OpenSim’s longest-running live music venue — Maritime Club Belfast — is celebrating its tenth anniversary this weekend. The party starts at the club location on OSgrid on Sunday, January 28, at 1 p.m. Pacific Time. The club is a virtual recreation of a blues club opened and run by Van Morrison in 1964 inRead More →

A number of grids are hosting Halloween themed events, destinations, parties and hunts this month. Halloween Dance at Littlefield Grid Littlefield Grid has dedicated the Halloween Themed region to host the event for the entire month of October. There will also be a costume party and Halloween Dance at 8Read More →

Press release: New platform enables user-created social VR experiences SAN FRANCISCO – Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life, today announced that applications have opened for an upcoming “Creator Preview” for Project Sansar, the new platform for user-created social virtual reality experiences. Interested 3D content creators can now apply at ProjectSansar.com and acceptedRead More →

Second Life’s economy has a GDP of around $500 million, CEO Ebbe Altberg told The Next Web. According to Altberg, users cashed out a total in excess of $60 million last year. One user has sold around 300,000 virtual dresses at roughly $4 each. By comparison, in 2009, Second Life reported aRead More →

In mid-June, Linden Lab announced that third-party exchanges must stop selling Linden dollars, which will effectively put all or most of these exchanges out of business by August 1. There is an English-language petition with around 300 signatures at SaveTheExchanges.com and a German-language petition at OpenPetition with more than 700 signatures. There is a smallRead More →

Update: Linden Lab has posted an official notice confirming the news. Linden Lab is shutting down third-party currency exchanges, CrossWorlds exchange owner Tony Bastianelli told Hypergrid Business today. According to Bastianelli, he received an email today telling him that his reseller account will be shut down on August 1, and he will noRead 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 →

The top 40 OpenSim grids gained 1,458 regions this month, for a new total of 24,040 regions on these grids, the second highest total since we began tracking these numbers in the summer of 2009. These grids also reported a total of 18,061 active users.  A total of 224 gridsRead More →

Over the last three years I’ve planned, designed, and orchestrated a dozen learning events in the virtual world of Second Life. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with extremely experienced and talented programmers, producers, content experts, scripters, and machinima artists from whom I have learned volumes about planning and stagingRead More →

SpotON3D will address the patent issue in a discussion on the first day of its Content Creators Expo in Second Life. Philippe Pascal, SpotON3D’s developer program manager, invited Hypergrid Business readers to attend the Expo, including those concerned about reports that SpotON3D has filed for five patents on OpenSim-related technology. ThoseRead More →

There have been several attempts over the past year to create a viewer for Second Life and OpenSim based virtual environments that would run in a browser. I’ve tried to write about them all, from Linden Lab partnering with GaiKai to provide a server-side rendered and streamed experience of SecondLife to TipodeanRead More →

Virtual worlds gained 214 million new users in the second quarter of 2011, according to virtual worlds research firm KZero Worldwide. It was the largest quarterly increase since the company began tracking these numbers in 2008. Second Life, with 27 million registered users, continued to hold the top position inRead More →

If you’re launching a new grid, your number one problem is lack of content. Whether your grid is a corporate office complex for your employees, a campus for your students, or a large social and roleplaying world for your residents, they all need clothes, skins, hair, shoes, furniture, productivity tools,Read More →

Press Release: Virtual Library of Birmingham opens its doors for public exploration Birmingham, U.K. — The Virtual Library of Birmingham, built by Daden Limited, has opened its doors to the public allowing access two years before the real life building is ready for occupancy. The Virtual Library of Birmingham allowsRead More →

I subscribe to a lot of virtual world-related blogs in my RSS reader (click here for the bundle) , and follow a lot more on Twitter (click here for the list). Here are the five that I check in on daily. i live in science land Ener Hax posts daily (with a littleRead More →

