Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dark Discovery: a promising ARG

Just little over an hour I ago Reuben Steiger, Millions of Us CEO announced the release of the worlds first ARG through his twitterstream. As already defined by Wikipedia, an ARG is:


"An alternate reality game is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants’ ideas or actions."

On the Millions of Us blog we find the introduction to the story:



2 weeks before the launch of the new Fox show “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” a website for an unusual company
appeared
. In their first video they claimed to have developed a tachyon camera that sensed faster-than-light particles and could therefore generate images of the future.


Their first blog post generated significant online controversy, with 53 posts suggesting ways of testing the camera’s capabilities. In their second video, the researchers followed the audience’s suggestions, taking photos of mirrors, newspapers, and cityscapes. The images they revealed suggested a dark and apocalyptic future.
Soon the audience became directly involved in the story,
digging up similar camera devices around the United States.


Finally, the researchers found themselves being hunted by a deadly entity seeking to stop their work permanently. The drama built to an explosive conclusion in the Sausalito parking lot of Enitech’s offices. Now that it’s concluded we’d like to show you a bit of it.


If you want to know more, check out Enitechlabs.com.


Introductions may look good, but the screening of the story may be disappointing. The preview though posted at the MoU blog looks very impressive though and may put the MoU back into the drivers seat of the mixed reality metarati:





The ARG is part of the new Fox tv series "The Sarah Connor Chronicles". Does the name ring a bell? Here's a little info on the show:



"At the end of "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," Sarah vanquished the Terminator sent from the future to kill her teenage son, John. Sarah and John now find themselves alone in a very dangerous, complicated world. Fugitives from the law, they are confronted with the reality that still more enemies from the future, and the present, could attack at any moment.


TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES reveals what happens when SARAH (Lena Headey) stops running and goes on the offensive against an ever-evolving technological enemy bent on destroying her life, and perhaps the world. Her son, 15-year-old JOHN CONNOR (Thomas Dekker), knows that he may be the future savior of mankind, but is not yet ready to take on the mantle of leadership that he's told is his destiny. John finds himself inextricably drawn to CAMERON (Summer Glau), an enigmatic and otherworldly student at his high school, who soon proves to be much more than his confidante - she assumes the role of Sarah and John's fearless protector. On their trail are not only threats from the future, but an intelligent and tough FBI agent, JAMES ELLISON (Richard T.Jones), who soon becomes a powerful ally."

The Enitech website and blog is supporting the show, being the official blog for the resistance. Read the blog to find out more about the Terminator machines, the SkyNet company and the show episodes of course. Here's an entry from the blog:

"Brief update in the wake of the Enitech tragedy

March 3rd, 2008

Enitech admin here again. As many of you have now heard, Enitech Research labs was destroyed and several employees were killed last week. I’ve heard a rumor that a media outlet was able to get a hold of video footage, an interview with Anna Kies, before her untimely death during the Enitech Attack. Hopefully this will shed some light on the many questions we still have in the wake of such a senseless tragedy.

Posted in EniTech News 11 Comments »"

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Virtual Healthcare 2: Palomar Pomerado Health

This week I suddenly was confronted with more hospital visits than I'd hoped for (though not personal), and kept delaying writing this post for days.

Early april 2007 I wrote a short blogpost on the Cleveland Heart Clinic in Second Life which was probably the first hospital to enter Second Life. The question I ended that particular blogpost with was: "I wonder though, are they about to perform virtual surgery? I'm hoping they can explain what SL can add to hospital care."

The times, they are changing though. Nearly a year later I see how virtual worlds can perform a massive role in education and training. A world like second life offers a lot of opportunities for modelling the complex human anatomy (see for instance the Testis Tour) and virtually practising surgery would overcome a shortage of breathing guinneepigs.

Research company Forrester also sees virtual Healthcare as one of the promising areas when it it comes to the virtual workspace. In the "Getting real work done in Virtual Worlds" they describe one healthcare project in particular:

Developing effective healthcare team coordination. Duke University and Virtual Heroes are collaborating on a high-fidelity 3-D virtual environment for healthcare, funded by the US Army. The initial project, targeting healthcare team coordination skills, is called 3DiTeams and combines gaming concepts with the healthcare team coordination training curriculum developed by the US Department of Defense and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

In the past year we've seen several smaller 'medical experiments' in Second Life, but late February saw two major projects enter Second Life; the IBM Healthcare island and Palomar West, both opening in the wake of the HIMMS'08 healthcare conference.


The Palomar West simulation is a joint effort by Cisco and Palomar Pomerado Health, though in developing the Second Life sim, Cisco has had major help from Millions of Us. The february 25 press release reads:

Cisco® and Palomar Pomerado Health (PPH) today cut the ribbon on a new hospital in the online virtual world "Second Life." The virtual hospital, a simulation of a real-world hospital campus due to open in 2011, gives visitors the opportunity to tour the hospital years before its doors actually open.

The virtual hospital showcases the rich assortment of design and technology innovations planned for the real-world Palomar West Medical Campus in San Diego, Calif., and to gather feedback that will be used to enhance the way that care is delivered. The immersive quality of "Second Life" allows visitors to experience the progressive nature-embracing design of the hospital firsthand. Visitors will also be able to experience Connected Hospital technologies that will be delivered in the real hospital by Cisco. (Full press release here.)

In short, The Second Life island is a representation of a new Healthcare campus to be opened in 2011. It actually is a very good build. For n00bs there's a short introduction to navigating Second Life near the entrance of the hospital.


I received my Hospital tag which guided me through the hospital, making sure I went to the right rooms to have my gall bladder repaired. Throughout the tour a lot of information was pushed through excellent movies, but they essentially are a promo talk on the Cisco solutions for Unified Communications, telepresence monitoring, rfID, etcetera. I can see this part of the simulator become real in the near future.



Fully automated, or robot-driven surgery probably won't be integrated in the RL campus opening in 2011.




After surgery I returned to my hospital room for a few second to recuperate, but soon was sent outside as 'clean air' helps a lot for speedy recovery. The downside is that I entered into an 'Al-Gorish' speech about minimizing the footprint, low emission products and more green bla bla.


For information about Cisco Connected Health technologies, visit www.cisco.com/go/healthcare

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/PalomarWest%20Hospital/30/120/35






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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rezzable EBuddy and looking for VC

Rezzable 2007

One of the big surprises in content development for Second Life in 2007 was new kid on the block Rezzable which launched the Greenies sim in July which has been a top 5 attraction in terms of visitors ever since. Quite a lot of residents and bloggers have been impressed by this build, though many were wondering about the business model as the could see any clear sponsors.

There's no doubt Rezzable injected a lot of money in developing this sim, and the dozen of other places, like the Toxic Gardens, the Cannery and the Black Swan and they've not been very forthcoming about their financing.

