Monday, October 06, 2008

Watch The Guild

The Guild is a very funny online series about the online and offline lives of four people who live in a World of Warcraft like virtual world.

The Guild has won a number of awards, like the 2007 Youtube Awards and2008 Yahoo Video Awards. From YouTube here's the first episode

Here's a couple of facts on the series:

  • The Guild has over 9 million hits web-wide for Season One (10 episodes)
  • “The Guild” won the SXSW, YouTube and Yahoo Web Series Awards in 2008
  • The show has been supported by fans with donations through Paypal since Episode 3
  • Over 400 individual donors have contributed: 1/3 women, 1/4 international viewers
  • The Guild’s YouTube Channel has over 55,000 subscribers: #88 - Most Subscribed (All Time)

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Opening the Gates to Stargate Worlds

When the motion picture "Stargate" came out in 1994, starring Richard Dean Anderson, the personification of MacGyver, most of us did not take it very seriously. If you're hardcore Science Fiction, travelling between worlds doesn't work this way. Stargate was not SciFi, rather a mix of fantasy, nordic mythology and quasi religion.

Quasi religion? Yes. The basic premises of the movie is the discovery of an ancient device in Egypt which allows you to travel between worlds. This has been inspired by Erich von Däniken's theory of a godlike race visiting earth at the beginning of time with their spaceships being the pyramids.

Von Däniken founded his theory upon loosely interpreting three biblical passages from the Book of Genesis. Firstly, the creation of mankind is told two times, leading him to believe we have been created in a laboritory by genetic manipulation. The second attempt was succesfull and we're now clones of the 'gods'. The second verse he refers to is in which he sees the Aliens walk the earth.

"And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. " [Genesis

Well, it's not exactly rocketscience, but good enough for an adventure series and the Stargate SG-1 (1997) and Stargate Atlantis (2004) tv-series proved immensely popular. A Third series now is in production.

Now finally there's a fully 3D MMORPG coming out dedicated to the Stargate Worlds. It's been long in coming, but it is a very logical step to bring the series to the web. The series offer a wealth of worlds, scenario's, cultures and plots - and the means to go there through teleporting through the stargates. Last year I build myself a stargate in Second Life to let it act as teleport hub, but playing the real thing is of course a lot better.

Here some screeners from the official game by Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment which announced that Stargate Worlds will go into private Beta on October 15th. Already over 200,000 people signed up for Beta Testing this cool-looking MMORPG.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Hotspot Shield as your own Television Decoder

Regularly someone tells me about new television series which are out in the United States and aren't shown in the Netherlands. Usually I visit the website of the broadcasting company, like NBC or FOX to see what the series is about. About every show has its website with information on episodes and the cast. Almost every website offers the option to view the shows as well...

Only in America though. Viewing the series is only possible if you live in the USA, access from other countries is blocked. This nuisance is called geoblocking:

"Geoblocking is a technology that is used to prevent access to web sites from visitors in particular countries or regions.

At the moment it is mainly used by traditional broadcast companies who are moving their television, radio and music content online. Because of distribution contracts with the producers of these programmes many broadcast web sites limit access to people with in their own country.

Whenever a person connects to the internet, their computer or mobile device is assigned what is called an IP address. This is a sequence of numbers in the form The IP address is assigned to you by the internet service
provider (ISP) that you are connecting through and these in turn are assigned to the ISP in blocks. It is therefore possible to say that a particular IP address is from a particular country or even city.

Site owners that want to use geoblocking simply choose to only allow access to a particular range of IP addresses or to block certain ranges.

