Tangle Grid is a small, new commercial grid with about a hundred regions and 70 active users. It used to have a nice, big welcome area — a four-region megaregion. That didn’t work out, and the grid broke up the welcome mega into individual regions. Today, the grid announced thatRead More →

Kitely has done about half of the work needed to enable full hypergrid access, said Oren Hurvitz, the company’s vice president of research and development, in an announcement today. Kitely is the sixth-most popular OpenSim grid according to this month’s OpenSim statistics report, and the largest commercial grid by land area, secondRead More →

I just realized that I’ve been writing about OpenSim for five years, and never wrote an article addressing the question: What is OpenSim? The closest I got was an article titled “What is OpenSim standard time?” Which, of course, isn’t quite the same thing. So here goes. What is OpenSim?Read More →

Garry’s Mod, a multi-player 3D sandbox game, has nearly 5 million players on Steam, according to a report released today by Ars Technica. New World Notes‘ Hamlet Au suggests that Linden Lab take another try at distributing Second Life through the Steam platform, which is a popular channel for PC-basedRead More →

Last month, the Kitely grid rolled out hypergrid delivery of content sold in the stores of its fast-growing Kitely Market. But some closed grids are getting in on the action as well. Zandramas, a closed commercial grid, has also enabled Kitely Market deliveries for its residents, said its technology servicesRead 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 →

This year’s Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conferences brought in a total of 4,500 people, who attended in-person in Second Life and OSgrid, and online through streaming channels. There might be some overlap between these numbers, which were reported by organizers today, but overall the results are significantly higherRead More →

Another World, a small commercial grid, announced that it is shutting its doors May 12 because of personal reasons, but it will reopen again at some point in the future. “Due to some real life illnesses I will need to temporarily close Another World,” founder Jonny Vayro told Hypergrid Business.Read More →

Here at Hypergrid Business, we’ve been working away on a new, modern responsive design for the website. Some of you may have already seen the proposed design, and had some thoughts about it. We’ll be switching over this weekend, and are asking your patience ahead of time if the switchRead 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 →

Despite the dystopian predictions in Enerst Cline’s Ready Player One, the future virtual reality metaverse will not be owned and governed by one single corporate entity, said former Linden Lab CEO and founder Philip Rosedale in a keynote address today to the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference. Rosedale,Read More →

Do you have a grid running on the Diva Distro and using its Wifi Web Application Account Management module? If your grid’s website looks like this, then you do: OpenSim versions that use this web front end include the Diva Distro, Sim-on-a-Stick and New World Studio mini grids, as well asRead More →

A couple of days ago, in Utopias, dystopias, and other traps, I wrote about the pitfalls of imaging a future whether either everything is completely awful, or unimaginably perfect — which often turns out to be secretly awful, anyway. Other than digging a deep, deep hole and cowering in it, there’s reallyRead More →

As a dork, I’m a huge fan of science fiction. But, over time, I’ve switched from reading books to watching movies. That’s because, for me, it’s a little easier to suspend disbelief in a movie theater. With books, there’s too much opportunity for me to have — imaginary — argumentsRead More →

Which ever way things go, with virtual reality, we’ve got to get in gear. For me, this means getting organized and productive. To help the process along, this week I’m reading The Secret to Peak Productivity by Tamara Myles. It’s all about the value of clear, concrete goals, and priorizing. For example, I’veRead More →

This month has the usual music events and parties across the grids, the Robstock Festival, and Easter-themed activities. Robstock Festival crosses grids Robstock 2014 is on three different grids this year — 3rd Rock Grid, Second Life, and, now, Metropolis. It’s three days of music, art, and other activities. KitelyRead More →

Last week, I posted the Easy Sticky-Note Script. This week, I wanted to expand on this idea, of having text automatically created on signs, by creating a hypergrid-enabled teleporter system. The idea is that you’d rez the navigation object, change its description, and it would automatically add itself to yourRead More →

When the announcement came out on March 12 that Linden Labs was inviting beta testers for their Oculus Rift based VR viewer, I dusted off my Oculus Rift Developers kit and signed up. About six months ago, I tried out the first version of the Oculus Rift developer’s kit inRead More →

Press release: VWBPE Announces Invited Keynote Ebbe Altberg The Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference announced that Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab, the makers of Second Life, will be a featured keynote in Second Life. While he has not been long at the helm, he has made definiteRead More →

After Sony made their Project Morpheus announcement, and the Oculus Rift won best of show at CES, and rumors began flying around about Microsoft planning a virtual reality product, I knew I had to get my act in gear. Mass adoption of virtual reality is coming, and while it’s takenRead More →

