Queensland Flood Relief in Second Life

Two years ago, a number of Second Life vendors got together to raise funds for the Victorian Bushfire victims. Thanks to another bunch of dedicated people, coordinated by Brisbane-based Kat Johnston, there are a range of things you can do to raise money for the Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal.

It’s all under the banner of Extend A Helping Hand (EAHH), and there’s two large ways to make a difference:

1. Attend some of the great events planned, including a 24-hour concert featuring Australian artists on Australia Day (26th Jan)

2. Go shopping at the EAHH Market, which has an enormous range of items you can buy, with most contributing 100% to the appeal – the lowest ratio was 75% on a handful of items. There’s some top notch fashion, house items and body shapes for starters – you can view a list of vendors here.

At time of writing nearly 1.2 million Linden Dollars had been raised – around US$4,500, with the bulk of events still to come. So if you can, jump in and check it out for yourself in-world.

If you’ve got your own fundraising activities organised, post a note about it in comments!

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1.  Daden in the UK have released a paper – ‘The Future of Virtual Worlds”, which puts forward some interesting forecasts and issues. I disagree with some of the timelines in particular (I think forecasting out to 2050 for anything is at best fanciful) but it’s certainly a document that could start some useful debates. You can download it here.

2. Composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is making his first foray into Second Life on Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe at 8am on December 5th SL time. As an aside, he’s trying to get 900 people worldwide to form a virtual choir – details here. You have until the 31st December so get cracking.

3. The beta version of Viewer 2.4 for Second Life is now available . Features include an auto-updater, improved preferences menu, graphics improvements and the ability to do scripting in an external text editor.

4. Expat Aussie and ex-Linden Labber Chris Collins has released Canvas, a lo-fi ‘Second Life in a web browser’ offering. Some screen shots and comments from Chris over at NWN.

5. It’s nearly a month old now, but this post by Edward Castranova on the role of virtual worlds and the (mostly) worldwide recession are well worth a read.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. After four months back in the CEO’s seat, Phillip Rosedale has taken a step back again. It’s hard to fathom the current Linden Lab strategy at present. Tateru Nino has a good wrap on the issue here.

2. For some impressive avatar dancing, Australians can tune into ABC 1 and ABC 2 in coming weeks:

When The Physical TV Company’s new film Entanglement Theory screened in Italy in May this year, media headlines read “Avatar dancers land in Naples” and articles went on to describe “the first dance movie that sees human dancers in a performance dialogue with their avatar” (DanzaBlog). When Entanglement Theory screened in New York at the famed Dance on Camera Festival in January it was dubbed the “best” animation on the festival by The New York Times, which went on to praise the film’s “new vitality”. Entanglement Theory, recently described by Australia’s RealTime as “a seductive reverie” now lands on Australian TV screens, with broadcast premiere screenings on ABC2 on Sunday October 31 at 8:20pm and ABC1 on Sunday November 7 at 4:20pm.

More info here.

3. Second Life Viewer 2.2 is now available.

4. Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe provides another week of engaging TV. Guests include guests CelesteAngelique Zapatero, Co-Founder Positive Arts, Creative Director Club One Island; Tip Corbett, classical/compositional improvisation for piano and Ignatius Onomatopoeia, Faculty Member of University of Richmond.

5. Multi-grid currencies continue to grow on the OpenSim platform.

6. Virtual Justice sounds like an interesting read and is likely to be available free online via Creative Commons in the near future.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. There’s a solid lineup on the latest Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe that’s well worth checking out – there’s talk on the scrapped community gateway program and the future of Linden Lab.

2. Tateru Nino continues to fire on all cylinders with some great yarns on the Emerald Viewer and the disappearance of more staff at Linden Lab.

3. Most readers here won’t need convincing that more mature web-based virtual worlds are the likely future growth trend, as they are already. HTML 5 will play a big role in that, as you can see with this stunning project. You’ll need the Google Chrome browser for it to work properly though I know some people have found it works ok in Firefox.

4. Twinity have gone retro, offering 50s style fashions and furniture.

5. Fancy a trip to the Czech Republic in 2011? Then think about presenting a paper at the 1st Global Conference on Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds. You have a month to submit an abstract.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. Want to win 140-thousand Linden dollars? Then make a machinima and submit it to the University of Western Australia’s competition.

2. Veteran platform OLIVE has announced new pricing and a perpetual licensing model.

3. The dynamos at ReactionGrid have launched Jibe, a web-based world based on the increasingly popular Unity3D engine.

4. Frenzoo are now offering 3D chat rooms.

5. Kzero have an excellent summary of a piece of research conducted on children’s play in virtual worlds: do take the time to have a read. 52% of those young children surveyed used virtual worlds regularly and there’s some incisive discussion on the interaction between marketing, parents and children.

