So you like to build stuff in 3D, maybe do a little scripting, a little animating, and you’d like to get paid for it? And I’m not talking about selling stuff on the Second Life Marketplace. That’s a highly competitive field, with extremely low margins, high stress levels and highRead More →

Everyone knows I’m a big fan of OpenSim. I want it to grow big, with lots of different things to do, lots of different places to go, lots of people to meet. This requires that it get easier for people to set up their own grids and regions. For theRead More →

This week, ReactionGrid has all but abandoned OpenSim in favor of its proprietary, Unity-based Jibe virtual world platform. And Linden Lab has also distanced itself from OpenSim, removing support for the “-loginURI” feature which allowed people to access OpenSim grids with the official Second Life viewer. Both of these decisionsRead More →

This past spring, Linden Lab warned third party viewer developers to drop support for OpenSim if they wanted to get access to new features. Back then, a back door was left open, in that users could modify the command path used to launch the viewer so that it accessed OpenSimRead More →

Florida-based ReactionGrid, a pioneer in OpenSim hosting for corporations and educators, is scaling back on its OpenSim business in favor of its Unity-based Jibe platform, and considering closing down its namesake grid. “We will focus on very high level OpenSim work only,” ReactionGrid co-founder and CEO Kyle Gomboy told HypergridRead More →

At first, it seemed to be another publicity disaster in the making. SpotON3D, a grid known for shooting itself in the foot when it comes to public relations, was spotted distributing content by Linda Kellie without crediting her for her work. SpotON3D is a closed, commercial grid that stands outRead More →

As of today, there are 100 grids in our Hyperica directory, all accessible – at least some of the time — by hypergrid teleport. That’s over 15,000 regions. My researchers and I have visited just a couple of hundred. We try to hit the welcome region of each grid, andRead More →

Sometime soon, Kitely — the low cost, on-demand, cloud-based grid – will turn on hypergrid connectivity. This may seriously affect the hosting market, as some users will turn to Kitely for low-use residential or educational sims — even while they continue to patronize shops, events, and other facilities elsewhere onRead More →

I know what I would like to see in a WebGL browser-based viewer for OpenSim — everything that current viewers have but super-easy to use and fast to load and quick to write. Well, I know we’re not going to get that, especially if we’re doing it with a crowdfundedRead More →

At thr Immersive Education conference in Boston last month, eight Open Wonderland community members from six different countries joined me remotely to show off their work. Here’s a brief summary of the worlds and features presented during the showcase. In all cases, the presenters have agreed to leave their spacesRead More →

The Phoenix Firestorm team has released its latest update for OpenSim, part of its plans to have two separate builds, one for OpenSim and another for Second Life, according to a press release on the team’s blog. The build for Second Life was postponed because pathfinding isn’t ready and HavokRead More →

Press release: FedCTE Program Using Avaya Virtual Environment for Cybersecurity Training • Federal Cybersecurity Training Events (FedCTE) uses secure, online access to AvayaLive™ Engage. • Collaborative, 3D classroom reduce costs while enhancing cybersecurity learning. FAIRFAX, Va. – Today Avaya Government Solutions announced that the Federal Cybersecurity Training Events Program (FedCTE)Read More →

PODEX, the Wilmington, Delware-based virtual currency exchange, announced today that it now has a presence in Avination and is offering their services for business and residents of that grid. PODEX, an established Linden dollars brokers began offering their services in Avination on July 12., the company said. Avination is the third-busiestRead More →

I love Cloud Party. I love the responsive, 3D graphics. The cute tutorial. The in-world building tools. The free house.  I even love the Facebook integration. Most of all, though, I love the fact that it’s WebGL. It runs natively in modern browsers like Chrome and Firefox and Safari —Read More →

Kitely, the OpenSim grid that charges people for the time they use rather than how much land they have, announced a dramatic price cut today, reducing the cost of its unlimited use plan from $100 to just $35 a month. The company also added a new feature where region ownersRead More →

Note: See comments below for some warnings. It’s been in the works for a couple of years now, and finally launched quietly last month — now the Free Open Grid project from Free Open University hopes to get 200,000 schools into OpenSim. As part of its initial push, the groupRead More →