If you have been worrying about how to report your Bitcoin transactions or trading profits to the IRS, worry no more. The tax agency issued new guidance this week, explaining that Bitcoin should be treated as if they were any other kind of property. According to Jacob S. Farber, senior counselRead More →

In a stunning development for the virtual reality industry, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced today that his company will buy Oculus VR Inc., the company behind the leading virtual reality headset. “The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with otherRead More →

So there I am, making plans to redo the website, and put out some special reports and I realized that what I was really missing was an in-world project planning board. Now, last time I just used a Google document and media-on-a-prim, but this time I wanted something a littleRead More →

Journalists know that the best ways to get the public’s attention are sex, money, violence — and rankings. This is why when there’s an important story to be covered that the public needs to know about, but it doesn’t involve any of the first three topics, rankings come into play.Read More →

Kitely Market is out of private beta and is now delivering goods to any hypergrid-enabled grid. By default, the Market offers a choice of deliveries to avatars on Kitely itself, as well as to  Craft, DigiWorldz, FrancoGrid, Great Canadian Grid, Metropolis, OSgrid, and ZanGrid. Just make sure the items you’reRead More →

Virtual reality is finally starting to hit the prime time, with the Oculus Rift taking Best of Show at the Consumer Electronics Show and Sony unveiling its own headset, Project Morpheus, at the Game Developers Conference this week. This isn’t the same virtual reality that flopped big in the 90s.Read More →

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article titled 8 best grid websites, and followed it up with Nice WordPress themes for a grid a few days later. While I still love the FrancoGrid website and think it looks great, it turns out I was very, very wrong aboutRead More →

Virtual reality isn’t just for Kickstarter start-ups anymore. Tonight, Sony unveiled their new “Project Morpheus” virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4 in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference, the worlds largest game industry event for professionals. The headset will be available for conference attendees to try out tomorrow, theRead More →

Press release: Unity 5 Announced at GDC 2014, Pre-Order Begins SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Unity Technologies unveils Unity 5, the next generation of the award-winning Unity multiplatform engine and development tools, during its Developer Day at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Unity 5 brings a wealth of newRead More →

Back when I met regularly with my mastermind business support group in Shanghai, we asked each other this question on a regular basis: “Are you working IN your business, or ON your business?” Working in the business means that you’re doing a job. If you run a restaurant, you’re cookingRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grid lost nearly 5,000 regions this month, as a result of a long-overdue spring clearing on OSgrid. The last time there was a net drop in regions in OpenSim was last April, when ScienceSim cut around 2,000 regions from its grid, an Intel-backed OpenSim testing platform.Read More →

Press release: The Immersive Technology Alliance to Launch at Game Developers Conference Non-profit organization represents and grows Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, 3D and Gesture markets. San Francisco – Originally founded in 2009, The Stereoscopic 3D Gaming Alliance has been formally renamed the The Immersive Technology Alliance (The ITA) and hasRead More →

Press release: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Market worth $1.06 Billion by 2018 DALLAS — According to a new report, Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality Market  – Global Forecast and Analysis to 2013 – 2018 published by MarketsandMarkets, the augmented reality and virtual reality market is expected to grow at a CAGR ofRead More →

Press release: Serious Play Conference Moves to USC in Los Angeles July 22-24 Event Examines Value of Games for Engagement, Learning, Retention LOS ANGELES –  The Serious Play Conference,  a gathering of game industry luminaries and game-based learning enthusiasts, is moving to University of Southern California (USC)’s School of Cinematic ArtsRead 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 →

Lilith Heart’s Heart Botanicals is now on the Kitely Market, with a Kitely Market store selling exportable sets of palm trees for $4.95 to $9.95 each. “Exportable” means that the plants can be taken to other grids via OAR region exports or, once testing is complete, via hypergrid delivery. “ThisRead More →

Last week Linden Lab and the OnLive cloud gaming service debuted a new service aimed at delivering Second Life to almost any device capable of connecting to the internet. While still in beta and available for PCs, OSX and Android — iOS support is coming — I had an opportunity toRead More →

Storytelling is changing and the authors at Greyville Writer’s Colony have banded together to tell tales in the metaverse. The writers have created interactive stories, allowing readers to explore their worlds as their story unfolds on the screen. Offerings in this first set of tales range from 500 to 1,300Read More →

The on-demand Kitely grid announced the start of hypergrid delivery testing today. The Kitely Market  currently has over 2,000 different product listings, about half of which are marked with the “export” permission, allowing buyers to take the content off the grid — or, once hypergrid delivery is implemented — getRead More →

