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 →

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 →

A couple of years ago, I described how we were using the Open Wonderland virtual environment platform to host polls for users to express their opinions about proposed governmental policies, as part of  the +Spaces project. In the next stage of the project, we have taken a look at another way of engaging citizens: debates. TheRead More →

The premise: There’s something addicting about putting together a virtual train set, getting the scenery just right, assembling the train itself. Even better is when you get to share it with people, or see how your set stacks up against others. This creates a business opportunity for a company —Read More →

[Editor: A couple of years ago, Chris Ravensoft was an actual paying customer for Second Life Enteprise, a behind-the-firewall version of Second Life, designed for companies who needed a secure, private space for internal collaboration, training, and rapid prototyping. In the summer of 2010, Linden Lab shut the project down.]Read More →

OpenSim is making headway as a viable alternative to Second Life. About 98 percent of the functionality of Second Life is present in OpenSim. The remaining 2 percent primarily deals with vehicle physics. Although it is still considered “alpha” software, OpenSim hosting is sold, and teachers, students, and businesses are taking advantage.Read More →

When asked about the difference between Second Life and OpenSim I frequently explain that, for enterprise users, having a region in Second Life is a lot like having a page on Facebook — and using OpenSim is like having your own website. This was recently underscored for me by myRead More →

There are many reasons why I believe that virtual worlds are not dead, dying or disappearing. In fact, I believe that they are gaining momentum and are becoming more and more impactful as the technology gets better and more real world business cases are indicating the value of these environments,Read More →

Press release: Broad/MSU launches Virtual Broad Art Museum with original digital artworks on view in multi-user online environment East Lansing, MI – The Virtual Broad Art Museum, a multi-user online environment developed in anticipation of the fall 2012 opening of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan StateRead More →

Press release: Forsyth County Schools has selected Dreamland Metaverse ATLANTA, GA – Forsyth County Schools announced today that it has selected Dreamland Metaverse to host the NOBLE Virtual World on the OpenSim platform. The metro Atlanta district, with 35 schools and 38,000 students, is the first major school system in theRead More →

A major spring cleaning on OSGrid — followed by an outage a couple of weeks later — played havok with the grid’s total region counts over the past four weeks. About three weeks ago, the grid dropped from more than 11,000 regions to just around 6,000 regions as a resultRead More →

Launching, maintaining, and expanding a virtual business — a new grid, design firm, hosting company or consultancy — can be an overwhelming task. While start-up costs are often not too high, it is difficult to run a viable business until consistent revenue streams are achieved. Regardless of financial situation though,Read More →

Say you and your friends want to set up a self-serve system to post announcements on each other’s grids or sims? Here’s how to do it without having to create any databases, by using Google Spreadsheets. First, you go to Google Docs and choose Create – Form. Here’s a sampleRead More →

I’ve been listening to Vanish Seriath’s interview with OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey today and I was struck by Clark-Casey’s pessimism about the growth of the hypergrid. He was worried about scalability, security, and whether or not it even serves any purpose. He expressed surprise that people would want to useRead More →

Each time I go out traveling the hypergrid, I meet someone who tells me that this is the new frontier — that this is what Second Life used to be, back at the beginning. The wide open spaces. The sense of boundless posibility. The feeling that simply by being there,Read More →

[Note from Editor: SimHost‘s James Stalling responded to this review with the following: “He was a difficult customer who did not give OpenSim a good evaluation before he got involved, and didn’t give it a fair shake after he got involved.  I have to say that I disagree entirely with hisRead More →