I just checked out the beta test of the 3Di Cloud, a browser-based social world platform. And though the two share some surface similarities, 3Di Cloud is no Cloud Party. In fact, as of right now, 3Di Cloud barely looks like a product. Japan’s 3Di, Inc., best known for their browser-based OpenSimRead More →

The hypergrid continued to grow this month, with the Hyperica directory now covering 100 grids and dozens more waiting to be indexed. But even as the number of grids continued to grow, the core top 40 grids that we’ve been tracking since 2009 grew as well. There are now 20,637 regionsRead More →

Japen’s 3Di, Inc., best known for their browser-based OpenSim viewers, will be testing a new, free, public, Unity-based virtual world this weekend, called 3Di Cloud. According to 3Di senior manager Norman Lin, individuals and groups will be able to embed a window into their private virtual world right onto their websites, likeRead More →

SpotON3D has been having server issues this week — and that has set off another round of rumors that the company is closing, as in this post by Vanish Seriath: SpotON3D at an end? But the company, known for its clever browser-based viewer launcher plugin, and its controversial stance onRead More →

Press release: Daden builds 3D teaching environment for City Academy Norwich Birmingham UK — Within weeks of being commissioned by City Academy Norwich, immersive solution specialists at Dadem Ltd. have designed and delivered a new 3D virtual teaching environment for City Academy Norwich. The environment consists of a 1:1 model of theRead More →

Press release: ProtonMedia Unveils ProtoSphere 2.1 Featuring Unprecedented Microsoft Outlook Integration PHILADELPHIA, PA –ProtonMedia, the developer of ProtoSphere®, the market-leading virtual collaboration environment for the enterprise, announced today the release of ProtoSphere® 2.1. Featuring a wide range of new tools and capabilities designed specifically for the enterprise, ProtoSphere® 2.1 is aRead More →

If you’re a tech-savvy grid owner, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Bitcoin, a new virtual currency that’s completely private, untraceable, and isn’t backed by any company or government. For some, Bitcoin is the future of online payments, an alternative to our current, outmoded, failing financial system. But before youRead More →

If you are a grid owner, you’ve probably already considered creating a virtual currency for your residents. Virtual currencies make it easier to have an in-game economy, have lower transaction costs than PayPal or credit card payments for small payments, and can bring in additional revenues for the grid operators.Read More →

I had fun recently playing with using the Xbox Kinect sensor paired with OpenSim. The project I work on is called PLANE, Pathways for Learning Anywhere, anytime — a Network for Educators. One of our core missions is connecting educators from all sectors such as state run, independent and CatholicRead More →

Press release: Easier building and deployment of immersive 3D learning scenarios with OOPAL Birmingham UK — Educators and trainers can now create engaging immersive learning exercises more easily and rapidly using an innovative web-based application called OOPAL, developed by learning and visualisation specialists Daden Limited. OOPAL (Object Orientated Practice and Learning) letsRead More →

Experiential learning — learning by doing — is a hot topic these days and getting hotter. I’ve been evangelizing the benefits of experiential learning for over a decade. But, as much as I believe in the power of experiential learning, it’s important to recognize its limitations. There are two waysRead More →

In December 2009, Germany’s Talentraspel virtual worlds Ltd. set a world record by squeezing 500,000 prims into one OpenSim region. That record stood for two and a half years until Ener Hax decided to see if she could beat it — and was quickly followed by OSGrid president Michael Emory Cerquoni — alsoRead More →

For most people, NPCs — non-player characters — are the princesses you need to save in video games, dragons you need to defeat, and shopkeepers who give advice about how to proceed in your quests. But for David Prior, CTO at Simudyne , NPCs are a way to model emergency evacuation plans forRead More →

SoftPaw Estates announced a free land give-away on OSGrid today, where residents can get free parcels for personal use. The parcels are located on regions were landscaped by well-known OpenSim designer Linda Kellie and OSGrid resident Raz Welles, to provide a interactive community atmosphere. According to SouthPaw Estates founder Timothy RogersRead More →

The big spinning V is the OMC in-world payment terminal. (Image courtesy Speculoos.)

