Philip Rosedale Addresses Silicon Valley VR, Demos High Fidelity

Philip Rosedale has delivered a pretty interesting presentation to the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality group. Aside from giving a decent demo of High Fidelity, Rosedale has a bunch of interesting points to make and even throws up a new definition of virtual reality:

Virtual Reality: A Sensory Experience in which the results of our actions are consistent with our past experiences

It’s an all-encomassing definition, but it’s one that works well in context of the other points he makes. Have a watch for yourself, but do note this is a pretty rough recording and apparently there will be a better version supplied down the track:

What’s your take? Would love to hear your comments.

Relay for Life in Second Life 2014

Events_ListThe Relay for Life event in Second Life has always been a highlight for me and it looks like this year’s is no different.

I’m always extremely impressed with the commitment that goes into organising this even each year and aside from all the great fundraising it does, it also challenges the stereotype of virtual worlds being ephemeral things without substance.

Here’s the latest info I’ve received from the organisers:

 

REGISTER TODAY AND BE PART OF HISTORY-MAKING!

Want to be a part of the largest fundraising movement on the grid?

There’s still time to form a team and join Relay For Life of Second Life as we Relay across the grid raising funds in support of the American Cancer Society.

You may register at www.relayforlifeofsecondlife.org by clicking the orange register button and following the on screen instructions. Won’t you come Relay with us?

We began with the 2014 Kick Off Party on March 8. Teams continue to fundraise through July by holding fun-filled events. The Relay For Life of Second Life finishes with the official overnight Relay on July 19-20. During that weekend, team members gather at their Team Campsites, walk the

Relay Track, enjoy live music, participate in fun events, and explore the many Relay Sims as the event runs overnight and into the next morning.

In 2013, there were 200 RFL of SL Teams which participated in the largest virtual fundraising walk in the world and together raised $393,000 US dollars. For more information about registering a team, or assistance forming a team, please contact Gem Sunkiller at gemsunkiller@gmail.com.

Relay For Life of Second Life is an annual activity that takes place in Second Life in July each year. Volunteers form or join teams to have fun while fundraising and raising awareness from March through mid-July. In July, teams build campsites and walk a track, just like in a real world Relay.

Over the last nine years, Relay For Life of Second Life has raised more than $2 million for cancer research and is the largest charity event in the virtual worlds. Several thousand volunteers from more than 80 countries participate each year, truly making it a global event.

The Relay For Life of Second Life wiki details the history of Relay For Life of Second Life. Relay For Life is the signature fundraising event of the American Cancer Society.

There are many ways to get involved in Relay For Life of Second Life and another way to show your support is through sponsorships. Relay For Life of Second Life is proud to have the following as premier sponsors: RGF Estates, Roses & Thorns Skins Inc., Wild Kajaera and United Realms of the Archipelago. Other sponsorships are available; please contact the PR/Outreach Division more details.

Another way to get involved is through rezzing Relay For Life event boards at your establishment or land. Contact Serina Juran for details.

Keep up with the news on Relay For Life of Second Life through it’s website, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Tumblr pages:
http://relayforlifeofsecondlife.org/
https://twitter.com/RelayForLife_SL
http://facebook.com/rflofsl
http://www.tumblr.com/blog/relayforlife-sl

Also for those interested, here’s the proposed schedule for the real itself:

Saturday, July 13, 2013
10:00 AM Opening Ceremony
11:00 AM Survivor/Caregiver – CELEBRATE
12:30 PM Teams Lap
2:00 PM Round Up Western
3:00 PM Walking with our Breedable Friends
4:00 PM Fabulous Fifties
5:00 PM Purple Passion
6:00 PM Beach Party
7:00 PM Musicians For Relay
8:00 PM Bald is Beautiful!
9:00 PM Luminaria Ceremony – REMEMBER
10:00 PM Silly Shoes
11:00 PM Sci Fi
MIDNIGHT PJ Party