First of all, the Rezzable sims are a showcase to get on the serious side of business. Not tampered by marketing agencies or corporate restrictions they have build experiences which showcase their ability. This would be an expensive calling card, but a serious one at that which might be worth a few bucks. Revenues are created in multiple ways though such as goodie shops and in context advertising at the Greenies Home.



When talking to Rezzable founder Jon Himhoff he told me Rezzable was looking for Venture Capital and they're putting together a funding round. Off course I raised an eyebrow. Does Rezzable need funding to maintain the dozens of sims?


[13:45] You: what will be the motivation for the funding round?
[13:45] RightAsRain Rimbaud: ah...That's a good question
[13:46] RightAsRain Rimbaud: In general our existing work doesn't need it

So on the whole it seems the 3 streams of revenues generate enough income to keep up the good work.

Rezzable Ebuddy

Last month I saw the sculptures made by Lightwaves appear on the SLexchange as well, at serious prices (ranging L$ 9K -35K, or US $ 30 - 130) and to support this Rezzable opened a new sim last week, the Ebuddy Sandbox which also shows and sells the sculptures you can find in the Rezzable sims. Here are some snapshots:



Rezzable is going to push this sim (and thus their complete works) hard with real world promotion as well such as an Art Gallery in London and a print magazine.


Rezzeble 2008

To get back to the funding, what is Rezzable upto that needs a serious financial injection? In general you can state that there is a serious difference between gameworlds such as World of Warcraft and social worlds such as Second Life when it comes to user activity. Capturing the resident's attention has been hard for all MDC's in 2007, resulting in a number of corporations to be dissappointed in Second Life as a medium.

The basic premises is that social worlds need more of a storyline which led Millions of Us to redo the Scioncity sim and Electric Sheep Company to experiment with converging media with CSI:NY in the last months of 2007. One of the underlying concepts in Rezzables development has been to create immersive experiences (such as the Greenies Home) all along. A second element has been pushing for a storyline at the Toxic gardens, which has been build as a big decorum and is accompanied by a small story outline.



Rezzable has massive plans for 2008 to expand on this interactivity:

We have a massive idea for content play and we will launch this in SL, but...it is a virtual world play across many platforms in the future and also 3D web in general. Rezzable is still very committed to SL. Our main focus here is more interactivity, so we are workin on lots of simple, fun games with web databases."

"We think it is a major play for establishing 3D web content and user engagement. Virtual worlds are still very new. Once there are a few more credible platforms running--which we think is a 2008 thing--main issue is what will engage users and we feel it is quality content. Quality content can be defined as visually stunning, interactive and immersive. It is not porno, gambling, camping, real estate speculation. We see a lot of opportunity for
real-world cross-overs. Stay tuned, lot of new stuff coming in 2008."

Since they're still putting together the funding round, which is supposed to bring in about 3.5m USD, Jon couldn't disclose much more, but I'll be paying close attention to this as I think one of the keys to generating traffic will be in serious content play.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Massive lay offs and the future of NVE's

Today Massively made it into my RSS feed. There's really a couple of cool Second Life residents blogging over there now. This time it's Moo Money that brings up some juicy gossip from Second Life as she writes on the ESCapists:

In a shocking blog entry today, Jeremy Flagstaff noted that the Electric Sheep Company has laid off approximately one-third of their staff, or about 22 people. It has been previously noted that ESC had to cut back on the number of islands for CSI: NY, and now both AOL Pointe and Pontiac are pulling out of Second Life. This news should come as no surprise, but it's still heartbreaking to hear that it
happened so close to Christmas.

While it is not known at this time exactly why the layoffs occurred, Jeremy speculates that they will be focusing on technology like OnRez. Joel Greenberg, whose job status is unknown at this time, announced on Twitter that ESC is shutting down their virtual ad network project. In a prophetic blog entry written last week by Rez Menoptra, he speculated on how long builds will last in virtual worlds and who will remember them.

Massively will update you with the latest news on this topic as we hear it. Stay tuned!

Most of these people we will never know, but we've seen Jeremy himself move away from the Sheep earlier this year as well as Jerry Paffendorf. Is the negative trend for Second Life we've seen in Europe now crossing to the US as well? Are we close to a dotcom-burst in the virtual world industry? I don't think so.

In november I quickly mentioned AOL's departure from Second Life, now Pontiac is joining the list of departing companies. How should we read these signs: Is it true that Second Life has proved itself unfit for business? In the case of Pontiac / Motorati I think it surely didn't.

The thing I keep saying to our clients is this: Right now Second Life is the ideal platform to experiment. It is open, and it's present, which means you can start up exploring the metaverse at relatively low cost. Try to get a feel for the technology, explore opportunities, chase ideas. Second Life makes this possible because it's free to sign up and you can put in almost any kind of data. Second Life is as open as the gates of heaven to whom believes. The feeling I get now is that most of the departing companies are not going out of business, they're moving. It's just as much tribal migration that we see in social networking sites. You explore, then find a site that better suits your needs. A lot of these companies gained experience from Second Life and are now preparing for dedicated themed worlds, based upon enterprise technology on platforms like There.com

It is a moving business we're in. The past year has seen an extreme usergrowth in Second Life, and an enormous commercial / PR drive for companies to enter virtual worlds. Now it's time to check the balance. All in all, as I wrote in my previous blogpost on the Millions of Us venue for Splenda; "It's Dozens of Them" meaning right now it's just too much of the same. We're creating presence for companies. There's an occasional immersion that goes beyond simple presence and really adds something to the industry.

Millions of Us, Lost in the Magic Forest, Electric Sheep Company, Virtual Italian Parks, and many many other MDC's have mastered the skill of building in Second Life. What they haven't got is the skill of Business Analysis.

It will take skilled consultants to translate core business to virtual representations. It will take experience and time for us to be able to build virtual venues that are fit for business and will form an extention to our daily operations. 2007 has been a year in which Second Life and virtual worlds have been a toy for marketing and communication departments, 2008 will probably see NVE's as a playhouse for IT departments and 2009 will probably be the year in which the NVE potential really sinks in, the time when the Business takes over and will use it as a medium for its core processes.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Imagine Life Sweeter

I'm a regular citizen of Second Life; I'm handsome and smart ;) No really, I am. In real life I'm in my 30's and I work in the IT industry. The massive arms and broad shoulders of my virtual alter ego have gone in real life, its mass dropped a feet or two, just over the waist. Like many geeks and gamers I spend too much time sitting behind my computer, being immersed and drinking coffee or cola to stay awake. Eating too much pizza and working out too little. I'm probably the ideal person to talk to when you work at Splenda which deals in artificial sweeteners. And so they do. They have immersed in Second Life.

Their virtual setup is oh so sweet to look at, it's candy colored and cartoonesk like Ben and Jerry's, just a tad softer. Splenda hired Millions of Us to work up this virtual presentation and there are a few nice details.

