This list only includes the 178 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. ‘Regions change,’ ‘Users change’ and ‘Actives change’ refers to how many more regions, registered users, and active usersRead More →

A new hosting provider, CloudServe, is offering cloud-based OpenSim regions starting at $7.95, mini-grids starting at $34.95 and full grids starting at $94.95. CloudServe is a service operated by Austin-based 3D Virtual Web, Inc., the company behind Virtual World City. Prices are mid-range — not as low as Zetamex, but aboutRead 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 Totem headset from Montreal-based Vrvana, Inc. has launched its Kickstarter this week with a very promising debut — more than $100,000 raised in the first 24 hours. The project is now more than a third of the way to its $350,000 goal with 26 days still left in theRead 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 →

This list only includes the 175 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. ‘Regions change,’ ‘Users change’ and ‘Actives change’ refers to how many more regions, registered users, and active usersRead More →

This list only includes the 162 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. ‘Regions change,’ ‘Users change’ and ‘Actives change’ refers to how many more regions, registered users, and active usersRead 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 →

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 →

This list only includes the 182 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. ‘Regions change,’ ‘Users change’ and ‘Actives change’ refers to how many more regions, registered users, and active usersRead More →

Arch Virtual is putting the finishing touches on a super fun project for the Sacramento Kings to help project stakeholders, fans and members of the community explore the arena long before construction starts. The new $477 million downtown Sacramento Entertainment and Sports Center was approved by the city of Sacramento lastRead More →

Update 2: The 200-plus-user drop on Zandramas, is due to a similar problem as at Metropolis, a glitch in the database during the recent upgrades. Update: The 700-user drop on Metropolis is a result of a glitch caused by some regions updating from OpenSim 0.7.6 to 0.8.0. The grid is working on fixingRead More →

This list only includes the 180 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. ‘Regions change,’ ‘Users change’ and ‘Actives change’ refers to how many more regions, registered users, and active usersRead More →

With 14 days left to go in its Kickstarter, the Beijing-based ANTVR Technology Co., Ltd., is now looking at stretch goals for the next two weeks. The Kickstarter for an open source version of the Oculus Rift ends on Jun 23 and has already passed $231,000 on a goal of $200,000.Read More →

Vancouver-based Utherverse Digital Inc., a proprietary virtual world platform known for its adult content, is developing a new generation of its software that will not only be Oculus Rift compatible right from the start, but can also replace your current Web browser. According to Utherverse CEO Brian Shuster, the new Curio browserRead More →

The OpenSim metaverse nearly doubled in land area this month, as Virtual Worlds Grid added the equivalent of more than 18,000 regions to its grid, taking advantage of new variable size region functionality. Virtual Worlds Grid is a hypergrid-enabled community grid which provides free land to educators. The top 40Read More →

This list only includes the 184 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. ‘Regions change,’ ‘Users change’ and ‘Actives change’ refers to how many more regions, registered users, and active usersRead More →

Boycotting the Oculus Rift because of the Facebook buyout? Or maybe the $350 price tag is too steep. You have 19 hours left to chip in for the Altergaze Kickstarter, which has already passed its funding goal of UK £25,000. A pledge of  £30 or more gets you all the 3D files youRead 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 list only includes the 183 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. ‘Regions change,’ ‘Users change’ and ‘Actives change’ refers to how many more regions, registered users, and active usersRead 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 →

This list only includes the 197 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. ‘Regions change,’ ‘Users change’ and ‘Actives change’ refers to how many more regions, registered users, and active usersRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

This list only includes the 208 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. ‘Regions change,’ ‘Users change’ and ‘Actives change’ refers to how many more regions, registered users, and active usersRead 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 →

This list only includes the 211 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. ‘Regions change,’ ‘Users change’ and ‘Actives change’ refers to how many more regions, registered users, and active usersRead 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 →

This list only includes the 215 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. ‘Regions change,’ ‘Users change’ and ‘Actives change’ refers to how many more regions, registered users, and active usersRead 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 →

I heard that Walmart is making its employees work on Thanksgiving this year, because the poverty-level wages they’re paying out, at a time of record corporate profits, aren’t making employees suffer enough. Do companies have to be this way? Callously disregard people’s needs in favor of the all-mighty bottom line?Read More →

As the editor of Hypergrid Business, I regularly hear from people with stories of projects that failed. Most of these don’t make it into print — nobody wants to go on the record in a story about things going wrong, no matter how useful or enlightening it may be forRead More →

