grid was forced to pay extra for a full recovery — $2,510 extra, to be exact, using up much of OSgrid’s current balance. According to grid administrator Dan Banner, thatRead More →

One annoying problem I’ve had with hypergate teleport scripts is that some regions have the right threat level settings to run walk-through scripts, while others don’t, and require a different command to activate the teleport. Users had to know what their threat levels were — and who knows that? AndRead More →

Las Vegas-based OpenSim hosting company Zetamex is recovering from a security breach that hit its servers late Sunday night. Hackers attempted to use the Zetamex servers to attack random websites. “All data is safe, and upon further investigation nothing was lost, no data was compromised,” acting CEO Timothy Rogers said inRead More →

PolyWorld Woodland Toolkit. (Image courtesy Xin Xin.)

When I demoed my Oculus Rift game, “Black Hat,” recently, one man told me that he felt sick the previous time he tried a Rift. I convinced him to give it another go and he was surprised by how pleasant the experience was. Quite a few people become nauseous while in the Rift. PartRead More →

Avatar Social Network has recently passed SL Universe in Alexa traffic rank, making it the leading dedicated platform for avatars to discuss virtual world topics. “Now of course at the moment it may not mean much,” Avatar Social Network founder Arkad Baxton told Hypergrid Business. “But if it’s maintained or getRead More →

Update: The poll is now closed. See the results here. It’s time again for the OpenSim grid survey, where OpenSim residents can rank their grids and see how they compare to others. If your grid isn’t on the list, write it in and help the world discover new hidden gems.Read More →

The London-based Spellscape grid, a magic-themed role play world, has donated code for filtered inventory exports. This would enable grid owners to allow their users to save their inventories in the form of IAR files, while still protecting exclusive content that is not allowed to leave the grid. Previously, this was only possibleRead More →

Samsung and Oculus VR are expected to release their collaborative project, the Gear VR, sometime before the end of the year. The headset uses the Galaxy Note 4 to power a completely untethered virtual reality experience and will be Oculus VR’s first actual step into the consumer market, since their own headset isn’t expected outRead More →

The European Union is giving away more than 80 million Euro — US $103 million — as part of the FIWARE Accelerator Programme for tech startups using cutting-edge technologies such as realXtend, an early off-shoot of OpenSim. The funding is in the form of a direct grant — no equity or loan repayments required.Read More →

Zetamex is no longer the low-cost hosting leader in OpenSim. As of today, if you are looking for the lowest-host regions in OpenSim, you have to go to Canada — specifically, to The Great Canadian Grid. Land prices start at just CAD $5 for a 15,000 prim region with noRead More →

The AviWorlds grid is coming back up — this time with help from Josh Boam, founder of SkyLifeGrid. “I am going to offer him paid servers and unlimited help,” Boam told Hypergrid Business. According to AviWorlds owner Alex Pomposelli, the grid will be hypergrid-enabled, have its own virtual currency, and willRead More →

As we wrote before, virtual reality is transforming education in many different ways. But one of the most powerful is that it helps students develop a motivation for learning through virtual rewards that provide real value to the learners, a sense of personal or group success, and personal autonomy. Virtual rewards can replace traditionalRead More →

I have served on my share of non-profit boards. Still do, as a matter of fact. And most of these nonprofits have one thing in common: they spend money. Sorry, they have two things in common: they also raise money. In fact, raising money is usually a core function of theRead More →

The new CEO taking over the Zetamex OpenSim hosting company is named Richard Lehman, and prices will only be raised slightly, he said today. In addition, he pledged that 10 percent of the region rental income will go to OSgrid and Metropolis, to support their operations. Zetamex currently offers customersRead More →

As a result of the recent change in ownership, Zetamex will be raising hosting prices on Nov. 1. “I can’t release how much it’s going up, but it is going to affect all plans,” said acting CEO Timothy Rogers, who will be stepping down from that position on Dec. 1.Read More →

Virtual worlds are providing a new and exciting, interactive landscape for writers. One such place is Nara’s Nook, an OpenSim grid on which which authors gather weekly to discuss their projects and to share or promote published work. But grid owner Nara Malone takes this a step further. She actuallyRead More →

