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 →

Hosting providers with previous experience in Second Life are bringing some Second Life terminology with them into OpenSim. For example, Coral Estates draws a distinction between “owning” a region and paying “tier” — and “renting” land. “All of the land in this section of the web site is non rentalRead More →

Business users choosing virtual environments usually focus on particular features — does it support mesh imports? Are there in-world editing tools? How good is the voice? Is the a web viewer? However, most of these features are time-dependent — eventually, every virtual world platform is going to have mesh importsRead More →

My company is a small, enterprise user of virtual worlds. Over the past year, we’ve used them for meetings with partners, new hires, internal collaboration, and external business networking. There were plenty of virtual worlds to choose from. But since we wanted to be able to customize our environment ourselvesRead More →

Update: “As Philip has mentioned, Linden Lab has discontinued the Second Life Enterprise development program,” Adam Nelson, Linden Lab’s Executive Director of Monetization, told Hypergrid Business. “We will continue to honor our beta customer commitments and contracts, but will not be accepting new customers for the beta product. Second LifeRead More →

The latest versions of OpenSim support Second Life Viewer 2 and, over the next couple of months, grids and hosting providers will be upgrading their OpenSim server software to make Viewer 2 usable everywhere on the hypergrid. I’ve spent the last five weeks heavily using SL Viewer 2 in SecondRead More →

The TeenGrid has low traffic compared to Second Life’s mainland, and its primary renters — educators — pay half of what Second Life’s other customers do for land. It makes sense for them to close it down, from the standpoint of basic economics, but bad in another sense. The educationalRead More →

Press Release: CyberWatch Launches Virtual World Environment for Learning, Training and Global Meetings Second Life environment will extend services to national members in virtual space. Washington, DC., August 15, 2010 — The CyberWatch organization announces today the launch of a 3D online virtual environment in Second Life. The virtual islandRead More →

Philip Rosedale at Second Life Community Convention 2010.

Philip Rosedale who recently returned to the helm of Linden Lab, gave his first major speech of his second term as CEO on Saturday with a couple of bold announcements — Second Life was definitely rolling out meshes, and the Teen Grid will soon close. Rosedale gave no firm deadlineRead More →

Would be sim-commerce millionaires gathered at the Hypergrid Entrepreneurs Group meeting Thursday night on the Trombly Grid to discuss recent innovations in OpenSim hosting, currency systems, and selling real homes and real furniture in virtual environments. Towards the end of the meeting, the conversation somehow turned to virtual sex (okay,Read More →

Wagner Au and Gwyneth Llewelyn have recently posted thought-provoking pieces about how to make virtual worlds more engaging. Au proposed an achievement system to encourage new users to make friends and visit new locations. “Turning social networking more competitive resulted in people getting more engaged with it,” added Llewelyn, explainingRead More →

Editor’s introduction: Machinima refers to animations filmed inside virtual worlds or video games. Machimina is cheaper and faster than the alternatives — traditional filming using real actors and sets, hand-drawn animation, or computer-generated animation.    Many people see machinima as a documentation of the virtual life — a bridge that allowsRead More →

Linden Lab developer Qarl Linden reported that he was laid off yesterday. The developer — known as Karl Stiefvater outside of Second Life — was responsible for such innovations as scupties and flexi prims, making the in-world environment richer and more realistic. “He is widely recognized as a competent andRead More →

Earlier this year, Linden Lab released Second Life Viewer 2 which, though it had a large number of usability problems, also offered one huge advantage for business and education users: the ability to put a live webpage or any other media onto any in-world surface. This means that a groupRead More →

Ever since Second Life made virtual world a common reality, people have been trying to find ways to utilize this new-found platform for unimaginable reasons. Soon enough other companies cropped providing quick similar features. These include Active Worlds and Entropia Universe. They all mainly started as a virtual social gameRead More →

For the past year that I’ve been attending meetings in Second Life and OpenSim, I’ve been thinking of the virtual platforms as another kind of collaboration tool. I compare it to Web-based conferences and seminars. A few days ago, however, I read a blog post by Avril Korman, where, inRead More →

Press release: Linden Lab Announces Management Changes SAN FRANCISCO, June 24 — Linden Lab®, creator of 3D virtual world Second Life®, announced today that company founder Philip Rosedale has been named interim CEO, and CFO Bob Komin has assumed the additional role of COO.  Linden Lab also announced that MarkRead More →