InWorldz announced the beta version of a  new mobile fitness app this week, called InWorldz InShape. Participants will download a smartphone application which will allow their real-world movements and activities to be mirrored by their avatars in-world. The Android app will be available for download within the next two weeksRead More →

Train wreck image by Wystan via Flickr

Whenever a grid closes unexpectedly, there are always some users who are surprised and unprepared. They didn’t make offline backups of their builds, didn’t get their OAR or IAR exports, didn’t move their in-world social networks to a more permanent — or, at least, different — platform like an emailRead More →

Press release: OpenSimulator Community Conference Announces Keynote Panel: The Future of OpenSimulator The OpenSimulator Community Conference 2013 will open on Saturday morning, September 7, 2013, with a keynote panel of core developers, who will discuss the future of the OpenSimulator platform. Topics will include a variety of issues including theRead More →

Press release: OpenSimulator Community Conference Announces Keynote Speaker Grady Booch World-renowned computer scientist Grady Booch will deliver a keynote address at the first annual OpenSimulator Community Conference.  Grady’s keynote address, titled “My Virtual Life,” will reflect on a quote from Joseph Campbell, who observed that, “One has to know how andRead More →

The Oculus Rift is coming to Second Life. It’s already available for the Unity platform. Other virtual world platforms and games are rapidly signing on, including the Unreal engine, Valve, Bioshock, Hawken, Minecraft, Portal, and many, many more. This 3D headset — and the flood of competitors soon to comeRead More →

Press release: OpenSimulator Community Conference Needs Participants for Grid Load Test Organizers of the first annual OpenSimulator Community Conference are planning a large-scale load test of the OpenSimulator conference grid on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at Noon PDT.  The conference will take place entirely within an OpenSimulator virtual world designedRead 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 →

Press release: Announcing the 1st Annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2013 The Overte Foundation and AvaCon are pleased to announce the first annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2013, to take place on the OpenSimulator Conference Center grid on September 7 and 8, 2013.  The OpenSimulator Community Conference will be a celebration of the platform and of theRead More →

Linden Dollar: Another Virtual Currency Affected by FinCEN. Bitcoin has been in the news recently. But bitcoin is not the only virtual currency. Virtual currencies, in one form or another are here to stay. When U.S. Treasury Department’s enforcement arm, FinCEN, issued its interpretive statement, it recognized this much. TheRead More →

In virtual worlds, the question of free stuff — free content, free software, free land — comes up a lot. Some people love free stuff. Some people hate it. Some people say that all content should be free because there are no distribution costs. Some people say that content should cost moneyRead More →

Low costs and ease of use are inspiring educators to use the OpenSim virtual world platform to build historical recreations, several of which were presented last fall in Paris at the European Immersive Education Summit. OpenSim is free, open source server software that allows the creation of Second Life-style virtual environments.Read More →

I read a great article by serial entrepreneur Steve Blank, “Start With a Business Model, Not a Business Plan,” in today’s Wall Street Journal. It reminded me of entrepreneurs I have known who spent ages creating a business plan, only to have it fall apart the minute they tried toRead More →

The top 40 largest OpenSim grids gained a record-breaking 2,177 regions since mid-August, the single biggest monthly gain in history. The new regions pushed the grids to 23,952 total regions, also a new high. OSGrid was responsible for almost a quarter of the growth, with 498 new regions, for aRead More →

This list includes all grids that have been active this month. Please note that some grids may only be up part-time, especially the smaller ones. Click here for more details. Click here for intellectual property protection info. If a grid is hypergrid-enabled, the hypergrid address is the same as theRead More →

SpotON3D — the most controversial grid in the OpenSim metaverse, and the only commercial grid that doesn’t release any key statistics — has announced plans to change the company name to Worldworks. The announcement was detailed in full in a members-only newsletter on Thursday. The Worldworks brand will become theRead More →

Press release: Ball State granted rights to develop $10 million Blue Mars virtual world technology Muncie, INDIANA — The future of virtual worlds has a new home at Ball State University, thanks to the generosity of Avatar Reality Inc., which granted the university rights to the multimillion-dollar 3-D virtual world platform, BlueRead More →

My son wants to design space stations for a living. But he also wants to raise cows — he will inherit the family farm. My son wants to follow in the footsteps of both his grandfathers — the aerospace engineer and the dairy farmer. But the kinds of hands-on engineeringRead More →