6. Relay for Life 2010 in Second Life was once again a big suspense. Get a glimpse here. 53 million Linden dollars were raised, which is 221-thousand US dollars: an amazing effort by any standard.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. Fashion-centric world Frenzoo continues its evolution, announcing the ability to create furniture.

2. The veteran OLIVE platform continues development, this time announcing it will demonstrate the use of its platform to deliver clinical behavioral therapies, including “engaging clients and maintaining their active participation, efficiently overcoming individual emotional barriers to therapy and accelerating the therapeutic progress” to name three.

3. The rumours have started flying that Linden Lab CEO may be in for the chop, with former CEO Philip Rosedale to return to a more hands-on role. It seems a little strange that a CEO would oversee a significant reduction of staff and then be removed / replaced a matter of days later. Unless they weren’t calling the shots on the restructure in the first place…..

4. Want to win a premium Second Life avatar for yourself? Then contact ABC Island admin, Wolfie Rankin.

5. Paisley Beebe’s 3rd anniversary show is happening this weekend. That’s a lot of virtual worlds TV hours!

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. The USA’s National Space Society had their machinima awards ceremony last weekend, in conjunction with the University of Western Australia. There’s some superb machinima featured – you can view them all here.

Also, don’t forget to check out the May winners of the UWA’s 3D Art competition, or go have a look yourself in-world. The scope and quality of the work on the UWA sim never ceases to amaze me – it would now have to be one of the largest virtual world art repositories.

2. Mandy Salomon has a good piece on the troughs and crests of virtual worlds adoption by business and government.

3. Koinup have announced they have an app for the iPhone / iPad under development called Metaverse Wallpapers.

4. Speaking of iPhone / iPad apps: we’ve added some more feeds to our Metaverse Reader app, including the Second Life Grid Status feed. If you use the app and have a feed you’d like to see added – drop us a line.

5. One of those new-fangled web-based virtual worlds, Habbo Hotel, has just turned 10.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. The winner of the 2010 Linden Prize has been announced – with the Tech Virtual Museum Workshop coming up trumps. A worthy, but unsurprising winner.

With our parochial hat on, we were hoping for a UWA win but kudos anyway for being shortlisted.

2. It’s quite the week for virtual worlds development company news. First is the creation of a new Canada-based production company called Startled Cat, a joint effort between Remedy Communications (AKA Doug Thompson / Dusan Writer) and The Virtual Worlds Story Project.

Second – California based Eveny Technology, Inc. and Indiana based Global Virtual Holdings, Inc. have signed off on a joint venture called Virtual Development Center, Inc. Their focus is OpenSim, with the plan to provide an automated OpenSim solution for new business / NGO users of the platform (Disclosure: Global Virtual Holdings are a current advertiser on The Metaverse Journal).

3. Twinity are holding a competition to find the most popular fan location for the World Cup.

4. 3D avatar modelers Evolver continue to grow, partnering up with 3Dvia.

5. It’s no real surprise, but Moshi Monsters is experiencing explosive growth. Even less surprising is the announcement to churn out a raft of Moshi Monsters books – expect to see stands of them in a local bookstore next year.

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. Paisley Beebe interviews the University of Western Australia’s Jayjay Zifanwe in her latest episode of Tonight Live. You can watch it here.

2. If you have a Nokia Smartphone and want some tasty virtual worlds wallpapers, you might like to check this out.

3. The Second Life economy for the first quarter of 2010 hit an all-time high. In case you missed it, Tateru Nino has her perspective on the announcement.

4. Space-based MMO EVE Online is running a competition to increase it’s female player cohort. Apparently only 5% of players are female currently.

5. Kzero recently updated their virtual worlds by sector reports for the first quarter of 2010 – check out an example here.

6. If you’d like to get some in-depth visuals of Blue Mars, it’s worth browsing their Flickr stream.

7. We’re still keen to reprise our V2 series of profiles on couples or friends who have met in a virtual world. Here’s a previous example – why not throw your hat in the ring?

Merged realities – events and issues for virtual worlds

1. We talk quite a bit about virtual goods and their popularity. MMO Behemoth World of Warcraft proved it in the past week, selling hundreds of thousands of an in-game mount called the Celestial Steed at US$25 a pop. No-one but Blizzard software know how many they sold but given queues exceeded 140,000 at one stage, we do know the number is big.