I first wrote about wanting a content management system for a virtual environment in 2009, when I was just getting started in OpenSim. I’m revisiting the topic now because I’ve continued to think about it ever since, because nobody has built one yet, and because the imminent arrival of the OculusRead More →

Press release: Multi-User Virtual Reality System for Sale from ICAP Patent Brokerage New York — ICAP Patent Brokerage announces for sale a patent portfolio disclosing an improved, interactive multi-user virtual reality system from Louis de Groot, as trustee of The Louis and Barbara de Groot Trust. This IP package is available viaRead More →

Folks disappointed with the standard 16-acre region size can now have variable-sized regions in OpenSim, as long as they are comfortable running experimental code, and are using the latest viewers. Those using the official release of OpenSim, will have to settle for megaregions for a while longer, however, as wellRead More →

Celebrate Mardi Gras on Virtual Highway As usual, the Virtual Highway calendar is packed with DJ parties and live music every single day this month, with at least two events every day. This includes a Mardi Gras celebration on Monday, March 3 at 1 p.m. and a grand ball on Tuesday, MarchRead More →

Not too many people saw the 2009 movie Surrogates in which Bruce Willis plays both his old, gnarly self as well as a plastic, youthful-looking robot version of himself. In the still above, Bruce Willis is sitting in a recliner, wearing a comfy bathrobe, about to lie back and put onRead More →

The U.S. Army, with its MOSES grid, is one of the more high-profile users of OpenSim. But the military gives back, as well. The Army’s Research Laboratory Simulation and Training Technology Center has been expanding Intel’s SimianGridFrontend for OpenSim, and, this month, has made their version — the MOSES Grid Manager, orRead More →

We write a lot about business models in Hypergrid Business. You’ve got the big commercial grids, offering a lower-cost and more personal alternative to Second Life. The non-profits, which allow anyone to connect regions and live on donations from users, founders, and hosting companies. The school and company grids thatRead More →

New grid owners who skimp on sales and marketing often rely on word-of-mouth to bring in users. But what many don’t realize is that word-of-mouth usually doesn’t just happen by itself. Here are some ways to help create and growth word-of-mouth buzz for your grid. 1. Have stuff worth talkingRead More →

There’s been a lot of bad news about Bitcoin in the media recently — the problems at the Mt. Gox exchange, regulatory action in China and Russia, the Silk Road arrests and, more recently, a $2.7 million Silk Road hack. This is on top of the more endemic problems ofRead More →

UK-based CasperTech Ltd., is taking over development of the text-only METAbolt viewer, company director Casper Warden announced recently. “It was recently announced that the METAbolt project was being discontinued,” said Warden in the announcement. “We are very happy to announce that this has not happened, and instead CasperTech have steppedRead More →

Press release: Virtual Reality Set to Revolutionize Architecture, Engineering and Real Estate PocketCake’s virtual reality services, combined with Oculus Rift hardware, allow clients to experience a project in an immersive 3D environment for a price comparable to traditional architectural illustrations KANSAS CITY, Mo. — PocketCake is working with some ofRead More →

In 1911, Arthur Brisbane’s quote “a picture is worth thousand words” appeared in a newspaper article. Today more than 100 years later, everyone has the means to show pictures at rates of 60 per second and magnify the value of their communication. The readily accessible means to communicate our ideasRead More →

Last updated Feb. 19, 2015: Please click here for latest list of Metaverse Communities. Staying on top of metaverse news and developments is hard. And getting help when you need it can be even harder. Fortunately, there are several online communities where OpenSim users share information and advice. Join in,Read More →

Over the weekend and the previous week I must have looked at hundreds of grid websites for the February stats and grid news report. And I’m seeing a lot of grids — a whole lot of grids — that haven’t put any effort at all into their websites. This isn’tRead More →

The past four weeks have been slow for OpenSim, with the top 40 grids gaining only 153 regions. This is the first time the growth has been under 500 regions since last April. OSgrid was the major culprit this month, losing 133 regions — as well as 318 active usersRead More →

As part of my New Year resolutions — and in response to the growing interest in OpenSim — I’ve been planning a couple of ebooks, to sell through this website, on Amazon, and through other channels. The goal is to make OpenSim more accessible to a wider audience. Please helpRead More →

If you have read my previous article, New comment moderation policy, you know that moderation has been proposed for Hypergrid Business. Maria and I have worked on the guidelines, which are listed below, and via a link at the bottom of every site page. You can also send an emailRead More →