Sunday, July 14, 2013
1:00 AM Holiday Splendor
2:00 AM Fantasy and Fairy Tales
3:00 AM Crazy Hats
4:00 AM Movie and Cartoon Magic
5:00 AM Heroes
6:00 AM FIGHT BACK
7:00 AM International Lap
8:00 AM Coffee and Donuts – Breakfast Time!
9:00 AM Formal Hour
10:00 AM Closing Ceremonies
11:00 AM Victory Lap! – Walk the track and meet the Relay Committee.
Celebrate YOUR Relay. Take THAT, Cancer!
12:30 PM RAFFLE Draw!
1:00 PM SILENT AUCTION Closes!
2:00 PM Enjoy Walking the Track and Visiting the Builds

3rd Annual Mental Health Symposium in Second Life

Second_LifeVirtual Ability have another great event planned for late next week – here’s the full press release:

Virtual World Conference Supports Quality of Life in Mental Health

Virtual Ability, Inc. announces the third annual Mental Health Symposium to be held Saturday, April 26th, 7:00 am PDT/SLT to 5:00 pm PDT/SLT in Second Life®. The theme of this year’s conference is “Quality of Life.”

The World Health Organization defines quality of life as an individual’s “perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, standards and concerns.”

Quality of life is important to us all, but may be more difficult to attain for those with mental health issues. Overall quality of life is affected by psychological state, physical health, level of independence, social relationships, personal values and beliefs, and the relationship of all of these to the person’s environment.

Symposium presentations include (in alphabetical order):
• Hillary Bogner, MD, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, will offer insights from her research on depression among older adults.
• Colleen Crary, Executive Director of Fearless Nation, Inc., will share lessons from adversity for creating a vibrant life.
• Dick Dillon, CEO of Innovaision, LLC, shares surprising information about why some recovering addicts become “weller than well.”
• Teresa Goddard, Senior Consultant with the Job Accommodation Network, will inform us about attaining employment equality through accommodation and self-advocacy.
• Dr. Christine Karper and Michelle Stone, members of the American Counseling Association’s Cyber Task Force, will talk about the role of counseling and virtual service delivery.
• Dr. Jacquelyn Ford Morie, University of Southern California, will describe the use of virtual worlds as healing spaces for veterans.
• Dr. Nicolas Rüsch, of the University of Ulm, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, will explain the results of his research on well-being among persons at risk of psychosis, focusing particularly on shame and stigma.

Alice Krueger, president of Virtual Ability, Inc., stated: “I am pleased to see an increasing focus on quality of life in mental health care in recent years, since many persons with mental health diagnoses struggle with these issues. The Symposium’s international presenters are acknowledged experts in their fields. I will be interested to hear what they have to say on these important topics. Please join us on April 26 to learn more from a variety of exciting speakers!”

All sessions, done in voice and text simultaneously, will take place at The Sojourner Auditorium on Virtual Ability Island within Second Life®:
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/53/172/23

The full schedule of presentations is posted at http://www.virtualability.org/conferences/mh-symposium/mh-symposium-2014/.

About Virtual Ability, Inc.
Virtual Ability, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation based in Denver, Colorado, dedicated to enabling people with a wide range of disabilities by providing a supporting environment for them to enter and thrive in on-line virtual worlds like Second Life®.

For more information on Virtual Ability, Inc., including the benefits of virtual worlds for people with disabilities, please see www.VirtualAbility.org.

For further information, please contact:
Alice Krueger, President
Virtual Ability, Inc.
Office: (303) 400-3306
akrueger@VirtualAbility.org

If you have any interest in mental health issues, this should be a great day.

Linden Lab CEO departs

Rod Humble leaves Linden Lab

Isle of Mousai, Ancient Alexandria

It’s all a bit unofficial yet, but as Daniel Voyager has posted (via Jo Yardley), Rod Humble appears to have finished up at Linden Lab. It’s hard to be surprised when any CEO calls it quits after a tenure of three years or so, but it’s interesting Linden Lab themselves have had nothing to say as yet.

I had the opportunity to share a radio spot with Rod 2 years back, and on that and in other interactions he’s always been more than polite, and I hope he picks up something fulfilling down the track. It’s also well worth having a look back at Tateru Nino’s interview with Rod Humble from February 2011.