Jibe is a new, Unity 3D-based virtual environment created by ReactionGrid, one of the leading OpenSim hosting vendors. Many people confuse the two platforms, but they are very different environments. In fact, Jibe has very little in common with OpenSim, and quite a bit in common with other browser-based virtualRead More →

Press release: New Learning System for Virtual World Educators Released The creators of Texas State Technical Colleges’ virtual presence in Second Life®, vTSTC, have released a new learning management system created specifically for educators using virtual worlds like Second Life® for teaching and learning. Abilene, TX — The creators of TexasRead More →

Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business this week that the Second Life and OpenSim viewer can be ported to HTML 5 and Web GL in a matter of months — and he’s looking for people to help accomplish that. Tocher said that’s he’s received a commitment from Alon ZakaiRead More →

Hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes, professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine called today on big public grids to begin a mass migration to lower regions. The reason is that Second Life-compatible viewers don’t handle jumps of more than 4,096 regions in any direction — causing problems both forRead More →

Press release: ACSM: Weight loss success in a 3-D virtual world Bloomington, Indiana — Participants in two weight-loss programs — one involving traditional health club sessions and the other delivered online in a 3D virtual world — lost similar amounts of weight and body fat, but the online contingent reportedRead More →

You cannot compare Second Life and OpenSim. One is a social world. The other is an open source piece of server software. You can’t even compare Second Life to individual grids using OpenSim as their backend software. Second Life has around a million users logging in each month, while theRead More →

Many people view virtual online currencies; the kind used in online websites such as Second Life for example, as being wholly different from their real life counterparts. Many online games have their own currencies with their own currency conversion rates but until now they have not been viewed in anyRead More →

Second Life “financial institutions” such as virtual banks and stock exchanges have historically been magnets for fraud and mismanagement. But the Capital Exchange — formerly the SL Capital Exchange, now under new management — promises to change that. Carmen Dubaldi, who bought the exchange this January, has actual business experienceRead More →

Press Release: Daden creates World Finder, a virtual world selection tool Birmingham, U.K. — A simple virtual world selection tool, World Finder, has been created by virtual world specialist’s Daden Limited to help businesses and organisations choose between competing platforms for their projects. World Finder is based around 12 key virtualRead More →

The last four months have been tumultuous ones for our university. With the end of educational discounts for our island in Second Life, we faced a tough decision. Second Life’s steep learning curve and our local system of incentives and rewards for faculty had discouraged any use of virtual worldsRead More →

Educators looking for OpenSim alternatives to Second Life are currently limited to ReactionGrid or Jokaydia Grid, which is operated by ReactionGrid — unless they want to set up their own grid or join a multi-purpose grid that’s about more than just education. That changed this week when Houston-based FireSabre Consulting,Read More →

Virtual worlds like Second Life can successful be used for creative learning activities but only if the students understand the purpose of their activities in the virtual world, and aren’t overwhelmed by the learning curve, according to a researcher at Indiana’s Ball State University. Otherwise, students will feel frustrated withRead More →

A researcher at the University of California in San Diego is seeking participants for a large-scale study of avatar movement in Second Life and OpenSim. The study involves both online questionnaires and in-world movement tracking. The researcher, Jean-François Lucas, is a graduate student at the Department of Anthropology and SociologyRead 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 →

Second Life is a tipping point, and has been precariously balanced there for months. Average daily concurrency has been slipping since the start of 2010, according to data from Metaverse Business. In fact, according to Tateru Nino, concurrency in Second Life is at its lowest level in two years. TheRead More →

Press Release: The University of Central Florida Deploys Virtual Training for Accountancy Tools Birmingham, UK — The University of Central Florida (UCF), commissioned Daden Limited (Daden) to develop several accountancy orientation exercises in Second Life on UCF’s campus “ReallyEngagingAccounting.” Dr Hornik, an early adopter of virtual worlds for education has been using SecondRead More →

