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 →

US$13 (12 Euro) a month for a 15,500-prim region that can hold up to 80 avatars, with no setup fee on on OSgrid, Metropolis or other OpenSim grid.Read 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 →

Virtual reality design firm specializing in custom design and development for medical training games and simulations.Read More →

US$15 per month, no setup fee, for a 15,000-prim region. $1 a month per every 1,000 additional prims. Hypergrid enabled.Read 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 →

Press release: Cyramix the new hosting service for your virtual world Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) with the help of WonderBuilders, Inc. has been using Open Wonderland, a Java-based open source virtual world platform initially developed by Sun. For the past two years, the college has run an English asRead 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 →

Bitcoin, a virtual currency, was recognized by the US Department of Justice as a “legal means of exchange” last week, and the number of companies accepting it in payment continues to grow. The most recent additions to the Bitcoin club include Virgin Galactic and Europe’s University of Nicosia. A number ofRead More →

Much has been said about using virtual environments for teaching and training. While it is an inescapable fact that no environment, real or virtual, can make up for a dedicated, well-prepared teacher with a passion for their subject matter, there is merit in the concept that a virtual environment canRead More →

The results of the 2013 Hypergrid Business OpenSim Grid Survey are in, with 654 votes cast. Just over 90 percent said they would recommend the grid to others, a slight increase from last year’s 87 percent, 8 percent said “maybe” and less than 2 percent said they would not recommendRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 29,617 regions, an increase of 912 regions since this time last month. They also reported 319,872 total registered users and 19,527 active users this month, a total of 3,675 new registered users and 1,052 new active users. All three numbers were record highs for OpenSim. Kitely, a cloud-based,Read More →

As the hypergrid grows, we should be wary of vanity metrics. I’m a pretty big fan of the Lean Business model pioneered by Eric Reis of IMVU fame.  The main concept behind Lean is that you start small, release a barebones version of your product, measure carefully, and then modifyRead More →

Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey was in Cambridge Saturday, at the Microsoft NERD Center, for a recruitment event and mini virtual reality conference. If you couldn’t make it, you missed three different tracks of presentations, running from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., plus demos of several Oculus Rift games. MostRead More →

A lot of people lately have been telling me to move into the cloud and I have been talking about this with many developers — both OpenSimulator and web server development as well. Most of them, in both groups, agree with me that the cloud is just not great forRead More →

The OpenSim grids are getting ready for the holiday season, with themed events and special promotions. Littlefield Grid celebrates Dr. Who anniversary, Thanksgiving and Homecoming Littlefield grid is celebrating a number of holidays this month, staring with the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who on November 23. There will be aRead More →

As many of you know, early last September we held the first OpenSimulator Community Conference, a purely online event hosted in OpenSimulator itself. It was produced collaboratively by the Overte Foundation and Avacon, with the planning process beginning in February 2013 and increasing in intensity right up until the conferenceRead More →

I went, and I had a great time. I was completely blown away by the excellent presentations and level of professionalism at OSCC13. Everything worked like clockwork, and I saw many friends from Second Life. I went with the idea that, if I could use virtual worlds technology in anyRead More →

Today at the SAP TechEd conference I got a change to try out Google Glasses in conjunction with an SAP-powered warehouse application. Up to now, I haven’t been a big fan of Google Glass. If you need to know something, how hard is it to pull out your phone andRead More →

Hypergrid Business articles and other content — except where noted — is copyright protected and cannot be cut-and-pasted to other sites. Though I don’t mind people using excerpts or quotes. There are both good and selfish reasons for this. The good one is that we might have made a mistakeRead More →

10 ‘Star Trek’ Technologies That Actually Exist Out There (via AnyStatements) Whether it’s deep space or the deepest depths of the ocean, truly brilliant machines can operate in all sorts of extreme conditions. While the U.S.S. Enterprise doesn’t exist (yet!), there are other technologies out there that seem to beRead 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 →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 28,705 regions, a new record high and an increase of 578 regions since this time last month. They also reported 316,197 total registered users and 18,475 active users this month, a total of 6,405 new registered users and 33 new active users. Virtual Worlds Grid andRead More →

How would you define a classroom? Some may think of it as a gathering place, others as a laboratory. Another may shudder with the memory of being confined in a crowded artificially lit room, all students facing in the same direction like workers in a garment factory. To each memberRead More →

Press release: New Device to Revolutionize Gaming in Virtual Realities How is it possible to walk through 3D virtual realities while staying in one place? Engineers from the Vienna University of Technology have solved this problem and are now introducing their “Virtualizer”. VIENNA — Head-mounted devices, which display three dimensionalRead More →

Capitalizing on the excitement generated by the Oculus Rift, several other companies, both big and small, are jumping into the virtual reality headset market. There’s a product that projects 3D images onto a special screen in front of you, one that projects 3D virtual reality right into your eyeballs, andRead More →

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told me he was excited about the potential of virtual reality. “I’m bullish and predict a huge future for it,” he said. “Not only that, but it’s a great opportunity for entrepreneurs.” He said he can see a lot of uses for it. “Especially for games, butRead More →

If you have decided to transfer all your content from Second Life to another OpenSim grid, like Kitely, you have several possibilities how to do that. One good solution is make backup from Second Life and restore it on your home local OpenSim standalone region, you can use vanilla OpenSim, Diva Distro or Sim-on-a-stick, allRead More →

Press release: PPD and ProtonMedia Recognized for Advancing Clinical Research Associate Training Brandon Hall Gold Award honors innovation in employee learning and development WILMINGTON, N.C. & LANSDALE, Pa.–Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC (PPD) and ProtonMedia today announced that PPD® 3D earned the Gold Award for Best Use of Virtual Worlds forRead More →

For those of you who haven’t been watching the latest Google+ feeds, Fernando Francisco de Oliveira, a long and involved OpenSim enthusiast and programmer and founder of OpenSim hosting company Oliveira Virtual Lands, has released to the world a module that lets OpenSim use PostgreSQL. For those who do not know,Read More →

A new official release of the OpenSimulator server software was released yesterday, version 0.7.6, with out-of-the-box support for groups and profiles, many scripting improvements, better teleports, better voice, materials, and the new hypergrid export permission. A Diva Distro version of the new release is also out but, as of thisRead 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 →

Update: Read Kitely’s announcement about listing fees and merchant exports here Kitely continues to roll out improvements to its marketplace, with listing fees eliminated as of tomorrow, and a plan to allow merchants to export their store listings. Today it costs 100 Kitely Credits (about US $0.50)  to add aRead More →

Amiryu Hosoi has earned over $200 since starting to list items on Kitely Market last Tuesday. This is the story of how this well-known designer decided to try out this platform. Hosoi started out in Second Life, with six regions on Japan Kanto, supported by her Hosoi Ichiba Second LifeRead More →