I like the details on the cafe best, which is an overturned coffee-cup. It took a few second before I realized the terras in front of it resembled a pool of coffee flowing out of the cup. It's these little details that makes MoU one of the big names around - when it comes to building.



By themselves, each part of the island is carefully shaped. There are a number of things that go for entertainment, such as the milkshake-slide and the Lemon Ferris Wheel.



Finally, there's the current Second Life meme-thingP: a contest [sorry closed as of november 30] to draw in the crowds. The good thing about it is that it does work about it, and Spleda set up a splendid site to support it.


The bad thing about it is that it's Dozens of Them. As far as corporate sites go, there still isn't much variation in the set up. There's the cafe, the auditorium, the infostand and a fun gimmick, a slide through a milkshake straw, but no interactive display of its core business.

This setup would have had an impact when it had a storyline, interaction with the visitors, not about Splenda branding, but about its business: Keep your avvy healthy and fit.

For instance: Create a virtual game in which your avatar can replay his daily routine, log it, calculate the calories consumed and burned and extrapolate that to adjust the avatar size (aging, weight, disease).

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Splenda/128/128/0

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Alcatel Lucent

It's been a while since I've visited a good corporate build. I have to be mild nowadays since our own Sogeti island opened up. On the other hand, that was a DIY job and we didn't hire a big MDC. Alcatel Lucent did, as they brought in Millions of US to immerse in Second Life.


Alcatel originally is a French telecom hardware company doing a lousy 18 billion Euro a year. They make pretty good stuff too. I've worked with Alcatel stuff before and a friend of mine just told me last week he purchased the Alcatel Unified Communications suite for his company.

Millions of Us did a very good job on the build again... at least, the quality of the build lived up to my expectations. Great texturing, quality stuff, but lacks innovation. If you hire a big name in the industry, I'm sure you've got the intention to build a community in Second Life; which in this day and age means you have to have gadgets and entertainment. That I didn't see at Alcatel Lucent.


What I saw was a purely functional build, with corporate information and an auditorium. If it is functional though, the engagement has to come from events, but there wasn't a schedule to be found. The only community-gathering-tool used here is a competition to do xtreme innovation (more at the bottom). So in short, a class act by Millions of Us, but not one that I'm about to revisit

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Alcatel%20Lucent/128/128/0

Alcatels' Xtreme Rip-off: Contest Guidelines

(notecard)

Imagine it is the year 2017 and you have the power to create the ideal technology and devices that would fit your lifestyle in your virtual and real-world lives. Technology that would allow you to socialize, communicate, entertain yourself and your friends, get and share information and content, and/or manage appliances and devices in your home.

The Alcatel-Lucent Second Life Island is all about imagining the future and making it happen now. We are opening up our sandbox to the residents of Second Life to inspire them to come up with the future of what the next generation of wireless can bring. This is a call for Xtreme innovation!


Imagine:

  • Latency (lag) problems are a thing of the past (wireless and wireline)
  • Devices are creative flexible and can be designed to meet your needs (oh, and they are affordable too)
  • Wireless streaming of audio and video in real time for unlimited time periods with quality levels equal to the best HDTV
  • Always-on wireless connection with simultaneous use of both voice and data
  • Or how about having your household appliances, car, laptop, and mobile devices have the ability to talk to each other and send data remotely (and yes, this is all really easy to do)
    We want you to submit your ideas! Show us the awesome device or technology that would just make your Second Life…or real life, so much better.

Enter our “Next Generation Wireless Design Contest” for a chance to come up with the future and a chance to be noticed. In addition, you can win up to 50,000 Lindens. Your entries can be submitted to Alcatel-Lucent in accordance with the following guidelines. By submitting an entry, you agree that the official contest terms and conditions, which can be viewed at [enter web address here], will be applicable to and govern the contest and your submission.

Winning entries will be displayed in our showcase center on Alcatel-Lucent Island.


Contest Guidelines:

  • What: Enter one or several design prototypes for a functional device (gadget, HUD, wearable item, video) that makes Second Life or real life more enjoyable.
  • When: Entries must be submitted by December 1, 2007.
  • How: Submit design, notecard, video (flash, wmv. Mov) or prototype to Alcatel-Lucent Next Generation Design submissions display (located on the Main Plaza ). Include a note card with design description and functionality. • All Entries will be confirmed within 48 hrs, and will become the property of Alcatel-Lucent.
  • Prizes: First Place winner gets 50,000 Lindens and the chance to have their design built or displayed as an ALU island asset. Three runner ups will each get 20,000 Lindens
  • Judges: Millions of Us, Alcatel-Lucent

Submissions can be dropped to the pod post box or given to Hilary Millionsofus.Confirmation will be given within 24hrs.

Crowdsourcing is cool. Crowdsourcing means you draw ideas from the crowd, the general public. This isn't crowdsourcing anymore, this is a rip off. If you've got a great idea about the next generation computers or mobile phones, find yourself a trusting partner and have your intellectual rights properly documented and legally recorded, and don't sell them off for a lousy 200 USD from which Alcatel could make millions of USD (no pun intended).

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

New York and Virtual Entertainment - it's a Meme Thing

Every so often I pick up on a common theme running across Second Life. In the past it's included "German cities" and "virtual recruitment". These themes or memes (as I prefer to misuse the term), though no doubt long in the conceptualising, seem to burst forth in a spookily synchronous fashion at a number of locations. Perhaps the hottest meme of Autumn 2007 is also the most complex that I've seen to date: New York and Virtual Entertainment.


Within the space of only a few weeks, 2 of Second Life's major construction and consulting companies - Electric Sheep Company (ESC) and Millions of Us(MOU) - will have launched 3 different models of New York to vie for your attention. Furthermore, each of these is tied in with the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry.


So let's consider the options:


New York #1

First up, we have ESC's "I Am Legend" site, designed to tie in with a movie of the same name, that is due for release by Warner Bros in mid-December. The movie trailer suggests to me a remake of the old Charlton Heston sci-fi classic(?) "The Omega Man," though it seems both are derived from a 1954 science fiction novel by Richard Matheson. In the new movie, Will Smith plays the last surviving human in New York following the release of a rather nasty man-made virus. His only companion is his faithful pooch. Unfortunately for him, the city is also populated by mutants, who are not that keen on him having the run of the town. It's a classic "man vs mutant" tale.


As part of the marketing for the movie, ESC and Warner Bros have launched the biggest (movie tie-in) game yet seen in Second Life. It has its own orientation zone for newcomers, together with a game orientation zone where you can opt to play human, dog, mutant or mutant mutt. You should then undergo a set of training exercises before you reach the bridge that takes you over into the game zone of New York itself. Being a self-confessed coward I made my excuses and left at this point. No SLURL for this - but if you use MAP SEARCH and look for "IAL" you won't go far wrong. Oh... nice textures by the way... if a bit laggy.





