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.