Anyone want to guess a replacement?

VR and Latency: Carmack’s Thoughts

doom2-oinksThis post originally appeared over at our sister site Metaverse Health.

John Carmack is a bit of an icon in gaming circles, and he’s also one of the people that’s supporting the Oculus VR consumer headset that’s on the near horizon. I’d very stupidly assumed (having not read any biographical details on him until today) that he wasn’t that deep into the coding / science of things like this.

He’s just posted a nice piece of work on the challenges of latency in virtual reality. If you’re from a computer science background you’ll get a lot more out of it than I did, and even I could appreciate just how critical latency is in this sphere.

Latency is of course an important consideration anywhere but Carmack shows just how far we probably have to go to make VR headsets that give an accurate perception of real-time movement in physical space. It’ll happen of course – and I still want an Oculus now.

Virtual Ability Island: Big Week of Activities

virtual ability islandLongstanding hub for health and community services information, Virtual Ability Island, has a big week of activities ahead that I wanted to give a plug to.

First, the summary of the events:

Virtual Ability Community Events, week of Feb. 4-10

**Events marked are open to the public. All other events are for VAI community members and their invited guests.

TUESDAY Feb 5
2:30pm SLT- Woodget’s Weekly Quiz Night- VAI Sanctuary Beach Cafe

WEDNESDAY Feb 6
**1pm SLT- SL Limits (Part 2)- Yellow Hibiscus Cabana

THURSDAY Feb 7
**10am SLT- Shot in the Dark (flu vaccination)- Healthinfo Island Research Pavilion
1pm SLT- The Content Tab- VAI Sanctuary Building Classroom

FRIDAY Feb 8
**11am SLT- Second Life’s Little Secret- Sojourner Auditorium
**noon SLT- What is One Billion Rising About?- Sojourner Auditorium

SATURDAY Feb 9
**8am SLT- About VWBPE 2013- Sojourner Auditorium
1pm SLT- Swim and Chat- VAI Sanctuary Beach Cafe

SUNDAY Feb 10
**noon SLT- Self-Advocacy: Who, How, and Why- Yellow Hibiscus Cabana
2-4pm- Pun-off Party and Dance- Dance Pavilion, VAI Sanctuary

All events brought to you by the Virtual Ability community. Please see individual event notecards below. If you have ideas for future VAI events, please contact iSkye Silverweb.

And then the detail on the key events:

SL Limits (Part 2)
PRESENTER: Slatan Dryke
WEDNESDAY February 6, 1pm SLT
Yellow Hibiscus Cabana, Virtual Ability Island
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/44/138/23

How many…? How long…? As much as…? Second Life numerical limits that affect your inworld experience.

PRESENTER BIO: Slatan Dryke has extensive experience in Second Life, including volunteering as an Ex-SL Mentor/Trainer, RHN Q&A Group Co-Owner, PWT advisor, SAM/VAI Mentor, and Ajuda Brasil Mentor.

Presented in text, with optional Voice transcription.

(Part 1 of this mini class is not a prerequisite.)

***

A Shot in the Dark: Just how effective are Flu Vaccines?
PRESENTER: Kaznats Oh
THURSDAY February 7, 10am SLT
Healthinfo Island Research Pavilion
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Healthinfo%20Island/130/196/30

Have you gotten your flu shot? How effective are flu vaccinations anyway? Research will be presented in plain language, so you can make an informed decision.

PRESENTER BIO: Kaznats Oh (Richard Stanzak in RL) is a critical care nurse. He also worked as a molecular biologist for fourteen years, seven of them for Eli Lilly pharmaceuticals in both research and development.

As a traveling ICU nurse he has been employed at 26 different assignments. He has worked in major trauma units, transplant units, cardiac units and hospitals from 1150 beds to 8 beds. He has experienced first-hand the problems of healthcare and can certainly attest this is a national problem.

