Touring abandoned college campuses, Second-Life style. What happened to the virtual-world dreams of a decade ago? Patrick Hogan of Fusion investigates, and finds a pirate ship, Test Questios [sic], and defunct certification programs. Get comfy. [via ArsTechnica]
CIA, FBI and Pentagon spies have infiltrated online games including World of Warcraft, Second Life and Xbox Live games.
Chouchou are a Japanese duo of artist/musicians who make haunting, ethereal electronic lullabies of otherworldly beauty. [more inside]
"It feels strange to be active and highly visible on the Web for 15 years but it was only when I joined Facebook that someone from elementary school or high school ever contacted me." In which on Ev Williams's platform, Mr Haughey compares his experiences of Facebook and Twitter. [more inside]
Bryn Oh is staging an art exhibition called Virginia Alone simultaneously at the Santa Fe New Media Festival and in Second Life (free account required). [more inside]
What Do You Do When Your Only Online Identity is a Pseudonym? In a move reminiscent of recent Facebook purges, a well-known Second Life user (whose only online presence is pseudonymous) finds his new Google+ account deleted, allegedly for not being a real person. Whether this move is directly related to the limited-beta status of Google+ or not, questions remain for those who have been 'unpersoned' by Facebook and hopeful that Google's laissez-faire attitude toward personal identification would make G+ a friendlier environment - particularly given Google's encouragement - as recently as February of this year - to "be who you want to be" when using Google services.
Peter Greenaway (wikipedia, previously 1, 2, 3, 4) talks about Second Life Machinima (also, Vimeo of a talk from 2010).
Koolaid Man in Second Life: “Maybe the Internet is for me what Paris in the 20s was for Joyce, Hemingway, and Gertrude Stein or New York in 50s was for Jasper Johns and Rauschenberg.” Jon Rafman (previously with the 9eyes Google Streetview blog) gives guided tours of Secondlife, and records some of his experiences. Being related to Secondlife, some content is naturally not work safe. [more inside]
In a 19th century village called River City, the people are suffering from a mysterious illness. Many believe that there are bad spirits in the air or water causing the disease. Those suffering are shunned, but the plague worsens. In desperation, they turn to a group of experts in the new "Germ Theory": 21st century middle school science students. [Quicktime movie] [more inside]
World Builder by Bruce Branit. A strange man builds a world using holographic tools for the woman he loves. There's more at Not Possible in Real Life, dedicated to identifying and sharing well conceived and realized content creation in Second Life® that would not be possible in real life.
Giant Twittering Typewriter in Second Life. Type here (SLURL) and press the carriage return and it posts to here. Yay. [more inside]
According to the latest biweekly numbers released last Thursday by the Federal Reserve, for the two weeks that ended January 16th American banks had negative $1.3 billion in non-borrowed reserves. This is, historically, extremely unusual; just two months ago they had $30 billion (positive, of course) in non-borrowed reserves. The only reason some banks haven't been shut due to insufficient -- negative! -- reserve requirements is that the Federal Reserve is currently loaning them enough money through the brand new TAF (Term Auction Facility) program (also running in Canada and Europe) to make up their shortfalls. Today's TAF press release says that 52 American banks or institutions are currently receiving loans totaling ~$40 billion -- but the Fed refuses to name who they are. [more inside]
Machinima (muh-shin-eh-mah or ma-shin-i-ma) is a hybrid filmmaking technique where people utilize game engines and environments to create videos. At first, it was little more than screengrabs and screencasts of in-game action, but it has now grown to include sophisticated storylines independent of game action. Shows and entire series have been made from The Sims, Halo, The Movies, Quake, Half-Life, Unreal Tournament and Second Life to name just a few. Actually, some Team Fortress 2 machinima was recently mentioned (October 9th). Over the years, there have been some really amazing productions, such as the now legendary 100-episode Red vs Blue series (also previously mentioned) which was created with Halo 2. A lot of machinima can be found and viewed for free on machinima.com. The Internet Archive also maintains a machinima section. The recently-released BloodSpell, a "punk fantasy" from Strange Company, is believed to be the first feature-length movie released using the Neverwinter Nights game engine. (watch online free, free divx download - 847 MB, free quicktime download - 903 MB). Two of the people behind BloodSpell, Hugh Hancock and Johnnie Ingram have co-written the just-published "Machinima for Dummies". [more inside]
I think....that unicorn love is a beautiful thing, and that if you find a spicy sexy unicorn stud muffin and want to let him fill you with his magical glittering seed, that is just fantastic. Probably NSFW.