The Belgian Speculoos grid is adopting the OMC virtual currency from Virwox. “It is crucial that users can use their money outside of our single small world,” said grid owner Gudule Lapointe in an announcement today. “It is also important for us that money is backed by a specialized company, thatRead More →

A great number of pixels have been used to praise or critique Cloud Party over at Hamlet Au’s New World Notes. True, one needs a Facebook account, and sacrifices anonymity, to use the service fully. Anonymous logins are possible at the link I gave above, but they only permit limited interactions and theRead More →

Content creators may worry about preserving their content in an era of ubiquitous hypergrid connectivity, but most users have a different worry — preserving their stuff. Hypergrid 1.5 rolled out security measures that protect rogue grid owners from dipping into the inventories of hypergrid visitors and causing trouble. But thereRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids reported a total of 19,926 regions this month, up slightly from last month’s 19,668 regions — despite another round of housekeeping on OSGrid. OSGrid, the largest grid on the OpenSim platform, dropped from more than 9,000 regions earlier this week to under 7,000. According toRead More →

Firestorm will have support for OpenSim grids, the developers announced today. Firestorm is a third-party viewer that can be used to access Linden Lab’s Second Life grid, and which also has some existing support for OpenSim grids, as well. However, licensing issues have forced Linden Lab to restrict third-party usersRead More →

As Forsyth County Schools’ NOBLE Virtual World begins to generate more teacher interest, one question that repeatedly comes up is “How can math best be taught in a virtual world?” One suggestion is to use the virtual world to provide practical application of the math concepts in an authentic wayRead More →

Press release: WorldWizards and Playmatics announce the MyWorld Project. BOSTON — Three online game industry veterans want to give you the chance to design and create your own World of Warcraft-like game. To this end, Boston based-WorldWizards and New York-based Playmatics have teamed up to launch the MyWorld project onRead More →

Press release: Avination donates often requested function to OpenSimulator LONDON — Avination Virtual Limited announced today that it has released code for llCastRay to the open source OpenSimulator project, as promised at Linux Day in Berlin last month. “Once again, Avination wants to set an example with the release ofRead More →

OSGrid president Michael Emory Cerquoni — also known as Nebadon Izumi in-world — set a new world record today by putting a million cubes on a single OpenSim region. The previous record, of 576,000 cubes was set earlier today by Ener Hax., using her Sim-on-a-Stick distribution of OpenSim. She hadRead More →

Press release: EON Creator 4.8 Sets a New Benchmark in Virtual 3D Learning The new features of EON Creator 4.8 offer expanded support for more stereo devices, expanded file support, new exploration interaction and improved Quiz creation IRVINE, Calif. – EON Reality, the world’s leading interactive 3D software provider, todayRead More →

Kitely continues to move ahead with its infrastructure improvements. Just a few days after telling me the details of how they planned to roll out in-world payments, they announced today that they’ve done it. Kitely users can now buy and sell things with the Kitely Credits virtual currency, and trackRead More →

Metaversum, the developers of the 3D mirror world Twinity, today announced their acquisition by 3D Internet company ExitReality. Twinity has been having some problems recently. It hasn’t had any news announcements since May 2011, and only two blog posts this year — in one of which, the CEO attempted to dispelRead More →

Press release: CyberLightning Expands the 3D Internet, Launches CyberTeam Virtual Environment for Business Collaboration OULU, FINLAND — CyberLightning Ltd. today introduced CyberTeam, a virtual world meeting tool that supports collaborative group work in hosted networks or as a cloud-based service. CyberTeam provides an immersive, interactive meeting environment for up toRead More →

Update: In-world payments have been enabled. Kitely, the on-demand OpenSim hosting company, will be enabling in-world payments this month, both for resident-to-resident sales and for hosting fees. “There are already thousands of dollars sitting around in people’s accounts in unused Kitely credits, burning a hole in their pocket,” Kitely CEORead More →

US $14 (12.50 Euros) for a single region with unlimited prims and users and any region configuration. Zetamex also offers private grid hosting with a basic starter package starting at US $198 (175 Euros) a month.Read More →

I was recently a guest on Designing Worlds, discussing virtual projects that got real money from Kickstarter — or are trying to. Fellow guests included  Zayn Till and Wynx Whiplash, Tinies from Raglan Shire, who just successfully raised $11,112 on Kickstarter for their JazzPaws project, handily exceeding their original goal ofRead More →