3rd Rock Grid, a closed, commercial social grid known for its music scene, has stepped up with a fundraising call for another grid. OSgrid has been down for almost a month after a failure of its asset storage hardware and there’s been little information from the grid administrators so farRead More →

Merchants selling products on the Kitely Market now have a suite of analytics tools to help them optimize sales, Oren Hurvitz, Kitely co-founder and VP R&D, announced today in a blog post. The new features include historical data about sales, traffic sources, product demos, and delivery destinations for exported items. InRead More →

The grid numbers were down this month, partly due to an outage on OSgrid, the oldest virtual world running on the OpenSim software and one of the largest grids. However, the number of downloads of the OpenSimulator software reached an all-time high this month. The number of standard region equivalents droppedRead More →

Las Vegas-based Zetamex, a leading provider of low-cost OpenSim hosting, has been sold, CEO Timothy Rogers said in a brief announcement today. No services or existing pricing will be adversely affected, he said in an open letter later in the day, with the major change being the addition of newRead More →

People interested in attending the 2014 OpenSimulator Community Conference can now sign up for tickets, conference organizers announced today. “Since seats are limited, registration is open on a first-come-first-served basis until the maximum number of virtual conference center tickets is reached,” said conference chair Chris Collins in the announcement. TheRead More →

Until very recently, if you ever found yourself talking about virtual reality, it was probably because you were cornered by a wild-eyed science fiction enthusiast breathlessly describing the holodeck on the USS Enterprise, the light cycles in the Tron mainframe, or dodging bullets in the Matrix. You almost certainly weren’tRead More →

Education and technology are interconnected. This synergy is able to transform the world we live in. The contradictory phenomenon is that while being an early adopter of technology, education is also one of the last sectors to be fully transformed by it, due to institutional inertia and a number ofRead More →

Folks who’ve tried to add destinations to the Hyperica directory in the past often complained about the length of time it takes to add their regions and grids. The old form used to go to a Google Spreadsheet, was difficult to use, and often did not notify us when aRead More →

August was a relatively slow month in OpenSim, but September is shaping up to be full of major events, including an anniversary celebration on Avination, an Air & Space Expo, a 9/11 commemoration, and much more. Make sure not to skip over the RezMela contest, where you decide this weekRead More →

Press Release:  OpenSimulator Community Conference Announces High Fidelity CEO Philip Rosedale as Keynote Speaker The OpenSimulator Community Conference is pleased to announce Philip Rosedale, Founder and CEO of High Fidelity, Inc. will be a keynote speaker at the second annual OpenSimulator Community Conference, scheduled to take place virtually on NovemberRead More →

The Kokua viewer team is following in the footsteps of Firestorm developers and creating a new branch of the viewer software just for OpenSim. Because of Linden Lab licensing issues, there are some features that viewers can only offer to Second Life users. In addition, there are some features likeRead More →

About 8,000 people are expected to attend this year’s virtual Utherverse community convention, Virtual Con, twice that of last year’s 4,000 attendees. This year’s convention also includes a job fair and keynotes by virtual reality headset manufacturers Gameface Labs, Metaio, Altergaze and other high-profile virtual reality-related companies. “This is theRead More →

After I created yesterday’s Hillary Clinton Avatar and uploaded it to the Kitely Marketplace, Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner reminded me that, with an adult skin, it needs to go into the “Adult” category — I would need to create a new skin for a “General” listing. He pointed me to aRead More →

Last week, I wrote about how I updated my avatar look and copied my shape across grids. I updated my skin, as well, to more closely resemble my actual face without being too creepy. Here is how I did it. Step One: Start with a good freebie skin If youRead More →

While many companies still haven’t even heard of virtual reality, real estate developer Panoptic Group has already been putting virtual reality to work, using it to help sell new properties. The Chicago-based firm is known for its innovative projects and teamed up with Arch Virtual, a company that builds custom virtual reality simulations for realRead More →

The Virtual Reality Foundation will holds its first-ever virtual reality award show The Proto Awards in Los Angeles on September 19 — and the deadline for nominations is this coming Monday. The Foundation will give out awards in several virtual reality-related categories, including art direction and design, interactive and social experience, sound andRead More →

Virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus haven’t hit the consumer market yet, but virtual reality is already making a difference in many industries. The medical profession, for one, has been one of the earliest adopters of virtual reality, virtual worlds and simulations. Here are fiveRead More →

The Developer Kit 2 version of the Oculus Rift began shipping last month, and some OpenSim users already got their hands on one. Now the CtrlAltStudio Viewer has some preliminary support for the DK2, developer David Rowe announced yesterday. “I know some people are very anxious to try their DK2sRead More →

Update 8/21: OSgrid Dan Banner posted an announcement saying, “OSgrid has suffered a critical failure in one of the primary drives in our RAID10 array. This is a matter of the gravest technical concern, and while we are working diligently with our datacenter services provider to resolve this issue without dataRead More →

Beijing-based Noitom Ltd. has launched a Kickstarter for its Perception Neuron motion capture product which offers the promise of interacting with virtual environments at a lower cost than available with other platforms. Perception Neuron costs $175 with delivery estimated in February of 2015. The closest other system on the market todayRead More →

I’ve read on Ener Hax’s blog that you can use Imprudence to copy shapes from Second Life. This month, I redid my skin — using my much-improved GIMP skills to combine an actual picture of myself with a Linda Kellie skin template. And then used that same photograph to tryRead More →

  As we’ve noted previously, the FCC opened a comment period, which ended on July 18, 2014. More than a million comments were received over a five-month period. In fact, comments that were sent by postal mail are still being added. Please note, however, that a second comment period is nowRead More →

OpenSim’s 40 largest grids gained over 3,000 new regions this month, many thanks to the new varregion functionality. Registered users and active users also increased this month, despite the summer season. The exact totals are 50,017 standard region equivalents on the top 40 grids, an increase of 3,110 regions; 363,884 registeredRead More →

Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder often experience a cluster of symptoms, including flashbacks and nightmares, emotional numbness and hyperarousal, which results in sleeping difficulties, angry outbursts and feeling constantly jumpy. “A veteran might be mowing his lawn on a peaceful summer’s day and suddenly the smell of gasoline fromRead More →

A couple of days ago, I rounded up all the places where you can order a Google Cardboard kit. But you don’t have to settled for cardboard, if you have access to a 3D printer. Check out this guide for 3D printing your own Google Cardboard headset here. Several differentRead More →

Last year, Oculus VR kickstarted a whole new era of virtual reality. It’s easy to take for granted, now that the movement is well underway, but it’s important to remember that none of this would be possible without the ingenuity, persistence and forward thinking vision put forth by Palmer LuckeyRead More →

Tangle Grid is rapidly becoming known as the Expo Grid for their high-profile, hypergrid-enabled events. Tangle Grid’s Fashion Expo, which ended on August 3, brought in 85 visitors — up 55 percent from June’s Steam Expo on the same grid. About half of the Fashion Expo visitors came via hypergrid,Read More →

Updated Jan. 2, 2016: This page is so out of date! Please go see our Virtual Headsets Buying Guide, which lists over 70 Google Cardboard-compatible headsets categorized by price, and our handy Mobile virtual reality headset comparison chart, which has all the key specs, prices, and buying links for all the headsetsRead More →

Las Vegas-based hosting company Zetamex — which recently tested out a $3 region offer — has decided to make the low prices permanent, and added some much-requested features. The company also raised prices slightly. Instead of $3 for a 15,000-prim region capable of holding up to 20 avatars, the newRead More →

  Kitely customers will now have an easier time trying out Kitely Market products. The “Try demo” link is now right there on the product listing page, said Kitely co-founder and VP R&D  Oren Hurvitz  in an announcement this week. Previously, customers had to add the product to their shopping cart,Read More →

The Virtual Worlds City grid is moving from OpenSim to Unity 3D. “Since our clients only will shop and explore there is no need for all the build tools that the OpenSim-based viewers have,” said Frank Corsi, co-founder and CTO of parent company 3D Virtual Web, Inc. I’ve compared Unity to OpenSim before,Read More →

Most people who run their own grids — and this includes the little Diva Distro I’ve got on my home computer — use one of the official, recommended distributions of OpenSim. This means the latest stable, recommended release from OpenSimulator.org, or the Diva Distro mini-grid, Sim-on-a-Stick, or New World Studio.Read More →