New York #2


Next, and also from ESC comes the interworld game / programme / entertainment behemoth of CSI:NY. This was blasted all over the recent Virtual Worlds 2007 Conference, and launches in Second Life on 24th October. Bookies are still taking bets on the exact moment that the grid will crash. In an Omega Man kind of way, I may be the only person left on the planet who has not seen, and is not particularly interested in, CSI:NY. However, this is ground-breaking stuff for virtual worlds, where the linear narrative of the Real Life TV show intermingles with the gameplay and narrative in Second Life to produce some kind of Ultimedia extravaganza.


If you want a more complete story about this, you are best off popping along to Ugotrade, which has reams of top notch info for you.


Not only will there be orientation zones and game sims, but to make life easier for newcomers to Second Life, the Sheep are also launching their own, browser-based viewer: OnRez. Personally, I might give CSI:NY a miss - but I'm looking forward to trying the new viewer. For many of us this might solve some of issues we have with the standard Second Life viewer. A number of my colleagues, for example, are unable to run SL on their work-supplied laptops owing to issues of memory and, more often, graphics driver compatibility. This might be the solution.


New York #3

The third version of New York comes courtesy of MOU. This is a virtual version of 7 square blocks of the Upper East Side, and has been built as a tie-in with "Gossip Girls" on behalf Warner Brothers and the CW Network. This is described as a teen drama, based on a novel series of the same name. An article in wikipedia describes it thus: "Gossip Girl revolves around the lives of socialite young adults growing up on New York's Upper East Side who attend elite academic institutions while dealing with sex, drugs, and other teenage issues." Yeah...well... whatever.



The show first aired in the USA on 19th September, 2007 - followed a day later by its launch in Second Life. In a blog post dated 20th September, MOU boss, Reuben Steiger, said: "[soon] we will start a very interesting social game that will take place in the city." More recently MOU announced The Gossip mobile, a heads up display that lets you to see the style, coolness rating and status of the people around you. Here's a video tutorial if you find this to be this season's must-have accessory. Hmmm...


So there you go... 3 New Yorks for you to explore, play in and reach your own conclusions.


First posted at Ambling in Second Life.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Big Business Money based on trust

Thursday, 4:30pm - 5:30pm


Virtual Currency / Virtual Business = Big Business Money


(Virtual currency) exchanges promise the opportunity to stimulate virtual economies not just throughout individual virtual worlds but across worlds. Join us for a discussion on what the future will look like as these exchanges take off and how users will conduct commerce. What does it take to build and foster a thriving virtual economy?



John Bates of Entropia was double booked, so he started off with a little insight on Entropia. This virtual world is the only one that has it's currency really pegged with the US Dollar at an exchange rate of 1 USD to 10. Entropia is a mixed world with gaming and social elements and when things cost you real money, it changes the came. Buying guns and bullets that cost you (even if it's nano-payment) makes the game take on a new dimension.


Anshe Chung Studios now is one of the largest of 45.000 profitable companies in Second Life, with total assets going up to the region of 800 islands / sims. What would happen if they withdrew all their assets at once? Both John Z of Linden Lab and Guntram Graef aren't afraid it would blow the economy. Linden Lab is putting on about the same amount of servers every month. Stop that for a month and the economy will stabelize.


The same happened with the banning of Gambling, said Zdanowski. We had to do this because of US regulations or run the risk of being shut down. Overnight the user to user transactions dropped with 40%. Was gambling such a large part? Not really. Zdanowski estimates that gambling was only up to 3% of the market. The exchange rate never dropped and within 3 weeks the stock exchange was level again. The Linden Dollar has been very stable in the past year and a half, leaving not much room for money traders and fluctiating only a couple of Linden cents to the dollar in this period.


Zdanowsky doesn't see the Linden Dollar as a real currency though, but more a licence to use certain aspects of Second Life. Residents have to have trust in the currency, it's stability, in order for Virtual Worlds to create successfull economies. Earlier this month Linden had to add VAT to their game for European Users. This also because of international monetary regulations, and the Lindens are fully aware that this puts European users, about 35% of their community at about a 20% disadvantage. User to User transactions aren't taxed though.


I asked John Z and Guntram how to make the economy safe, as in the Netherlands we've seen a story extortion and abuse over Runescape money several weeks back. Also think of money laundring between virtual worlds through the Anshe Chung Exchange. No problem here again, according to Linden's CFO. They're monitoring transactions and if there's a resident wanting to buy Linden dollars worth say 10.000 USD he'd personally invite them to fly in and find out what the heck they would wanna do with the money. This economy is based on trust. One fundamental rule for us is to know our residents. We know who makes money. It can happen that all of a sudden you're a new sucessfull virtual entrepeneur, but then I'd like to personally meet you and get to know your business. He expects the next wave of regulatory action to take place in the banking sector in Second Life and Linden have hired a hotshot laywer and former internet crime prosecutor to be up to speed with all the world wide regulations regarding this.


There is a lot of scepcis, a lot of resistance against Linden playing a strategy that's so much hands-on on the economy. Yet Virtual Worlds do take a new place in the world of global economy. They're dealing with micropayments all over the world. The European VAT regulation was never designed for this, it was designed to protect the local market in the 80's as US based companies like AOL started pricedumping their ISP services on the European market. Now Linden has to deal with it, or again risk shutdown in Europe. In my personal opinion, they're on the right track. John's solid performance was a sign of confidence on behalf of the Lindens that they're on top of the game.


Final tidbits:



  • Chung obtained an Entropia Banking Licence earlier this week

  • Chung is now implementing an interface to exchange IMVU credits

  • Chung also provides Venture Capital for virtual startups.

  • It took Peter Philips, former Linden Lab employee less than three weeks to program the Lindex

  • Entropia has a Swedish banking licence

  • Companies have to closely watch the market to stabalize it. Neither inlation or deflation is a good thing for an economy, even if it is virtual.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Reuben's Keynote

Reuben Steiger ,Millions of Us – The Avatar Age



Where are we, and how did we get here?


The avatar age is a way of categorising this industry as more than virtual worlds. VW sounds isolated and niche. It doesn’t do justice to everything that’s going on.



The most primal and basic sort of human togetherness is sitting round the campfire. Surprisingly it is one of the most popular events in virtual worlds as well.



What is an avatar?


In Hindu lore it was the earthly form of a god. Now it’s an online persona. It’s an inversion. In history it was from ethereal to prosaic, now it’s vice versa.



Houston, we have a problem!


Only 25% of US residents trust conventional advertising. Over 70% trust recommendations from their friends.



User generated social communities represent the fastest growing market segment, totaling 31% of all consumer internet usage. This is not a niche thing. This is where the market is trending.



