Project Sansar Buzz Appears To Be Launching The Second Life Of Second Life

Relaxing With Street Art

There’s an image for Project Sansar that is appearing on many articles regarding the project. I have no idea where people are getting this image from, have Linden Lab got a top secret media kit somewhere? I’ll use images from 1920’s Berlin and Everwinter for this post, 1920’s Berlin in particular gets a lot of mentions in the media.

There’s something very interesting going on with the recent media attention Linden Lab are receiving over Project Sansar, Second Life is making the news on the back of this too and in some cases, it sounds as if the way Second Life works has only just been discovered.

There have been a number of good articles about Linden Lab recently, my favourite recent written article I covered in my last blog post, it’s the article by Eric Johnson over at Re/code. However today I’ve discovered two more articles, one on Gamasutra and one on MoviePilot. Then there is a video interview from UploadVR, which is very impressive.

Christian Nutt over at Gamasutra has posted; True virtual reality: The race to build a ‘metaverse’. The article is very brief and refers to Eric Johnson’s article. Another article comes to us from Moviepilot and this one is all about Second Life;  Second Life: How to Navigate an Online Virtual World (and Maybe Even Make Some Money) :

In 2003, Linden Lab, a San Fran-based gaming and VR company, launched Second Life. 12 years later, more than a million users around the globe play the online game – although Linden Lab insists that Second Life is not a game at all.

This is the sort of article that makes you check that it wasn’t originally published in 2008 and has now for some odd reason came back to the top of the news, but it’s not, the article was published on 5th August 2015. The article discusses creating items for sale, becoming a stripper, sex being a big part of the Second Life virtual world and also time travel.

Time Travel?

The article really does sound like Second Life is relatively new, rather than over twelve years old and the article also makes Second Life sound quite exciting :

In fact, the possibilities of this game are almost endless. You can visit “Hell’s Asylum” (a landscape of fire and brimstone), “Everwinter” (a post apocalyptic wasteland based on the Chernobyl fallout zone) or – if you prefer something more serene – there’s “Irreplaceable”, a beautiful island paradise complete with a castle, forests and an underwater cave.

The article makes for a good read and is refreshingly honest in its approach of highlighting several different aspects of Second Life.

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Second Life’s Shadow Gives Linden Lab An Edge In Virtual Reality Future

Linden Village

For a virtual world that many people comment with surprise about it still being around, Second Life seems to still cast a mighty shadow over the virtual world scene. Over at Re/code, Eric Johnson has published an excellent article about how the land lies : Welcome To The Metaverse. I heartily recommend that people read this article in full.

The article opens with commentary from Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg regarding humans creating spaces :

Some spaces are mobile, like a bus. San Francisco is a space that was created by its users. Whether you go into a pub, a bar, a classroom, a bowling alley, an office, a library … We create spaces and we have people come together in those spaces, and then we communicate and socialize within those spaces.

These spaces are of course what people have been creating in Second Life too, in many and varied forms and guises.

Remnants Of Earth Hangar

Early on in the article Eric seems to be talking of Second Life in the past tense. This needs to be taken in context, Eric is really talking about how Second Life did not become the 3D internet that some hoped it would and how in the future, VR ventures will be hoping to go mainstream, become the next big thing and really get embraced by society :

A perfect metaverse, then, is more than just a video game or an application. Like a Web browser, or an operating system, it would offer users a means to do many things, and likely pay for them in many ways. That’s the Big Idea — that VR would be as transformative to the Internet as the World Wide Web — and it’s why so many companies are testing the waters. If one or more of them can crack it, they would unlock a great deal of virtual reality’s long-term potential.

Those of us who have already embraced virtual worlds know that the potential is there, but we also know that a large number of hurdles exist too.

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Dr. Sandra Winkler Talks Of The Benefits Of Second Life At Amputee Coalition National Conference

Sea View

The Amputee Coalition National Conference took place between July 22nd – 25th in Tuscon Arizona and one of the presentations involved a discussion about support and education in Second Life, with Dr. Sandra Winkler of Nova Southeastern University in Florida leading the presentation :

Virtual Support and Education Through Second Life – Sandra Winkler, PhD, OTR/L; Jim Mercier;Eme Capalini

Tucson C

This presentation will:

(1) Demonstrate a virtual world environment that provides amputees with evidence based knowledge about amputation and prosthetics – including a virtual prosthetics museum.