It’s the time of the year again, the time when lonely people all over the world feel even worse about themselves than normal. If you’re one of those people, then you’ll have a lot of places to avoid in February, since OpenSim grids are gearing up for Valentine’s Day. VirtualRead More →

The U.S. Army’s Atropia simulation build — all nine regions of it — is now available for anyone to download and install on their own grid. The work is released under a Creative Commons license that allows people to use the build for any purpose, including commercial, to adapt itRead More →

These scripts are for people who are thinking to themselves — now that Maria is hiring a researcher and putting them to work on updating the Hyperica directory, wouldn’t it be nice if I could just grab content from there for my own gates. Well it would be nice, andRead More →

Nothing gets the juices going like a little friendly competition. In updating our advertising demographics and getting our Google analytics for 2013 — we had over 125,000 unique readers! yay! — I got curious about how Hypergrid Business stacked up against other publications that cover OpenSim and the hypergrid on aRead More →

What happens when a virtual world designer sues for unauthorized use of a virtual island? The case involved the question of whether terraforming is protected by copyright law, and whether a terrain purchased for use in Second Life can be exported to OpenSim. The results: Yes, terraforming is protected by copyright lawRead More →

Chances are, there are few regular readers of Hypergrid Business who aren’t aware that we’re at the dawning of the age of virtual reality. The metaverse is coming. We’ll all soon be regular visitors to the Matrix. Snow Crash will be crashing. Our virtual streets will be paved with goldRead More →

Dear Linden Lab board of directors: I just heard that CEO Rod Humble is stepping down. I guess you guys will be looking for a new chief? I’d like to suggest some questions to ask yourselves as you decide the future direction of the company. Now, you might think thatRead More →

UK-based virtual currency exchange Podex has teamed up with Last Vegas-based OpenSim hosting company Zetamex to offer a new currency option for OpenSim grids. Today, grids have three choices for in-world payments: a local currency that they create and manage themselves, the multi-grid, hypergrid-enabled OMC — Open Metaverse Currency — fromRead More →

The multi-grid, hypergrid-enabled OMC — Open Metaverse Currency — from Austrian currency exchange Virwox had its best year ever in 2013. The total value of transactions conducted in the virtual currency reached OMC 6.5 million in 2013, up three and a half times from OMC 1.8 million in 2012. That is equivalent to anRead More →

I am my own boss, and probably many of you are, as well. And even if you aren’t doing this virtual world stuff full-time yet, you might be planning to, or running a grid, consulting company, or virtual products store as a side business. And you know how hard itRead More →

MADISON, Wisconsin – Almost three decades before Building Information Modeling (BIM) would go mainstream, the term “Virtual Building” was used in the earliest implementation of BIM through Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD debut in 1987. Since then, the concept hasn’t changed, but visualization technology has advanced to the point where designers, engineers, contractors,Read More →

Cloud Party, a mesh-based virtual world that runs in a browser, announced that it will close on February 21 and provided instructions for exporting meshes and images. “The time has come for the Cloud Party team to start our next adventure,” the company said in an announcement today. “We areRead More →

I began working in virtual worlds in 2009 in Second Life, migrated to OpenSim soon thereafter, and along the way discovered Hypergrid Business. Some of you may know me from my sim, Serenity Island. My career has been as a computer consultant, artist and educator. As a reader of HypergridRead More →

Every month, when I do the grid survey report, I mentioned that all I can report on is the stats from those grids that are reporting those numbers. Some public grids don’t report their stats, and many grids aren’t open to the public at all, but are run by companies,Read More →

I love promoting the hypergrid, so if you have an event, store opening, land sale, or anything else of potential interest to hypergrid travelers, I can run a free ad for it on the Hyperica website. Here’s what you have to do. Create a lively image The ad should beRead More →

The Nova grid and New Voice OpenSim hosting company went out of business in early 2012. This is the story of what went wrong, from the founder himself, Enrico Ranucci. When New Voice was about to go out of business in early 2012, many people tried to help — andRead More →

This year begins with an anniversary celebration on Dorena’s World,  rapid growth on the newly-opened Great Canadian Grid, and a positive reaction to pricing changes on Kitely. The top 40 OpenSim grids by land area reported 31,136 total regions this month, a new record high. The total number of registeredRead More →

It’s the start of a fresh year, and some Hypergrid Business readers are finally taking the plunge and starting their virtual world businesses. The first question many of them ask is, “I much should I charge?” The following are some rules of thumb. How much to charge for region rentalsRead More →

