[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 →

US$20 (18 Euro) for a 17,200-prim region on Metropolis or OSgrid. No setup fee. First two weeks free.Read More →

Running OpenSim on your home computer in, in theory, a great way to have as much virtual land as you want — for free. In practice, it can take quite a bit of time and effort to set it up. I normally have my teenage daughter do it, but withRead 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 →

Island Oasis started out as a unique grid — a commercial world that allowed both region exports in the form of OAR files, and hypergrid access to the rest of the metaverse. (See related story: Why the fuss about Island Oasis?) Both of these features were pretty darn resident-friendly, and ourRead More →

I regularly hear that virtual worlds — and OpenSim and Second Life in particular — are too hard to use, or that the bandwidth and computer processing power isn’t there yet, or that the graphics aren’t good enough. But, as I pointed out before, all these things were true ofRead More →

Zoe, a prototype AI bot, lives in her own house on OpenSim. (Image courtesy David Burden.)

[Editor: Recent OpenSim upgrades have substantially expanded support for NPCs — non-player characters — also known as bots or AIs. NPCs are typically used in games, as enemies for players to defeat, or characters who help the players in their quests. However, they are also increasingly being used for business.]Read More →

Press release: Daden asks industry – what makes a good interactive chatbot? Birmingham UK — A survey to find out what functionality users want to see when they interact with a virtual agent – or chatbot – has been launched by chatbot specialists Daden Limited. Increasing in popularity, chatbots —Read More →

Kitely, the cloud-based, on-demand OpenSim grid, announced much-awaited alternate logins today. Instead of having to sign in with a Facebook account, customers can now choose to use their Twitter accounts instead, or just an email address. However, signing in with Twitter or Facebook offers more functionality, said Oren Hurvitz, Kitely’s co-founderRead More →

Editor’s note: This article was updated on 1/27/2023 to remove dead links and links to malicious sites. The U.S. military will be testing OpenSim’s scaling capabilities tomorrow, on the MOSES test grid. MOSES — Military Open Simulator Enterprise Strategy — is an OpenSim-based world run by the U.S. Army SimulationRead More →

Over the course of two years, we designed and ran a simulation for the University of Richmond based upon Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” in the virtual world of Second Life. I wanted to enable my classes to change the ending of Poe’s tale, ifRead More →

Avination, one of the top commercial grids using the OpenSim software, announced today that it has enabled border crossings for vehicles with the latest release of its server software. The standard OpenSim physics engine lags behind that of Second Life when it comes to vehicles, and there are problems havingRead More →

Press Release: Serious Games Association Forming: Open to Publishers, Developers, Technology Providers, Consultants LOS ANGELES– The Serious Games Association (SGA), designed to support all professionals in the serious games community with educational conferences, special interest groups, tools and training, is open for membership at www.seriousgamesassociation.com. Programs and services for all marketRead More →

Press release: Course teaches journalists in a virtual world how to cover disasters and crises in the real world The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas collaborated with the Virtual Journalism Learning Center (VJLC) to offer a free course in Spanish on “How to Cover Natural Disasters and Crises,”Read More →

A few weeks ago, I posted a script about how to add data to a Google spreadsheet from inside an OpenSim world (or from a Second Life region). But what if you want to go the other way, and bring data from a spreadsheet in-world? It’s not too hard. First,Read More →

It’s been years in the making. Literally. I’ve been slowly collecting scripts and destinations — with the help of a lot of other folks — and Hyperica is finally open for business. The hyperport, not the website. Here’s how it works. There are three regions. Hyperica Lower is at 4025,Read More →

OpenSim’s top 40 public grids gained 580 new regions over the past month, hitting a new record high of 23,231 regions. Meanwhile, the total number of active public grids is now 118, with 20 new grids added to our list this month — not counting private grids, Sim-on-a-Sticks, and gridsRead More →

Credit card thieves have figured out a way to steal money from OpenSim grid owners. They take the credit cards, and use them to purchase virtual currency from the grids. Then they turn around and redeem the currency for cash before the card holder notices the theft and complains. TheRead More →

Imprudence — the recommended viewer for OSGrid, Kitely, and many other OpenSim grids — will be phased out in favor of the next-generation Kokua viewer. But folks who’ve exported content using Imprudence don’t have to worry. Kokua will, eventually, support object and exports and imports in the same format asRead More →