Stanzak is the author and/or co-author of several papers and also has several patents. He is the lead author of a benchmark paper on the cloning of genes responsible for the production of erythromycin. He was engaged in research at Eli Lilly when Prozac was first discovered and Genentech first licensed the insulin gene to Lilly. As a critical care nurse, he is responsible for providing teaching to patients or families about drugs, diseases and procedures.

Presentation in text, with optional Voice transcription.
(Repeat of session given Jan 17.)

***

Second Life’s Little Secret: A discussion
PRESENTER:  Saffia Widdershins
FRIDAY, 8 February 2013, 11am SLT
The Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/53/172/23

Over the years, the question of gender in virtual worlds has formed the fodder for a wide variety of newspaper and magazine articles and several well-regarded academic studies in the wider world, and some fascinating blog posts from inworld. But one area that has been comparatively overlooked – and one that may have an important bearing on some of the problems that Second Life faces today, and some of its potential strengths that could ensure its longevity – is the demographic of age.
Saffia Widdershins discusses one of Second Life’s open secrets – the fact that the inhabitants of Second Life may well be older than they appear.

PRESENTER BIO:
Saffia Widdershins is the editor of Prim Perfect Magazine, the executive producer of treet.tv‘s Designing Worlds, Happy Hunting! and Metaverse Arts, and of the annnual telethon for Relay for Life. She helped organise SL9B, and runs regular talk and discussion events at major events, such as the Birthdays, the Home and Garden Expo and the Christmas Expos. She’s taken a role in publicising concerns over Second Life issues such as Intellectual Property Rights and griefing.  Currently she’s one of the team behind One Billion Rising in Second Life.

Presented in voice, with text transcription.

***

What is One Billion Rising About?
PRESENTER: Honour McMillan
FRIDAY 8 February, noon SLT
The Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/53/172/23

What is One Billion Rising about? Honour McMillan explains!

One out of every 3 women in the world will experience violence during her lifetime which totals more than one billion. Women, and the men who love them, will participate will walk away from their homes, businesses and jobs on Valentine’s Day and join together to dance in a show of collective strength.

One Billion Rising in Second Life is an officially registered event associated with the real live movement. 24 hours, 24 performers and 24 artists on 4 sims.

PRESENTER BIO: Honour McMillan is an explorer, blogger and community event organizer in Second Life.

Presented in both Voice and text.

***

About VWBPE 2013
PRESENTER:  Kevin Feenan (SL: Phelan Corrimal)
SATURDAY February 9, 8am SLT
The Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability Island
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/53/172/23

Phelan Corrimal presents highlights on the upcoming Virtual Worlds Best Practices in education conference being scheduled for this July 2013. Find out about opportunities to present, volunteer, or just plain have fun at the conference.

PRESENTER BIO:  Kevin Feenan, also known as Phelan Corrimal in Second Life, is the President of Rockcliffe University Consortium and one of the Executive Directors of the VWBPE Conference. Originally started as a grassroots educational conference, the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference brings together over 2000 educators, researchers, and institutional professional from around the world to discuss issues facing education and how virtual technologies can best be applied to solving these dilemmas. The conference is run as an open source conference and is free for anyone to attend.

Presented in both text and Voice simultaneously.

***

Self-Advocacy: Who, How, and Why
PRESENTER: SIster Abeyante
SUNDAY, February 10, noon SLT
Yellow Hibiscus Cabana, Virtual Ability Island
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/44/138/23

What is self-advocacy? Who can most effectively self- advocate? What are some tips to make self-advocacy more effective? What should you try if it doesn’t “work”? Why bother? Find out a bit more, and share some tips of your own in this presentation and discussion about self-advocacy for people with disabilities. Great for beginners and intermediates, but the experts and wisdom figures will help us too!

PRESENTER BIO:
Sister Abeyante (Sister Patrice Colletti, SDS, a Sister of the Divine Savior from Milwaukee, WI) is a long time disability rights advocate who has been widely involved in personal and systemic advocacy efforts. Starting at age seven, when she became deaf, she’s developed some “pretty darn effective!” approaches to helping people make better and more just choices, particularly related to inclusion and civil rights for people with disabilities. She currently works as an Inclusion Coordinator in an innovative, inclusive urban housing project near Milwaukee, WI.