2. The SLENZ project has completed its run, but here’s a great write-up of how the work done still has legs.

3. The legal actions keep on coming for Linden Lab, as discussed by Tateru Nino here.

4. Version 2.0.1 of the Second Life viewer is now available, and there’s now a fleshed out FAQ document for Viewer 2.

5. A sad piece of news: Singapore-based virtual worlds dynamo Andrew Peters, passed away after a battle with cancer on the 13th April. I had the opportunity to correspond with Andrew many times including via phone and he was certainly a man committed to his work and its outcomes. The full announcement of his death is given below, and Andrew’s sense of humour would have appreciated the title of the press release:

Andrew Peters, Singapore’s resident social media marketing guru, moves on to Heaven 2.0

Singapore, 22 April 2010 – Andrew Peters, Singapore-based social media marketing guru, passed away at 4.45am (NZ time) on Tuesday 13 April in Christchurch in his native New Zealand at the age of 47, after losing a secret battle with cancer.

With 25 years’ experience in publishing, public relations, sales and marketing for leading industry brands, he worked in Sydney in the second half of the 1980’s with ICL and Wang Computers, then with Anixter, Australian Consolidated Press and Project Media in the 1990’s, before setting up a branch in Singapore in 1999 for public relations agency McCorkell & Associates, as Vice President, Asia Pacific.

He joined Pacific West Communications – started in 2001 by his Singapore best friend and business associate Imran Omar, in 2005. As Regional Director Asia Pacific for Pacific West, he was responsible for strategic development, overseeing client portfolios, business development and providing counsel to deliver value-added solutions that delivered sustainable results for clients.

He was instrumental in founding the Internet Industry Association of Singapore (IIAS), and sat on the Executive Committee of Singapore-based ‘The Digital Movement’ – a non-profit set up to build a community of young leaders in web 2.0 and social media and connect them to overseas experts.

Example activities included Nexus 2007, the first major Web 2.0 conference in Southeast Asia, which brought together 700 of the best entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, bloggers and world class thinkers from companies like O’Reilly, Google, Microsoft, Lenovo, Salesforce, Second Life and Yahoo; and BlogOut – a gathering of the best technology bloggers. He also sat on the Advisory Board of the Association of Virtual Worlds.

Highly connected with online & offline web 2.0, virtual worlds and social media communities, he had roles with a number of entrepreneurial ventures, and a close interest in virtual worlds and gaming platforms.

His pioneering work in social media marketing paid off with the success of the first annual Tattoo Show in Singapore in 2008, which catered to a niche group of individuals who loved body art but who were too niche for mass media to cover on a daily basis, or with frequency before the event. Social media engagement was a way to generate pre-interest in the event, and allowed for near real-time coverage and the creation of related events.

Epitomising the theory of the ‘long tail’ made popular by Chris Anderson – a niche strategy of selling a large number of unique items in relatively small quantities; and using social media and traditional PR hand-in-hand, he drove 15,000 attendees to the event and in the process, created an online regional tattoo community of more than 4,000 members.

He worked on virtual worlds projects with Second Life, and helped bring Germany’s virtual worlds creator Metaversum Gmbh’s Twinity into Asia. He developed social media strategies for AUSTRADE Study in Australia Events, and was social media strategist for cable television talk show ‘Asia Uncut’, broadcast on the Star World Network across Asia. He put in place a social media strategy for Singapore-based online television reality show Supermodelme.tv – the first Web TV Reality show, as online publicist for global audience acquisition & interaction, and was also social media strategist for a number of Malaysia-based clients.

With social media marketing still in its infancy, Andrew Peters independently pursued a ground-up strategy of connected community building, actively integrating people from outside the professional world and inspiring talented new content creators who became friends, passionate online collaborators and agents; to make full use of the free resources of the Internet medium.

Exemplifying many of the concepts outlined in David Meerman Scott’s best-seller ‘The World Wide Rave’, in which his work for the Singapore Tattoo Show is highlighted, he got people around the world talking about his personal and client brands, events and messages, building audiences from scratch and inspiring online interest communities to link on the Web by creating online buzz that drove buyers to the virtual and physical doorstep. He created value that people wanted to share, and made it easy for them to do so.

Variously characterised as witty, wry and genuine, while loving the ‘seriousness and silliness’ of social media and the ‘digital revolution’, his fierce belief in community give-back and his desire to help and coach others, exemplified a passion for creativity and diversity, and a desire to listen, learn and add value without hesitation. In his final year he was looking with collaborators, into book publishing offers and ideas for new reality TV shows.

He was laid to rest on 16th April in Christchurch, and his life and work is to be commemorated at a gathering of friends and collaborators in Singapore on 24th April.

He leaves behind, best friend and business associate Imran, adoptive parent Stan and sisters Holly and Kyro, birth mother Marlene and siblings Sandra, Karen, Barbara and David, and a host of online followers, collaborators and friends in Singapore and across the Asia Pacific region, and further afield. He has a virtual afterlife on Facebook and other social media sites (although he is no longer active on Twitter and Foursquare).


“In Loving memory of Andrew Peters”

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