Students learning to drive in Vermont are getting an edge on their written exams thanks to an online tutorial with animation filmed inside Second Life. Vermont’s Department of Motor Vehicles reported this month that would-be drivers passed their written tests significantly more often after it deployed a virtual tutorial createdRead More →

Press release: Piney Grove Middle School students complete first project in the NOBLE world ATLANTA, GA – Students at Piney Grove Middle School in Cumming, Georgia recently completed their first learning adventure in the NOBLE Virtual World, a 3D virtual learning environment designed especially for project-based learning. NOBLE is availableRead More →

One of the worries for customers of Kitely‘s pay-by-the-minute OpenSim platform has been that an avatar accidentally logged into the grid could drain a user’s account. This is a particular issue for owners who opt to pay for their visitors’ usage time. Kitely addressed this problem today with a newRead More →

For the past two and half years at my real job as the head of learning and collaboration, we’ve been early adopters of a virtual world product called AvayaLive Engage, developed by a company named Avaya. It was formerly known as Web.Alive, and although I’m not a fan of theRead More →

Last week, I attended the Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds annual conference. I realize the theme for the conference was “Inspire the Future,” but an underlying theme I sensed was “Keeping up with the Future.” Our society and the technological changes are hitting us at an exponential rate. Like oneRead More →

Press release: Havok Enters Enterprise License Agreement with Kongsberg for Havok’s New Simulation Technology Industry Leader in Military Training and Simulation Standardizes on Havok’s Technology to Deliver High-Quality Simulation Training Across Multiple Training Programs SAN FRANCISCO — Havok, a leader in real-time simulation and 3D visualization technology, has entered intoRead More →

“Inspire the Future” was the 2012 theme of The Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds conference that convened this past week in Washington, D.C. at the National Defense University’s iCollege, and it drew about about 300 physical world and an estimated 3,000 virtual world attendees. Several virtual worlds were demonstrated at the conference,Read More →

Press release: New version of VastPark runs in the browser, uses HTML5 Washington, DC — Today at the Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds conference, VastPark demonstrated a preview of VastPark VP2, the new all-in-one solution for organizations seeking to engage their users, run collaborative events and train in 3D immersiveRead More →

I frequently want to know if some far-away region is up or not.  Say, for example,  I have a blamgate up to my favorite shopping mall. I want the gate to be nice and bright when the destination region is up, and go dark if the destination region is down.Read More →

Here on Island Oasis, we spent most of March developing and testing our own internal currency. This feature was implemented on April 7 and has been running without issue since. Until then, Island Oasis was using VirWoX OMC as our primary currency. This solution was more than sufficient initially when we launchedRead More →

There was a lot of turmoil on the hypergrid this past month, as many smaller grids disappeared, and OSGrid did another round of cleaning. As a result, the total number of regions on the top 40 grids fell to 19,668, a drop of 491 regions. In addition, the total numberRead More →

If you work in Second Life, you don’t have to worry about provenance. The Lindens take care of it with their permissions system. Or, at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. And you already know that you can’t bring anything from Second Life to OpenSim unless you’ve checked withRead More →

There’s an old saying that 90 percent of new businesses fail within a year, and they fail because of a lack of capital. Fortunately, that’s a myth. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 70 percent of new businesses survive at least two years, and more than half were stillRead More →

I have been involved with education in virtual worlds for several years now, and at discussions and conferences I often hear the question asked, “Why recreate a classroom with desks and PPT presentations in a world where anything is possible? Why create buildings with roofs and walls in a placeRead More →

An English teacher based in southern China has launched an OpenSim grid for English students. Currently, over 100 of his college-age students are using the grid, as well as students from Italy, Russia, and Japan. They practice English, and interact with English speakers who teleport in from other grids —Read More →

Some newcomers to OpenSim have major concerns with hypergrid technology and these concerns should not be taken lightly. Many of these risks, however, are exaggerated, while others are present in all virtual worlds. These concerns may cause some to fear moving to OpenSim worlds. Creators and merchants, in particular, may fearRead More →

Kitely, the OpenSim grid offering on-demand and easy region setup, has added support for groups and profiles, the company announced today. With groups, Kitely users can specify who can enter individual regions, and who can build on them. Groups can also be used to send out instant messages to allRead More →