Press Release: VenueGen Offers Free Migration Solution for Second Life Business Customers RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC- –  VenueGen, provider of a 3-D virtual meeting platform for collaborative meetings, training, and events today announced a migration solution for users of the Linden Labs Second Life virtual world platform. Linden Labs Second LifeRead More →

Press Release: Citizant and Cranial Tap Partner to Develop 3-D Environments for Collaboration, Training and Data Visualization In Federal Agencies Second Life environments will add new dimension to transparency and performance CHANTILLY, Va. — Citizant, a leader in federal information sharing and business modernization solutions, has partnered with Cranial Tap,Read More →

Linden Lab announced 30 percent staff cuts today, and also promised a Web-based viewer for Second Life. While a Web-based viewer would be a significant benefit for companies interested in using virtual worlds for quick meetings and public conferences, a more sobering note is that the announcement of  “strategic restructuringRead More →

The Second Life and OpenSim platform are the best bet for educators, according to a white paper released today by virtual worlds research firm Daden Limited. “It is the only one offering reasonable graphics with in-world building tools, and as a result high levels of flexibility,” wrote author David Burden.Read More →

There are three ways in which a particular platform or service can be considered to be “open.” One is whether it runs on multiple systems, or is locked into a system from one particular vendor. For example, Apple’s Leonard operating system only runs on Apple computers. The Windows operating systems,Read More →

Virtual worlds have been offered up in recent weeks as alternatives to physical events because they are disaster-proof. No volcano or tsunami can take down the whole Internet. And virtual events are particularly budget-friendly during that other kind of recent disaster — a financial crisis. But virtual worlds are proneRead More →

Press Release: UK Company wins U.S. Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge Birmingham, UK — UK Virtual Worlds solution provider Daden Limited has won first place and second place prize respectively in two categories of this years inaugural U.S. Federal Government’s Virtual World Challenge (FVWC). Birmingham-based Daden entered both its PIVOTE andRead More →

Press Release: Murrow Center 3D Newsroom Debuts in Second Life A Shared Media Experience and Citizen Journalist Training Center Sponsored by the McCormick Foundation PULLMAN, Wash. – The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University and the McCormick Foundation are partnering for the creation of the MurrowRead More →

If you’re a business manager considering rolling out virtual workspaces, you may think that an avatar identity is nothing more than yet another user account, the login credentials for a particular piece of virtual world software. At second look, you might think that avatar identities are closer to email addresses.Read More →

Former Linden staffer Meadhbh Hamrick has vowed to continue her fight for virtual worlds interoperability. However, the commitment on the part of Linden Research is unclear, and the project is currently being overshadowed by the success of the hypergrid, an alternative method of bridging worlds. Hamrick — also known asRead More →

Educators in primary schools, colleges, and other institutions looking for lower costs, better controls, and no age restrictions are considering switching from Second Life to its open source alternative, the OpenSim virtual world server platform. The OpenSim server software can be used to power an entire public grid, or aRead More →

Clever Zebra is about to roll out its Campus toolset for educators in OpenSim, company president Nick Wilson tells Hypergrid Business, with work already underway for the first beta customers. OpenSim is an open source platform for creating and serving virtual worlds, which uses the same viewers and interface asRead More →

New Orleans law firm Jones Walker has been conducting meetings and training programs in Second Life, the company announced this month. “We created office space where we could conduct meetings, make presentations, provide training, and explore the applications of Second Life to the law firm environment,” said chief marketing officerRead More →

Press Release: Queen’s University Faculty of Law will host Canada’s first virtual law conference on March 18. Roughly 20 academics from Canada, the U.S. and around the world will gather at the Queen’s University Faculty of Education Island in the virtual world of Second Life to discuss the relationship betweenRead More →

Coca-Cola’s virtual presence in There.com is now history, but few other enterprises will be affected by the loss of this virtual world, experts say. “Unfortunately, There.com ceased operations,” Coca-Cola said in a statement. “As CCMetro is part of the larger There.com environment, CCMetro closed as well.” The company said itRead More →

One of the great things about the Internet is that it connects people who, in the past, have had a hard time keeping in touch. In researching the phenomena of medical amputees rehabilitating and re-integrating into their home communities, it has been shown that peer support is a real keyRead More →

Enterprises rolling out new OpenSim grids are often concerned about security issues of running OpenSim, and justifiably so. OpenSim is alpha software and still poses some security challenges. However, the security level of a particular OpenSim deployment depends quite a bit on how it is configured. Here are the mostRead More →