Second Life has been on top of the virtual world market when it comes to press attention, yet it represents only a small minority of those millions of virtual residents.



  • Over the next year social networks will become avatarized
  • Virtual Worlds will become more like social networks
  • Television tie-ins will increase for virtual worlds.


Virtual worlds will evolve from a Habitat (1985) to a Second Life (now)



Where did it all begin?


Philo T. Farnsworth (1928) invented the television, just across the street from 1100 Sansome street (Linden Lab HQ).



What happened to communities? Before the automobile and television we lived in small villages, architecturally build on the community principle. Over the past decades we’ve lost that sense of community. The basic civic getting together has gone. Virtual Worlds are so important because they offer the opportunity to reestablish this togetherness.



How will this stuff manifest in the potential future? (again Scion City example)



SAND – episode on Scion City, a narrative where residents are invited to solve the mystery.

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The future of entertainment

Heavily updated.

Wednesday, 2:30pm - 3:30pm session




Entertainment in Virtual Worlds - It's Not Games. it's Not TV. It's....



With the advent of virtual worlds television networks, individual channels and individual shows can now create interactive versions of their franchises and engage fans directly, immersing them into the environment. Find out how to successfully extend a television brand, including measuring audience participation and extending the advertising business model. Speakers will discuss activities on multiple virtual worlds platforms.


Panel (r2l):



  • Jerry Paffendorf - Wello Horld (Moderator)
  • Daniel Schiappa - Microsoft
  • Reuben Steiger – Millions of Us
  • Sibley Verbeck – ESC
  • Blake Lewin - Turner Broadcasting (CNN and all the rest)

It’s not games its…




Here are my notes on the panel discussion:




Sciappa: Microsoft involved in VW’s? Have been involved from a gaming environment for some time (like Halo 3) and are pretty aggressively looking at how they can partake in this new business.




Steiger: Most important word in the industry is storytelling and how do we do that in these worlds?




Sibley Verbeck on the question "what's your most exiting VW Experience: Jerry.... well, my most exciting experiences were all things I did with Jerry...




Lewin: Turner is very interested in VW’s. The concept of the virtual space is a living network that needs programming. Turner Broadcasting is looking into Kaneva to find media consumption habits.




Places online where people have faces and at the same time talk face to face with eachother.





Sciappa (again sidecommenting CSI):The internet for the most part still is a research tool. It doesn’t offer the incredible immersive, interactive experience VW’s do.




Sciappa:I’ve never watched CSI, but I’m sure I’m gonna watch the show on the 24th and go into Second Life to be part of the team, to participate and help solve the murder.




Like the Sheep, Millions of Us also have a project up and running with a televisionshow for which they build part of New York. (forgot the name of the show). It also involves gaming and other interactivity.




Are VW’s going mainstream in entertainment?




Lewin: People wanna be engaged in creating their own entertainment. It’s flipped the industry upside down. Kaneva save for us as it is more controlled. Turner has lots of great 3D modelers, they want High End things.




Sciappa:Virtual Earth is Microsofts most advanced endeavour in 3D outside a gaming environment. MS has lots of products that have scale. Scale is the issue, the key carrier needed for VW’s to go mainstream.




Steiger: We build Scion City. Went up and down as it goes, than we let people move in, that didn’t move the world either. Now we’re focusing on a narrative, set about 500 years in the future. It’s compelling, but it’s advertising as well.





Is the grid ready to go mainstream:


Verbeck: We’ll see.. keep our fingers crossed at the 24th.




Steiger: The features will follow the crowd, rather than the other way around

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Metaverse news august

Last week has been very busy with pressing Real Life projects, so I've not been following the news properly. Here's a round up of some interesting news from the virtual world blogoshphere:



Ambling in Second Life:


  • Brand Protection in Virtual Worlds

    The topic of branding should be close to the heart of any organisation setting up in a virtual world. In theory, this new environment should not pose any greater problem than existing communications channels, such as the web, TV or the printed word. However, there is one key difference between this and existing channels: it is an unknown.
  • Another Second Life Conference is Cancelled

    I have just received news that SLCC 2007 - Deutschland, due to be held from 21st to 23rd of September in Dusseldorf has been cancelled.

Virtual World News:

Metaversed:

  • 15 Things You Should Know About vSide, The New 3D Facebook

    The Grid Safari group got the grand tour of recently launched vSide today by Doppelganger founder Andrew Littlefield. We took a long look around the entire system, and learned a whole truckload of new tricks in what has to be one of the best looking 3D social environments, if not the best, I've been in. vSide is a beautiful space for teenagers to hang out, socialize and listen to music. As Littlefield puts it, if Second Life is Myspace, then vSide is Facebook.
  • Google Earth + Skype + Multiuser = Unype

    Created as a free project by Holoscape Inc. founder Murat Aktihanoglu, Unype allows multiple users to interact with the Google Earth API together and speak to one another through Skype. While there has been much speculation about Google's plans for future virtual worlds, Unype demonstrates how easy it might be to put something really interesting together. It's in a very early beta stage, but at a tiny 210K download it's definitely worth taking a few moments to look at. (Unfortunately, Windows only at the moment.)

3PointD:

  • Conduit Social Gaming World Gets $5.5m Round

    Susan Wu, who was instrumental in arranging the Virtual Goods Summit I moderated a panel at in June, emailed me some embargoed news earlier today, and though I begged and pleaded, she asked me wait until midnight to post it. However, I see that the news is already out there, so I have to apologize to Susan and jump the gun, if only slightly: The news is that Charles River Ventures, where Susan is a partner, has just co-led a $5.5 million Series A financing of Conduit Labs,
  • Metaverse Roadmap to Singapore

    The fifth annual State of Play conference on legal and social issues in virtual worlds is under way this week in Singapore. I had to cancel my trip out there, which is a shame, since SoP is consistently one of the most interesting gatherings of VW thinkers. Jerry Paffendorf is there, though, and reports that the chin-wagging is already gathering steam.

KZero:

  • Beastie Boys live in There

    Beastie Boys live in There. That’s live as in appearing in real-time as opposed to living in There, just in case you were wondering. As part of their recently agreed partnership, Capitol Music Group and There.com brought The Beastie Boys in-world on Monday night to hang-out with the residents. Other planned event sclude Korn, Yellowcard and Lily Allen.
  • HiPiHi announces global strategy

    HiPiHi announces global strategy. The Chinese 3D virtual world HiPiHi announced its global strategy on 20th August 2007 in Singapore,and has confirmed their strategic investors, including ngi group.


Ugotrade:

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Nintendo - Xbox and Playstation sighted in SL

First of all a few random islands I've spotted today. One is a new telecom company in SL, Swisscom (Telecom provider from Switzerland) (SLURL). Aside from this sure thing there are two islands look to be holding new business as well, Generali (Banking)(SLURL) and Carpe Diem (Beds of Sweden) (SLURL) may also hold new businesses.