Second Life is a great place for a virtual job fair, right? Well, maybe not. (That recruiter's lucky all s/he got handed was a beer...) Even the cops are getting in on the action.. Time magazine probably thinks it's a bad idea, though maybe they wouldn't have 5 years ago.
As it builds a presence and invests in virtual worlds, IBM is hoping to avoid potentially embarrassing incidents by establishing official guidelines for its more than 5,000 employees who inhabit "Second Life," Entropia Universe," "Forterra," "There" and other virtual worlds. "IBM, whose 20th century employees were parodied as corporate cogs in matching navy suits, doesn't have an avatar dress code. But guidelines suggest being 'especially sensitive to the appropriateness of your avatar or persona's appearance when you are meeting with IBM clients or conducting IBM business.'" Other directives: "Don't discuss intellectual property with unauthorized people." "Don't discriminate or harass" and by all means, "Be a good 3D Netizen."
Secondlifefilter: The popular (and increasingly Euro-centric) site has certainly been getting some bad press recently. It's a little sad that a virtual world must now be patrolled by real policemen.
Are you a gamer-widow? Here is your lonely corner of the internet, with forums and resources to help you find help. Inspired by AskMe.
Sweden sends ambassadors to Second Life, becoming "the first country to establish diplomatic representation in the virtual reality world..."
Running the numbers on Second Life. With Linden Labs' virtual world being taken seriously by journalists and even banks, it's clear that businesses see profits in virtual worlds. But with over US$800,000 in value changing hands in 24 hours it's becoming hard for even skeptics to deny the profit potential of Second Life. After all it's not just flying penis attacks. Not everyone agrees, however. How many of those residents just log in once, shrug then stay away?
Crime and Punishment, Online Style Long a bastion of metaverse fantasies, avatars competing for style, and commercial dreams, Second Life has become a phenomenon. Lately, though, things are going a bit awry. Hacking attempts have been common, with the latest shutting things down only a few days ago. To address this crime, the SL crew is looking into creating a virtual FBI. Dibs on the Scully avatar.
A Reuter's media reporter has been assigned to a new bureau in the virtual world of Second Life: "This is where the story is."
SecondLife under attack from self-replicating grey goo. Worried about your avatar? Escape back to meatspace. Scripts not included on meatspace objects. Exporting self-replicating grey goo objects currently not available. (via boing boing) Free t-shirt not included.
Second Life CEO turns in players name to the FBI for disrupting one of his virtual parties. In the world of Second Life any player can create objects using the built in scripting language. Some players have created self replicating "bombs" or hand out embedded pornography. Instead of just banning users or limiting what can be done with the scripting language the CEO Philip Rosendale is simply turning over the names of players straight to the feds and expecting the FBI to prosecute players under existing anti-DoS laws. A case of the bruised ego of a self-important CEO or are virtual world 'hackers/pranksters' best treated like common criminals?
A LEVER TO MOVE THE MIND The project is fascinating, even though it is still in the rudimentary graphics stage. As someone who works with people with mental illness this interested me, how about the rest of you? What am I talking about? A way to model what schizophrenia is like.
Can't wait for The Sims Online? Try There.com. An online, avatar based metaverse game, not involving orcs, elves, or, for that matter, much out of the ordinary of our suburban lives. Is this the future of online gaming, or the flavor of the month?
Alter Ego What if you could live your life over again? This straightforward virtual life simulator is fun and involving, and I almost wonder if I didn't learn a thing or two in the process. Wonderful implementation of the concept.