OpenSim moved one step closer to full support for Second Life Viewer 2 media on in-world surfaces this week, with the completion of an extensive project to rearchitect the way the open-source software works. Last week, Linden Lab released a new viewer for Second Life — and compatible worlds likeRead More →

Anders Gronstedt, president of the Gronstedt Group, presents a case study about how high-level executives make some of their biggest decisions in Second Life today at 2 p.m. Pacific, 5 p.m. Eastern time at a live taping of the Virtual Worlds Keynote program. Anders Gronstedt, someone with tremendous experience bothRead More →

Press Release: ThinkBalm’s “The Distillery” — an immersive technology selection experience Source: ThinkBalm What do whiskey and enterprise immersive software have in common? Not much, unless you’re on ThinkBalm Island in Second Life (or, shortly, the ThinkBalm region of ReactionGrid). We are excited to announce that construction on The DistilleryRead More →

Two major things happened before the World Wide Web took off in a big way. One was the fact that individuals were able to create Web sites and link them to other Web sites. Once individuals did it — individual researchers, individual teachers, individual hobbists, individual company employees — theyRead More →

Last summer I decided to open a virtual office for my company. I don’t just write for Hypergrid Business — I run a company with staff in China and India, among other locations, providing outsourced editorial services to U.S. business magazines. Basically, we run foreign news bureaus for our clients.Read More →

OpenSim users will have to wait before they are able to use the new Second Life viewer on their grids because the core OpenSim software is currently being rebuilt, developers say. The are compatibility issues between Second Life Viewer 2 (Beta) and the current OpenSim virtual world server software, butRead More →

I recently saw the Michael Douglas/Demi Moore 1994 movie called “Disclosure.” In the movie (which explores sexual harassment in the workplace), Michael Douglas was working for a computer company that created a 3D virtual reality database. The user would put on special glasses and he was literally inside the database with the data. HeRead More →

Today, online events producer Caleb Booker debuts a new video series devoted to, and filmed entirely inside, virtual worlds. The program, “Virtual Worlds Keynote,” is filmed in Second Life in front of a live studio audience. Well, virtually live. The first guest is Jonena Relth, president of TBD Consulting Inc.,Read More →

A growing number of companies are instituting virtual workforces allowing the employees to be closer to their customers and working in a remote environment. These remote employees work distantly from the members of their team and may rarely have in person contact. As a manager you soon learn you can setRead More →

I was reading something about how a small cadre of vocal power users can skew the development of a virtual world platform, and it got me thinking about the kinds of things corporate clients I’ve worked with have asked for in the past. Oddly, these are things that don’t evenRead More →

When most people compare virtual worlds, they do so from a technical perspective — how many concurrent users, what kind of interface is being used, what data standards are supported. Too often, however, general business requirements are overlooked. This is a pity, because from a technical perspective there are fewRead More →

Total regions on the public OpenSim grids increased from 5,613 in September to 7,246 in December — a growth rate of 29% for three months, or an annualized growth rate of 177%. By comparison, resident-owned regions in Second Life reached 23,900 in December 2009, up 6% over December 2008. AtRead More →

Press Release: AI Learning Center Being Built in Second Life The IEEE Computer Society is developing an Artificial Intelligence Learning Center (AILC) on IEEE’s island on Second Life and is looking for participation from those interested in showcasing the use of AI technologies in virtual worlds, robotics, Web, and smartRead More →

The dawn of the 3D age is upon us. Over a dozen immersive virtual world platforms are competing for our attention — and that’s just in the business sector. Our kids and teenagers are already fully immersed in any of hundreds of different 3D gaming and social worlds. What willRead More →

Press Release: ThinkBalm Publishes Enterprise Immersive Software Selection Guide Today, industry analyst firm ThinkBalm published “The Enterprise Immersive Software Decision-Making Guide.” This report is a use case-based guide designed to aid business decision makers in the enterprise immersive software selection process. The report covers nineteen vendors and presents “if/then” scenarios,Read More →

I just got off the phone with a company building an educational grid for a company in China — in OpenSim. They picked the platform not for its cheapness, but it’s feature set. This too often gets missed in the hype surrounding the various virtual worlds, but OpenSim is actuallyRead More →

Second Life is being held back by an “elite group” of users, according to Forrester Research, Inc. analyst Tom Grant. There is an ” Iron Law of Oligarchy,” Grant wrote this week. “Over time, a subset of customers emerge who participate regularly in user group meetings, discussion forums, the commentsRead More →