This type of location based services can also be used to serve alternative content (e.g. with advertising) instead of just blocking the visitor." (Definition Web Dictionary)

The Hotspot Shield offers a way out. The application was designed to make your pc safer when you are accessing the internet from public places. To prevent you from being hacked it opens a VPN connection to the hotspot-shield server - which is USbased - and uses that as a gateway. So suddenly you're US-based and can view every television series you like.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

CSI (7): CSI meets expectations

When the first critical and cynical blogs on CSI:NYwere starting to appear I was starting to get some mixed feelings

For exact numbers we either have to wait for CSI or the Electric Sheep Company to come with traffic stats and onRez viewer downloads and compare them to next weeks' Headcount by Tareru Nino. I do believe though that the average number of concurrent logins is higher these days. I'm not saying it was a smashing success. The massive number of islands, the fuzz upfront made us expect a lot. Again, too early to tell. There may well be ROI's made, but not sure which. I hope it'll continue though. Haven't had time to start solving the murder yet, but I for one like the concept. Me liking something isn't a guarantee that it'll make you millions though. (CSI (5) The Aftermath)

Finally, the Second Life Herald posted an article that kind of tried to sink the project.

A virtual recession may threaten the metaverse, as service workers hired to meet and greet noobies suffered mass layoffs today. The layoffs are part of a significant downsizing in the number of CSI:NY sims - perhaps due to a less than enthusiastic response to shark jumping, couch potato marketing of immersive games to television viewers. At this time last week, some enthusiastic reports were suggesting that CBS television's CSI:NY/Second Life hookup could yield as many as 1 million new players. However, that enthusiasm has been tempered by reality. (CSI:NY shrinks by 93%)

I've discussed that post with my good friend Aleister Kronos who has some reservations on the subject as well. There are a few things that don't really fit in. First of all, we came to watch the show and it carried a lot of Cisco sponsoring. Secondly, there was some exaggeration in the announcements, in the way that Hollywood usually does

Just yesterday I spoke with Chris Carella (Satchmo Prototype), Electric Sheep's Chief Creative Officer. I asked him what they thought of the result. Here's what he replied:

"Believe it or not, despite the blogs, everything is going exactly as planned. We purposefully had many many extra sims and staff the first 2 nights as a just in case precaution. There are few user experience worse than not being able to log in or even worse crashing the grid.

We're right on point with ours and CBS' expectations as far as number go. I've been impressed with how many people are still signing up a week later. It's to soon to get a good feel on retention numbers. Our expectations were never the millions of people the SL community expected. The % of people who went from TV to SL are well in line with our other TV experience and CBS's other efforts in cross media.

TV is a passive medium. It's really hard to get people from watching TV, to their computer checking out a website an downloading an application. However, those that do make it become more valuable customers. They spend 2-3 times longer a week with your brand and they will tell others how cool your show is".

The show has had about 16 million viewers, of which some 80.000 signed up for an account in the last week. That's a response of 0.5%. My marketing knowledge is a little rusty, maybe Nic Mitham from KZero can say some clever things on that, but as far as my memory serves me 0.5% is a very acceptable response. Truth is, we don't know if those 80.000 signed up because of CSY:NY. If we look at groups in Second Life, the CSI:NY group is the largest at the moment, having close to 1200 members, but the group for "the Office", which was much more viral and smaller in setup has about 675 members. And if they signed up for CSI, how many of those will stay?

There were those who had expected more than a million of new residents to sign up. Like a 5% response. That would have been awesome, a smashing success. Such a smash hit isn't build overnight though. If the 80K signups is a reliable figure to go by, I would say that the Great Satchmo has every reason to be happy. By marketing and advertising standards it's good. It got publicity and people still come to the CSI:NY sims. Everybody is entitled to his / her opinion. I'm inclined to look at it in a positive fashion. It's been a first time experience. We've got lots to learn. But we'll get there

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

YSL fashion without body

The summertime has been extremely quiet when it comes to new corporate immersions. Now summer break is long gone and I'm having a hard time keeping up. There's hardly been time to do some proper simspotting. Since we've been on the television meets virtual world meme thing in the past weeks it might be of interest to see what's exactly behind the Sera Korea sims. These are a bunch that might supporting the Korean TV drama series Que Sera Sera. The Asian invasion doesn't end here, there's another heap of islands shouting the name Samsung.

Yves Saint Laurent & Elle

Asia isn't my particular interest, there's others who keep a closer watch on the devs from the Far East; I'd rather keep an eye one European and American corporations. Since I've been running a streak of Fashion and Girlworlds it seems fit to note the immersion of Yves Saint Laurent, a well known French house of Fashion.