The evolution of the Linden Dollar from a strictly virtual currency and economy to a currency that intertwines with recognized currencies and economies has created many issues that need to be addressed in order for Second Life to continue to flourish as a developing world and be a viable blueprintRead More →

With Kitely‘s bill-per-minute, cloud-based OpenSim hosting service now available, non-technically inclined folks now have a real choice in what kind of hosting they’d like to have. Here is a breakdown of common use cases of virtual environments, and whether Kitely makes sense, or whether you should go with Second LifeRead More →

San Francisco-based Tipodean Technologies launched a public beta today of its BuiltBuy.me Web-based viewer for OpenSim and Second Life. The viewer, formerly known as Canvas, is free, and can be embedded inside a Website, YouTube-style. The latest update includes several improvements over the private beta release in December, including speedRead 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 →

Changchun is a city in northeast China known for its auto plants. “We’re the Detroit of China,” said David Deeds, IT manager and teacher at the Changchun American International School. “Except that they’re still making cars here.” The school, which was founded four years ago, is affiliated with an autoRead More →

It was an honor to present to the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life. A wide range of organizations were represented by their avatars in the central arena. There to discuss signage, I discussed tips and ideas for how they can improve their signage overall. Although most of the organizations, unfortunately,Read More →

Press Release: Second Life’s New Leader: Rod Humble Becomes CEO of Linden Lab MMO and Gaming Industry Visionary to Bring New Life to Second Life SAN FRANCISCO — Linden Lab®, creator of 3D virtual world Second Life®, today announced that Rod Humble has become the company’s Chief Executive Officer. HumbleRead More →

Here at Hypergrid Business we spend a lot of time touring virtual environments, and we often find them difficult to navigate, inconsistent, and hard to use. But one of the world’s biggest corporate users of virtual worlds — IBM — is hoping to change that. With a new set ofRead More →

San Francisco-based Tipodean Technologies will open its Canvas Web-based viewer next week to a select group of beta testers, but Hypergrid Business got a sneak peek this week. A test version of the viewer will go live on Monday. “We will see how big of a load it is,” saidRead More →

A virtual mine in Second Life is a compelling educational experience. (Image courtesy Sand Castle Studios. )

Press Release: Using the Virtual World to Explore the Real World Problems of Fossil Fuels Environmental Documentary Deep Down Launches Interactive Virtual Mine in Second Life for Communities and Educators to Take Action in Solving the Power Crisis Virtual worlds can provide a comprehensive environment for education, storytelling, collaboration, andRead More →

Investors in virtual companies listed on the Second Life Capital Exchange lost most of their money, according to a new research report. The report, which covered the time period between May 2007 and December 2009, showed that investors bought US$145,000 worth of shares in initial public offerings of virtual companies.Read More →

I spent the last few days reading Virtual Justice by Greg Lastowka. Lastowka outlined some legal issues that arise in virtual environments. Who owns what? What rights — if any — do you have when buying or creating digital content? It is important reading for anyone involved in virtual digitalRead More →

Ever since Crista Lopes, professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine invented the hypergrid in 2009, people have been debating whether grids should be on or off the hypergrid. On the one hand, the hypergrid is very cool. You can teleport from one grid to another, hopping aroundRead More →

OpenSim users overwhelmingly said that they would “absolutely” recommend the platform to others. Out of 114 people who responded to our survey this week and answered this question, 84 percent said they would “absolutely recommend” it, with only 1 percent saying they would “absolutely not recommend” the platform. Of theRead More →

The power of first impressions is either ignored or overlooked. Perhaps the poor state of design in Second Life is due to myopia—no one can see his or her own face objectively. A stroll around the Aloft group in Nonprofit Commons is a lesson in visual frustration. (Because the 30Read More →

A new book by Coventry University professor Maggi Savin-Baden offers practical advice to educators interested in virtual worlds. According to Coventry University, professor Savin-Baden is one of the UK’s leading academics on the subject and has used virtual technology extensively as a teaching resource. Some recent developments in Second Life,Read More →