Training company Immercio Ltd. is launching a full-service corporate training and meeting facility this month for small and medium-sized businesses on January 17. The facility has two locations – in Second Life, and on the OpenSim-based Reaction Grid – comes with pre-configured buildings and presentation rooms, as well as round-the-clockRead More →

On Monday, Metaplace announced that the company was shutting down its virtual world. This virtual world wasn’t the first platform of choice for enterprise users. The game-like interface, the kid-friendly avatars, and the lack of true 3D graphics — not to mention the lack of business functionality — didn’t lendRead More →

As OpenSim-based social grids continue to grow, Second Life content designers are understandably worried about the free content floating around these grids — content which may have been ripped off from Second Life. Part of this is accidental. Users copy their bought-and-paid-for inventories from Second Life to their OpenSim regions,Read More →

Press Release These days, City Tech faculty and students are happy to oblige if anyone tells them to “get a life.” That’s because several classes are involved with developing the College’s presence in Second Life (SL), a virtual digital world created by its more than nine million “residents,” where alterRead More →

Virtual Worlds, Simulations, and Games for Education: A Unifying View I wrote this article for Innovate magazine a few months ago, to coincide with the release of Learning Online with Games, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds. While pieces have have been excerpted, many have asked for the complete article, which IRead More →

Press Release: Virtual Reality Collides with Real-world Law in Forthcoming Book by Rutgers–Camden Law Professor CAMDEN —  In the new James Cameron movie “Avatar,” characters “inhabit” other bodies to fight oppression.  Sounds like science fiction, but thousands engage in similar activity every day through online communities and gaming.  And theRead More →

Jeff Lowe, consultant and immersive tool architect with Immersive Life, demonstrated the second version of his BrainBoard three dimensional collaboration tool today on ReactionGrid. The tool allows users to create visual representations of flowcharts, diagrams, and brainstorming sessions and integrate it with a Web-based hosted database or a private server-basedRead More →

On Thursday, I experienced a wonderful example of effective training in Second Life.  During the weekly Train For Success meetup, Mark Jankowski of Virtual Training Partners conducted a portion of his negotiations training course and gave a tour of his training grounds.  It was impressive not due to fascinatingly complexRead More →

One of the joys of exploring virtual worlds grids is finding new fantastic new regions and builds. Then comes the pain of virtual worlds — you bring your friends back to visit, and the builds are no longer there. Maybe it cost too much to keep the region up andRead More →

OpenSim worlds will soon be able to have 1,000 avatar visitors to a single location, according to ReactionGrid CEO Kyle Gomboy. Gomboy, who was speaking Thursday in front of a live Second Life audience on the Train for Success program hosted by the Gronsted Group , said that Intel hasRead More →

[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] According to a recent Piper Jaffray report, US virtual good sales will total $621 million in 2009 — upRead More →

A Web-based viewer for OpenSim and Second Life is a Holy Grail for business users: it would make it easier for employees, customers and business partners to access virtual platforms. That would make for easier meetings, easier conferences, easier product demonstrations, easier training seminars, virtual tours, showrooms — all theRead More →

Manpower Inc., a world leader in the employment services industry, will host a provocative hourlong discussion, “The Evolution of the Virtual Workforce” on Tuesday, September 1 at 11am ET in the virtual world of Second Life.Read More →

Ever more frequently, companies looking to save money are moving meetings and training into virtual environments such as Second Life, OpenSim, Forterra, and Qwac. In some cases, the company fully controls the environment, creating avatars and user names for their employees. In other environments, it’s all up to the employees. Read More →

In recent years, companies have begun using virtual worlds such as Second Life, OpenSim, Forterra and Qwaq to hold virtual meetings — and employees have begun using avatars, or cartoonish animated online characters, to represent themselves in these meetings. Some companies and employees pick avatars that reflect their real identitiesRead More →

Guess what, the below is not security! “If we want to put a life-size prototype of our super-secret product in Second Life, then there are many creative ways we implement extra layers of security such as making it invisible unless we’re in the room.” Really? Did you just say that?Read More →

Corporate Planners Unlimited, Inc. is not only a meeting and events company – it is also a travel agency. So it might be strange that president Dan Parks is promoting a way to hold meetings and conferences that requires no travel at all. It wasn’t always this way. When ParksRead More →

Whenever I interview a Wall Street executive, or a technology expert, I have to ask for a photograph.  I often joke that we already have a lot of headshots of guys in suits — what I really want to see is some variety. Maybe a photograph of them on aRead More →