Blogging it is also logical, because I might otherwise forget this one is actually here. It didn't impress me and may fade out of memory soon. YSL's immersion has been centered around their fragrance "Elle", or as Nic Mitham from KZero reports:

"YSL is using a fuschia-themed island in SL on a tactical basis during October to promote their new fragrance Elle.

Marketing Director of YSL Fragrances, Thomas Lalague commented:
“Elle is geared toward “an active woman who is urban and contemporary, daring and elegant, attractive and bohemian, smart and sexy. A woman who is open to the world and who wants to express her personality.”

The theme of the island is the story of Elle using audio/video of the TV spot as well as rooms containng further information."

For a casual visitor though, this story is hard to find. Yes, there this big fallic bottle in the center of the island which is hard to miss, and it has an audio outfit. But on a rather casual stroll, I didn't feel tempted to pick up one and listen to a lengthy story.

I hovered around a bit to see what the rest of this purple-sim was made of, but the hallways are rather empty. Without you taking time to listen to their story, this sim has no body. If this sim is about the expression of a woman's personality.... I think there's a bit more to most women out there.


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Saturday, October 27, 2007

CSI (6): Zuiker explains

CSI (5) The Aftermath

It's saturday night. Just a few days ago we were all watching the grid with great anticipation to see what would be the outcome of the first CSI:NY goes Second Life show. There's many blogs out that that voice an opinion, but I'd pick out Ambling in Second Life over almost any other blog.

Here's Aleister's views:

As the hubbub starts to subside on the whole CSI:NY thing, I thought I would record some of the stuff that’s been rattling around in my head over the last few days.

My first reaction when I read all the hullabaloo coming out of the Virtual Worlds Conference was: “Meh.” However, folks with a far keener interest and knowledge of the entertainment and media industry were at pains to assure me that this was groundbreaking stuff, and that is was “game changing.” I thought I should wait and see. The impression given was that this represented a real leap forward in the pursuit of convergent media, and is the way of the Future. To quote Mr Zuiker, proud owner of the CSI franchise: “What’s the future of television? It is as follows: TV, online, mobile, and gaming.”

As for Linden Lab, CEO Phil Rosedale’s take, as quoted at Ugotrade was: “I think it is a great project. We don’t look for traffic for Second Life in general we more look for opportunities to present Second Life to people in a more obvious way to people who don’t understand it, or haven’t experienced it.”

So… a major leap in convergent media – and good exposure for Linden Lab.What could possibly go wrong?

The big risk we all knew about was grid overload, but so far (touch wood) this has not happened, in part because the invasion of newcomers simply has not happened on anything like the anticipated scale.

However, what I think has gone wrong is, frankly, the whole shebang. What I’ve noted, rather than a magical blending and blurring of the lines between reality and virtuality, is simply the co-opting of Second Life to act as a games
platform. A role for which it is particularly inappropriate – and for which CSI has no need, since such platforms exist already. Now, I’m not trying to be precious about SL here. In the whole wide metaverse there is clearly a large need for entertainment and, indeed, for gaming. But to be blunt, Second Life cannot offer the level of gameplay that seasoned gamers have good reason to expect.

And this leads to my next point. TV is an illusion, where it is necessary to tweak reality (and in this case, virtuality) in the interests of entertainment. CSI was not out to make a documentary about Second Life, and was bound to present it in a way designed to extract the maximum entertainment value. And this has led to 2 basic lies. First, that the Second Life virtual world is smooth, fast and beautifully detailed. This would be fine if newcomers weren’t then invited to come and try it out. The gulf between the TV version and the horribly laggy, grey, slow-rezzing virtuality cannot, to my mind, be called
“good exposure for Second Life”. The second lie is that Second Life is a sleazy game, populated by players. This lie was not necessary to the plot, and is the one with which I have the single biggest issue.