Secondly I ran into a cluster of islands that bring a promise of fierce competition, these islands are called:

  1. Nintendo
  2. Nintendo Wii
  3. Microsoft Xbox
  4. Sony
  5. Sony Playstation
  6. Sega

Finally, Sony has been present with its music division, Sony BMG at the Millions of Us cluster island 'Media' but looks like they're gearing up as well in the Japanese quarters with a sim called Sony Home Pictures (SLURL).

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Get yer free stack of virtual land

I just received word via twitter that Millions of Us is giving away free land to residents with creative ideas, a grand total of 8 complete sims:

"Social media is all about participation, right? In that spirit, Millions of Us will be opening up land on several of its sims in order to host the coolest projects you can come up with. We own 8 perimeter sims, clustered around the central eponymous sim — and that’s where we invite interested and motivated residents to help us fill those sims with fantastic Second Life content."

Read all at the Millions of Us blog.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

MindBlizzard growing

The MindBlizzard blog has been up for just 4 months, but it's growing (too) fast...

Size


This is getting a regular habit I fear. Right now I'm having a hard time publishing to my blog. It's been barely a month ago that I upgraded my hostingaccount from 50 to 100 Mb and DataTraffic limits from 2 Gb/month to 4 Gb per month.



Now, halway through July I'm at 3.2 Gb Data Traffic already and have grown beyond 100Mb.
Maybe I should start considering getting a sponsor as well.



Reputation


To look on the bright side of life: In the past month my technorati rating has rocketed from autority 26 to authority 50, and closing in on the top 100K blogs. Not bad for a 4 month old blog.




Readers


In the past months I've seen various people comment on and link to my blog, such as:


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Saturday, July 07, 2007

SLCC dispute

Second Life seems to be at the center of debate these days. This time it is no legal argument, no violation of the ToS but the SLCC (Second Life Community Convention) that's infuriated many residents and bloggers.

NickWilson of Metaversed reports:

"Second Life's SLCC mixed reality community event has been a hot topic of late. Since the publication of a "community standards agreement" which among other things prohibits the recording of panels, even by the panelists themselves, residents have been in uproar. The overbearing, restrictive rules being imposed upon attendees is not the only point of contention however. The question monopolization, and the "non profit" status of the organizers, Future United and their partners Phreak Radio, (who have exlusive rights to everything panelists and musicians produce at the show), was called into question today by vocal critic, Prokofy Neva."
[Read full article here]

Let's track back a while.

People have been working hard on getting the annual Second Life Community Convention on the road, making tons of arrangements. The Convention is supposed to be a big Fan meet, sponsored by Linden Labs, Millions of Us, Rivers Run Red, Anshe Chung Studios and many many more more and/or less known content creators.
Something happened on the way, as Moo Money reports in the Second Life Insider:
"With the registration of a couple of controversial Second Life residents, some are in a state of panic. Many feel that these individuals would hamper their convention experience. Another issue that has also cropped up is the entrance of "press" requesting permission to film. Due to these incidents, The Future United Group has decided to clarify their policies in a Community Standards Agreement."
This happened on June 28 2007 posted in the SLCC Community Standards - Agreement, which did not seem to calm down residents, but instead irritated a lot of people. A few days later irritation turned into aggravation with a waiver sent to performing artists.

The full text of the 'document' can be read at SL LIVE Music Blog and includes indeed an aburd requirement for artists. As SL Live author Slim Warrior rightfully remarks:
"lemme get this straight… I am asked to perform, having sent off an “audition mp3′ then, I fork out a fortune to get to this event. I also pay a registration fee and of course will be performing for FREE! but if I ‘don’t’ sign, I can resign from the line up…. Thanks for that! "
This has caused several artists to cancel, among which the turntable wizzard DJ Doubledown Tandino who commented "I, Doubledown Tandino, ain't gonna go livin' by no contracts no mo'."
From a performers point of view this is indeed a killer-contract for artists who write their own music and thus own the copyrights. They are asked to perform for free and give all their rights to Phreak Media so they can “recover a small portion of their costs’

SLCC's doomsday bells

SLCC's doomsday bells tolled when Prokofy Neva reported:
"Has everybody seen what a road wreck the Second Life "Community" Convention is? It's an accident going somewhere to happen, unless its sponsors, including RiversRunRed, Electric Sheep Company, New Media Consortium, Anshe Chung Studios and many more step up to the plate immediately and demand participation in, and accountability from, the organizers in the form of the Future United Group and Phreak Radio -- these intertwined FIC entities that have hijacked the conference process for years now, and whose chickens are finally coming home to roost."

SL's Land of the Free

Second Life is getting a lot more press than any other virtual world at the moment, though publicity seems to be on the negative side right now. This is bound to happen as SL offers much more freedom to their users than any other VW / NVE. Second Life is the ultimate virtual representation of the Land of the Free, the American Dream.
Linden vs. Bragg could never have been Kaneva vs. Bragg and Linden vs. Familes de France could never have been There.com vs, Familes de France. Linden vs. Woodbury could never happen in Stagespace.
These legal suits are inevitable and some will be won, some may be lost by Linden Labs, as Second Life becomes the testground for virtual law. They will get media attention, good or bad, but that should not influence our opinion of Second Life.

Home of the Brave

The case with the SLCC is different though. It is nog an argument between Linden and residents upto no good, or careless naive users that happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. SLCC is all about Enjoying Second Life. We have a mutual interest to have Second Life succeed. Both Linden and SLCC will like to see the Convention leaving positive thoughts on Second Life.
I am sure all sponsors, who have a financial interest in the success of Second Life, and all residents who invest money and/or expensive time in Second Life all wish to further Second Life's advance. With that objective in mind I would like to call on the SLCC organising comittee to take a deep breath.
Sit down together and decide a mutual course of action. Dare to rewrite and admit 'clumsiness' where possible. That would be Brave.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Intel Inside

I wasn't really planning on doing a long post, since it's past bedtime here in the Netherlands. Yet I really had to do this one. I've already mentioned the Intel island yesterday and I just have to show some more pics.

The island is created by Millions of Us, who've done several gigs for Intel. This one is one I particularly like. Intel's USP is of course the Dual Core processor. This "Core" theme is worked out very nicely in this sim in an almost Jules Verne kind of journey to the center of the earth.
Basically the sim is build up by levels:
0 Surface
-1 Conference
-2 Main Stage
-3 Core


The last picture is one taken inside the conference area which seems completely lost, but attractive in its own bombastic sense.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

The Heart of Intel

Today Intel advances more in Second Life as it opens up another 3 sim build. April 30th I already spotted 9 island under construction, so this will be an ongoing process I think.
"Today, Intel (in cooperation with MRM Worldwide and Millions of Us) will be unveiling the consolidated Intel presence in Second Life known as Intel Island. At the heart of this 3-sim build, including the previously launched Intel OCC (Intel’s partnership sim with Orange County Choppers) and Intel Software Network, is what we like to refer to as “the journey.”