Presented in text, with optional Voice transcription.

Bible-based Virtual World On The Way

No, this isn't the virtual world in question

No, this isn’t the virtual world in question

Interesting little announcement / press release – mostly for some of the claims being made or assumptions on approaches of a range of other virtual worlds for children. I also find it fascinating that nowhere in the press release does it provide a URL or other info, so it’s hard to know whether this is an actual launch or something coming up further down the track:

CHRISTIAN KIDS GET THEIR OWN BIBLE-BASED VIRTUAL WORLD

A recent survey of Christian families revealed that parents concerned about keeping their kids safe online want more God-first, Bible-based destinations for their digital kids.

 

Kids Bible Adventures is the first virtual world for Christian kids and their families that lets kids explore and experience the world of the Bible and its heroes using tablets and cell phones in a way that simply wasn’t possible before digital and mobile technology. The virtual world includes Bible-based adventure games, rich 3D animation, plus photo and video sharing with friends and family through a Christian-centered social network.

“There are over 700 online virtual worlds which attract more than 500 million kids under the age of 13 and yet not a single one is dedicated to the Bible and its Christian teachings”, says Ian Jones, the founder of Kids Bible Adventures. “As a Christian parent I want my kids to be safe online, to form Christian friendships, to explore the Bible, and to come away with positive values and I’m not alone.” Jones, who is the former executive producer of the award-winning TV series, FARMkids, has put together a powerhouse team to build Kids Bible Adventures. “When I conducted a survey of Christian parents I found over 98 percent were just as concerned as I was that instead of Christ’s message of love our children were all too often exposed to violence and values that just weren’t Christian online so I decided to do something about it.”

This is a very special virtual world. Kids Bible Adventures lets kids, between the ages of 5 and 10, actually experience the Bible in a way never before possible. “They will be able to help Noah load the animals into the Ark; stand beside David as he loads that single smooth stone into his slingshot and slays Goliath; sit at the feet of Jesus, munching on loaves and fishes; blow their trumpets as they march around the walls of Jericho; follow the star with the three kings to Jesus’ manger; or help the Good Samaritan,” explains Jones. “And each Bible adventure can be shared with parents, teachers, pastors, and friends through mobile apps.  By ‘living’ the Bible, kids will learn and love God’s teachings, emulate the values, and become better, stronger, more informed Christians,” he adds.

Developed by International Entertainment Development Corporation (IEDC) a faith and values-based children’s entertainment and education company with offices in the U.S. and Australia, Kids Bible Adventures brings the Bible to life for today’s digital kids. Not only does this Christian project include a 3D immersive virtual world complete with avatars, quests, tasks and virtual goods, but it also integrates three of the fastest growing virtual trends on the Internet today – social media, online games, and mobile apps.

 

What’s your take?

Linden Lab’s Amazon Bundling Bungling

second-life-car-pictureTateru Nino has a great piece on Linden Lab’s announcement that they are selling Second Life bundled with packages of content. Read it for yourself – I don’t think it’s possible for me to agree more with Tateru’s view on the silliness of the move – particularly the vehicle packages.

Do you agree?

[Pic via http://haydenpowick.wordpress.com]

Procrastination and Virtual Worlds as ‘Work’

I just wanted to briefly post a piece as I’m more than acutely aware that it’s been well over a month since anything new has appeared here. It’s definitely not due to a lack of interest in virtual worlds, and it’s not just because life has been busy. It’s a combination of reasons but there are two that dominate.

First, I am studying for my PhD and my research focus is on the use of virtual worlds in simulating clinical situations for health professionals. So on top of the rest of my life, the little time niche I have for virtual worlds tends to be taken up with that, plus some. Following virtual worlds developments since starting this site in 2006 has been no end of help in my studies, but I obviously need to delve even deeper and that comes at the expense of chasing information outside of my fairly narrow research area.