AMSTERDAM — Chatbots.org, the Industry Catalyst of Intelligent Virtual Characters, reveals a business directory of almost 300 companies in conversational AI, (3D) avatar animation, speech synthesis and speech recognition and visual biometrics, and an additional Vendor Selector tool to select providers, designed for corporations in the middle of their buyingRead More →

How real does a virtual environment need to be for users to feel presence? This is a question educators have been researching in the attempt to implement virtual spaces to expand the classroom. For those of us old enough to have been playing eight bit video games and text-driven adventures,Read More →

History and ‘heat’ of glass factory comes alive with new 3-D virtual living museum Using photos from University Libraries to guide them, designers for Ball State’s IDIA were able to simulate the conditions of factory life at the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Co. in Muncie. Advanced 3-D technology is allowingRead More →

Press Release: TEDxBoston Expands Reach With Avaya web.alive Global Online Auditorium — Avaya web.alive Immersive Web Conferencing Enables Attendees to View Event From Comfort of Their Desktops — TEDxBoston Speakers Live Streamed From Event to Avaya web.alive Audience of Avatars BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Avaya, a global provider of businessRead More →

Immersive virtual environments are helping to transform storytelling. The new technique – immersive, collaborative storytelling – can be used to expose people to the reality of living life a different way, for education and for community story telling. One company doing just that is Toronto-based Startled Cat. “Startled Cat isRead More →

Press Release: Henk Rogers named CEO of Avatar Reality, Inc. Entrepreneur and Interactive Entertainment Visionary Expands Role at 3D Virtual World Company HONOLULU, HI — Avatar Reality, developers of the Blue Mars 3D virtual world and iOS app, today announced the appointment of company Co-Founder Henk Rogers as CEO, effective immediately. Rogers isRead More →

What would happen if at a school’s talent show some parents stood up and started heckling the child playing the piano or dancing in front of them? “You’re awful!” or “You call yourself a dancer?” For one thing, it would never happen. And if it did, the rest of theRead More →

Press Release: Avatar Reality’s Blue Mars Mobile becomes first 3D iOS app with thousands of user generated items available for purchase App Now Available to Download for Free on App Store HONOLULU, HI — Avatar Reality, developers of the premium 3D virtual world and social platform, Blue Mars, today announcedRead More →

This list includes all grids that have been active this month. Please note that some grids may only be up part-time, especially the smaller ones. Click here for key info. Click here for more details. Last Update: 6/17/2020 • Total grids: 372 If your grid isn’t listed and you would likeRead More →

This list includes all grids that have been active this month. Please note that some grids may only be up part-time, especially the smaller ones. Click here for key info. Click here for intellectual property protection info. Last Update: 6/17/2020 • Total grids: 372 If your grid isn’t listed and youRead 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: Blue Mars now easier to access with launch of application for iOS devices Blue Mars Mobile Now Available for Free on App Store HONOLULU, HI– Avatar Reality, developers of the premium 3D virtual world and social platform, Blue Mars, today announced the release of Blue Mars Mobile, itsRead More →

Last week, ProtonMedia made a formal announcement about a project I first reported on in September  of this year that ProtoSphere, the 3D enterprise collaboration and learning tool, is  now fully integrated with Microsoft’s  Lync Server 2010. The Lync server is a software product that unifies enterprise voice, instant messagingRead More →

Press Release: Second Life “gold” solution provider Snowcrash digital joins the SpotOn3D OpenSim grid Snowcrash Digital is a gold certified Second Life® solution provider, most known as the developers of Second Life’s leading audio solution “Hermes Audio Technology” and the “Hermes Engage” range of educational tools. Since 2006, Snowcrash Digital hasRead More →

The  OnLand business park opened today in the Blue Mars virtual world as a place for traditional companies to market their goods in high-fidelity three dimensional form to their clients. The OnLand park is targeting business-to-business sales in which 3D models are important, such as manufacturing. This is a departureRead More →

Blue Mars is currently testing a cloud-based streaming service, which will soon allow users to log into the high-end, graphics-rich immersive world via a simple browser interface. “We’re running it now, with cloud servers in LA,” said Jim Sink, CEO of Avatar Reality, the parent company of Blue Mars. TheRead More →

There are a lot of different kinds of OpenSim grids out there — it can get a little confusing. Well, a lot confusing. Here’s a quick primer. Social grids Social grids attempt to replicate the experience of Second Life. They don’t make up the majority of grids running on theRead 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 →