Companies looking to have a virtual world running behind a firewall now have another option – today, Altadyn Corp. released its  3DXplorer enterprise platform. A web-based version of the product, hosted on Altadyn’s servers, has been available for about a year. The company claims SAP, Orange, Bayer, and Glaxo-Smith-Kline asRead More →

Professors at Purdue University, Indiana, say their year-long presence in Second Life has made their teaching more engaging by giving students face-to-face interaction, preparing them to use virtual reality as a professional tool, and allowing business classes to simulate concepts. The program was originally for distance learning students, but laterRead More →

A California chapter of the American Society for Training & Development won the society’s national “Sharing Our Success” award for its use of Second Life for a virtual training simulcast, the society announced Aug. 5. The Mount Diablo chapter of the ASTD — located in northern California –was able toRead More →

Now that you have your own virtual world (go back and read Virtuation 101 if you don’t), you might be finding yourself standing in a barren landscape — or on a little pimple of an island in the middle of an empty ocean. What’s next? DO IT YOURSELF The basicRead More →

Linden Lab has debuted a new portal for enterprise users, which features case studies of business uses of Second Life and offers a free tour of the Second Life environment. “For those of us working with enterprise clients, the new page is a welcome relief from what came before —Read More →

Crescendo Design, an architecture firm based in Madison, Wisconsin, is doing some innovative work in virtual worlds, using the OpenSim offspring RealXtend. “The virtual experience isn’t right for every client, but for those who are more tech-savvy and have newer computers, the virtual experience can provide an invaluable means ofRead More →

As the virtual worlds grow and develop — and evolve into the next 3D Web — the issue of copyright is being debated again. In some ways, virtual worlds copyrights may require changes in the way we think of and use copyrights. But, in most respects, virtual worlds copyrights areRead More →

Virtual worlds consultancy ThinkBalm announced the first ThinkBalm Innovation Community professional networking event, scheduled for August 4, to be held at the Amazon Developers Island in Second Life. Scheduled speakers include experts on virtual world use and design, including  IBM’s Christopher Bishop, Amazon’s Jeff Barr, ThnkBalm’s own Sam Driver,  AndrewRead More →

I’ve been talking to a few virtual world operators lately that are trumpeting their particular virtual world as the next “Web 3D standard.” They’re the biggest, or the best, or the prettiest, or the fastest, or the cheapest, or whatever — and everyone is going to leave the other worldsRead More →

The battle for the future of the 3D Web is about to get hot… and steamy. Utherverse CEO tells us that he’s planning to launch an all-out attack against the other virtual world platforms out there, with free hosting and a set of free building tools designed to attract businessRead More →

When I show people around OpenSim, the first question they ask is: “So this is like Second Life? Only worse?” Which is a valid question. Any particular OpenSim world — like, say, OSGrid, or OpenLife, or ReactionGrid or WorldSimTerra — is small and puny in comparison to SecondLife’s grid. ImagineRead More →

These last couple of weeks have been problematic for many of us using OpenSim. The OSGrid, in particular, has had more than its share of downtime as a result of ongoing software upgrades, and links between regions break frequently because of incompatible software versions. So in planning the location ofRead More →

So you have decided that your company needs a virtual world platform. (Maybe you read our earlier article, “Do you need a virtual world?“) Here is how to select the rigtht platform. Do you expect to have more than 50 visitors at any one time? Most immersive virtual words haveRead More →

The company is in Singapore. The owners are in Thailand, Moscow, and Shanghai. What’s the most convenient location for the annual corporate meeting? Hint: it’s got dragons, a spaceport, and a red light district. You might think – China. But the company actually picked a place much cheaper to travelRead More →

Mike Joyce – that’s Michael R. Joyce on imdb.com – is a Hollywood producer. You may have heard of him from such projects as “Battlestar Galactica” and “Jewel of the Nile.” “The kind of work I did was line producing,” he said. “I did whole shows right from scratch. IRead More →

Few companies today actually need a virtual world — but yours could be one of them. Here’s how to tell. Are you in the education business? Take for example, Tom Hood, president of the Maryland Association of CPAs. His group has conducted about a dozen events in Second Life overRead More →

According to OpenSim core developer Charles Krinke, there are 330 key functions in Second Life – and 300 of them have been fully implemented in OpenSim. Of the remaining 30, half have to do with vehicle physics, he said. These are the functions that allow virtual passengers to ride inRead More →

Many people think that the OpenSim platform was reversed engineered from Second Life’s browser — but this is not actually true. It was actually built based on eavesdropping. No, not on company phone calls — on the communications between the Second Life browser and the Second Life servers. Servers areRead More →