I have lost track of the number of times over the last few weeks that I have been somewhere in the OpenSim grid and heard someone say “This is like Second Life in the early days – I love it.”  This resonates for me – and I have been thinkingRead More →

The Immersive Education Initiative, a Boston-based non-profit coalition, announced today that it will offer free land, and free migration services, for educators working in Second Life’s Teen Grid. The Initiative currently provides thousands of OpenSim regions to members around the world through its Education Grid project,  Aaron Walsh, founding directorRead More →

Just a day after Second Life launched its mesh beta, OpenSim already has experimental mesh in the latest test release, and people have begun trying the technology out on OSGrid’s experimental Danger Grid. According to OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey, the OpenSim implementation of mesh leverages the work done byRead More →

How do you keep up with industry trends?  You hear from the people setting the trends.  On September 24th, FountainBlue held its annual virtual worlds conference on Cisco’s campus in Milpitas, CA.  The event featured a session titled “Trends in the Virtual Worlds Industry: An Update on What’s New andRead More →

Last week, Laura Crane Trust, a non-profit which provides support to teenage and young adult cancer patients in the U.K., had decided to build its virtual world in OpenSim. Jonathan Tyreman, the charity’s online development coordinator, originally wanted to go with Second Life but decided to recommend OpenSim to theRead More →

Last month, Linden Lab announced that the Teen Grid was shutting down at the end of the year, sending many educators into a panic at the prospect of losing their virtual projects in the middle of the school year. To partially offset this loss, the Lindens also lowered the minimumRead More →

How do you keep up with industry trends?  You hear from the people setting the trends. On September 24th, FountainBlue held its annual virtual worlds conference on Cisco’s campus in Milpitas, CA. The event featured a session titled “Trends in the Virtual Worlds Industry: An Update on What’s New andRead More →

Press Release: Daden selected for new genetic screening virtual application Virtual world solution specialists Daden have been awarded a contract to create the laboratory functionality to enable scenario-based training as part of the University of Leicester’s SWIFT project in Second Life. Based on Daden’s open-source award winning software PIVOTE, theRead More →

Press Release: Virtual World Campus for OpenSim HOUSTON, TEXAS  — FireSabre Consulting, a virtual world developer focused on educational clients, responded this week to the announcement by Linden Lab that the Teen Second Life virtual world product was to be discontinued. FireSabre has launched a program to help K-12 institutionsRead 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 →

Update: The Chat-World project has moved back to Second Life. According to the Laura Crane Trust, cancer is the most common form of non-accidental death in teenagers and young adults in the UK. The Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to funding research specifically into cancers affecting young peopleRead More →

Press release: Wiecha Receives Grant to Study Face-to-Face vs Virtual Health Education for African-American Women BOSTON — Boston University School of Medicine Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs John Wiecha, MD, MPH, in the Department of Family Medicine, has received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) American Recovery & Reinvestment ActRead More →

The adult-themed Utherverse virtual world platform is in discussions with former developers of the controversial Emerald Viewer for Second Life, the company announced. Prior to recent scandals involving an alleged distributed denial of service attack, privacy violations, and a Second Life ban this Wednesday, the Emerald viewer was primarily knownRead More →

The world is about to turn nasty. I don’t mean the world is about to turn nasty on you, personally, but its going to be a much harder world to do business in, as economic disruptions throughout Europe make strikes much more likely. Greece already is as close to aRead More →

Mike Treder, the managing director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, recently asked a loaded question: If you could live in a world that was just the way you wanted it to be, with specifications you’d chosen, customized and personalized to meet your every need and fulfill yourRead More →

Utherverse, a proprietary virtual world platform known for its adult content, has launched a virtual casino targeting US customers. While the winnings cannot be converted into cash today, that might change if a new gambling bill is able to make its way through Congress. Meanwhile, Utherverse hopes that casino operatorsRead More →