In common with many of the readers of this blog, I spend a great deal of time in Real Life extolling the features and benefits of Second Life and virtual worlds in general. Through this one piece of unnecessary scripting I feel like I’ve been thrown back a year in my own evangelising efforts; back to the days of: “Second Life? It’s just a game isn’t it? Full of sleazeballs and geeks.”
Again, how this view of Second Life can be viewed as “good exposure” I am at a loss to explain. This might also explain the less-than-impressive uptake of new accounts.

On a lighter note – I was tempted to call this piece: CISCO:NY. As I have mentioned previously, the grossly over-the-top “Ciscofication” was – to me at least – a complete turn-off.

I think Linden Lab have done themselves no favours here. It is not true that “all publicity is good publicity.” I am dismayed at the short-termism shown by Linden in going along with this farrago. Also, in handing over the source of the viewer to Electric Sheep we have the interesting situation where the open source code has been re-skinned, a few neat, new features added, and the whole thing seemingly locked up again as a proprietary product. Well that’s what I think.

So what did I get wrong?

The ciscofication maybe was a bit over the top, but here in Europe with tv stations like the BBC and public broadcasting companies in the Netherlands we do have a slightly different opinion of such blunt advertising. But seriously,

There's several blogs that have been negative over the amount of traffic generated by the CSI show. Well, it was aired in different timezones, people came in in several runs. And in the days after. True enough, these 16 million viewers didn't push the SL headcount from 9 to 10 million overnight, but it's too early to tell. There's a lot of speculation on how many came in. Prokovy Neva states (on the first timezone run):

"But the numbers of people on those sims, for the three
hours I watched them before, during, and after the CSINY show, couldn't have beat 5,000 concomittant, and no more than 20,000 max total arrivals. In fact, it's probably far lower."

For exact numbers we either have to wait for CSI or the Electric Sheep Company to come with traffic stats and onRez viewer downloads and compare them to next weeks' Headcount by Tareru Nino. I do believe though that the average number of concurrent logins is higher these days. I'm not saying it was a smashing success. The massive number of islands, the fuzz upfront made us expect a lot. Again, too early to tell. There may well be ROI's made, but not sure which. I hope it'll continue though. Haven't had time to start solving the murder yet, but I for one like the concept. Me liking something isn't a guarantee that it'll make you millions though.

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The Office stars Second Life

Earlier this week (24th) we saw the worlds largest television enterprise, CSI, immerse in Second Life. On the 25th another popular television show featured second life: The Office

The Second Life Insider wrote this in anticipation:

Well ... at least Dwight is coming. Photos and info can be found on Just Jared including images of Dwight playing his identically dressed avatar. In fact, you can find the Dwight Shelford's avatar in search featuring a profile that proclaims his love of a variety of NBC Universal movies and shows, and his desire to "calculate the exchange rate between Schrute bucks and linden dollars."

Just Jared gives us a quick synopsis of the episode:

Check out new The Office stills from episode “Local Ad” Synopsis as follows:

“When the Scranton branch is asked to participate in a Dunder Mifflin ad, Michael seizes his chance to exhibit his creativity. Meanwhile, Dwight explores the online world of Second Life.”

Looks like JAM get it on this episode. And be sure to check out what’s on Dwight and Angela’s computer screens!!

The Office episode “Local Ad” airs on Thursday, October 25 @ 9PM on NBC

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

CSI (4) The Show

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

CSI (1) D-Day for Second Life

It's october 24th, which means D-Day for Second Life stability. Today's the day that CSI New York will immerse into Second Life. Among the Second Life establishment the hour of truth brings about mixed feelings.

Everyone with a media background is looking forward to this event with great anticipation and anxiety. By putting Second Life (and virtual worlds in general) right in the spotlight of the world's largest (US$ 6billion) television show, bringing it to the homes of 16 million people at once today is a day that could potentially change the future of both the entertainment and the virtual world industry.

Everyone with a background in testing, infrastructure and risk management is looking forward to this event, while holding their breath or saying their prayers (except risk managers don't pray, they'd have fall-back scenario's) questioning if Second Life is ready to perform today. A normal will see about 45K concurrent logins. What if an additional 25K out of the 16 million viewers decides to check out Second Life within the hour after the show has ended?