Bitcoin’s network effect got a big boost today, since the nation’s second largest pure-play e-tailer, Overstock.com, began accepting it as payment for all purchases. “We just went live minutes ago,” Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne told Hypergrid Business. According to Byrne, Overstock will accept only Bitcoin, and not other cryptocurrencies. AsRead More →

OpenSim hosting company Zetamex has announced an award for anyone who finishes up work on the Mumble-Whisper open source voice system for OpenSim. Currently, the two main options for OpenSim voice are Freeswitch, an open source platform, and Vivox, a commercial service that also provides voice to Second Life. VivoxRead More →

The new year begins with both good news, and bad news. The bad news, first. Haven, a small commercial grid, closed as of December 27.  According to a letter by the founder, health issues have cut into both the time and the financial resources she is able to dedicate toRead More →

2013 was a busy year for virtual worlds in general and Hypergrid Business in particular. According to Google Analytics, over 125,000 different people visited the site this year. About 44 percent were new visitors, stopping by just for one story that caught their attention. The rest, 56 percent, visited moreRead More →

Last month, I suggested that one problem with Bitcoin is that anyone can set up an alternative currency similar to it, and there is no practical obstacle to people switching over. By comparison, there are lots of practical obstacles to switching from other currencies. If, say, you decided one dayRead More →

I understand that virtual worlds are a new thing, and that companies need to experiment with business models and pricing structures to see what fits the market best. And I’m totally in favor of lowering prices, simplifying pricing structures, or providing more options for customers. But I don’t understand whereRead More →

We’re back from Autodesk University in Vegas, where we had the opportunity to show some of our latest Oculus Rift projects to the architecture, engineering and construction crowd there. Wow, was that ever fun! Exhibiting can be a boring, exhausting experience, but not with the Rift! From beginning to end,Read More →

The recent surprise announcement that the InWorldz/Second Life Connection Centers would be closed was followed by the creation of a new group to fill the void and word from the owner of the original group that he is not closing after all. Amore Crux, owner of the Connection Centers, issuedRead More →

Today, OpenSim development moves along at an uneven pace, with an estimated 1,200 bugs that need to be fixed before OpenSim can get to a stable, reliable version 1.0 release and get out of “alpha.” Development is mainly driven by three groups — large organizations like Intel who have paidRead More →

OpenSim’s 40 largest grids passed the 30,000 region mark this month, with a new total of 30,214 regions, a record high. The number of registered users on those grids reached 324,021 — with more than 4,000 new registrations over the past four weeks. Active users numbered 18,615. The non-profit OSgrid was theRead More →

Update 4: We’re back on Google! Yeay! The problem turned out to be in the htaccess file, which had mysteriously mutated so that it was blocking search engines. So, overall, I’m happy with my experience with Dreamhost. The first few solutions they offered didn’t work, but each time I came backRead More →

The results of the 2013 OpenSim hosting  are in, and the biggest surprise was the lack of votes for SimHost, once one of the leading vendors in this space. Another surprise? Vehicle physics tops the list of wanted OpenSim features, just as it did in 2011. Overall, 53 percent ofRead More →

AviWorlds, a Brazilian OpenSim grid with a history of trouble, seems to be on the outs again. The grid went down on Tuesday night and is officially closed, according to hosting provider Zetamex. “The owner just told us to shut down,” Zetamex founder Timothy Rogers told Hypergrid Business. “Real lifeRead More →

If you’re planning to create a new grid website, or redesign an old one, a great place to start is WordPress themes. WordPress is a popular blogging platform, so it’s easy to update. You can create accounts for all your grid administrators and volunteers so that they can upload newRead More →

OpenSim grid owners are busy people and, sometimes, the website is an afterthought. Many grids simply go with the default website created by the Diva Distro or New World Studio, which is usually the grid stats, an image, and links for creating accounts. In fact, you don’t need to have aRead More →

The OpenSim grids are getting ready for the winter holidays this month, with calendars full of Christmas and winter-themed events. Holiday freebies, contests and music on Virtual Highway Virtual Highway, a closed commercial grid known for its music scene, is going all-out for the holidays this year. “Two stunning winterRead More →

I just got back to my computer from a big, turkey-filled family dinner, taking a quick break before settling in for a marathon session of Arrow episodes and writing a book chapter about the Chinese economy. And, reflecting on the current status of the hypergrid, there’s quite a bit toRead More →

Hypergrid Business has posted its Fourth Annual OpenSim Grid Survey. 654 people responded to questions about their primary grid and about the other grids they have visited. The big winner this year was Kitely. The report says: “Kitely came out on top for ‘How do you rate this grid overall?’ withRead More →