You can’t keep these guys down. AviWorlds is back in action, now in its seventh incarnation. The grid is pledging to make backups of everything, grid founder Alexandro Pomposelli  — also known as Alex Ferraris in-world — said in a Facebook post Saturday,  “so that all is well this time andRead More →

It was quite an honor to witness my uncle, David Brouchoud, exploring a virtual recreation of the USS Helena CA-75, a Navy heavy cruiser he served on more than 60 years ago. Using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, he was able to walk the decks of the ship again,Read More →

Sept. 18 update: All prices will be going up on Nov. 1 but existing customers — and all those who order before Nov. 1 — will be grandfathered in. Read more here. Aug. 9 update: The prices were slightly raised, and more features added, with more starting regions, and choice of namesRead More →

OpenSim users chose “better vehicles and physics” as a top priority more than any other feature in a Hypergrid Business survey this past week. You can see the raw results of the survey here. Overall, 43 respondents out of 143, or 31 percent, said that better vehicles and physics wereRead More →

Stay inside this month, in front of the air conditioner, and catch up on all the OpenSim events you’ve been missing. Nara’s Nook celebrates new releases The authors on the Nara’s Nook grid are celebrating new releases today, with a party on the Reader Cove region. Teleport to world.narasnook.com:8900:Greyville via theRead More →

Virtual reality is making a big comeback, and virtual worlds are being rebranded as virtual reality right and left. There’s nothing particularly wrong with that — immersive virtual worlds are a natural fit for virtual reality. But virtual reality is more than just virtual worlds with extra immersion. “Immersion squared” orRead More →

Have you ever teleported from one grid to another and had your attachments disappear? That problem has now been fixed, thanks to code donations from the on-demand Kitely grid. Grids running the latest, cutting-edge OpenSim code should already have this fix, said Oren Hurvitz, Kitely’s co-founder and VP of research andRead More →

Las Vegas-based Zetamex, one of OpenSim’s leading hosting companies, is experimenting with a $3 region offer for 15,000-prim regions on OSgrid and Metropolis. “This is an experimental service, meaning we are changing and it may not last all depending on how you our customers and future customers take to theseRead More →

Update: The survey is now closed, but you can see all the raw results here.   The explosion of new virtual reality developments, the announcement that Linden Lab is working on a new version of Second Life, and a steady stream of updates from High Fidelity have combined to createRead More →

OSgrid, the oldest virtual world running on the OpenSimulator software, is turning seven years old and birthday celebrations begin 10 a.m. Pacific time on Saturday morning with DJs and live performances. These include DJ Foxx Bode at 10 a.m., Bolt Dominica at 11, Joaquin Gustav at noon, and Sonya Jevette atRead More →

Riftmax Theater 4D, a virtual environment with a theater and meeting space, has been released for the Oculus Rift and is now available for free as a download from Oculus Share or from the project website. It was also the location of last week’s Road to VR Roundtable Discussion and is where the talkRead More →

Everybody talks about the fact that we need better search functionality in OpenSim, but there are few solutions out there. Why today’s automated searches don’t work Keyword search is what Metaverse Ink does, created by hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes, also known as Diva Canto in-world. Searching for “shoes,” for exampleRead More →

Facebook will be “investing aggressively” in virtual reality, company executives said on an earnings call yesterday. The company closed on a $2 billion acquisition of virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR earlier this week. “We’re not getting into more specifics on the exact headcounts,” said Facebook CFO Dave Wehner. “But weRead More →

Justin Clark-Casey’s monthly OpenSim development update reminded me that OpenSim now has a new command for grid owners — “show grid size.” The command counts up all the land area on a grid, including the land of variable-sized regions, and gives the answer in terms of square kilometers. And afterRead More →

The first-ever hypergrid fashion expo begins this Saturday on Tangle Grid and will last through August 3. Time is running out for merchants and creators interested in being part of the event. To participate, contact IsambardKingdom Brunel on Tangle Grid, or Peter2 Veliz in Second Life. Merchants looking for a more permanentRead More →