Rivers Run Red was a pioneering 3D content development company in Second Life. No, make that THE pioneering content development company. The company brought major brands to Second Life — and was featured in a Businessweek cover story. Just last year, Rivers Run Red had about 30 regions in  SecondRead More →

One of the founders of the OpenSim project, Adam Frisby, is now focusing his efforts on the Unity platform — because it can scale better, the viewer runs on multiple devices, and it has better graphics. His former firm, DeepThink, has been acquired by the Sine Wave Company, which is nowRead More →

If you like building — or need to build for your work or school — and you find Second Life cramped and expensive, OpenSim is a great option. But where do you start? There are over a hundred active public grids, dozens of hosting providers… for someone new to OpenSim,Read More →

Kitely — an OpenSim-based grid that runs its regions in the Amazon cloud — has a unique system that gives educators some interesting capabilities and advantages. To appreciate those features that are most beneficial requires just a bit of imagination and I have drawn on my perspective of having been involvedRead More →

After months of delays — months in which its users enjoyed free premium OpenSim hosting — Kitely begins charging today. The pricing plan is a bit different than what the company initially outlined, with tiered plans added as another option to the previously discussed by-the-minute billing. The new plans areRead More →

With some help from scripters, designers, and other hypergrid travelers, we’ve been bringing the Hyperica directory up-to-date. As part of the process, I travel to a lot of grid welcome regions — there are about forty grids that are on the hypergrid that are already in the directory, and we’reRead More →

Press Release: ProtonMedia Introduces ProtoSphere 2.0: the Immersive, Social, Learning & Collaboration Software for the Enterprise Market-leading collaboration environment for the cloud deeply integrates with Microsoft technologies LANSDALE, Pa.—ProtonMedia has introduced ProtoSphere 2.0, the company’s immersive business collaboration environment for the enterprise. ProtoSphere 2.0 is an innovative approach in immersive,Read More →

Press Release Pleasanton, CA – Companies that want to monetize a hybrid event shouldn’t neglect the importance of marketing the virtual side, says Erica St. Angel, vice president of marketing for Sonic Foundry, who spoke at the 2012 Virtual Edge Summit, Jan 9-11, in San Diego. Companies already face the challengeRead More →

Stanford’s newly renovated Virtual Human Interaction Lab is now open for public tours. If you want to see what your living room is likely to look like four years from now, come and take a tour of Stanford’s new Virtual Human Interaction Lab, says Jeremy Bailenson, an associate professor ofRead More →

Today, Hamlet Au wrote a column suggesting that the OpenSim user base is shrinking — and used Hypergrid Business numbers to support his position. The short answer to his question is: No, OpenSim usage is not falling, and the numbers do not support this. In fact, it is growing quiteRead More →

There’s been a lot written lately about how SOPA and PIPA would affect virtual worlds including Second Life. The legislation would allow copyright holders to shut down access to Internet domains where pirated content is published — or even where there are links to other sites that have pirated content.Read More →

Here is a little vignette describing how 3D collaborative environments can impact large organizations. Just as technology has advanced in almost every field, so has the technology surrounding learning and collaboration. Three-dimensional virtual immersive environments are the next logical evolution and extension of existing technologies—a convergence of 2D virtual classrooms,Read More →

New research released today dispels the myth that OpenSim is the sole product of work by people who expected no personal financial gain — academics, employees of large corporations, and volunteers working out of the goodness of their hearts. In fact, entrepreneurs played a very important part in the earlyRead More →

OpenSim’s top 40 public grids gained 1,056 new regions over the past month, hitting a new record high of 22,651 regions. Meanwhile, the total number of active public grids is now over 90, with 16 new grids added to our list this month. There are also an unknown number ofRead More →

Update 3: There an simpler version of this script here: Easier Google Spreadsheet Visitor Logger Update 2: Reader Zuza Ritt has found a solution to working with the new format. Read the full instructions here. Update: Google has updated their form system so that this method doesn’t work anymore. However, you canRead 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 →

Press release: ALTADYN® Introduces Patent Pending Technology For 3D Virtual Events, The First Self Service, Instantly Setup Full 3D Immersive Platform For Virtual Events With No Download Required Irvine, California – Altadyn announced its new platform today: 3D-VirtualEvents.com. Offered in SaaS mode on the cloud, it has been designed forRead More →