Second, and I feel like I’m being a philanderer saying it, but I’m enjoying plain old gaming more when I do have spare time. It’s why I set up a blog dedicated to MMOs, because my recreation time is pretty much taken up in that sphere. There’s quiet the community of writers there, because each person is very passionate about their MMO and they love writing about it.

So what does that mean for The Metaverse Journal? Nothing drastic really, unless we’re able to build a larger community of writers.  If you love virtual worlds, no matter which one it is, and you’d like to have a forum for your opinions, then drop us a line. Even with the lesser activity we still have tens of thousands of individuals drop by each month. I’ll still be adding content here and there as well.

That’s really the worst-case scenario: a couple of posts per months at best. Unless of course you have any other suggestions – I’d love to hear them!

Vale: ABC Island in Second Life

As I wrote a few weeks back, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s presence in Second Life is about to come to a close. The 22nd September sees the curtain fall, but not without some festivities prior. Particularly this Saturday 22nd September when the final party occurs. (Here’s the SLURL to teleport to ABC Island)

I’ve been an admin on the island (in name only – I’ve had no active involvement really) since 2008 and I’ve seen it evolve and grow over that time. As you’ll see below, it’s made an impact on a lot of people.

I wanted to take some time to posts some memories from a number of people who’ve called ABC Island another home at different times since 2007.

Tiffy Vella:

So sad…I was born there, and owe many old friendships to SL’s ABC Island.

Laura Seabrook sent through these great pics and descriptions:

Australia Day picnic for that year. Elsie (my AV is sitting middle back in sun dress. At right is Wolfie Rankin

Special “Rockit” quiz show held on that day as well

Part of the anniversary fun was the building of a chute you could ride down by sitting inside a giant marble. Lots of fun in MOUSE view. This was the view at the end

Lecture held at the Island. Can’t remember the topic but I think it had something to do with law

Chatting with Wolfie while making an “Elphaba” outfit, in the entrance to the sandbox tower

Exploring Laneways in 2008, before it was demolished

Katisha Honi:
ABC Island for myself is, and from conversations with a lot of visitors I’m not alone, a place where we grew up as an avatar. ABC Island was and still is a friendly relaxing laidback environment, someone said it was just how the Australian-run sims that made them this way. Personally I had visited ABC within my first week of being in Second Life, and it was the friendships I made that kept me coming back. Once I had found my feet and was looking for “something to do” I wanted to give ‘admin-ing’ a go, I had always wanted to work in television, and well ABC would be the closest I could get.
Over the last 5 years or so, I’ve gone from doing sandbox duties to event runner and recently we got the keys to the sim and redesigned it. Finally, not only for me but for a lot of admins, ABC island was kind of like a big sandbox that we could play in. I think whether you ‘discovered’ ABC island 5 years ago or 5 months ago, the common theme has been “but where will I go now?”
Saying goodbye to ABC, is like saying: Goodbye….old friend
Juko Tempel:
One of my favourite things was the Sandbox, and in particular I remember a day when we built a pond on one level.. it was just a spontaneous group activity that started with one idea and grew and grew as we all found things in our inventory or built new things..http://www.flickr.com/photos/jukotempel/2420554975/in/photostream/. I had a similar experience when Diag Anzac and Gary Hazlitt and I got together one day to build the beach area on ABC Island http://www.flickr.com/photos/jukotempel/1678133214/.
 
One of the great things about SL, and the Island provided by the ABC, is the opportunity to meet people and do things together, to create fun ‘places’, with a real sense of the presence of those other people and a location rather than just a text box for interaction.
I wanted to give the final word to…
Wolfie Rankin:
Notice though, how many of us Second Life users still keep our SL names for our other Social Networks?I gained “Rankin” from there.Not long ago I seriously considered changing my name to Wolfie Rankin.

I didn’t go through with it because I realised what the advantages of having two names was to me.

SL gave me a lot of confidence in talking to others, which I didn’t have before that, and was a real boon when I was still recovering from illness.

Thanks ABC, and Thankyou to the other Admins.

 Now it’s over to you: post your memories, links to pics or related stuff in comments!

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