As usual, the early bird catches the worm. Here's part of Aleister's thoughts on tonights moment of truth:

There's not much to say about this really. In my view, it is an interesting experiment but the lack of maturity and stability of virtual worlds like Second Life means this is happening far too early. Perhaps in another 12-18 months.

We will see.As I don't follow the show, or have any interest in it, I am not best positioned to judge the merits or otherwise of the gameplay - which looks fairly
straightforward to my eye. I have to say that the in-yer-face shameless promotion of Cisco I find particularly jarring. But then, I like to be seduced by advertising, not beaten about the head with it.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

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, October 10, 2007

CSI hits Second Life.


Yesterday I shortly blogged on the new Electric Sheep Company project. Today the Second Life Insider blogged this to. The project involves a collaboration with CSI, the world's number one television show.

One of the keynote speakers of the Virtual World Conference was Anothony Zuiker, creator of CSI who told us more on the project. On october 24th CSI New York will submerge into Second Life, with Gary Senise chasing the murder suspect into Second Life. This airing will get Second Life into the homes of 16 million viewers.

This broadcast will get a follow up on february 6th 2008. It calls for action, you can join the CSI team and solve the crime. Zuiker sees virtual worlds as the next level of entertainment which will be cross platform in the future. "After 9/11 the world changed. Insecure teenagers started looking for communitieds and businesses started to think cross platform," he said. This cross platform operation started for CSI with viewer interaction by using cell-phones, now it will get multi-platform with Second Life stuff, inworld gaming and blogging. There will be a regular Murder of the Month blogpost by Anthony and you have to finish it.This will put on heavy strain on Second Life, calling for performance on the 24th. Let's wait and find out what the limit of concurrent log-ons will be.

Here a screenshot of the episode that will air on the 24th:

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

HBO buys rights to Second Life machinima

The Dutch producer Submarine sold the television rights of the documentary 'Molotov's Dispatches in Search of the Creator: A Second Life Odyssey' to the US based HBO group. According to a spokesman of Submarine HBO is paying a 6 figure sum for the documentary and is planning for Oscar nomination for best short animation movie.

The documentary is cut into 10 short episodes and will be televised in the Netherlands by the VPRO sometime in 2008.

What's Molotov's about?

In January 2007, a man named Molotov Alva disappeared from his California home. Recently, a series of seven video dispatches by a Traveler of the same name have appeared inside Second Life. In these dispatches Molotov Alva encounters everything from Furries to Cyberpunks to Neo-Luddites to Sex Slaves to the King of the Hobos, Orhalla Zander, who becomes Molotov's guide as he searches for the creator of their brave new world.

Video link to the first episode. Link to documentary project home page, and more on Molotov's "first" life here.

The Submarine press release: (both Dutch and English)

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

We are the Fury Concert

One of todays top attractions is the simulcast (or Mixed Reality as it is called nowadays) event at the NBC Peacock room. A concert by "We are the Fury" will be held both in SL and in the RL NBC studios.

The event starts at 4 SLT (which is way past bedtime for us Europeans - but I got there in time to see the soundcheck)

Here's the add:

Come hear the hot indie/rock/alternative band We Are The Fury as they play both at the RL NBC Peacock Room and the SL NBC Peacock Room.

The band was tagged by Rolling Stone magazine as an Artist to Watch, and you will not want to miss this show!

They will play some of their hit songs and take live questions from the audience (IM JeremyLublin Lykin to talk to the band directly)

For more info, please go to: or

Tonights event is cast by the Electric Sheep Company, who does support all NBC events in Second Life. Upon stating that once again this was at a very unconvenient time to us Europeans, their spokeswoman answered that they are looking for timeslots that will make it possible for the whole world to attend (sim/server capacity limits not withstanding)

The Furies themselves are looking forward though to this new experience.


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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Die Hard 4

Last night saw the opening of Bruce Willis' Die Hard 4 representation in Second Life.
When I got home it was quite late and decided to take a look, but couldn't get in. The sim was filled to the brim with 58 residents present for the opening, so I decided to take a raincheck.