A new branch of OpenSim, ArribaSim, promises better performance than mainline OpenSim while maintaining full compatibility. And now there’s a packaged version of it, called Arriba Mini-Grid, that sets itself up with a single click. The package is provided by Dorena’s World, a mid-sized German-language commercial grid. In face, Dorena’s WorldRead More →

Oliveira Virtual Lands, which rents regions and parcels on OSgrid and Metropolis, now has a presence on the French-language non-profit open grid FrancoGrid. Like the other two grids, FrancoGrid is hypergrid enabled and residents are allowed to make backups of entire regions and inventories. Oliveira has set up a home regionRead More →

Press Release:  OpenSimulator Community Conference Announces Principal Scientist at Oculus VR as Keynote Speaker July 22, 2014 – The OpenSimulator Community Conference is pleased to announce Dr. Steve LaValle, principal scientist at Oculus VR and professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois, will be a keynote speaker at theRead More →

According to a new report by UK-based virtual worlds research firm KZero, 83 million head-mounted virtual reality display devices such as the Oculus Rift will have been sold by 2018. In addition, 18 million virtual reality input systems will have been sold by that year. Prices to drop from $350Read More →

A grid’s welcome region is like the home page of a website. It’s where new users arrive for the first time, and where hypergrid travelers land if all they know is the grid’s loginURI. For example, OSgrid’s welcome region is LBSA Plaza. Its full hypergrid address is hg.osgrid.org:80:lbsa plaza  but hg.osgrid.org:80 worksRead More →

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 →

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 →

So you’ve decided to start a commercial grids, hosting company, or consulting firm. Congratulations! But customers aren’t breaking down the doors like you expected. You could blame the customers for not being smart enough to appreciate what you’re offering. Or you could check and see if you’re making any ofRead More →

The top OpenSim grids saw a record increase in active users this month, and a near-record increase in region counts, despite the summer season and a lack of stats from a major grid. The top 40 public OpenSim grids gained 2,109 regions this month, for a new record high of 46,907 regions.Read More →

When face-to-face meetings for mentoring and coaching sessions aren’t an option, most people would turn to telephone calls, Skype, or Google Hangouts. But a mentoring session in a virtual world offers some additional functionality and some benefits not found in other platforms. For example, in addition to removing the barriersRead More →

Press release: Virtual Facebook Refugees find new home on Avatar Social Network As Facebook continues to crack down on pseudonymous accounts such as those of Second Life avatars, some virtual communities are migrating to other sites. Most recently, Pointe Fusion Elite, a community of DJs, artists, and music fans, has movedRead More →

In a recent comment thread, some readers have asked questions about OpenSim’s long-term goals and road map. I’m going to offer some suggestions now, and ask you, my readers, to contribute others in the comments. Then I will do a survey of our readership to find out which long-term featuresRead More →

The first image of Samsung’s new virtual reality headset, the Gear VR, have been leaked online. Gear VR is basically a more comfortable and durable version of Google Cardboard, though with one significant difference. Both headsets work by putting two lenses in front of a customer’s own smartphone. In theRead More →

William Warren’s research group is advancing virtual reality technology in the service of studying the science of the swarm: how patterns of crowd movement emerge from individual behaviors. He described his work June 29 in a keynote address to a conference in Vancouver. PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] —The cognitive scientistsRead More →

OculusVR, the company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset that was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion this year, will hold a virtual reality conference in September. Oculus Connect will be held on September 19 and 20 in Hollywood, California and is aimed at virtual reality developers, engineers andRead More →

The OpenSimulator Community Conference has begun running scalability tests on its grid every Tuesday at noon Pacific time. The hypergrid address is cc.opensimulator.org:8002:Keynote 1. Load testing doesn’t just help the conference organizers. “All related performance improvements are fed directly back into the OpenSimulator code base so will help everybody using the project,” saidRead 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 →

Screen shot of the WWII role play sim. (Image courtesy Suzan de Koning.)

InWorldz residents are circulating a petition demanding the removal of a World War II-themed role playing build from the grid. “I cannot support a grid that makes it possible for people to play a role playing game based on World World II,” resident Suzan de Koning told Hypergrid Business. “ThereRead More →