(2) Launch the collaboration of this project with the Amputee Coalition. Participants will experience how daily activities, such as exercising and conditioning, can be learned as an avatar in a virtual world. Amputee presenters will discuss the potential of this virtual world for distant – even international – peer visitation, education, and socialization and support activities.

Unfortunately I do not have a full transcript of the presentation.

Presentation

However a report on Healio by Shawn M Carter does have some quotes from Dr. Sandra Winkler :

This tool could strengthen awareness and self-management of a user’s specific disability, Sandra Winkler, PhD, OTR/L, lead researcher of the project, said during a presentation.

“The trend in health care is managing your own care, rather than relying on a provider to tell you what to do,” she said. “Managing your own care provides access to knowledge … then you can start problem-solving what is best for you.”

Recreational activities are easiest to understand when engaging in the activity, according to Winkler, who believes this program provides that opportunity.

Dr. Sandra Winkler’s work can be further investigated on the Virtual Health Adventures website, or, if you prefer, you can visit Virtual Health Adventures in Second Life.

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Project Sansar To Offer Instancing And Perhaps A Different Approach To Branding Experiences

Second Life Image - Futuristic Guy

Scientists have announced that they have found “The closest twin to earth outside the solar system“. The name of the planet is Kepler 452b and it’s considered Earth’s older and bigger cousin. However that’s not really what this blog post is about. No, this blog post is about me finding “The closest article to the article I found yesterday about Project Sansar, outside this blog“.

I have discovered the article at none other than Variety. The article in question is Second Life Maker Linden Lab Wants to Build the WordPress of Virtual Reality by Janko Roettgers, Senior Silicon Valley Correspondent for Variety.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, yesterday I blogged Ebbe Altberg And Peter Gray Talk To MMORPG About The Future Of Online Experiences, which was based on an article on MMORPG by Neilie Johnson entitled “Linden Lab Looks to the Future of Online Experiences“.

The article in Variety covers a lot of the same ground but it also has some additional and rather interesting information, for example, when it comes to how many people may be able to visit a build in Project Sansar, the Variety article states :

Why spend a lot of money to build a presence in Second Life if it could only be visited by only 70 people at a time? Project Sansar wants to solve this issue by allowing for unlimited copies of an experience. In other words, instead of just opening one restaurant, McDonalds could open hundreds or even thousands of eateries in the new virtual world, and open and close them based on customer demand.

This does indeed mean instancing! Now if you’re not familiar with instancing, imagine a Second Life region that is full. Instancing would address this by creating pretty much a copy of that region on demand, to allow more people to enter the experience. The obvious issue there is that you may not be in the same instance of the region as your friends, but we can worry about things like that later because instancing is a bloody brilliant concept.

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Ebbe Altberg And Peter Gray Talk To MMORPG About The Future Of Online Experiences

Toronto

First things first, some readers may find the website of MMORPG a little garish, it’s a bright site and very busy. I mention this because this post is about an article by Neilie Johnson on MMORPG; Linden Lab Looks to the Future of Online Experiences. The article is based on an interview with Linden Lab’s CEO Ebbe Altberg and Linden Lab’s Senior Director of Global Communications, Gray Of The Lab From San Francisco (AKA Peter Gray).

Whereas there are no ground breaking secrets revealed in the interview, it is worth looking at some things again. Firstly the proposed land model for Project Sansar, or what is known about it so far. The article reiterates that the plan for Project Sansar is to have much lower land costs than the USD$295.00 a month region cost in Second Life, with sales tax on the increase compared to the 5% Marketplace commission. There are no figures provided but I think it’s fair to say that this has been mentioned enough times now for it to be a reality.

The article also touches upon the fact that Linden Lab have learnt a lot from Second Life. Although the minimum age requirement will be 13, Linden Lab feel that they will be able to segregate content so that minors aren’t running into unsuitable content.

One of the things I’ve seen said about Project Sansar when comparing it to Second Life is that the Project Sansar development team will look at the way some things are done in Second Life and decide they would not want to start from there to achieve that in Project Sansar. Content and land restrictions are areas where Project Sansar can take a new approach and one that could very well deal with some of the problems we’ve seen in Second Life. The experience of the issues that have been raised in Second Life are an advantage here.

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