Press release: Utherverse Reports Substantial Increase in Global White Label Platform Adoption with Average Franchise Monthly User Growth Rates Over 12% Company Boasts 13,500,000 Platform Users Worldwide and Interest from Large Corporations, Online Casinos, Real Estate Firms, and Government Agencies Vancouver, BC – Utherverse, the world’s Virtual World Web platform,Read More →

Some grids reported an increase in logins or registrations yesterday during Second Life’s protracted network outage. According to InWorldz co-founder David Daeschler, also known as Tranquillity Dexler in-world, the grid saw a peak of 352 simultaneous users on Thursday afternoon, at a time when the grid normally averages between 200 andRead More →

Tor Books, the largest science fiction publisher in the world, just announced that it will be removing digital rights management — DRM — from its ebooks. “Our authors and readers have been asking for this for a long time,” said president and publisher Tom Doherty in the announcement. “They’re aRead More →

With the recent explosion in new OpenSim grids, it will get harder and harder to get noticed. I’ve been talking about this to new gridmasters, and thought I’d share the advice a bit more widely. While I’m specifically writing for hypergrid-enabled grids, some of the same advice will apply toRead More →

Press release: 19.4 million Euro project to advance the workings of virtual worlds Budapest, Hungary — A consortium of 32 organisation from six countries has come together to advance the workings of virtual worlds. By creating a standard interface, the METAVERSE1 project made it possible for information to be shared between differentRead More →

Press release: X-Avatar offers new OpenSim module and real life age verification Augsburg, Germany – X-Avatar has launched a new addon module for OpenSim regions which enables region owners to block access to minors. In addition X-Avatar also added “real life” age verification which meets the strictest international youth protectionRead More →

There are two approaches to hypergrid content security currently being discussed by OpenSim developers and grid owners — the first, using the existing permissions system, is embraced by grids like Kitely looking to roll out something quickly. But the other approach — to create a brand-new permission that allows contentRead More →

The cloud-based, on-demand Kitely grid has added support for non-player characters (NPCs) and instant teleport gates as part of its upgrade to the latest version of OpenSim, the company announced today. NPCs — also known as bots — are useful for creating automated tour guides, robot receptionists, and, in roleRead More →

In light of several griefing incidents on OpenSim grids over the past few days, grid owners are starting to consider taking proactive steps to protect themselves against future attacks. Multi-grid nuisance On FleepGrid, a griefer dropped colored spheres all over the grid, which brought down the entire world. “It’s takenRead More →

Georgia’s Forsyth County Schools plans to triple the number of its OpenSim regions next year, the district’s coordinator of online education, Steve Mashburn, announced at Friday’s Non-Profit Commons meeting in Second Life. The school district deployed a 16-region grid, hosted by Dreamland Metaverse, earlier this year. The same vendor will be usedRead More →

In the first quarter of the year, the OMC virtual currency has gained both popularity and usefulness, with both the total currency in circulation and the number of grids it’s available for use on growing, which has also been reflected in the growing number of users. The OMC, or Open Metaverse Currency,Read More →

The number of small OpenSim grids continued to climb this month, as companies, schools and individuals continued to strike out on their own. We’re tracking 285 grids, of which 169 are currently active — an increase of 26 grids from last month’s 143 active grids. Meanwhile, the top 40 public OpenSimRead More →

In 2008 and 2009 I spoke at conferences and webinars about the use of Second Life for corporate eLearning as an easy-to-use 3D animation application. “Easy” is a relative term to true 3D animation applications such as Blender and 3ds Max (formerly 3D Studio Max). The typical corporate eLearning department often does not have the budget for trueRead More →

At Designing Digitally, Inc., we’ve seen every type of virtual campus tour imaginable and have identified some common problems that can hinder their success. Here are the top four problems we see and how you can avoid them: 1. Navigation Many virtual campus tours today simply lead people through the tour and dictateRead More →

Linden Lab has issued new guidelines for third-party viewers who wish to include advanced new features that use the proprietary Havoc physics engine. Of most interest to OpenSim users, the guidelines require that the viewer be “primarily focused on Second Life as a target market, and have a significant baseRead More →