I would expect this build to be done by one of the big content creators, like ESC or MoU, but it's build by the V3 group, who also owns and operates Sillicon Island and were the producers of the International Technology Expo of 2007 event.

The sim has a nice feel to it, set up from a central dome with auditorium and infostands bridges lead to four platforms displaying props and scenes from the movies.

According to Liam Kanno from the V3 group, Bruce Willis was about an hour late for the opening, but hung around for nearly an hour as well to chat with the visitors.


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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.


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Monday, April 30, 2007

Sundance For a Change

The Sundance Festival has found Second Life to be a new carrier to promote its movies. At first glance, there's nothing special about the build; a few brick and wood buildings in a forest. An empty cafe and a Movietheatre...

Well, nothing special, since the sim is cold and empty. I visited the website though and found out they're actually doing something there. A weekly series on the Green features many hot-topic discussions which are also blogged. Since a pic from that meeting is way more spectacular than the snapshots I took, here's one from their blog:Aside from the movies, Sundance Channel the Green focusses heavily on the eco-hype.


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MTV's Laguna Beach

MTV's popular show Laguna Beach was originally immersed by the Electric Sheep Company on a standalone virtual world, based on There technology. Due to popular demand the beach has been set up in Second Life as well.

After the L-Word this is the next major tv-shows to set up shop in Second Life. In an interview I did with Paul Verhoeven he mentioned that Second Life has a number of cost-reducing advantages, so we can probably expect more tv-sets to go virtual.
MTV's Virtual Laguna Beach:

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Endemol and EA to bring new virtual world

Endemol, a Dutchbased television producer and gamers Electronic are launching the virtual gameplatform Virtual Me. Players can make their own avatar and enter a gaming environment that is build up by Endemol formats such as Big Brother. At a later stage releases are planned for Fame Academy, Operacion Triunfo and well known tv games like Deal Or No Deal and 1 vs 100.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Microsoft admits defunct in Xbox

After several thousand complaints from X-box 360 users, Microsoft finally admitted that their X-box has a defunct. For months Microsoft stuck to their statement that there was nothing wrong with the X-box and held gamers responsible. According to Microsoft the X-box would not damage discs as long as it was placed solidly.

During the Dutch television programme "Kassa" (about consumer rights) Microsoft finally admitted that cd's and dvd's can be damaged by te X-Box.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Fox Atomic

Fox Atomic has transferred the stereotype hollywood moviestudio into the Metaverse.
Though the Holleywood studios in Real Life (meatspace) are a sight to see, I must admit the lone studio in typical bunker style on this sim doesn't transfer the same feeling. A small ticket area looks nice, but misses context as well.

The sim is mainly used for streaming movietrailers and setting up decorums of their new series.
The 28 weeks later decor of the houses of parliament is a nice trick, but Fox has done little effort to create an innovative experience.

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NBC Sessions from Second Life

Just looking at the sattelite image of the NBC1 sim gives you a dark impression, and it's a telltale sign of a heavy build. NBC chose a full urban sim, probably similar to their downtown headquarters in real life.

Because of this enormous build the sim is slow in rendering.

As for activities, NBC is running a show from Second Life, called the Sessions. The setting is a wee bit like your usual American talkshow, like Jay Leno's "Tonight Show"
Contracters for this heavy build are the Electric Sheep Company and Aimee Weber.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007


No big-sim for the Avro, a Dutch television company. Which could be expected since they're not a commercial television station and have to work on a small budget ;)

Avro has a little corner on the Boer & Croon sim (see earlier post) and did a decorum for a children's program. As for judging this virtual creation I asked my daughter (2,5) to look at it. She really liked the moving chickens.

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When entering the BNN (Bart's News Network, a Dutch television company) sim one walks up to a theatre. At first I thought the thing to be rather dark and depressing, but after taking some distance, you can see it's a giant pick-up player.

Although I will have a hard time explaining what a pick-up player is to my 3 year old daughter, I think it's quite an original approach that will invoke historic sentiments.


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