Press release: INXPO Virtual Platform Hosts Meeting Industry’s Most Innovative Event, Cisco Global Sales Experience (GSX) 2010 Cisco Advances Their Next Generation Event Technologies with Global Sales Experience (GSX) 2010 on the INXPO Virtual Platform CHICAGO — This year, Cisco took the Global Sales Experience (GSX) to another level.  WorkingRead 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 →

Avination, a new OpenSim-based role playing virtual world focusing on combat play, has chosen the XR JEVN e-commerce platform from Extreme Reality, Inc., the companies announced today. Philadelphia-based Extreme Reality acquired the JEVN networked vendor system earlier this month. The platform is already widely used in Second Life, where itRead More →

Tokyo-based 3Di, a leader in developing commercial viewers for Opensim, today announced a viewer that will run on Android smartphones. The company is currently recruiting industry partners to develop practical applications of this technology, and will share its platform with them. The platform can be used to develop online games,Read More →

Press Release: Serious Games are Effective Learning Solutions for ‘Soft’ and ‘Hard’ Skills From leadership and program management, to emergency evacuation or electrical safety – games, simulations and virtual worlds provide an effective learning experience. Through interactive case studies, attendees at the 2010 Learning and Entertainment Evolution Forum at HarrisburgRead More →

Second Life, Openism, Blue Mars, 3D Explorer.  If these mean nothing to you today, they certainly will in future.  They are all example of Virtual Worlds and this evening in Manchester I had the job of Chairing a really interesting mixed reality debate called The Death of Distance.  Around 800MRead More →

Press Release: The Hypergrid Worlds directory of hypergrid-enabled destinations indexes 100th regions yesterday The Hypergrid Worlds directory of hypergrid-enabled destinations has indexed its 100th regions yesterday. The directory, a service of Hypergrid Business, is a hierarchical, categorized listing of sites accessible via hypergrid teleport in more than 30 worlds runningRead More →

Press Release: Open Wonderland Foundation Launch St. Paul, Minnesota, March 10, 2010 – Today Ken Miller, the CEO of Virtual Learning Labs, announced the formation of the Open Wonderland Foundation and the creation of the Open Wonderland virtual world platform. The Open Wonderland platform is a “fork” of the ProjectRead More →

Press Release: There.com is closing on March 9th, 2010 In 2003, There.com was launched as a 3D Immersive Virtual World for everyone. Unlike other products, There was designed from the beginning to be a welcoming and comfortable place for everyone – not just gamers, not just people over 18, notRead More →

I just got off the phone with a company building an educational grid for a company in China — in OpenSim. They picked the platform not for its cheapness, but it’s feature set. This too often gets missed in the hype surrounding the various virtual worlds, but OpenSim is actuallyRead More →

A Virtual Immersive Environment is Not a Parallel Universe, It is an Alternative Reality. While it is possible to make a 3D virtual immersive environment (VIE) look exactly (or pretty darn close) to your actual office building or training room or college campus…what’s the point? The real power of aRead More →

Virtual Worlds, Simulations, and Games for Education: A Unifying View I wrote this article for Innovate magazine a few months ago, to coincide with the release of Learning Online with Games, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds. While pieces have have been excerpted, many have asked for the complete article, which IRead More →

Manchester-based virtual world development firm Second Places helped two U.K. universities with an immersive art installation which ran through this past weekend. The installation, produced by the University and Salford and Liverpool’s John Moore University, was part of the ISEA2009, and international electronic art symposium in the U.K. and Ireland.Read More →

Manpower Inc., a world leader in the employment services industry, will host a provocative hourlong discussion, “The Evolution of the Virtual Workforce” on Tuesday, September 1 at 11am ET in the virtual world of Second Life.Read More →

Guess what, the below is not security! “If we want to put a life-size prototype of our super-secret product in Second Life, then there are many creative ways we implement extra layers of security such as making it invisible unless we’re in the room.” Really? Did you just say that?Read 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 →

The battle for the future of the 3D Web is about to get hot… and steamy. Utherverse CEO tells us that he’s planning to launch an all-out attack against the other virtual world platforms out there, with free hosting and a set of free building tools designed to attract businessRead More →

ReactionGrid, headquartered in Fort Pierce, Florida has been working in virtual worlds for years. The founders – Robin and Kyle Gomboy – produced three-dimensional models of aircraft and chip parts for Florida manufacturers as part of their work on automating production facilities. “We thought that if we put it intoRead More →