Read the full release story on the Millions of Us blog

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

New quarter bet watch

Second Life passes 7 million registered user-mark

In april I ran a short story on growth predictions for Second Life. It featured Reuben Steiger's (Millions of Us) predictions for 2007 and forecasted that in july 2007 there would be 3.5 million registered users.

At that time there were already 5.6 million users and I forecasted 7.5 by july 07. Well, surely forecasts are always easier to make 2 months in advance than a year, but right now Second Life passed the 7 million mark, so 7.5 still seems an achievable target.

I think the growthrate for SL will lose a bit of momentum in the next 3 months, but 10 million should be the goal for october 07

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Comcast plugged in SL

The cable guys have immersed in Second Life as Comcast, alledgedly one of the largest providers of cable services in the US have opened up their island in Second Life. It's an opening we bloggers have been waiting for for several months.

At first look it seems like a chemical-fun factory, largely due to the first building in view, a pharmacy. The enormous racetrack which covers most of the sim would fit in that picture. However, after a little discussion we thought the blue pipes might represent a cable streaming fun into our homes..

However, according to Millions of Us, builders to this site, it's inline with the comcastic! tv ads where they were playing on the idea of a Mad Science Lab where Liquid Faster was created, a sort of 1950's shlocky sci-fi typecast shot in a sci fi lab with vats of bubbly goo.

The racetrack caused problems though, as we (Aleister and Me) were unable to rez the jets to enter the tubes (so I looked a little foolish on the tiny version). The live cannonball and jetpacks were easier to control, though the jetski's will give rise to some severe drunk flying.


Sofar there has been no promotion, on the clients request, so the softlaunch period will return some feedback that will lead to tweaks before a major launch to create a lasting experience, or as one of the builders said;


"Comcast are really interested in supporting folks online with efforts like this park - basically, and please understand this is me paraphrasing --offering fun content for folks"


The focuspoint has been on creating the experience, with a subtle touch of branding, and experience there is. Refreshing to see such a circus. And an experience it is as nearly the complete staff of Millions of Us enjoyed the sim's rides in the past few weeks.

For the record though, the build is not completely finished yet.


SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Comcast/128/128/0

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A closer look at Intel

After the press conference finished (about 10 SLT or 19.00 CET) I had to relog since I'd frozen and couldn't move. My SL Client was pushing my (intel CPU) to the limits. Here's a few screeners from the sim:

These two small thumbs are about the whole story. The sim isn't a fancy build. It has the following features:
  1. Development Room
  2. Showcase
  3. Conference Area
  4. Sandbox

The larger buildings are for conferencing and showcasing, smaller stands are to get the community involved, through blogs and movies. Honestly I liked Intel better at the OCC or the Live without Boundaries sims which had gotten my hopes up for this one.

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Intel's new HQ

Today's the day of a new Intel sim opening up. At exactly 9.a.m (18.00 C.E.T.) the sim will open up with a press conference. In april I reported that Intel geared up with several new sims being under construction, and before that I've blogged on the OCC and Live without Boundaries theme sims by Intel. First on the spot today were the gang from Things to Do., rallying at the New Business Horizon sim.

Right after we went over to the Intel site, which was soon filled to the brim with 53 people.

We were urged to find a seat, but many of us didn't dare move a hair with this visitor load. From the press comes a nice pun that Intel believes itself to be part of the "core of Second Life" and they see SL as "a wonderfull place to explore and engage" and so on.


The sim is build by Millions of Us and will act as Intels new virtual HQ.

update 18:45 CET 9.45 SLT

According to Intel's General Manager "Second Life is not the ultimate environment, but it's a start" Oh, yeah, they're still talking about getting the Developer community involved and "Help shape the future". I guess I'm not really a press conference type of guy, but it's very rude to slip away. Hope to get to do some networking in a bit.

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Intel%20Software%20Network/156/83/90

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Hammer & Coop

Today seems to be an endless blogging day. Next to style is another Millions of Us creation called "film". Again, this isn't a complete build. More like an entire sim is used for a 1024 m2 build. However, it wasn't a total waste of time.

The sim is a sidekick in the launch of a new tv series, "Hammer & Coop" produced by MINI usa... Mini as in Mini-Cooper... the car. And yeas, after a shot at their website, I think I'd like to see a few episodes.
The build is small, yet of quality. The series look good, and I'm hoping to see more of the series immersed into this Second Life sim, creating a neat experience.

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Film/97/180/30

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Microsoft defies challenges

Thursday May 10 (yes, that is tomorrow) Microsoft will officially open shop in Second Life. The sim's build has been completed about 5 months ago, but had restricted access up till now. We went in for a little preview. With many companies staging their opening this month it is a challenge to be on the good half of the charts, but Microsoft is up to the challenge. I'm a notorius *NIX fan, but have to admit the

On the sign you'll see about what Microsoft Island has to offer. Aside from their kick-off event and the sim experience there is also a supportive website here. What it basically comes down to is that Microsoft uses Second Life as one of their staging areas for a Visual Studio campaign themed "Defy all Challenges"

A nice feature is the Auditorium, placed inside a big ball that's hanging from solid beams and some craftly sculpted prims. There's no question on who's responsible for the build, since it is practically leaning against the MoU island, but upon entering the auditorium I immediately recognised the hand of this site's co0blogger Lordfly Digeridoo.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

AKQA

AKQA is one of the many advertising corps that has invaded Second Life. They were here December 2006, although the sign says 2007

The bulk of the AQKA presence is their media room, a big ballroom with some nice photo's or models from their gigs, but that's about it. There's a big big big media screen, and some other rooms, but aside from the mainbuilding there's nothing at the sim, not even landscaping has been done. It's barren!

So who's AKQA, according to the Wikipedia: "AKQA is an advertising and communications agency originally founded in London in 1995 and focused on internet marketing. With the support of American investors, AKQA was able to expand internationally in 2001. It is most famous for designing the graphical user interface for the Xbox 360... ...The Orange Integrated Shop developed by AKQA won the CNET Telecommunications Sector Technology Project of The Year in 2006."

And it's a Millions of Us build.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The MindBlizzard Crowd

A little earlier I gave you some clinical stats on april's visits to the blog, here's a more personal touch:
When I was checking some things I noticed the MindBlizzard blog was mentioned at the Spotfire site... good to know :)

Aside from that some people like to keep stats of where Business Week is mentioned, this past week I scored 2 points. And there's Reuben Steiger, CEO of Millions of Us who reacted to my blog on his 2007 predictions for Second Life and Paul Verhoeven who turned out to be a well metaversed SL-savvy director and kind enough to take half an hour to sit and have a chat with me on his new movie Black Book and auditioning in SL.