Press Release: Unity Reaches One Million Registered Developers SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwire – Apr 9, 2012) – Unity Technologies, provider of the Unity multi-platform engine and development tools, is thrilled to announce that the Unity engine and tools now has over 1 million registered developers and over 6 million total downloads.Read More →

Press Release: Designing Digitally, Inc. Wins the 2012 Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge FRANKLIN, OHIO – Designing Digitally, Inc. took first place honors in the Familiarization category in the 2012 Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge with its 3D virtual campus tour of the United States Air Force Academy. The Ohio-based tech firmRead More →

Companies interested in the cost-savings and productivity benefits of immersive virtual environments but put off by the cartoony avatars may soon have another option, according to LA-based Integrated Virtual Networks. IVN’s patented “Silhouette” technology uses standard cameras to capture the user’s image, isolates it from the background, and converts it intoRead More →

The premise: As the number of grids proliferates, so does the number of destinations not safe for children. Schools and parents can install software that protects children from inappropriate websites — similar software designed for the hypergrid could protect children from grids dedicated to gambling and adult activities. The business TheRead More →

Member Turnover from Period One to Period Two

New research released in March shows that OpenSim development is becoming increasingly led by entrepreneurs, hobbyists, and large corporations. While entrepreneurs remain important in the development of OpenSim, hobbyists are becoming more essential, said report authors Robin Teigland and Zeynep Yetis of the Stockholm School of Economics and Paul M. Di Gangi of Loyola University in Maryland.Read More →

We recently celebrated our third birthday in InWorldz at a user conference in Las Vegas. The conference was fantastic, and was very well received. It also sparked an article “InWorldz at 3: Turning point or more of same?” by Maria Korolov. There were some very valid questions in the article,Read More →

[CORRECTION: I removed a line about bottlenecks that specifically mentioned the InWorldz asset server. See discussion in the comments for the full details.] InWorldz is celebrating it’s third anniversary in Las Vegas this weekend (livestream here, schedule here). I’m listening to the keynote presentation right now by grid founder BethRead More →

InWorldz co-founder David Daeschler, also known as Tranquillity Dexler in-world, announced plans for marketing and expansion at the InWorldz Convention in Las Vegas today. The grid, now celebrating its third birthday, will begin doing advertising for the first time, Daeschler said. He did not specify a time frame. And new mentorsRead More →

I am going to build my dream woman. Or maybe a man. Someone who will greet me warmly when she sees me. She’ll take messages for me, tell me if there’s someone waiting for me in my office,  send me a teleport request, greet visitors by name, give landmarks toRead More →

Kitely, the cloud-based, on-demand OpenSim grid, announced today that in-world teleports and choice of viewers are now supported. Previously, the only way to move from one Kitely region to another was to shut down your viewer, and load the new region from the website. And the only viewer you couldRead More →

Press Release: Worlds Inc. Receives Sixth “Virtual Worlds” Patent BOSTON, MA —  Worlds Inc.  announced that it has been issued patent no. 8,145,998 from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office  for patent application no. 12/406,970 titled “System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space.” This isRead More →

Hypergrid inventor and UC Irvine professor Crista Lopes — also known as  “Diva Canto” — has added a feature to OpenSim where you can invite someone to be your friend even if they’re not on your grid. In fact, they don’t even have to be logged on — they’ll get the inviteRead More →

We surveyed the biggest OpenSim hosting providers last week to find out how many private grids they were running for clients. Only three vendors responded — and some big, well-known vendors declined to provide data. However, between those three vendors, there were a total of 58 private grids, 13 forRead More →

For the longest time, I avoided the official Second Life viewers like the plague. There was always some update they wanted me to do when I had the least time to do it. There was no grid selection at startup, and, compared to Hippo, everything was in the wrong placeRead More →

New World Studio, which is currently the easiest way — by far — to install OpenSim on a home computer, will get an upgrade and some new features next month, said Olivier Battini, president of the Virtus Association, the non-profit behind both New World Studio and New World Grid. New World StudioRead More →

This year’s International Women’s Day theme, “equal access to education, training, and science and technology,” is a powerful affirmation of what I am about and why I am blazing the trail of bringing Open Wonderland to bridge the educational, gender, economic, social, and technological divides in Africa and worldwide. BackgroundRead More →