In the past month I've gotten to know Aleister Kronos, who's employed at a competing corp, a passionate blogger at Ambling in SL and 57 miles, professional bloggernaut at Metaversed. A month blogging like a lunatic earned me some nice friends, some scoops, some sleepless nights and some nice credits.

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Monday, April 30, 2007

SLUC: Intel gears up

Second Life Under Construction


After crossing the metaverse back and forth today, my eyes are really tired and I can't make sense nor sensibility from some of the things I''ve seen today. However, one thing that is clear is that Intel is gearing up. After Live without boundaries and Intel Ignites OCC there's a new Intel sim under construction in the Millions of Us archipelago.
But it doens't stop there! A new cluster is emerging...they're up to something...
Then there's SMI coming next to SUN and around Sheep Island there are a few interesting signs too, like Baseball, Bridge International to name just a few new projects.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Quarter Bet Watch

In search of some statistics to support a viable business case I searched the web and came across a 2006 prediction by Reuben Steiger, former Linden Lab evangelist and now CEO of one of SL's most succesfull contractors, Millions of Us.
His best bet for 2007:

Well, right now (april 2007) is 5.6 million registered users, so he's only off by 2 million. In the graph you´ll see a conservative guess (blue) and a wild guess (red). There should be a (green) factual line added that picks up momentum december 2006 and aims (hence no longer factual) for 7.5 million by July 2007.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virtual Fortunes

As Lordly already posted, businessweek is doing an SL special, here's the interesting part:

"Meet the virtual world moguls. The number of Second Life residents generating more than $5,000 in monthly income has more than quadrupled to 116 in the past year."

The millionares:

  1. Phillip Rosendale (the guy who did SL)
  2. Ailin Graef(Anshe Chung real estate)
  3. Reuben Steiger (Millions of Us)
  4. Sibley Verbeck (Electric Sheep)
  5. Alyssa LaRoche (Aimee Weber)
  6. Adam Frisby (real estate)
  7. Kevin Alderman (Strokerz Toys & Amsterdam Sim)
  8. Peter Lokke (clothing)
  9. Christiano Diaz (snapzilla SL)
  10. Adam Anders (whatever, over 100.000 sales a day)

To wrap it up: No 1 is the one who dunnit, 2 real estate owners, 3 big builders, 2 clothing &kinky toys and 1 sidekick. So if you're not good at actually doing something, you can always invest in real estate.

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Intel makes worlds collide

Intel® Centrino® Duo makes virtual and real worlds collide.October 12-15, 2006

"Can’t live without your laptop? In a 72-hour experiment Intel showed how the power of Intel® Core™2 Duo processors enable you to live life without boundaries. World-renowned virtual builder, Versu Richelieu (inset), created a new masterpiece in the Second Life virtual landscape, using the power and performance of an Intel® Centrino® Duo based laptop featuring the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor. The world’s best mobile processors1. For 72 hours Versu ate, slept, and lived a completely digital life…all in a store window in New York City!"

The Live Without Boundaries sim still stands though isn't a spectacle anymore. It is a good build, with the Empire State Building towering above the clouds. Intel's strategy on SL is starting to interest me. They've got their usual - ordinary business sim, but rather than staying in one spot they're doing branding with several themes, like this sim and the OCC one blogged earleir today.

It's the event that counts, that draws and as long as the name Intel sticks, it works. And like the OCC thing, Intel sticks to Millions of Us for great builds.

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Live%20Without%20Boundaries/105/101/83

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Burnett impresses

Leo Burnet (1891-1971) was an advertising executive who brought us the Marlboro Man, 7Up, Toucan Sam and Charlie the Tuna, images from commercials you'll always remember. The Burnett company has lost several major clients in the past years like Cadillac and the US Army. Burnett was said to be too 20th century and conservative.

I'm no decision maker for Cadillac (their loss of course...) but I'd seriously rethink that strat. Burnett in SL is one of the few business sims that really impress me with original design.
The scenery is magical and the textures very detailed. A great build by Millions of Us.

(oh... if you've missed it, the auditorium is inside the huge tree and yeah, it's me doing my Sinatra impression in the auditorium)

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

SLUC: Second Life Under Construction

A number of corporations have sims under contruction

Millions of US

These sims are not accesible yet, but at least Microsoft and Comcast look nearly completed.

Electric Sheep
  • Too many half finished sims makes you wonder if they can finish anything soon.

Rivers Run Red
Lost in the Magic Forest

SLionhead

  • According to the CEO they've recently started working on some major projects. I'' try and scoop them.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Toyota does Motown

Toyota was an early arrival in Second Life. In 2006 they launched the Scion City sim to promote their Scion model. As was the case with the old internet, the automotive industrie is among the early adapters in SL as well. Visitors can customize their Scion and make a testdrive in a blockbusting urban sim. The skilled hand of Lordfly Digeridoo is easily recognised when one looks at the detail and style of the big innercity brick buildings which would fit any Motown company, but look a bit odd for the Asian carmanufacturer.

Perhaps Lordfly could elaborate on the idea behind this sim.


S:URL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Scion%20City/128/128/0

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Guestwriters

A warm welcome to two friends of mine, Aleister Kronos, a notorious bloggernaut http://slambling.blogspot.com/ from the UK. Aleister spends his inworld time as a traveller and is usually one of the first people to spot new company sims. To avoid copy pasting from his blog in this dog-eat-dog world of exposure, it is nice to have him on board to share his views with us.


And secondly a warm welcome Lordfly Digeridoo, a long time resident of Second Life.

Aside from being a student (Majoring in Sim City and Minoring in Google Earth) he is a very prolific contractor for Millions of Us, having done over 70 large projects such as Nova Albion, Toyota Scion City and many many more. Because of his widespread presence in SL it's best to have him on board as well and receive first hand insights on some builds.

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Pontiac Motorati's Crowdsourcing show

One of the companies that literally drives the notion of crowdsourcing to the edge is Pontiac / Motorati. There's heavy interaction between the wonderful SL sim and their website (http://www.motoratilife.com/. The sim is a buzz of activity with visitors designing new cars, dragracing and all sorts of car-centered events.


SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Motorati/128/128/0
Since the Pontiac Motorati cluster borders on the Millions of US development sites, it isn't hard to figure who build this great sim.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Sloppy performance by Weber

When one of SL's design guru's, Aimee Weber, was asked to participate in the built of the sim of one of the sexiest SL companies, Millions of US, one thought it would be one big showcase for SL architecture. Well, the auditorium is awesome as you can see on the pic below.




An insider at MoU however told me there was sloppy work involved. When closely examening the structures on the island.... well, you be the judge.

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Millions%20of%20Us/123/97/56

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